Retail Brew Spotlights Lori Schafer

A feature written by Erin Cabrey. Find the original article published by Retail Brew here.

Lori Schafer is CEO of Digital Wave Technology, an AI-powered platform which helps brands and retailers boost their omnichannel growth.

How would you describe your job to someone who doesn’t work in retail? I help retailers and brands make sure you have an amazing shopping experience and easily find what you’re looking for.

One thing we can’t guess about your job from your LinkedIn profile? I love outdoor sports. In fact, I used to be a marathon runner!

What’s your favorite project you’ve worked on? Building Digital Wave Technology! Being able to shape a business simply from an idea and a concept and then watering it, fertilizing it, and seeing it grow is incredibly rewarding. Overall, I love growing technology companies. I launched my first retail/CPG tech company 20 years ago, dabbled in corporate roles, and now, I’m fully immersed in entrepreneurship with Digital Wave Technology, a special chapter in my career.

Which emerging retail trend are you most excited about right now, and why? I’m genuinely excited about the impact of generative AI on the retail industry. With the emergence of platforms like ChatGPT, there’s been a lot of AI buzz this year, and its potential applications, especially in e-commerce, are truly thrilling. From crafting unique advertising campaigns to shaping shopping experiences and beyond, this technology holds incredible promise for retailers and consumers alike. Ultimately, it will help unleash our human creativity, which is something truly inspiring for the future.

What’s your go-to coffee order? Black. Straight up!

Worst piece of advice you’ve received? “Learn to be less empathetic,” or to separate my compassion from business situations to make tough decisions. In all decisions, I always try to put myself in the other person’s shoes first. This practice allows me to articulate a strong rationale for my choices in a way that the affected parties can better understand my thinking and continue to maintain their own self-esteem. Empathy is in my roots, and I aim to take the time to treat everyone and every relationship the way I’d ideally like to.

What was your favorite retail product when you were 15, and what’s your favorite retail product now? At 15, I was all about the tennis team and wanted the best racquet to improve my game. I still love sports, but today, with my career and home and adorable two golden retrievers who shed, I’m always upgrading to the latest Dyson cordless vacuum to ensure the house isn’t covered in pet hair.

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