PROFILE

Heidi Sax

Content Marketing Manager, CB4

Heidi Sax is Content Marketing Manager at CB4, a technology company whose proprietary AI and machine learning algorithms and app helps retailers like Levi’s and Barnes & Noble empower store teams, transform brick-and-mortar operations, and rise to the increasing complex demands of shoppers.

Heidi quite literally grew up in retail, picking up shifts at her mom’s local gift shop, and later moving to Manhattan to work as a retail marketer for some of apparel’s most iconic brands. Now, she uses that experience to help retailers use cutting-edge technology to better serve their customers.

Heidi holds a Master of Science in Professional Writing from New York University and a Bachelor of Arts in English from Emory University.

For more information, see: The CB4 blog

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  • Posted on: 11/14/2019

    Shoptalk makes a statement with a conference featuring only women speakers

    I love it. I would have been happy with a 50/50 split, but 2020's female only panel is bound to spur conversation and bring fresh thinking to the table. I found the so-called "girls" lounge woefully misguided with word choice. Talk about mixed messages -- way to infantilize women as you profess to build them up!
  • Posted on: 11/11/2019

    Did social media spook Party City’s Halloween sales?

    If they saw the DIY trend coming, why didn't they act? In contrast, children's brand Primary featured a full-scale sitelet with how-to guides for hundreds of no sew, DIY costumes paired with Primary products, plus a "costume concierge" for DIY help.
  • Posted on: 11/07/2019

    Can J.C. Penney reinvent itself with its offbeat lab store?

    I'm all for Penney's. Concept stores are a tried and true tested way of determining how to evolve in brick-and-mortar (just ask digital natives like Warby Parker and Allbirds). My guess is that, despite the optics, this experiment is focused less on barber shops and store-hosted classes and more about getting the merchandise mix right and overall branding right. As others have pointed out, it would be cost-intensive and time-consuming to replicate these features at scale.
  • Posted on: 11/04/2019

    Should McDonald’s CEO have been fired over a ‘consensual relationship’?

    I agree, Rick. Not to mention the unfair advantage other employees might perceive this particular employee having as a result of a romantic relationship with the CEO. Call me a killjoy, but I think this is entirely inappropriate at CEO level--and unhealthy for the organization for lower level employees of differing positions in the hierarchy, too. Ultimately, this should be mapped out in company policy, but determined on a case-by-case basis.
  • Posted on: 10/31/2019

    Are retailers out-of-step with consumers when it comes to price?

    It comes down to perceived value. Shoppers are most compelled when the ratio of quality to cost is one that they perceive as beneficial to them. This is based as much on whether they "trust" the retailer or brand in question as it is on price and actual quality, not to mention convenience and ease of experience. We've also seen evidence that shoppers are willing to pay more for ethical production. Regardless, a race to the bottom isn't going to work.
  • Posted on: 10/30/2019

    Nordstrom nails its NYC flagship opening

    I can't wait to see this space firsthand! The photos WOW. That said, I wouldn't expect any less upon cutting the red carpet. I'll be watching to see how the store, the assortment, and the sales associates continue to deliver an exceptional shopping experience over time.
  • Posted on: 10/28/2019

    REI’s new #OptOutside message: Save the planet

    REI's call for eco-commitment elevates the campaign, and it should continue to give them a competitive edge. The tone is not one of doom and gloom, but one of individual empowerment and optimism. And that's the key to encouraging customers to embrace healthy habits vs. overwhelming them with negative messaging.
  • Posted on: 10/25/2019

    What makes a great assistant store manager?

    This list is outstanding! I would add that the assistant store manager needs to evince qualities that sales associates should emulate: show up (and on time), be positive, look presentable, go above and beyond, and just generally bring your "A" game. I agree that store managers should be able to make decisions, but I pause at the idea that assistant store managers should provide two choices for store managers about how to resolve customer concerns. In most cases, customer service issues can and should be resolved independently by the assistant manager. They should come back to the store manager with: "This was the problem, and here's how I fixed it" or even "This was the problem, here's the solution I tried, and here's what I'll do next time based on what I learned."
  • Posted on: 10/22/2019

    What should retailers do when brands post fake reviews?

    Although product reviews still hold some sway, consumers increasingly do (or should) take product reviews with a grain of salt. And retailers have too much on their plate to spend time spotting and policing vendors for fake reviews. What Sunday Riley did was unethical, but the takeaway for brands will be "don't document fake reviews in internal emails." This will still occur --just under the hood next time.
  • Posted on: 10/21/2019

    Will Barneys find success setting up shops inside Saks Fifth Avenue?

    This is a step toward identifying and then capitalizing on what's most resonant about the Barneys brand. Barneys shop-in-shops at Saks will allow Authentic Brand Group to A/B test concepts, assortments, and more with agility in environments where their target shoppers are already drawn.
  • Posted on: 10/18/2019

    Have Giant Food and Stop & Shop nailed ‘frictionless’ checkouts?

    Adoption is relatively slow because--as it exists today--this technology creates new frictions just as it removes old ones. You still have to wait in line to verify your purchase. Bugs prevail and apathetic sales associates are called on to fix the problem. You press the wrong key and can't get back to where you were. Certainly once this is finessed, this will become the norm in retail. But for now, these solutions aren't frictionless yet.
  • Posted on: 10/16/2019

    Does Target need to address its associate morale problem?

    Regardless of the statistical significance of CNN's data, the question posed is whether employees in this situation (at Target or elsewhere) have a legitimate grievance in connecting fewer shift hours with recent pay increases, and how retailers should respond to such grievances. The smart move here for Target (or insert other retailer) would have been to preempt the grievances with an internal warning that hourly wage increases could come with occasional reduction in hours, depending on the needs of the business. The goal here is to keep everyone employed, no? Why not say that? There's no reason this message couldn't have been tactfully delivered to manage expectations. Maybe Heather would have been able to save a few bucks from her previous paycheck to help with this month's rent.
  • Posted on: 10/15/2019

    Will customers give Walmart the keys to their homes?

    Let's dig into this persona. How long does it take Laura to put groceries away? Yes, it's a pain, but compared to traditional grocery delivery, this only saves her a little a bit of time. The most painful part of this task is probably refrigerator Tetris and tossing whatever her family failed to eat the week prior. Whole Foods already delivers groceries directly to her door between 8-10pm. The target persona here isn't Laura -- it's Grandma Judith. The task of unpacking groceries is a bit more arduous for her, and she could be working full time too. Why aren't they focusing their marketing efforts there?
  • Posted on: 10/10/2019

    Will becoming a UPS pickup/drop off point drive craft sales at Michaels?

    Step 1: Lure shoppers into your store. Check. Step 2: Get them to buy your products. TBD. To achieve Step 2, Michaels should: Focus on removing friction from the in-store experience by showcasing locally desirable products (a tall order), level up on display and promos, and find a way to get UPS users in and out quickly while also enticing them to stay in-store a little longer.
  • Posted on: 10/08/2019

    Walmart sells ModCloth, seeks Jetblack spinoff and cuts Bonobos jobs

    Good point, David. Walmart is one of those fortunate retailers with room to experiment. I'd love to have been the fly on the wall that heard the initial strategy behind acquiring three brands so far outside their core value prop.

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