We are incredibly excited to have Bryan Wargo join the Narvar team as our new SVP of Worldwide Sales! Bryan brings 20+ years of leadership experience in high tech and fast growth environments to the company. He has a proven track record building business development and sales strategies, and a solid reputation in the retail technology space.
Prior to joining Narvar, Bryan was Head of Worldwide Sales at RetailNext, which provides in-store analytics solutions for top brands such as Bloomingdale’s and Brookstone, helping them better understand and optimize their consumers experiences. Bryan holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Santa Clara University.
We sat down with Bryan to find out what makes him tick, what his predictions are for the future of retail, and why he’s so excited about joining the team.
What are the biggest challenges the retail industry faces today?
If you look at any retailer today, the online portion of their business is growing by double digits, while the brick-and-mortar side is probably growing by single digits at best; maybe it’s even shrinking. People still go to malls, but instead of going to 7-10 stores, they go to 2-3. The shopper today is much more focused—she probably went online and did her research, so by the time she shows up at the store, she’s ready to buy something. Or maybe she went to the store to try something on, but then goes home to make the transaction. In the US, we’re seeing retailers try to right-size their physical retail strategy while also investing in and growing their online strategy.
How do you see the in-store experience changing over the next few years?
Certainly less people. And I see the store bifurcating—there will be the front part, which will be all about experience, display, and education, and the back part, which will be more about fulfillment and shipping. Today, it’s a mashup—you show up and there’s a mannequin, and behind the mannequin is the stacks of shirts. I think those two things are really going to separate.
Where do you see technology making the biggest impact in retail?
I made a bet about 10 years ago that physical retail wasn’t going to be the same—that internet technology was going to come in and disrupt it in some massive way. The iPhone became a big disruptor as it gave consumers access to all kinds of information even before they showed up in the store. Retailers have really had to change the way they think about technology and how they run their businesses in order to keep up. If not, Amazon’s going to run the table. And Amazon spends a lot of money on technology.
What’s most exciting to you about working for Narvar?
There were a couple of things that really attracted me. One is the number of retail customers that have signed up to use the Narvar platform in the last 24-36 months. I’ve dealt with these companies for a long time, and they just don’t normally move that quickly. That tells me that there really is something interesting here. Also, the idea of a post-purchase customer experience is brand new. There’s a whole new world that’s opened up because of the way that people are conducting commerce these days. Narvar had foresight around that, was the first to market, and is now really scaling—it’s pretty remarkable.
Where and how do you like to shop?
It depends on the products. If I go grocery shopping, I’m going to the store. I like to walk the aisles and pick my own fruit, select my own wines, that sort of thing. If I’m buying apparel or gifts, I shop almost exclusively online, whether it’s going to Amazon or my favorite brands like Under Armour or Nike, or picking out items for my wife and my daughter and my son. We probably have ten packages per week that get delivered to our house.
Where would we find you on a typical Saturday afternoon?
One of a few different places: I’ll probably be at a basketball game watching one of my kids play, or I’ll be hanging out by my pool or next to the barbeque because I like to cook, or watching a Giants game. Or I may go for a run.
What’s the last movie you saw?
I saw “Arrival” on a flight. I do like science fiction—it was pretty good!