PROFILE

Natalie Walkley

Director of Marketing, Deck Commerce OMS

Natalie has spent the last 12+ years helping brands effectively tell their story through digital marketing. In her current role, she brings together her experience in retail, logistics, and software to help retailers simplify order management with Deck Commerce — the leading OMS for DTC retailers.

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  • Posted on: 01/26/2021

    Bud is latest major brand player to punt on Super Bowl spots

    "...we must prioritize humanity and purpose." People-first strategies always win. If more retailers took this approach, we might be able to solve some of the world's biggest issues more quickly! Way to go AB! I think we'll see a lot more sentimental commercials this year, although I am hoping for a good balance of humor too.
  • Posted on: 01/25/2021

    Will Godiva’s stores ever come back from the pandemic?

    If putting physical locations in malls was to take advantage of the foot traffic primarily, then a temporary closing makes sense. It also makes you wonder where the EMEA stores are located, as they are remaining open. I also think closing all but ONE store (not in a mall), and using that as a micro-fulfillment center as well could be a more interesting strategy. Create "must-see" location (like the original Starbucks) while keeping a vision for the in-store experience.
  • Posted on: 01/22/2021

    NRF 2021: Will Lululemon ever get tired of winning?

    Yes! Not only did they take advantage of technology to meet their customers in unique ways, but with more people staying/working from home— I expect a lot more women are ditching pantsuits for athleisure wear.
  • Posted on: 01/22/2021

    NRF 2021: What did it take for consumer-direct startups to get through the pandemic?

    Annual business plans and advertising budgets will be forgotten over time. But how a brand behaves and treats humankind will never be forgotten. If a brand is truly "the way an individual perceives it" then it is critical to keep individuals at the center of the brand strategy, which is why many successful brands made seemingly unusual business decisions in 2020. A contrary example is the individual that bought hand sanitizer in bulk and then tried to resell it at inflated prices. While not a business, this person's reputation and livelihood tanked after this opportunistic move.
  • Posted on: 01/21/2021

    Albertsons’ pilot is latest part of the plan to supercharge omnichannel ops

    Every company who has focused on (and implemented) omnichannel deserves kudos. They are understanding, even if it's late, that this is the future of commerce. However, there are some drawbacks to this model: 1) There isn't a chance for the customer to check on replacement items/swaps. 2) It isn't totally frictionless, because the customer has to load the groceries. Most of my pick up experiences, they even load them into my car, which I appreciate. However, as grocery delivery gets more crowded (and sometimes delivery isn't even available same day), I can see this model working well.
  • Posted on: 01/06/2021

    How did QR codes go from DOA to killer app?

    I am a convert from skeptic to evangelist of the QR code. Having to type in a URL or copy a URL is an additional barrier to entry. Additionally, you can get custom usage stats for QR codes giving them an even bigger appeal to users. The native camera did it for me. For retailers this is a great way to run promos, increase traffic, streamline return management, and offer an engaging (and easy!) customer experience. Wins all around!
  • Posted on: 12/11/2020

    Stores move to the front and center fulfilling customers’ expectations

    In logistics, you know that the more DCs you have in strategic locations, the faster and cheaper you can get your products to your consumers. By using stores as micro-fulfillment centers, retailers can increase the reach of their distribution network significantly and chisel away at two big items— proximity to customers (faster) and final-mile shipping costs (cheaper). But a major key to this is real-time inventory visibility across all channels and advanced routing logic to ensure that only cost-effective items can SFS and other items (i.e. big and bulky) still route to the closest DC.
  • Posted on: 12/03/2020

    Best Buy shrinks sales floors for a more fulfilling experience

    This is a smart move for Best Buy, and other retailers for that matter. Given that DCs are often in rural areas, and around 80 percent of the U.S. population lives near cities, it is a smart way to have ship-ready inventory closer to buyers (decreasing ship time and final-mile costs). The key is making sure they have a good idea of what SKUs they still need in stores for foot traffic, and what products are more likely to ship from store. That, combined with a strong fulfillment network and robust technology, will support their continued success.
  • Posted on: 12/02/2020

    Sephora to set up shops in 850 Kohl’s stores

    While an interesting collaboration, it seems like two different target audiences (other than the obvious factor of gender). Kohl's retail model has a focus on deals, Kohl's cash, and discounts. Meanwhile, the average Sephora shopper spends ~$33/month on cosmetics (more than Ulta shoppers). I wonder if more price-sensitive Kohl's shoppers will mosey to the Sephora counter, or if Sephora loyalists will meander through the Kohl's store while purchasing their cosmetics. Only time will tell.
  • Posted on: 12/02/2020

    Were record Cyber Monday/Week sales enough to help retailers salvage 2020?

    There are many factors that would determine how a retailer has performed in 2020: industry, target audience, size of the business, distribution network, channels, etc. What we have seen with customers is that retailers with the most flexible supply chains and omnichannel technology in place, have in fact made up for much (if not all) of the loss. This includes some of the other under-performing industries at large, which tells us that omnichannel technology and distribution networks are critical factors.
  • Posted on: 11/24/2020

    To furlough or not to furlough?

    It is certainly inspiring to see brands keep their associates at the heart of their operations. We saw many retailers get creative for how to keep their team "working" even if stores were closed to foot traffic—many deciding to use their stores as micro fulfillment centers and store associates to "pick, pack, ship" orders. This was a win-win-win: for the brand, associates, and consumers.
  • Posted on: 11/23/2020

    Will home furnishings soon be a ‘digital-first business’?

    Wow! That is interesting. I don't think I'd have the patience to disassemble something to send back. LOL.
  • Posted on: 11/23/2020

    Will home furnishings soon be a ‘digital-first business’?

    Home furnishing and decor is a pretty broad category. The logistics of shipping big-and-bulky items like furniture varies greatly from smaller items like vases and pillows. I can absolutely see a continued shift in the latter moving online. For the bigger items, I wonder if more stores will move towards the showroom-store model focused on experience—to allow customers to sit on their future couch before purchasing—but then the transaction is made online. The perk for consumers is not having to transport, but that results in higher freight and final-mile costs for the retailer.
  • Posted on: 11/20/2020

    How can retailers avert a holiday returns catastrophe?

    There will be a lot of lessons learned in January 2021. But if retailers enable customer-initiated returns, they could have the opportunity to incentivize a return to store option (i.e. 10 percent off your in-store purchase). However given the pandemic, many e-commerce orders may be purchased as gifts, and therefore there may/may not be a store nearby the recipient. Perhaps offering "warehouse sales" in January (non-returnable) would be a good way to clean out some returned inventory and recoup some of the losses.
  • Posted on: 11/19/2020

    Walmart goes to the dogs (and cats, too)

    This is an interesting move for Walmart. Pet insurance is a fairly niche market, as stats show that only 2 percent to 3 percent of pet owners actually leverage pet insurance. (I'm one of them and it is worth it!). Pet walking and sitting may be a more attractive offer, but walking seems to be a more urban request, and Walmart's target is more rural.

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