Checkout 51 (acquired by News Corp.)

Overview of Product Management at Checkout 51

Let me start by clarifying the project fundamentals (i-e what, when, and why) of my work at Checkout 51.

What? After shutting down my previous software startup, I wanted to continue building my career in product management in a different environment so I joined Checkout 51 (acquired by News America Marketing) as a product manager.

Why Checkout 51? I decided to join Checkout 51 because of my interest in the intersection of retail, consumer product goods (CPG), and consumers.  More specifically;

  • For Retail – I had 3 year experience of working at a discontinued retailer, Zellers. As a cashier, I got to observe the retailer decline against the competition, customers demanding better service, taking their business elsewhere, and much more. Thus, I had curiosity to better understand the retail industry.
  • As a Consumer – I was curious from observing my own and customer’s purchase behaviours – which were not rational. Thus, I wanted to better understand such a fundamental part of economics – consumer behaviour.
  • For CPGs – I had always seen their ads and heard how massive they were becoming, thus, I wanted to see how they spend money and market their products.

Major Projects Completed at Checkout 51

Given that I joined the company shortly after its acquisition, I was able to use resources made available by the acquirer, News America Marketing. This resulted is some fruitful projects that I would like to highlight below (I hope to cover them individually in a separate post in the near future):

  1. Introducing Savings via Loyalty Cards: In the Checkout51 app, to earn cash back you had to upload a physical receipt. My project involved giving the option to link your loyalty card so we could directly settle the claim of cash back with the retailer! You can read more about it on our Zendesk page or visit Foodtown’s page (Retailer).
  2. Launching Version 2.0 of our Portal (aka Google Analytics for Checkout 51): The CPG companies demand insights into what, how, who, where, and when their product is purchased. I worked alongside the Director of Insights, Design, and the clients to launch the Version 2.0 of our Portal – Insights for our CPG Clients.
  3. Standardizing UPC Products Across the Company:  As our database grew, we faced a challenge with uniquely identifying the offers available against a unique product. I worked closely with the Director of Operations to change the internal workflow, implement back-end changes, and train employees to setup the company to succeed in the long run with it’s back-end capabilities.

List of Blogs Posts as a Product Manager at Checkout 51

Here are some of the articles I wrote with reflections of my learnings;

Fundamental Readings

I always try to focus on the fundamentals to not stray away from the truth. Thus, to ensure that I (or another product manager) keep focused on the right problem, I personally recommend the following reads:

  • Stop Chasing the Wrong Kind of Growth – Highlights how the retail industry may have gone too far in its search for growth. Maybe its time we stop focusing on growth and more on profitability and sustainability?
  • Understanding the Fundamentals of Retailing – Lets keep the mission and the profit formula front and centre when trying to solve problems for retailing. Forgetting these fundamentals is one of the primary reasons retailers missed out or were too late for  e-commerce.


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