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: 01/21/2019

    Did regional constraints doom Shopko?

    It's much more likely that what doomed Shopko was a decline in popularity of the mall experience, and a lack of differentiation. Did management ever ask (objectively) "what, if anything, is different about the Shopko experience?"
  • Posted on: 11/01/2018

    Is there a failure to communicate between retail HQs and stores?

    This is massive issue in retail that is getting worse, not better, as HQ teams increasingly capture valuable local insights from their digital analytic tools. Without investment in digital store communication, they are stuffing more information through the same, already under-sized, pipe. To succeed, retailers must complement their investment in making better local decisions at HQ with investment in how they communicate those decisions to each store.
  • Posted on: 10/18/2018

    Will rising costs throw a wrench in e-commerce operations?

    Serious question -- but how many omnichannel distribution channels does the retail world need? It is only a matter of time before retailers recognize that their omnichannel supply chains are NOT a competitive differentiator and, for many of them, detract from the brand experience they are trying to deliver. I would bet on serious consolidation in this area.
  • Posted on: 10/18/2018

    LabCorp deal brings blood testing to Walgreens’ pharmacies

    Yes! Providing valuable in-person services is a key ingredient to store success in the new world of omnichannel retail. All physical retailers need to look at ways to provide valuable services to the customer that drive traffic and create a relationship beyond the register.
  • Posted on: 06/25/2018

    Past browsing does not indicate future purchase

    Yes it does. Personalization is all about understanding context, and while the author is right that one data point -- searching for trash cans -- doesn't provide enough context to predict future behavior, when you combine multiple data points from my browsing and search history you can get a pretty good picture. If I search for trash cans, but also hoses, painting contractors and a new dishwasher then you might accurately predict I just bought a house. Or if I search for cribs and baby monitors you might want to advertise other baby gear.
  • Posted on: 03/21/2018

    How personal can Target’s customer service get?

    Go Target! The investment in store "experts" is sensible, since the products consumers want help with are higher $ and margin goods (health&beauty, electronics, clothing) that can help store sales/sq. ft. performance. Also, given that they serve a younger, more affluent customer than their discount peers, they have the most to lose to Amazon, and therefore differentiating on in-store experience is critical.
  • Posted on: 03/16/2018

    Consumers say gender roles have changed. Why hasn’t advertising?

    Today, a majority feel gender depictions are properly represented so there is no reason for a mass-market buyer to change their approach. What will be interesting is watching how fast cultural norms shift as advertisers choose to speak appropriately to the 30 percent.
  • Posted on: 02/22/2018

    Is an AR demo better than the real thing?

    Replacing demos I can touch and feel with ones I can't doesn't "augment" reality, it does the opposite. Until retailers recognize this, their strategies are unlikely to be successful. I was blown away at NRF by the number of technology demonstrations that fail to understand that what makes a retail experience great is that it engages at least 4 of 5 senses.
  • Posted on: 01/29/2018

    Robots are not the answer to store challenges

    Robots are not the answer ... yet. Right now, interacting with in-store robots isn't "better" than interacting with well-trained associates, so it is hard to imagine widespread deployment. But the unfortunate and scary truth is that robots are collectively getting smarter far faster than we are (not autonomously, they are being taught).
  • Posted on: 01/22/2018

    Amazon Go goes live

    Thanks Sterling. The big question is, what is preventing other retailers from adopting such a relentless approach to customer experience innovation?!
  • Posted on: 01/22/2018

    Amazon Go goes live

    Yes, yes and yes (eventually). Amazon's relentless focus on the customer experience will mean that they will move quickly on the "Go" concept, as it removes a key customer pain point. What one-click purchases meant for online, Amazon Go will mean for physical retail.
  • Posted on: 01/09/2018

    Will consumers wear Alexa-enabled AR glasses?

    If Amazon is really serious about giving users a way to carry Alexa around, then I'd imagine they'll just take another try at the mobile phone market. As many have already mentioned, the heads up display approach of glasses has already proven to be a tough nut to crack with the exception of specialized jobs.
  • Posted on: 12/27/2017

    What retail apocalypse?

    Consumer confidence and wage gains among the middle class drive retail sales, and we are finally seeing that in the U.S. Add to that the timing of Christmas on a Monday and you get a great year for stores. But for some retail formats, this is only a reprieve. Indoor malls, large-format department stores with minimally differentiated collections, etc. may have been granted a reprieve this holiday, but the long-term forecast is not good. In the meantime, retailers that continue to innovate are seeing strong performances, and there are plenty of new entrants from the e-commerce world that recognize the need for a physical presence.
  • Posted on: 11/08/2017

    Big Data is done, put a fork in it

    History repeats itself, and tech is no exception. The rise and fall of the term "big data" is no different from the rise and fall of other terms "cloud," "AI," "Cognitive Computing," "SOA," "Micro-services," et al. Each of these terms describe technical tool or concept with the potential to solve real business problems. Once people find the killer application of the tool or concept, the need to continue to use the term goes away.
  • Posted on: 10/23/2017

    Apple opens invisible hangout in Chicago

    Apple continues to push the rest of the tech industry in the direction it needs to go -- positioning their locations as "experience centers" rather than as stores. And they also continue to prove that when you sell an expensive item, creating these experiences doesn't hurt store performance -- it helps. When their sales start to meaningfully decline, I'll worry.

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