Casey Craig

SVP Retail, 3Pillar Global

Casey Craig is the SVP of the Retail Portfolio for 3Pillar Global. He is a seasoned digital product executive with more than 20 years of experience helping Fortune 500 executives identify and deliver mission critical digital transformation priorities and growth solutions to drive successful business outcomes. Today, his responsibilities include leading engagement and portfolio growth for a diverse set of fast growing clients in the Retail, Consumer Product Goods, and Hospitality industries.

Before joining 3Pillar, Casey was a Senior Managing Partner with Gartner’s Consulting Practice delivering digital transformation strategies for Fortune 500 companies around the world.  Prior to Gartner, he was a Senior Manager in Kurt Salmon’s Retail practice, delivering revenue generating strategies for industry leaders in consumer-facing technologies, in-store solutions, and omni-channel retailing. Casey also spent five years at Accenture as a delivery lead for the company’s largest global retail clients.  Casey started his career running information technology departments at two speciality retailers.

Outside of work, Casey founded and is a board member of Eli’s Heart, a global non-profit established in 2012 to support families in their quest to ensure medical care at top hospitals and research institutions around the world. To date, the organization has assisted more than 500 families.

  • Posted on: 03/03/2021

    Has text messaging become retail’s go-to communication tool?

    A survey from 2019 showed that m-commerce had doubled since 2015. More and more people are using their phones to shop, and that rate will only increase over time. Text messaging could help keep all communication from a brand to the customer in one place. This also helps with delivery and curbside pick-up, allowing the customer to make any changes or find all the details for the order in a quick and accessible way. This article points out an important concern though: Retailers will need to be careful in how often they use this feature. Texts are one of the main forms of communication in today’s world. Everyone has a phone full of constant communication, and too many messages adding to that deluge could easily turn a customer off to a brand.
  • Posted on: 03/03/2021

    Digital gains are changing how Best Buy puts its associates to work

    These days, with the amount of product information available, consumers have the ability to be just as informed as the store associates. If they aren’t, they can (and do) search reviews on products while they are in the store rather than seek in-store associates for assistance. Therefore, I think Best Buy is de-emphasizing traditional in-store selling roles to reduce overall labor costs as store associates aren’t providing a differentiated knowledge-based experience in addition to what can be found online through digital products.
  • Posted on: 02/19/2021

    Whole Foods gets a lot right and wrong

    Whole Foods made a huge pre-pandemic investment in creating a unique in-store shopping experience with restaurants, bars, and other experiential offerings while also building out a streamlined digital experience. However with the increase of online shopping caused by COVID-19, the number of Amazon Prime shoppers has made the in-store experience less than desirable. Whole Foods needs to look at micro-fulfillment options to lighten the traffic in the aisle and revitalize the in-store experience to realize the potential of their pre-pandemic investments.
  • Posted on: 02/17/2021

    Will Men’s Wearhouse’s new digitally-equipped next-gen stores be a must shop?

    The updates that Men’s Wearhouse has implemented are a great upgrade to the shopping experience. It’s a win-win for the store and the customer, and I think we will continue to see more features like this implemented in brick-and-mortar locations. These updated features will also help the brand move to a more updated business model, which could attract a younger demographic. Introducing similar digital capabilities, like the virtual fitting room, could easily be implemented on an app or website, allowing customers to design their perfect suit at home or on the go. Creating a hybrid experience that brings features like the digital shirt wall to online shoppers as well as in-store could go a long way in attracting new customers and meeting them wherever they shop. If you pair these features with a robust BOPIS system you could create a scenario where younger online shoppers design their suit at home and visit the brick-and-mortar location to pick it up, offering sales associates an opportunity to provide individual services, like fitting and accessories, to complete the look.
  • Posted on: 02/10/2021

    Will Walmart gain an unrivaled edge by automating its local grocery fulfillment?

    LFCs and micro-fulfillment centers solve two important challenges facing the grocery industry: They help ensure inventory will get to brick and mortar stores quickly for BOPIS and alleviate the costs associated with last-mile delivery for online shoppers.
  • Posted on: 02/10/2021

    Will same-day delivery pay off for dollar stores?

    If Family Dollar has done the analysis and the margins can support same-day delivery without significantly impacting prices, then that is great for the consumer. However based on my understanding of the Instacart business model of monthly subscription fees and service charges as well as high commission charges to the retailer, it will be a challenge for Family Dollar to maintain their brand promise of low prices, which will negatively impact adoption of the service. The long term compromise could be to continue to offer curbside pick-up. Customers can still receive their items same-day without having to leave their cars, focusing on answering consumer needs with a solution that also supports revenue generation for the company.
  • Posted on: 02/10/2021

    Where does the chief digital officer fit into retail’s executive team?

    The Chief Digital Officer needs to sit at the intersection of technology and business. The CDO is both an innovator and a disruptor who can lead the retailer through digital transformation. As shoppers' expectations around a personalized shopping experience continue to evolve and digital innovation accelerates, the CDO role is integral to keeping up with that rapid rate of change while not overlooking the needs of the business. In order to make an impact, it’s important that s/he reports directly to the CEO in order to influence strategy, operations, and technology.
  • Posted on: 02/08/2021

    A digital first approach is essential to retail success

    In early 2020, reports showed that mobile commerce would see almost a 68% increase in use by 2022. After the pandemic hit, those numbers looked more likely, as consumers relied heavily on e-commerce to help them buy the items they needed while socially distancing. Digital-first became a necessity for survival. But while they may have adapted and released digital solutions, some retailers are still missing the foundational truth lesson that the customer’s actual need has to drive their digital innovation. It is easy for companies to get caught up in a trendy technology they see on the market, but looking first at the consumer will help them more quickly implement the digital products that create real, lasting value for their customers. Retailers must be able to introduce new capabilities to the market by using a “Product Mindset,” rather than a project mindset. which has three main principles. 1. Solve for Need 2. Minimize Time to value 3. Excel at change
  • Posted on: 02/08/2021

    Not every retailer is sold on curbside pickup

    Delivery and BOPIS are two trends that were gaining traction before the pandemic and have only accelerated since. As the article mentions, health and wellness-focused products have become more and more valuable to consumers throughout the pandemic, and we will continue to see that ramped up as we watch pharmacies become a one-stop-shop for more health and wellness needs. Future digital products will allow customers to fill their prescriptions, schedule their flu-shot, and even get lab results all with a few clicks on their phone or online portal. A lot of the digital trends we have seen emerge during the pandemic may not disappear but instead merge with traditional brick-and-mortar stores and practices, creating a hybrid between digital products and traditional in-person retail.
  • Posted on: 01/27/2021

    NRF 2021: Will Lululemon ever get tired of winning?

    Who gets tired of winning? Lululemon’s pre-pandemic investments in their digital transformation set them up for pandemic success. The recent success will not stop as Lululemon will continue to serve the needs of their customers by making smart digital investments, being at the forefront of innovation, and understanding their customer's shopping behaviors. Though many customers will return to in-person activities when they are able to, the most successful retailers will continue being successful by addressing their customer needs, regardless of the surrounding environment.
  • Posted on: 01/27/2021

    What leadership lessons have retailers learned during the pandemic?

    Both business and IT leaders had to learn to trust their teams and strip away arduous processes in order to reduce speed to market. Doing so enabled deployment of omnichannel capabilities at a record pace. Retailers have seen success from this new way of working which will forever impact how capabilities are delivered in the future.
  • Posted on: 01/27/2021

    Walmart to deliver groceries to temp-controlled smart boxes at customers’ homes

    This technology is an innovative way to address current challenges, but it's important to make sure the solutions your brand offers continually meet a real customer need. Smart boxes may be a shiny new object now, but as people do eventually return to stores post-pandemic, it will be necessary to balance the demand for this technology and the value it generates against the resources used to produce it.
  • Posted on: 01/27/2021

    Convenience retailers aren’t letting the pandemic get them down

    Despite most of the country staying home, convenience and petroleum stores saw an increase in sales in 2020. I believe these stores will continue to do well but will most likely evolve to focus on building integrated customer experiences through digital technologies like mobile applications. How cool would it be to pay at the pump, initiate a car wash, order a pizza to be delivered to your home and use your rewards to pay? All while you pump your gas and all from your phone.
  • Posted on: 01/06/2021

    How did QR codes go from DOA to killer app?

    QR codes emerged before they were necessary, but it wasn’t until the consumer had a real demand for technology like this that it really became valuable for businesses. This is a great example of why companies should be building digital solutions their customers are asking for, rather than accommodating the latest fad. Innovation is valuable, but it can’t ever be the ultimate end. Just the means to the end.
  • Posted on: 12/22/2020

    How is Nike excelling at driving loyalty with digital?

    Nike took digital services that were previously fringe products fueled by subscription models and made them free at a time when a much wider audience was looking for exactly that kind of solution. Rather than promote a paid service to this new audience, they took a gamble that bringing new "customers" in the door through a free product that still met the Nike quality/brand standards would breed long-term, profitable customer relationships, and it paid off. Retailers could learn from their focus and willingness to adapt their product and service for their customers, not just for quick profit-centered solutions, but ultimately to fuel success in uncertain times.

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