Gartner Blog Network

Robert Hetu
VP, Analyst Retail
7 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

COVID-19 Resources for Retailers

by Robert Hetu  |  March 19, 2020

Retail is spiraling in a confusing and complex global reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic. Right now, consumables retailers (grocery, quick-service restaurants and drugstores) are actively trying to manage and improvise to meet immediate consumer demand. That said, nearly all retail segments are/will be impacted by the urgent need for support staff to work remotely. The […]

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Retail CIO New Year’s Resolutions, 2020

by Robert Hetu  |  December 19, 2019

Our retail team collaborated on this set of new year’s resolutions for retail CIOs. The dawn of a new decade is the perfect time for retail CIOs to get serious about the changes necessary for digital transformation success. Gartner clients can leverage research that identifies five key areas that will ready CIO retail culture, strengthen digital capabilities and […]

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AI Can Be A Central Nervous System

by Robert Hetu  |  December 16, 2019

It’s tempting to anthropomorphize artificial intelligence (AI), particularly when devices such as Alexa and Siri increasingly employ human communication. I’ve been known to throw in a sharp retort every now and then when it misses the point. But AI does not think like humans, and should not be considered a brain, however it can serve as […]

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Our Predictions for Retailers Show More Change Ahead

by Robert Hetu  |  December 9, 2019

Customers are demanding greater levels of contextualization of products and services. Retail CIOs can leverage intelligence to capture deeper insights, anticipate customer needs and proactively deliver across every touchpoint. Retailers must reinforce their store’s position as an integral part of delivering unified commerce. Our recent research Predicts 2020: Consumers Determine Retail Success Well Before the Sale […]

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AI Will Transform Retail Merchandising For Those Who Are Ready For Change

by Robert Hetu  |  June 28, 2019

Retailers are aware of the significant opportunity to leverage vast amounts of customer data to drive in-depth customer analytics that enhance merchandising processes through AI. The goal is creating customer-centric assortments, across every touchpoint, optimally priced and available to consumers when and where they expect to browse, transact and acquire items. Gartner conducted the 2018 […]

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Avoid Retail’s Fake News Purveyors

by Robert Hetu  |  April 3, 2019

Yesterday I saw an article that really grabbed my attention.  @CNBC published the headline “Online shopping officially overtakes brick-and-mortar retail for the first time ever” (recently the title has changed). Imagine my surprise, as I knew that ecommerce was 14.3% of US retail sales in 2018. Obviously I missed the culmination of the retail apocalypse […]

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Retail Change Outpacing Digital Business Strategies

by Robert Hetu  |  March 30, 2019

Driven in many markets by consumer optimism, 2018 was a year of progress for retail.  This caused some retailers to feel a bit of a reprieve. This will be short-lived, and retailers are not moving fast enough to identify future scenarios.  As a result, retailers are failing to build detailed digital business strategies to be […]

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Retail Scenarios 2025 Require More Than E-commerce

by Robert Hetu  |  March 30, 2019

By 2023, e-commerce will cease to be a differentiator in the retail marketplace Retail can’t survive and thrive by e-commerce alone. E-commerce is ceasing to be a stand-alone differentiator in retail success.  Unified retail commerce meshes together the digital and physical worlds.  Amazon generated $141.92 billion in product sales in 2018, up 19.7% from $118.57 billion […]

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Walmart Drops Savings Catcher, Really?

by Robert Hetu  |  March 18, 2019

Walmart has been getting a lot of credit from me lately for some really smart decisions. Then they do this?  I am trying hard to figure out the motivation behind ending Savings Catcher, but it seems so out of touch. Small refunds may seem like they have negligible impact, but for many consumers these represent […]

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Amazon Dash Was Marketing Genius

by Robert Hetu  |  March 1, 2019

Amazon announced that it is discontinuing Amazon Dash after four years. Reading a few articles on this today that seem to imply this is some kind of failure. What was the purpose of Amazon Dash? When Amazon Dash launched, the intent was clear to me.  In a blog from April 2015, Target and Amazon: Scarcity, Innovation […]

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