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“A massive growth opportunity I see in the retail industry is the ability to provide consumers with deeper information about a product in engaging ways”, with David Fisch

Information: Another massive growth opportunity I see in the retail industry is the ability to provide consumers with deeper information about a product in engaging ways. No longer do you need to read a 20-page dissertation about a product or scour the internet to find certain information. I see more retailers turning to mobile apps for […]

Information: Another massive growth opportunity I see in the retail industry is the ability to provide consumers with deeper information about a product in engaging ways. No longer do you need to read a 20-page dissertation about a product or scour the internet to find certain information. I see more retailers turning to mobile apps for information experiences — for example, walking into a store, scanning a product and having a video pop up that provides nutritional info, recipes, other items that pair well with that product and much more.


I had the pleasure to interview David Fisch. David is the general manager of Shopkick, the leading shopping rewards app in the U.S.. He leverages his extensive experience building successful businesses and creating value to propel Shopkick to the next level.

Fisch is an experienced founder, entrepreneur and business leader with a strong record of achievement in leading Ad-tech, marketing technology and consumer companies. In addition, he has served in key leadership and management roles at Yahoo!, Miller Brewing Company, and Gallo Sales Company.

Prior to joining Shopkick, Fisch was the chief revenue and marketing officer at AerNow, where he was responsible for guiding content creators’ business growth through live and video on-demand (VOD) content. Before AerNow, he served as Vice President of Strategy at Criteo, where he worked to scale the company’s machine learning, big data, and marketing solutions, helping e-commerce companies leverage data efficiently to engage and convert customers.

Fisch graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business, management, and marketing from California State University, Chico.


Thank you so much for joining us David! What brought you to this specific career path?

Mycareer path has been an interesting saga. Right out of college, I started out in consumer product marketing and sales with Gallo Winery. I was given the opportunity to manage a large sales organization and had a truly fantastic time working in all things around retail marketing and sales. From there, I transitioned to Miller Brewing, where I oversaw MB Co’s distributors. I had the opportunity to work with sellers and marketers to put programs in place that would move product. This allowed me to get a clear view of the retail industry and how it operates from the ground-up.

After that marketing role, I decided to make a major career shift to an area I knew little about at the time — digital.

I joined Yahoo at a very early stage and was given the chance to pioneer new ways to move digital marketing products and programs. It was great for my personal growth; if I had an idea, I could quickly implement it and have it seen by millions of people; thus knowing the success, or lack thereof relatively immediately. I spent 7–8 years at Yahoo overseeing what ended up being their marketing solutions group. I worked with Fortune 500 brands, as well as top global agencies — on how to create value for consumers and advertisers. At the time, we were pioneering early days of retargeting — putting a product in front of someone, having them interact with it, collecting the data of that interaction, and then retargeting the consumer based on that experience.

After Yahoo, I decided to take a major leap and started my first company, SlingShot Media, with Peter Guber. From there, I started a few handful of companies in the media and gaming realm.

All of this led to my current position as the GM of Shopkick. In early 2019, I received a call from Trax, the Singaporean company that recently acquired Shopkick, and was asked if I knew anything about the company. Through past experiences, I actually worked with Shopkick quite a bit, so I felt confident that I would be able to come to the table with a clear vision of how to grow this company to succeed in the future. And here we are!

What’s the most interesting thing that has happened to you since you started your career?

One of the most interesting things to happen during my career was developing relationships with people at Yahoo during their early years and deciding to make a major change in my career to the then-new world of digital. I was able to be part of the group that pioneered new marketing programs, and it was extremely impactful for my career and personal goals.

What’s the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? What lesson or takeaway did you learn from that?

When I was at Yahoo, I was presenting in front of several thousand people for a televised event. As I’m sitting in the front row waiting to be introduced, I’m drinking a coffee in, of course, a white shirt. About 30 seconds before I’m announced, I look down to see I had been dripping coffee on myself for the last hour! I was instantly fearful of what people would think, but when I got on stage, I chose to address the mishap instead of acting like it hadn’t happened. And you know what? People got a kick out of it and my presentation went better than I could have imagined!

The lesson I took away from this experience is to not be so hard on yourself about being perfect, because nobody is. If you own that, people will be able to relate to you. It’s a great thing to be able to laugh at yourself and people can respect that!

Are you working on any new exciting projects now? How do you think that might help people?

An exciting project I’m working on outside of Shopkick involves the cannabis industry and using big data to collect personalized information in a positive way, providing more relevant products, and services to people. We’re working on connecting people and information in a pretty disparate industry, by taking a specific look at how to service everyone through one ad platform.

It takes out a lot of the chaos caused by questions like, how do you find the right products? How do you find the right services? How do marketers market the right products to the right people? We’re working on quieting that noise to be very personalized with the message.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to not get “burnt out”?

In my opinion, one of the hardest parts of being a CEO is remaining positive at all times. When walking into the office, you could be having a bad day, sales could be down, or any number of things but as a leader, it is your job to instill confidence in your team even when things might not be going as planned.

My advice for not burning out in this situation is to keep the mindset that “the sun always comes up the next day and every problem has a solution”. It is important to remember that you’re not always going to make the right call and mistakes are inevitable, and that’s okay.

Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

One individual comes to mind right away — Peter Guber. He was there for my first foray into starting my own business. He was extremely influential in giving me the confidence to break out of working for a traditional company and take a chance on a vision. He’s been helpful throughout the last 10–15 years of my career.

I have never forgotten him asking me early on if I knew how hard it would be to start my own company. At the time, of course, I said yes. In response, he said, “No, you actually have no idea.” And he was absolutely right.

How do you feel you have used your success to bring goodness to the world?

I’ve been fortunate to have met people who have taken an interest in me and my career along the way. It’s given me a reason for pause when I see someone else coming up in his or her own profession. Whether it’s hiring interns out of college who are looking for real work experiences or hiring exchange students to give them months of work to extend their Visas, I’m grateful to be able to invest in others the same way my mentors invested in me.

Can you share 5 examples of how retail companies will be adjusting over the next five years to the new ways that consumers like to shop?

In the next five years, I see retailers adjusting their focus more on:

Convenience: Retailers need to boil it all back down to convenience — the convenience of one-swipe or one-tap on your mobile device to make a purchase, going into just one retail location to find exactly what you’re looking for, or various purchase options like BOPIS. Thankfully, our digital tools facilitate that ability for ease and convenience. For today’s consumers, the more convenient the experience, the more likely they will be to choose your retailer over the next one.

Information: Another massive growth opportunity I see in the retail industry is the ability to provide consumers with deeper information about a product in engaging ways. No longer do you need to read a 20-page dissertation about a product or scour the internet to find certain information. I see more retailers turning to mobile apps for information experiences — for example, walking into a store, scanning a product and having a video pop up that provides nutritional info, recipes, other items that pair well with that product and much more.

In-Store Experiences: From a handful of recent surveys we’ve conducted at Shopkick around consumer shopping habits, it’s clear that the majority of shoppers are still headed in-store. Our latest 2020 Outlooks survey showed that 61 percent of shoppers, across generations, plan to do the majority of their 2020 shopping in physical retailers. And regardless of age, shoppers are looking for the same thing when they shop brick and mortar: inspiration and excitement. Retailers will need to focus on more creative, Instagram-worthy, in-store shopping experiences to get shoppers into their stores and to the register.

Augmented Reality and Extended Reality: On that same note, I see retailers really leaning into augmented reality and extended reality. I see the future looking like a customer walking into a local grocery store, where a notification from Captain Morgan pops up on their phone to say “Follow this map to buy a liter of Captain Morgan and get $3 back.” That customer looks at his phone and sees a store-mapping technology with arrows guiding him down different aisles to make sure he’s finding the products. He then scans the bottle of Captain Morgan, and suddenly additional recipes pop up on how to use Captain Morgan in his holiday recipes. I think this also goes back to my original point of incentivizing sales through convenience.

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