Trevor Sumner

CEO, Perch Interactive

Trevor Sumner is the CEO of PERCH, the leader in interactive Physical + Digital retail displays that can detect when customers approach, touch or pick up products and then respond with digital experiences that consistently drive 30-80% sales lift. Leading retailers and brand’s like Nieman Marcus, Kate Spade, Sephora, Estee Lauder, Fossil and Sunglass Hut rely on PERCH’s combination of 3D sensing technology, campaign management tools and device management to create magical in-store experiences that surprise and delight their customers.

Trevor has been an investor, advisor and operator for cutting-edge technology companies for 15+ years with multiple successful exits, and is a regular contributor to business and technology publications such as Inc, Forbes, TechCrunch and Mashable.

Trevor was previously the President, CMO and Cofounder of LocalVox, a SaaS-based marketing technology platform that helps businesses with local presences drive online customers to in-store sales via social media, search engines, websites, email, directories and mobile — all at the touch of a button. LocalVox has been named a top social media platform, top SEO tool, Best Manhattan Software Company and hottest NY Startup by organizations such as WIRED, Good Day New York, Business Insider, Social Media Today and Huffington Post. LocalVox has acquired several companies and had a successful exit in 2014, being acquired by a wholly owned subsidiary of the Blackstone Group.

Trevor is a native New Yorker, an avid fisherman (he caught a 600 lb Black Marlin), an amateur chef and an adventure scuba diver who has dived on every continent including Antarctica.

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  • Posted on: 07/20/2021

    Is it time for retailers to reinstate pandemic protocols?

    While the pandemic is a national issue, policy enforcement and danger of contagion is fundamentally local. The disparate responses by local communities and in turn disparate results, dictate different geographical policies. Retailers must be careful to enact sensible policies focused first on protecting workers, especially in the areas where such policies are most resisted, because that's ironically where the greatest danger is. It's an unfortunate conundrum, where retailers find a no-win situation coming into ideological conflict with their customers.
  • Posted on: 06/30/2021

    Did Amazon or a rival, say Target, gain the most from Prime Day?

    Retailers are taking eCommerce share from Amazon, via being more competitive during the Prime Day promotion period, but also generally with digital, and especially with local store fulfillment like BOPIS. This is a trend that should continue, much to the benefit to larger retailers like Target, Walmart, Best Buy, Petco, Sephora, Ulta, and many others. Prime Day may be Amazon's namesake, but it is increasingly other retailers' opportunity.
  • Posted on: 06/18/2021

    Will ‘less is more’ or ‘more is better’ online merchandising drive bigger sales?

    If all things are presented equally, the paradox of choice is real. The nice thing about eCommerce is it is easy to curate and personalize smaller selections for presentation to the shopper, as well as provide needs analysis tools to guide them to the right products. Retailers should be doing the same in-store in end caps. The combination of selection and curation can be incredibly powerful.
  • Posted on: 06/18/2021

    Retailers must centralize their data to thrive

    Is this really a question? Yes. Centralized. Organized in the cloud. Available to other systems via API. Exposed to the web in real-time. AI powered data insights. Welcome to the now of retail.
  • Posted on: 06/18/2021

    Will Americans invite Best Buy into their backyards?

    It's hard for me to see the category transition into grills, where the perceived expertise and shopper is different. It's also a bulky item that will require a lot of display room for multiple models even as Best Buy is reducing floor space for showrooms. Demonstrations? Nope. No outdoor space. Will they make room for accessories like grill tools, charcoal, smoke chips, grill attachments (ribs, veggies, etc), gas? Seems like a slippery slope that they aren't able to deliver on for a differentiated category experience.
  • Posted on: 06/11/2021

    What distinguished e-commerce winners and losers during the pandemic?

    Retailers with a brick-and-mortar presence grew faster than Amazon, or in other words took e-commerce share from them. Their success was a function of ready inventory in stores, omnichannel investments and delivery/pickup options and a customer loyalty that has been under-appreciated as a powerful force in marketing. Shopping is an inherently social experience, defining local connectivity, and brick-and-mortar despite a pandemic year did quite well. Now with recovery in motion, in-store sales will grow more than e-commerce on a dollar basis this year, once again proving the importance of stores in marketing, fulfillment and overall customer experience - even as a boost to e-commerce sales.
  • Posted on: 06/10/2021

    Will retail achieve double-digit sales growth this year?

    Yep. I predicted this in my 2021 Retail And Technology Predictions in January. What's also going to shock people is that sales from stores will grow more on a dollar basis than e-commerce this year. That's going to force a reckoning with the retail apocalypse narrative.
  • Posted on: 06/09/2021

    Is now a good time for retailers to open new stores?

    Buy low, sell high. Commercial real estate is increasingly affordable, even as stores play a greater role in eCommerce fulfillment and overall profit generation. New data sources make store planning more efficient than ever. For many retailers, competitive expansion means more stores.
  • Posted on: 06/09/2021

    Is now a good time for retailers to open new stores?

    Warby Parker sold more in store than online when they had 50 stores. They now have over 100. Cost of acquisition goes up with scale. Stores become more profitable especially with brand lift and halo effect.
  • Posted on: 06/04/2021

    Does every online retailer need to have a third-party marketplace?

    Marketplaces implemented thoughtfully can drive incremental sales both from cross-sell, SEO, and promotional advertising in search, emails and in-store. The key is to make sure it doesn't confuse the experience, dilute the brand, cause undue operational overhead or provide a bad fulfillment experience. Retail has a lot of things you have to get right, and there are many ways a marketplace can go wrong. Small trials, thoughtful curation of products, and logistic and service integration will be key. It's a big commitment and not one to go into lightly as there are likely more efficient ways to drive incremental revenue, especially in improving the value of store footprints.
  • Posted on: 06/02/2021

    Albertsons takes first baby step towards an electric truck fleet

    The costs of generating electricity are plummeting making electric the known future. The question is when, and about the implementation of the underlying enablement technologies. Lack of charging infrastructure is one obstacle. The second is the time it takes to recharge. Trucking is an industry heavily incentivized for rapid routing and long charge times for big rigs will slow routes down. New advances in battery and charging technology coming in the next two years will lead to rapid adoption of EVs in trucking, but current investments will likely be more PR hype than full fleet conversion.
  • Posted on: 06/02/2021

    Will other retailers follow Costco and bring back food sampling?

    Of course it will. It's an effective marketing technique that adds value to the shopping experience. Brands win. Retailers win. Shoppers win. With COVID-19 cases declining rapidly, including in recently hard hit states like Michigan, we will see a rapid shift back to tried and true marketing methods like sampling in Q3. It's inevitable. The world is ready to move on.
  • Posted on: 06/02/2021

    Best Buy puts multi-taskers to work

    Finding a balance between specialization and excellence will be difficult. The key will be training and career pathing. Providing unskilled workers an opportunity to build skills that level up their career makes a lot of sense. Asking skilled workers to become delivery people will likely hurt employee morale and retention. Matrix skillsetting and career pathing will be everything in this new world.
  • Posted on: 05/28/2021

    Should Amazon or rivals be more wary if it opens brick and mortar pharmacies?

    While the move into pharmacy would make a lot of sense for Amazon, which has ambitions throughout the health ecosystem. The challenge for them is that pharmacy and health require much less on logistics and margin optimization and more on high-touch service and quality. Will they be able to make the switch? The shrinking revenue at Whole Foods at the best time in history for the grocery industry makes me question their ability to succeed.
  • Posted on: 05/28/2021

    Retailers and brands are using the wrong KPIs to make digital and social media buys

    I can't help but equivocate using broadcast metrics like CPM and reach in the age of data and conversion science to the reluctance to implement retail technology, despite the clear ROIs. Fundamentally, those who embrace a culture of technology, data and transformation will rapidly outpace retailers caught in the past.

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