PROFILE

Trevor Sumner

CEO, Perch Interactive
Trevor Sumner is the CEO of PERCH (http://perchinteractive.com), 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: 06/14/2018

    Reasons you’re afraid of retail sales training and what to do about It

    The majority of sales training fails because of lack of follow through. One and done training programs do not change behavior. It has to be a consistent effort over the course of months to change and reinforce behavior. New media and technology delivery only works if it is reinforced by management in-store and includes proper checkins and knowledge certification over time.
  • Posted on: 06/14/2018

    Retailers stand out by vetoing the ‘pink tax’

    With an expensive land grab for customers in this critical space, the economics for lifetime value and loyalty seem to be ROI positive. The marketing feedback for these programs and grassroots programs to overturn the punitive laws will reward early adopters. The time is now and may eventually become table stakes.
  • Posted on: 06/14/2018

    Macy’s takes stake in retail-as-a-service tech firm

    STORY and b8ta provide a powerful combination of experience and enabling technology that give Macy's a real chance at executing the Market strategy well. It's an important recognition that success often includes augmenting the existing organizational DNA and one of the reasons we are seeing so much investment and M&A into enablement technology organizations.
  • Posted on: 06/13/2018

    Facebook to ban advertisers if they don’t clean up their acts

    It's a good sign that Facebook is taking action, given the breadth of advertisers, websites and networks which don't necessarily govern themselves. However, it will be difficult for them to moderate based on attributes they can't directly confirm. There are already armies of fake accounts and movements of vindictive users who can sully the reputation of pages and brands. Facebook will have to protect itself not just from bad advertisers, but from those that wish to use these reporting methods to attack competitors. The success of this program will in part be determined by the integrity of the feedback. This is a good first step and will require continued long-term investment to build consumers' trust.
  • Posted on: 06/07/2018

    How many e-mails are too much?

    While we are all experiencing email overload, the reality is that email continues to be a low-cost, high volume and highly effective channel for marketing. Many abuse this permission with too much frequency, but what people mean by too much frequency is that too many of the emails are not valuable enough. If each email was valuable, it wouldn't matter if it was weekly or daily. Value is about relevance and aligning with customers' consumption. Personalized content is a good start to weed out the noise, but you also have to personalize frequency.
  • Posted on: 06/07/2018

    How many e-mails are too much?

    Oy. We have been hearing the death of email drumbeat forever. It's not happening. It's a permission based personal channel that remains low cost and highly effective. This is not about advertising, this is about marketing. With all due respect, you are speaking from a very limited demographic that doesn't use email. Catch me in 10 years when you are in the workplace and let me know how much email you use....
  • Posted on: 04/11/2018

    What makes a successful retail CEO?

    I would look for a CEO with turnaround experience or those with deep experiences in internal innovation and incubation. Retail is in such tremendous flux, it's critical to balance supporting the existing business, while preparing for the organization for the substantive changes in such a dynamic industry. I'd look for someone who knows how to incubate success with a traditional organization and bring in new skillsets to an existing corporate culture and understand the fastest speed at which transformation is tolerable, if uncomfortable.
  • Posted on: 04/05/2018

    Walmart is focused on expanding its digital brand portfolio

    Brands have become communities of customers and Walmart is putting stakes in the ground for key battleground categories like grocery, mattresses, apparel and shoes. Backed by Walmart's massive support infrastructure, they can quickly accelerate and cross-market businesses to aggregate customers, data and communities in new and interesting ways all while reinforcing the core brand, either Walmart's traditional customer or more often the millennial urbanite that is attracted to Jet.com. At Shoptalk, Mark Lore and Andy Dunn, made it clear they are prioritizing brands that reinforce the Jet.com community. Expect that acquisition trend to continue at a bold pace to appeal to the next generation of lifetime loyal shoppers.
  • Posted on: 04/05/2018

    Retailers push to onboard tech talent

    This is a complex question with many different answers. eCommerce-focused retail has always been able to attract top tech talent and has a DNA of technology-oriented organizations. The same is true for physical retail on the supply chain, although it has been less agile and lagging in the adoption of AI and Big Data solutions than digital natives. The open challenge is filling in the technology skill gap within the in-store retail and marketing efforts and how to leverage technology to change consumer behavior. For too long, brick-and-mortar retail has had its head in the sand and has struggled to adopt technology with a mindset for agile adaptation. This is clearly changing rapidly in some organizations, often those with strong margins, less burdensome debt and an expanding business (Nike, Ulta, etc.). Those that are winning are reinvesting in the technology to help them pull away. It's fascinating to watch Nordstrom choose to acquire technology companies rather than license their products, but it's a wise move in building an integrated, well-working technology team focused on key in-store and service problems that need immediate solutions and focus. Ultimately, the "retail apocalypse" stigma will scare away great talent from many retailers looking to transform the shopping experience that drives the bulk of their revenues. Which is of course, too bad, because they need the tech chops more than anyone right now.
  • Posted on: 03/05/2018

    H-E-B’s reusable bag causes fashion frenzy

    Phil, what data do you need? There are lines around the block. It's sold out. It's a hit with press. It's a hit on social. It targets a valuable audience that's hard to reach and extremely valuable. And it promotes charity. I find that retail as an industry seems caught in lots of little wins that don't scale, and often don't double down on the successes that matter. As long as you don't oversaturate I don't see the downside, especially as others will copy this tactic.
  • Posted on: 03/05/2018

    J.Crew partners with WeWork and LinkedIn to reach younger consumers/workers

    I am pretty skeptical that this will have an impact or positive ROI. The structural reasons for why J.Crew has lost its way need to be resolved (price point vs. quality, relevancy, competition from fast fashion, etc.). Some great blog content and panel discussions are not going to right the ship. I've worked in a WeWork before. Interruptive marketing doesn't really work as people rush to and from their jobs. It's an interesting idea to integrate commerce more directly and organically into the workplace, but ultimately the customer is more intentional in their decisions on work attire and "dressing for success." The win here seems to be more for WeWork, which is establishing themselves as a community valuable enough to be targeted and monetized, where brands can subsidize R&D and experimentation and leverage underutilized space. The connection between WeWork and LinkedIn, as work oriented communities, has more of the untapped potential here than the retail angle. Lastly, remember that LinkedIn has a fundamental execution problem. They have largely failed to move into the content world as a media company, despite hundreds of millions of subscribers and the most prolific authors in each industry (Richard Branson, Bill Gates, Arianna Huffington, etc.). The thought that they could execute and recommend work attire by company profile, in my mind, is well beyond their ability to execute beyond their current ad and subscription programs.
  • Posted on: 03/05/2018

    Is AI the key to finding the right location, location, location?

    This is a classic AI problem, where the inputs are so varied that it is very difficult for a human to create a weighted analysis across so many dimensions of commerce, demographic and geographic data. Thirteen-thousand store data points is more than enough to create significant insight into large dimensions of data, as long as the data is structured well enough and normalized appropriately. Current techniques are more than sufficient. Of course, one shouldn't blindly go forth with AI without an analysis of its top recommendations. In fact, there can be remarkable learnings where AI makes recommendations that defy current understanding, providing insight that helps guide the future of the business. AI is clearly the path forward here.
  • Posted on: 03/05/2018

    H-E-B’s reusable bag causes fashion frenzy

    The program is a massive win and absolutely should be expanded. Of course, you need to balance how limited the supply is to make sure it is coveted but also leads to the maximum amount of follow-on brand impressions and doesn't lead to disappointment for most. This is an ingenious way to turn customers into advertisers for the H-E-B brand. One of Seamless' early innovations was providing branded bags to restaurants to help advertise to customers, especially those that didn't order via Seamless. This is basically free billboard space, as customers reuse them for more than just the grocery visit. Brands in the luxury space have understood this for years, from the Orange Hermes bag to Chanel's classic black one, and people know Lulelemon's reusable totes on sight. The program is revenue-generating, press-worthy with coverage at the national level and for a good cause. It appeals to a valuable Millennial audience, reaching new audiences for H-E-B and getting customers early with a high lifetime value. What's not to like?
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