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: 08/14/2017

    Does the internet know us better than we know ourselves?

    The power of Big Data is the ability to find new predictors of customer preference and behavior that were previously invisible to the naked eye. These new predictors enable retailers to make better recommendations, improve product availability and significantly improve the customer experience. Instead of relying on survey responses, gut feel and heuristic approaches, these new systems explore massive amounts of data and help make connections that even consumers might not recognize. The hard part is doing it without being creepy. Just ask Target ...
  • Posted on: 08/07/2017

    Is agile fulfillment the solution to retail’s renaissance?

    I disagree that retailers will need to focus on agility over scale. They need to do what modern, digital, organizations manage to do -- focus on both. And it isn't something they "will need" to do. If they're not doing this already, it's too late.I know that "digital transformation" is a term that gets overused, but the retail supply chain is a poster-child candidate for the definition of this term. At virtually every step in the retail supply and fulfillment chain today there are incredible opportunities to leverage digital tools to increase agility without limiting scale.
  • Posted on: 07/20/2017

    How much Big Data do retailers really need?

    Big Data is a means to an end, and when companies treat it like an end they are likely to be disappointed. What I've seen in the number of initiatives I've been involved in is that focus on a specific outcome is a critical, clarifying element of any Big Data initiative.
  • Posted on: 07/17/2017

    Is e-commerce a job builder or killer?

    Any bump in fulfillment center job growth is likely to be short-lived, as these jobs involve repeatable processes that can be handled using automation. So while it is plausible that e-commerce is creating jobs on a net basis, I wouldn't be hopeful that it will drive long-term retail job growth.
  • Posted on: 07/12/2017

    Why do so many people love shopping at Ace Hardware?

    When you walk in to Ace and ask for a 3/8" whatchamacallit, they always know exactly where it is. Then they recommend an alternative approach. Trusted, knowledgeable service goes a long way.
  • Posted on: 06/30/2017

    Does Blue Apron’s ‘meh’ IPO spell trouble for meal kit services?

    Peter - it is the very same! Nice work! As acquisition costs accelerate to woo mainstream users, the LTV of the customer doesn't accelerate as well, leaving the service extremely unprofitable.
  • Posted on: 06/30/2017

    Does Blue Apron’s ‘meh’ IPO spell trouble for meal kit services?

    To reinforce the points made above, here is a great analysis of their current subscriber economics -- and it isn't a pretty picture. 72 percent of users that try the service are gone after six months. That is a ticking churn time-bomb that will challenge their long-term chance of survival as they have to spend more on acquiring customers.
  • 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.

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