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: 09/12/2018

    Has Boxed.com solved the melting chocolate challenge?

    I think this is a great attempt to solve a problem but I am very curious about the added weight of this kind of packaging. We tested a great food delivery service that did the same thing for its delivers every Monday and the weight of the box with a similar, I assume, packing method was very heavy. Not sure how much chocolate they expect people to order in bulk and what Boxed margins are in that category to show profit margins for increased weight.
  • Posted on: 09/12/2018

    Gap CEO says retailers not turning in-store data into action

    Retailers large and small are certainly talking about potential benefits of capturing in-store data, but very few are doing much with it. There have been some great test cases like the Fabletics stores that require you to create an account and log in and have that in-store experience (what you try on, what fits, etc.) connected to retargeting, emails and future site experiences. The Amazon Go stores have cameras and sensors everywhere so I imagine they are capturing and most like analyzing that data to the millionth degree. But overall, he is right and it is most likely a factor of prioritization, technology and lack of resources to asses whatever data you can capture. For Gap specifically, I almost had to chuckle at his statement on an earning call no less, that they are trying a more “surgical” approach to acquisition, activation, retention and frequency." My emails, my site experience and the rare times I walk into a Gap store are still nothing but messaging around 40% or "sale, sale, sale."
  • Posted on: 08/30/2018

    Is Amazon a major threat to Trader Joe’s?

    I think on the long list of Amazon "target competitors" Trader Joe's sits pretty far down the line. That being said, of course a Whole Foods with lower prices, growing store count, increased quality private label goods and more integrated into the overall Amazon eco system will have an impact on Trader Joe's and other grocery chains. What Trader Joe's needs to do is double down on what makes it different -- friendly and helpful people, local spirit, unique quality products, etc. I think the bigger threat is how integrated Whole Foods products will with delivery services like Prime Now and Instacart compared to a more "traditional" Trader Joe's. On the same note, pick up in store seems to be a major move for large grocery chains and the likes of Target and Walmart. The threat to Trader Joe's is losing out on a segment of shoppers who prefer delivery and buy online/pick up in store as opposed of just losing a battle of single digital percentages of "normal" shoppers.
  • Posted on: 08/29/2018

    What questions should guide a digital transformation?

    These questions are a fine start but are way too broad to provide much value for most of the companies and people who would be reading this on RetailWire. I can see how they can apply to truly "old school" businesses or as part of a Business School course on "digital transformation." They do touch on the biggest challenge for most leaders which is the ability to take in data and various opinions and match them with their intuition and then clearly communicate where the business is heading.
  • Posted on: 08/22/2018

    Maverick mattress e-tailer Tuft & Needle sells out to Serta Simmons

    It shows that the mattress industry is no different than others. D2C disruptors come into the space, start taking market share and then either have to raise money to really compete or look for acquisition. This is no different than Dollar Shave Club being picked up by Unilever or Jet getting acquired by Walmart. Literally thousands of examples. For the "bed in the box" segment it is one of the first signs of a successful exit and some level of valuation. Some will now look too greedy.
  • Posted on: 08/21/2018

    Do CPGs need their own voice for Alexa?

    I love the idea of something old becoming new again. Radio and then TV jingles were so popular because they work -- even the horrible ones. I have been thinking about this a lot in reference to Podcast marketing which mainly focuses on integrated content and reads by the talent. In a day where brands need to do more to stand out, a unique voice can be a powerful way to do it and podcast and Alexa are another channel to reach our ears. Is a bit of a risk/reward thing too, because they can also rub people the wrong way. I don't see a huge sense of urgency for CPGs in this space, but I can see a few brands testing and succeeding. When Amazon turns Alexa into part of it growing advertising business -- who knows? Maybe we will see a new day and age of brand jingles.
  • Posted on: 08/21/2018

    Sears faces Craftsman competition of its own making

    Having better quality products may help Sears in the short term but over time, Stanley Black and Decker will prove to be the winner. No "normal" consumer will see a difference and until reading this article, I had no idea that Craftsman tools were only or maybe mostly available at Sears. I would rather own the Amazon store for the brand then the Sears % of this deal over the next 20 years.
  • Posted on: 08/21/2018

    How much do e-tail algorithms need humans?

    As a general rule, I think the hybrid model -- especially with current technology -- makes for a better experience. There are of of course edge cases where relying more heavily on one or the other is better economically, or is an integral part of the business or product category. A great example of mixing these two for a quality experience is Stitch Fix. The algorithms, data and "machine learning" help speed, sort and optimize, but over 2000 (last I checked) stylists actually choose the clothes and write the personal notes.
  • Posted on: 08/14/2018

    ‘Less is more’ when competing with Amazon

    The paradox of choice is a real thing for many shoppers. It used to be felt more in department stores or big box retailers like Walmart and in some cases going "shopping at the mall" in general. Amazon and global e-commerce overall certainly add to that felling. There are certainly opportunities for retailers to focus on less to compete. Stitch Fix which has a huge assortment of apparel does a good job of using people and tech to curate assortment and knowledge. Brandless, with limited inventory, is another good example. The rise of subscription focused retailers across many categories also strive to combat the paradox of choice by focusing on value, replenishment, curation, discovery, surprise and a sense of "belonging" when done right.
  • Posted on: 07/25/2018

    Lululemon goes shopping and finds its new CEO at Sephora

    This looks to be a great move for Lululemon with the key attributes being a real understanding of this consumer since the Sephora consumer and the Lululemon shopper have a ton of crossover. Sephora is obviously a bit broader demo, but the digital innovation that Calvin McDonald brought to Sephora is a place where Lululemon should be better. Connecting the passion of the brand and the yoga/fashion space and community with better digital focused at the consumer are a great match.
  • Posted on: 07/20/2018

    Retailers and brands collide

    Yes there will be increased competition between brands and retailers moving forward. It is still a bit of a "frenemy" relationship for many brands and retailers. The key here for both retailers and brands is that they need to offer something different and provide a real value. The retailers and brands that are disappearing quickly are ones who pretty much sold the same exact products as every other retailer and the only way to compete was on price. Price is now so transparent so brands and retailer now need to find better ways to differentiate. Not all retailers need to own private label or launch private brands but they do need to find some products, categorizes or services where they can stand out from the crowd.
  • Posted on: 07/17/2018

    Walmart and Microsoft team up to slow Amazon’s roll

    I see this more as a battle for the cloud between Microsoft, Amazon, Google and Oracle than a battle for the shopper between Amazon and Walmart. Good technology partnership and press release for both companies but nothing that moves the needle for where people choose to shop.
  • Posted on: 07/17/2018

    Direct-to-consumer brands key to Nordstrom’s assortment

    Is there really any magic for a retailer like Nordstrom's to carry quality brands that consumers want? Just because some of these new brands started as direct to consumer, it does not really change the decision process for the retailer. Does a new brand resonate? Will it bring in new consumers? What are the margins? Does it match with our brand? The questions are similar regardless of where a brand originated. I would ask the same question of Allbirds as I would of Adidas. For the direct to consumer brands, the questions are also the same as other brands but reverse of the questions above. Does this retailer match with my brand? Will it conflict with other channels? Is the added volume, loss of the direct connection to the consumer and over time loss of control worth the risk?
  • Posted on: 07/13/2018

    Nike launches digitally-led store

    Nike has always been experimental in both digital and in their stores. Even the big Niketown concepts, which may seem out of date now, were a good disruptor at the time. The features aimed at real sneakerheads and core athletes that tie digital to real people in the store who are also passionate are the keys to me. This brief overview also leaves out one of the key elements of this store test: it is based on a very specific local geography and they plan to launch others that also pull in the data from that very small micro-region which should make these a hub for passionate people in their community. People will travel and like novelty shopping but a brick-and-mortar store really depends on local repeat visitors and connecting the store and digital to local is a powerful move.
  • Posted on: 07/12/2018

    Google and Shopify team up to blunt Amazon’s digital ad push


    I am not sure if the teaming up of Google and Shopify in this way actually solves a real problem. I don't think the core issue for the hundreds of thousands small mom and pop stores on Shopify to advertise on Google is the difficulty of using Google Adwords or its lack of connection to their e-commerce system. The issue is budget, skill, tracking ROI and all of the other challenges. Some do it great and for many it is a challenge. For the larger Shopify Plus like clients I don't think they need this integration since they already run in house or via agencies and media buyers fairly sophisticated digital advertising programs on Google and others. I do however see great opportunity for an overall more streamlined and connected Google advertising platform as the disconnect between some of the services was a challenge and I think Amazon's and Facebook's entry into the marketplace was the kick in the rear that Google needed to step their game up.

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