Gartner Blog Network

Robert Hetu
Research Director
6 years at Gartner
29 years IT Industry

Bob Hetu is a Research Director with the Gartner Retail Industry Services team. His responsibilities involve tracking the technology markets and trends impacting the broad-based retail merchandising and planning areas. Mr. Hetu is an expert in the areas of brand, vendor and assortment management, merchandise planning, allocation, and replenishment. Read Full Bio

Toolkit Helps Prioritize Technology Investments for Retail

by Robert Hetu  |  August 15, 2017

Determining prioritization and sequencing of technology implementation that will enable effective transformation from multichannel to unified retail commerce is complex. The combination of rapid technological advancement with industry disruption has created great opportunities and significant challenges, requiring a structured approach. One of the major challenges is coordinating and aligning business and IT leaders’ actions to […]

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Digital Disruptor Amazon’s Planned Acquisition of Whole Foods Could Redefine Retail Grocery Market

by Robert Hetu  |  June 20, 2017

Gartner’s First Take on the Amazon acquisition of Whole Foods just published.  Amazon’s deal to acquire Whole Foods Market is an example of aggressive digital disruption of a market. CIOs should apply the lessons learned from Amazon to learn to structure and invest for long-term disruption. Gartner was also quoted extensively on this topic by […]

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Gartner’s Cool Vendors in Unified Retail Commerce, 2017

by Robert Hetu  |  May 19, 2017

Customers expect more, driving retailers to deliver a unified retail commerce journey offering a personalized, consistent and comprehensive experience across retail touchpoints.  Gartner analysts Mim Burt, Joanne Joliet and Kelsie Marian published the following: Key Findings: Unified commerce is about contextualized engagement with consumers, regardless of device or channel. Retailers are still struggling with the […]

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Using AI to Drive Smart Automation in Retail

by Robert Hetu  |  May 16, 2017

Retailers must use AI to automate and deliver better decisions and make it possible for associates to be customer experience differentiators.  Multichannel retailers are facing an existential crisis. Consumers’ buying behaviors and lifestyle choices are changing. Competitive pressures from disruptive pure-play e-commerce players are causing radical changes to antiquated business models, driving down prices and […]

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Gartner’s Cool Vendors in Retail Merchandising and Marketing

by Robert Hetu  |  May 4, 2017

Customer-centric merchandising and marketing require deep learning algorithms that can predict who, what, where and when consumers will browse and transact. This research will introduce CIOs to five innovative vendors that are reconfiguring merchandising and marketing processes with AI. Key Findings: Emerging artificial intelligence (AI) applications are transforming the ability of markets and merchandisers to […]

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Generation Z Is Inspiring the Future of Customer Experience

by Robert Hetu  |  May 4, 2017

There is much talk about the millennials shaping the future. However, retail CIOs should be cognizant of Generation Z, a rapidly growing cohort that is already becoming a prime mover, shaker and disruptor, shaping experiences not only for the future of retailing, but for the future of living. Fellow Gartner analyst Miriam Burt recently published […]

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Gen Z Ethos to Revamp the Retail Workplace

by Robert Hetu  |  April 26, 2017

Gen Z, born between 1995 and 2010, is the largest group of upcoming consumers and employees globally. These tech-native individuals will transform consumption and work. Retail CIOs must tap into Z’s ethos to create organizations that are ready to leverage their talent to create market growth. Fellow Gartner analyst Kelsie Marian recently explored Gen Z’s […]

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Retail Pricing Strategies Still Not Optimized

by Robert Hetu  |  April 26, 2017

Product pricing is a critical component of the customer cross-channel experience, but the promise of unified price, promotion and markdown optimization (UPPMO) is elusive. Gartner’s long-held position is that retailers must support consistent cross-channel pricing with situational differentiation. Foundational elements of an effective cross-channel pricing strategy for unified retail commerce include: Consistent base price for […]

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Retailers, When In A Hole – Stop Digging

by Robert Hetu  |  April 17, 2017

The recent spate of store closings will do nothing but hasten the decline of physical retail, while providing only short term profitability gains. Okay, so I know the US is over stored, and some locations just need to close, but there are many things going on here that must be considered. With its 53% share […]

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Retail receives a digital slap in the face: snap out of it!

by Robert Hetu  |  March 27, 2017

It’s time to snap out of band-aid solutions and make the shift to unified retail commerce. The question is as simple as it is complex. Does your company have a digital retailing strategy? Unfortunately the answer often goes something like this “Yes we have ecommerce”. If you think of ecommerce as the digital strategy – […]

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