Britt Technology Impact Series

Retailing the Model: Digital Transformation and Commerce

Topics: Customer eCommerce Marketing / Sales

February 18, 2016 4:45 • Borelli Classroom • Tuck School of Business

Retailing the Model: Digital Transformation and Commerce Photo

In the two decades since Amazon and eBay kick started the ecommerce explosion, the retail sector has seen monumental change as a result of digital technologies. The evolution of digital retail from web-based ecommerce sites to today’s mobile and social experience has been transformational for the sector. Along with those changes, new companies have emerged to unseat incumbent powerhouses in retail. Often, these upstarts bring new business models to customers or innovate with technologies to gain advantages over their rivals.

Tech@Tuck explored the influence digital technologies have had on the retail sector, including how digital technologies enable new business models and a growing list of ways to reach customers. We explored questions such as what are the key digital technologies driving retail today; how have digital technologies, such as mobile, social, cloud and big data changed retail and what new retail business models have been enabled by digital technology?


Alison_Cocoran_StaplesAlison Gregg Corcoran T’86, SVP, Marketing, Staples staples
Alison Corcoran T’86 is an accomplished marketing executive with expertise in digital and traditional marketing, omnichannel retailing, global brand management, new product development, and business operations.

As Senior Vice President, Marketing for Staples, Alison is the head marketer for and Staples stores.  Her organization is designed to be customer centric and to drive a customer preferred, omnichannel experience. She is accountable for customer acquisition and retention, category marketing, traditional and digital advertising, social, content, and CRM for ecommerce and stores. Before joining Staples in February 2012, Alison served as Chief Marketing Officer for Sears Canada, where she led all customer-facing initiatives, including in-store, web, catalog, email, mobile, social, print, broadcast and direct marketing.

Prior to Sears Canada, Alison served as Chief Marketing Officer at BJ’s Wholesale Club and in a variety of leadership roles at Polaroid.  Alison also ran Corcoran & Associates, a marketing and strategy consulting firm, where her assignments included time as interim Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer at Zipcar and Princeton Review. Alison received her MBA from the Tuck School at Dartmouth College, where she was elected Class President, and her BA from Williams College. Born in Tokyo, Alison moved every two or three years while growing up.  She lived in Japan, Myanmar, South Korea, Mexico and the United Kingdom.  Now firmly settled in Milton, MA with her husband, four children and two dogs, Alison goes to work to escape the chaos at home!

Larry WeberLarry Weber, Chairman and CEO, Racepoint Globalracepoint global
Larry is a globally known expert in public relations and marketing services. Passionate about the convergence of technology, the web and communications, he is a frequent public speaker on the future of marketing, the social web and building communities online. Larry enjoys helping global brands and emerging companies harness social media strategies to enhance brand reputation, create and extend partnerships, and increase demand generation. He founded one of the industry’s first interactive marketing agencies, Thunderhouse, and has worked with world-class clients including ARM, AT&T, Coca-Cola, Cook Medical, General Electric, General Motors, IBM, Kaiser Permanente, Microsoft, and many more.

In 1987, Larry started his own public relations company, The Weber Group, which within a decade became the world’s largest public relations firm. The Interpublic Group of Companies purchased The Weber Group in late 1996, and in early 2000, Larry was named chairman and CEO of Interpublic’s Advanced Marketing Services, a $3 billion unit with 12,000 people, and included the company’s public relations, research and analysis, and entertainment holdings.

Larry serves on a number of Boards of corporations, non-profit organizations and academic institutions. He is the co-founder and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Massachusetts Innovation and Technology Exchange (MITX), the largest interactive advocacy organization in the world. In 2013, Larry was a speaker and a member of Oxford’s 2013 Union Debate team at the annual Silicon Valley Comes to Oxford at the Saïd Business School. Larry has authored four business and marketing books, including The Provocateur: How a New Generation of Leaders Are Building Communities, Not Just Companies (Random House/Crown Business, 2002), business bestseller Marketing to the Social Web: How Digital Customer Communities Build Your Business (Wiley & Sons, 2007, with a second edition in 2009), Sticks & Stones: How Digital Business Reputations Are Created Over Time…And Lost in a Click (Wiley & Sons, 2009), and Everywhere: Comprehensive Digital Business Strategy for the Social Media Era (Wiley & Sons, 2011). Larry’s newest book, The Digital Marketer: Ten New Skills You Must Learn to Stay Relevant and Customer-Centric, was released in Spring 2014.

Carly Rosenberg T’05, CMO, Bluefly

Carly Rosenberg is a 14-year veteran of digital commerce and marketing, successfully leading the strategic marketing initiatives at specialty retail firms since 2000. Carly is currently the Chief Marketing Officer at Bluefly where she oversees marketing, creative and site experience. Prior to Bluefly, Carly was the Vice President of Ecommerce Marketing at ANN INC., the parent company of Ann Taylor and LOFT, where she oversaw digital marketing and product photography for and Carly held similar roles at J.Crew, Saks Fifth Avenue and Sur La Table. Carly graduated from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College and Colorado College and is a mother of three young children.


Retailing the Model

The full panel discussion from Tech@Tuck 2016

  • Larry Weber (center), Chairman and CEO at Racepoint Global, and center MBA fellow Raghav Gupta T'16 (right) visit the Game Theory booth at the vendor fair.

  • Larry Weber (center), Chairman and CEO at Racepoint Global, moderates the panel as Program Manager Patrick Wheeler (second from right) listens in.

  • Left to right: Carly Rosenberg T'05, CMO at Bluefly; Alison Corcoran T'86, SVP of Marketing at Staples; and Larry Weber, Chairman and CEO at Racepoint, engage in discussion during the panel presentation.

  • Students participate in Q&A.


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