PROFILE

Jeff Miller

Director of Marketing, OceanX
Jeff Miller is a world traveler and curious mind, as well as an experienced digital commerce leader with a diverse background in both B2C and B2B sales and marketing. Jeff is the Director of Marketing for OceanX, a subscription commerce platform running over $1B in direct to consumer sales for some of the largest retailers and CPGs in the world.

Prior to OceanX, Jeff had marketing and e-commerce roles at the national yoga studio chain, YogaWorks, the direct response agency, Launch DRTV, global watersports brand Body Glove and helped found MWRC Internet sales an e-commerce platform company. He is also the President of the Jimmy Miller Memorial Foundation, a Los Angeles based non-profit that works with wounded military and at-risk youth to feel the healing power of the ocean through surfing.
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  • Posted on: 11/20/2017

    Who will be left standing after the next retail shakeout?

    Solid and simplified breakdown but like most things in life, a little too simple to be applied to something as big as "retail." I argue that there are probably a dozen vital factors under "Third Wave" with the most important which could be its own category being "people." The people who work in brick and mortar stores are key. High quality and educated real customer service, where you walk away from a store knowing that you will come back because of the actual person to person engagement will be the key in the future.You may also want to have quality product too. Convenience and discounts are good for one purchase, but quality is needed for any repeat purchases and repeat purchases are where the profits are made.
  • Posted on: 11/20/2017

    How open are consumers to AI-driven shopping?

    The first part of the question seems out of place. Retailers should not be spending any time trying to spur mainstream adoption of AI for shopping. They should be focused 100% of their efforts on solving consumer needs and if AI can help (which I believe it does and will even more in the future), then they should test and find best uses of it. We are just at the start of the voice era. It took e-commerce a solid decade for any real adoption. Like e-commerce, it will start slowly with minimal use and adoption but as it gets better and when it solves a need more efficiently or with better results, we will use it more and more and it will, by the nature of the increased use and AI, get better over time.
  • Posted on: 11/10/2017

    Has Google solved the problem of long lines at grocery checkouts?

    I love Google. Showing the wait times will probably help with some retailers overall visibility in search but this seems like a technology that does not really solve a customer problem. Maybe in New York City? Are people really planning their shopping trips around wait times of lines? Parking spaces available could help but lines change within the time you are already in the store based on foot traffic, slow retail associates, computer issues, someone needing to run back and pick up something and so many more factors.Fun with technology and cool, but not a real "moonshot" for Google.
  • Posted on: 11/10/2017

    Are these the best or worst of times for consumer brands?

    If you take out massive economic crisis like Great Depression/Great Recession I think this the worst time to be "legacy" brand and the best time to be a start-up brand with a unique product, grit and access to a little capital. Legacy brands who depend on mass TV media and stocking other people's shelves with products whose only differentiation is a brand they built via media face massive challenges are are mostly in decline. High on that list of challenges is a culture that does not foster innovation and for public companies having to compare to the past. The opportunities for new brands that solve a unique problem or offer a real value proposition beyond their brand name are huge, but their shelf lives will not be as long as the legacy consumer brands who just had an amazing run.
  • Posted on: 11/06/2017

    Amazon undercuts rivals by adding discounts to marketplace seller prices

    Welcome to the ever increasing "race to the bottom" where there will be only one large giant remaining. Like all things with Amazon this one has a double edge to it. Great for customers which is their primary goal. Great for a large % of their marketplace sellers who for the most part are always just competing on price and speed of delivery for products that are widely available. Damaging to any brand or retailer who value brand equity and control but who want to balance that with reaching the Amazon consumer. I wish I could take credit for it but stealing it from Scott Galloway but "it is clear that Amazon is out to destroy brands." He cites Alexa, private label and access to historic cheap capital. I would add ability to set prices for 3rd party sellers as yet another arrow at brands.
  • Posted on: 11/03/2017

    Large brands and retailers expand the subscription economy

    Cate, I did not mean to correlate the success of digital services like Netflix and Spotify with the growth of retail subscription. The point that maybe was not clear as as it could have been is that when media and financial folks reference the subscription economy, they almost always focus on digital and the big innovation in that space -- but that there is also innovation in the retail space.Also, on your great question about customization and personalization, it is very interesting. When subscribers are asked if they want customization they will always say yes, but their actions with what they choose to buy is quite different and contrary in some cases to what they say.
  • Posted on: 10/30/2017

    Johnson & Johnson takes aim at digital disruption

    These 5 principles are a great start for CPGs and J&J specifically. I think the first step is an awareness that they do have a problem and that they need to start to focus less on their "brands and products" and more on "consumers." That focus on solving consumer needs is why some of the upstarts are taking market share and why Amazon is taking a greater share of sales from their main current channel partners (Wamart, CVS, etc.). I foresee J&J and other large CPGs making use of capital for acquisitions where hopefully they learn from others and bring in some of the nimbleness that allow these companies to innovate to some of their legacy operations.
  • Posted on: 10/26/2017

    Nike turns its back on ‘undifferentiated, mediocre’ retailers

    Controlling your distribution and focusing even more on direct to consumer is what every brand who is thinking long term should focus on. However, I don't believe that this statement is accurate that they will only sell to 40 stores. Perhaps 40 key large retailers that sell wider range of Nike products, but Nike has amazing boutique/niche distribution for some select product lines (running stores, skateboard shops, sneaker heads, etc.) that will extend stores to hundreds when taken into account.
  • Posted on: 10/23/2017

    Apple opens invisible hangout in Chicago

    I just finished reading Scott Galloway's book called "The Four" where he accurately argues that Apple's biggest strategic win was not the products that we all love but the temples to the brand (Apple Stores) that they focused on when their competitors focused on e-commerce and competing in other channels. The stores turned Apple into the luxury brand it is today. Creating these temples put them on track to be a luxury brand and for them to have the margins of luxury with the supply chain on the opposite end.These new flagships and their continued investment in the store experience, the geniuses who work at the store and continued focus on education and community will increase brand loyalty and sales.
  • Posted on: 10/18/2017

    Amazon is making a power move on Nike and other sportswear brands

    Amazon strategy to private label is very clear and they are learning every day. They go after the basics/elements sectors in categories where they see opportunities. Batteries, baby wipes, under shirts and now Whole Foods 365 food products. Sportswear is an obvious next place and I expect them to dominate the basics sector of this category. I think high quality brands like Lululemon, adidas and Nike have less to worry about than low cost activewear brands like Russel, Athleta or Fabletics.
  • Posted on: 10/03/2017

    Empowered employees separate Zumiez from the competition

    Zumiez has always done a great job connecting with employees and hiring young people who live and breath the lifestyle. Their 100K parties which I have had the pleasure to attend a few times back in the day that celebrate their team and culture are a great representation of the brand.However, I am not sure that even the best and most motivated workforce in the world is going to save a retailer like Zumiez that is so tied into malls where foot traffic is going away and that sells surf, skate and snow brands who have not distinguished themselves from each other any more. I hope that I am wrong and that they continue to thrive while giving so many young people a first job where you can learn skills and see a better future through hard work.
  • Posted on: 09/29/2017

    Jet.com is stepping out of Walmart’s shadow

    100% Jet.com needs to stand alone from Walmart but benefit from Walmart's scale, operations, deep pockets and ability to lower prices.No doubt that private label has the best chance to make a difference of these 3 options. Bonobos and ModCloth are cool but nothing that stands out from others in apparel space and there are literally hundreds of bed in the box competitors in that market. As Amazon, Whole Foods, Costco and even Walmart have proved over the years, private label can be a game changer if you spend time to build the brands a bit while reaping in the margins. They, like Amazon, will also be able to use data from combined power of Jet and Walmart to pick and choose product categories and specific products to attack with private label. Great move to show some ROI on $3B aside from talent and leadership acquisition.
  • Posted on: 09/28/2017

    Will a window to Disneyland bring Disney fans to the mall?

    This article is a bit misleading. Disney announced and showed at Shop.org during a keynote a lot more in the works than just some live video screens in the front of their stores. It was part of a much larger effort including a new e-commerce site and update to the stores to bring the magic of Disney storytelling to retail. Their CTO Michael White was excited about the screens in the test locations, but also touted new layouts and future looking ideas around AR/VR. But it was interesting that he did not touch on something that Disney does so well in the parks and resorts- customer service. What they really need in brick and mortar retail is that same kind of "Disney cast" mentality that shines at the hotels and theme parks. This is the main lesson for all retailers in this day and age. Real people who are educated and passionate about the products helping people get what they want.
  • Posted on: 09/28/2017

    Will a window to Disneyland bring Disney fans to the mall?

    This synopsis and the Bloomberg article give the makeover at Disney stores a bit of a short stick. Their CTO and SVP of Interactive and Consumer Products Michael White share a more detailed vision of what they are doing to bring experiences into the store at his Shop.org keynote on Tuesday. Still has some work to do; the vision was much more than screens showing the parades.
  • Posted on: 09/25/2017

    Pirch: Is it a first mover case study or a flawed model?

    I think the key part of the question here is "despite successful numbers." $3000 per square foot by itself and comparing that to an Apple store is like comparing apples to oranges. I really like what they created, but just think that they picked the wrong product category to tackle with this kind of retail experience. The decisions on most of these purchases are now in the hands of designers and builders as much as the end consumer who is the target of Pirch.Experience and the kind of customer service where someone remembers your name will still be the drivers of repeat in store consumers but that does not make up for a niche consumer market.Alternatively, this could just be a matter of the VCs who are behind them getting a bit timid looking at short or near term results.

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