The Holiday Retail Rush

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It’s that time of the year when the retail industry gets put under the microscope. Shopping malls are bustling and online marketplaces are full of shoppers. Technology is pushing the customer experience forward like never before. On this week’s episode of the MarketScale Retail podcast, we took a look at some of the big trends of 2018 and what might be coming down the road in 2019.


What are the biggest trends in retail for the 2018 holiday season? Joining the MarketScale Retail podcast is Jennifer Ruscin, CEO of Jennifer Kaylo Ruscin Enterprises. She explains these emerging trends, talks about the hot gifts for the season, and gives online retailers some helpful tips.

“A new study by shows $13 Billion will be spent on unwanted gifts,” says Ruscin. She explains how shoppers and retailers alike can avoid the headache of returns this holiday season.

Jennifer also discusses how to best position yourself to capitalize on the post-holiday market and why it’s can be profitable for your business to cut out the middle man. Learn more from Jennifer’s most recent blog post.


Have you noticed the slow but sure trend of self-service kiosks in your life? Think about it for a moment. They’ve existed at the self-checkout line in the grocery store or at the gas pump, but now they’re becoming an industry standard for checking in at hotels, ordering food at restaurants, and more. What prompted this kiosk take over, what technology on the back end is empowering them to ease not only the customer experience but the business’ too, and what does it mean for the future of Retail, Hospitality and Food & Beverage?

Today we’re joined by Healey Cypher, CEO of ZIVELO, a company which provides high-end self-service solutions, from the aesthetics of the outer shell to the software powering the whole operation. Cypher says a kiosk is more than a novelty; it can reframe how a restaurant, per se, markets its items and utilizes man-power, especially when the digital push everyone thought consumers wanted is falling flat. “Guess how many new apps the average consumer is downloading a month. Zero,” Cypher said.


Throughout history, there’s always been a sense of supply and demand; some people have a thing, and others want said thing. As we became more civilized, we refined our process from physically taking by force, to trading equitable goods. That transactional narrative has seen a lot of change, and coincidentally, the language and information we use to complete those transactions has changed too.

Our correspondent Sean Heath spoke with Chris Barnes, the Senior Vice-President of Strategy and Solutions for Gladson. They discussed the rapidly changing nature of the retail transaction, the subtle slang that each retailer uses, the literal danger of too many choices, and the delicate dance a company has to do when utilizing “big data”. “A ton of our different retailers, always want the most amount of data they can get their hands on. The problem is, some of them don’t know what in the world to do with it once they have all that. When it comes to product information, which is where we have a specialty, sometimes just having more data isn’t best,” Barnes said.

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