- STRATACACHE Capital has launched global retail tech consultancy, Q Division, a team of business management consultants, connected commerce-focused industry experts, and solution engineers who will advise brands and retailers on creating data-driven, customer experiences.
- STRATACACHE CEO Chris Riegel brought Manolo Almagro, a 24-year veteran in retail and tech innovation, onboard as Q Division managing partner. The new entity will leverage assets from the STRATACACHE family of digital media/ad tech companies as an independent retail tech, connected commerce, and retail strategy practice.
- “We’re beyond the ‘why digital?’ conversation,” Almagro said. “It’s not a trade secret that the physical retail world needs digital solutions to thrive. Shoppers expect modern conveniences—especially what they find online—to exist in some form within the retail store. The big secret is the expertise required to make these customer experiences effective, scalable, and return a significant ROI. The low- and no-value providers entering the space muddy the waters for retailers ready to introduce or expand digital experiences.”
- Q Division's services include:
- Innovation Programs: Partner agencies, brands and retailers who subscribe to Q Division's emerging tech research initiatives, participate in fast-track test/learn prototype labs, and opportunities for live, in-market field testing.
- Connected Commerce: Engineering meaningful, connected experiences by leveraging IoT-based, retail tech platforms; AI, machine learning, machine vision, robots, conversational commerce, e-commerce, and in-store interactions.
- Data and Analytics: Use of real-time and periodic data collection platforms across online, mobile and in-store environments to drive and improve upon the delivered customer experience, provided by consumer persona building and behavioral insights.
- Emerging Tech Ventures: in partnership with STRATACACHE Capital, access and exposure to investors, global solution partners, and emerging retail tech startups.
In 2017, Almagro was recognized by AVIXA (InfoComm) as an Emerging Trends Fellow and is a named inventor on digital signage software patent #6038545. Kicking off 2018, as the voice of Q Division, Almagro will lead the “Future Tech + Innovative New Products” tours at the NRF’s BIG Show; speak on “The Role of AI, Machine Learning, Robots in the Future of Connected Commerce” at Digital Signage Expo 2018; and lead Emerging Tech tours at the Mobile World Congress.
Q Division’s name pays homage to the fictional intelligence lab dedicated to developing tools and weapons to gain every advantage possible in battle. “In this case, Q Division is arming retailers in the fight for shoppers’ attention and loyalty,” Almagro said.
“Retail is not a fair fight today. Even the above average retailer is in an existential battle with Amazon and struggling to navigate the new, deep-data world in which we live,” said Dirk Huelsermann, managing partner of STRATACACHE Capital and digital media investment expert. “Q Division will help retailers and brands arm themselves with the knowledge and strategy necessary to win these battles. Manolo and his team bring exceptional experience in retail engagement and innovative strategy insight that can be the catalyst to help level the playing field.”