Tom Erskine

CMO, One Door
Tom Erskine is Chief Marketing Officer and SVP of Product for One Door, based in Boston, Massachusetts. One Door serves many of the world’s largest retailers, delivering a new category of software improving in-store merchandising execution, hyper-local assortments, and sophisticated store analytics.

Prior to One Door, he started and grew Pegasystems’ Communications and Media segment into one of its largest businesses, serving 6 of the world’s 10 largest providers. Previously, Tom held senior marketing and product management roles with Convergys Corporation and BCGI.

Tom currently serves on the Board of Directors of Campus SIMs, an organization providing affordable mobile services for international students, and has served in an advisory role for successful start-up organizations including BrandNetworks and WHERE.COM.

He holds multiple US and international patents for his innovations in customer experience, networking, and business support systems.
  • Posted on: 06/23/2017

    Should brands ditch the slang?

    Whatever tone and voice brands use to reach people, the key is authenticity. If you genuinely speak to customers in the language they expect you can create a tighter bond. If you fake it, it will come across as annoying.This applies to everything, not just slang. As a Massachusetts resident when I hear a radio spot using a bad Boston accent, it's awful. When it's someone that obviously grew up here, it just sounds normal.
  • Posted on: 06/21/2017

    Why did McDonald’s end its Olympic sponsorship?

    I don't mean to sound like an old fogey but, for U.S. audiences, I fear the Olympics peaked with the 1980 USA hockey team and the 1984 L.A. Summer Games. Since then "progress" has chipped away at the "Olympic ideal" that made the games compelling viewing -- amateur athletes that we could relate to getting a moment in the sun. Viewership isn't down because of multi-screen viewing or time zone issues, it's down because the Olympic narrative is now pretty boring.
  • Posted on: 06/16/2017

    What happens now that Amazon is acquiring Whole Foods?

    Can we stop talking about e-commerce eating the world now? If anything, this move validates that for many categories of retail, the in-store experience still matters. This move gives Amazon an incredible set of assets on top of which they can build true omnichannel experiences, and I look forward to seeing the innovation.
  • Posted on: 06/14/2017

    Who owns the in-store experience?

    Shep - Good observation and suggestion. I've seen the CXO or CCO role tried in organizations as the omnichannel experience becomes a reality and usually the role has limited authority, limited budget and limited credibility within the teams that actually engage with the customer like customer service, store ops, sales and marketing. They give good keynotes, but they don't drive change. Have you seen otherwise?
  • Posted on: 06/14/2017

    Who owns the in-store experience?

    Retailers need to think differently about who owns CX when the customer journey crosses many channels. But specific to in-store, the simplest answer is that store operations needs to be elevated, staffed, and KPI'd to take responsibility for delivering a superior customer experience. Perhaps it needs to be renamed "Store Experience and Operations" (although SEO is already taken!).
  • Posted on: 06/09/2017

    Is IKEA really going to start selling on Amazon’s Marketplace?

    Perhaps IKEA is seeing a future where their online experience and supply chains are not differentiated enough to provide them with a competitive advantage. If this is the case for them then they can instead focus 100 percent on the quality of their products and the in-store experiences that make them truly different.
  • Posted on: 05/31/2017

    Will customers try Kohler showers before they buy?

    When I referred to these experiences as "immersive" I didn't realize that Kohler would make it such a literal reference. Experiential retail is a critical part of the customer journey, but as part of driving awareness -- not necessarily conversion.If I've never used a smart toilet, I don't understand why I would need/want one and I won't consider one when I'm next renovating my bathroom. These experiences give Kohler the opportunity to change that and give me the opportunity to use new products so that I understand the value they deliver and become comfortable adopting them. Then, when I'm ready to renovate, I'll put a smart toilet on my list.This project is a great way to deploy retail space, but if it's measured based on conversion it will fail. This isn't about conversion, it's about awareness and lead generation.
  • Posted on: 05/24/2017

    What does it take to thrive in an over-stored marketplace?

    The immersive nature of the store experience is a massive potential opportunity for retailers that few brands are exploiting. How many consumer brands can get consumers to come spend time with them on their own turf? Of all the metrics mentioned above, where is the measure of customer satisfaction (e.g. NPS) associated with the experience? Until brands shift their store mindset from "transactional" to "experiential" they're not going to be successful.
  • Posted on: 05/22/2017

    How should self-checkout be incentivized?

    Self-checkout should not be incentivized at all. It is rare that incentivizing consumers to change their behavior works. Customers change from "behavior A" to "behavior B" when the new one becomes more convenient, period.Once self-checkout works seamlessly and consistently, I have full confidence that consumers will naturally make the right choices whether to use it or to use assisted checkout.
  • Posted on: 05/18/2017

    Will Apple get customers to go back to school?

    Yes, this will drive traffic and improve store performance. Apple continues to lead the way in transforming their locations from a "place to transact" to a "place to interact." Dropping the "store" from the name, offering more structured education, and recognizing the contribution of their associates to the customer experience all represent important milestones on this journey.Virtually EVERY retail category has something to share -- whether it be fashion advice, cooking advice, advice on eating healthier, DIY project tips, or technology advice. It is absolutely shocking that more retailers don't recognize this as an opportunity to drive traffic (and ultimately conversions).
  • Posted on: 05/17/2017

    How many training hours are appropriate for store-level workers?

    While it's likely impossible to pin down a number, the survival of the store hinges on an increase in the investment in sales training for associates. If store staff cannot provide product insight and guidance to a consumer beyond what they get in other channels, there's no reason to go to the store.This increase in sales training must be offset by a reduction in the time spent training on operational tasks through the implementation of digital tools that provide a guided and tailored experience for associates and simplify the non-sales tasks associated with their jobs.
  • Posted on: 05/15/2017

    Can retailers keep up with Gen Z’s digital savviness?

    It is unclear if retailers understand the massive transformation required to align with Gen Z's expectations for a customer experience. ANY friction introduced into the customer journey -- a hard-to-use app, lack of proactive notifications, etc. -- will drive these consumers to another brand, with no second chances.
  • Posted on: 05/08/2017

    Can Walmart dash past Amazon with its own product replenishment system?

    The Chips Ahoy just show up because my 10 year old ate them all? A new pair of jeans just appears because I've worn my old ones too many days in a row? While IoT and home replenishment show promise, when consumers lose control of the "buy" signal and intent to purchase, things get weird.
  • Posted on: 05/02/2017

    Will consumers finally pay for service?

    The growth of specialty retailers, where experience is a significant focus, is an example of younger consumers basing brand selections on the customer experience they receive not just the price they pay. Consumers won't pay à la carte for service, but retail is proof they will pay for the experience.
  • Posted on: 05/02/2017

    Will giving associates mobile devices enhance the shopping experience?

    Given retail associate demographics, it is safe to say that 100 percent of retail associates already rely on mobile devices to make their non-work lives more interesting and efficient, so why should work be any different?Every aspect of an associate's day -- interacting with customers and building personalized offers, processing payments, receiving tailored training and merchandising instructions on new offers/products, interacting with colleagues in other locations and performing store maintenance -- can be greatly improved through the adoption of mobile devices.

Contact Tom