PROFILE

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.
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  • Posted on: 04/01/2019

    Harris Teeter tests self-checkout store

    "Self-checkout" is a cost-saving measure often promoted as customer convenience. "No checkout" (e.g. Amazon Go) delivers convenience by eliminating the step altogether. They're very different, and retailers shouldn't attempt to position one as a substitute for the other.
  • Posted on: 03/28/2019

    Is Dick’s making the right move by bringing its software development in-house?

    "Transform our technology stack into a weapon?" Good! "Think about solutions 'store in' versus 'HQ out'?" Great! "Get a 10x return on our software investment?" Check! "Write all our own software?" Wait, what? You lost me. There is a lot of business value in the innovation happening in the retail software industry, and it is hard to understand how Dick's could be smarter and faster than the industry at large. I am guessing (and hoping) that the Journal's editing of this piece and headline misinterprets the spirit of Mr. Gaffney's intention. But if not, then the bright side is at least his inbox will be less clogged with vendor meeting requests.
  • Posted on: 03/11/2019

    7-Eleven to take a page from Starbucks with a café concept

    I applaud 7-Eleven's effort to test new ideas to get more out of their footprint, and more retailers should be doing the same. Let's hope this is another example of a new phase of retail innovation, where large chains are bolder and more serious about experimentation with new concepts. We're a long way from a commercial rollout, so it's way too early to worry about franchisees. If it works and improves store performance, then the hiring won't be a problem. Whether the concept aligns with the 7-Eleven brand is a whole other story...
  • 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.

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