PROFILE

Casey Craig

SVP Retail, 3Pillar Global

Casey Craig is the SVP of the Retail Portfolio for 3Pillar Global. He is a seasoned digital product executive with more than 20 years of experience helping Fortune 500 executives identify and deliver mission critical digital transformation priorities and growth solutions to drive successful business outcomes. Today, his responsibilities include leading engagement and portfolio growth for a diverse set of fast growing clients in the Retail, Consumer Product Goods, and Hospitality industries.

Before joining 3Pillar, Casey was a Senior Managing Partner with Gartner’s Consulting Practice delivering digital transformation strategies for Fortune 500 companies around the world.  Prior to Gartner, he was a Senior Manager in Kurt Salmon’s Retail practice, delivering revenue generating strategies for industry leaders in consumer-facing technologies, in-store solutions, and omni-channel retailing. Casey also spent five years at Accenture as a delivery lead for the company’s largest global retail clients.  Casey started his career running information technology departments at two speciality retailers.

Outside of work, Casey founded and is a board member of Eli’s Heart, a global non-profit established in 2012 to support families in their quest to ensure medical care at top hospitals and research institutions around the world. To date, the organization has assisted more than 500 families.

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  • Posted on: 01/06/2021

    How did QR codes go from DOA to killer app?

    QR codes emerged before they were necessary, but it wasn’t until the consumer had a real demand for technology like this that it really became valuable for businesses. This is a great example of why companies should be building digital solutions their customers are asking for, rather than accommodating the latest fad. Innovation is valuable, but it can’t ever be the ultimate end. Just the means to the end.
  • Posted on: 12/22/2020

    How is Nike excelling at driving loyalty with digital?

    Nike took digital services that were previously fringe products fueled by subscription models and made them free at a time when a much wider audience was looking for exactly that kind of solution. Rather than promote a paid service to this new audience, they took a gamble that bringing new "customers" in the door through a free product that still met the Nike quality/brand standards would breed long-term, profitable customer relationships, and it paid off. Retailers could learn from their focus and willingness to adapt their product and service for their customers, not just for quick profit-centered solutions, but ultimately to fuel success in uncertain times.
  • Posted on: 12/17/2020

    Is there a secret sauce to Kroger’s online success?

    The line that stood out and pointed to Kroger's success here was that they had made, "past investments in fulfillment, personalization and omnichannel as contributors to the online growth." Kroger's leadership had seen that digital commerce was worth the investment and now it's paying off. While most retailers had to adapt to this year's surge in online shopping, Kroger already had the digital products in place and was able to support their customers immediately. It's another great example of how all retailers could benefit from a strong omnichannel strategy as we continue to use online shopping and curbside pick-up more frequently.
  • Posted on: 12/16/2020

    It’s time for innovation or stagnation

    Remote teams don't spell the end of creative collaboration that leads to exciting innovation. My company has been working with globally dispersed teams for years, and the key to a strong culture and collaborative work is having a shared development mindset across all teams, time zones, and projects. When everyone knows the end objective, team members can collaborate creatively at every step of the process. Organizations and leaders must be consistently asking their teams how they view their work in the grand scheme of a project and ensuring that desired outcomes are understood and communicated to foster creative problem-solving. Not only will teams be empowered, but innovative digital products are created better, faster, and ultimately drive more value for the business.
  • Posted on: 12/11/2020

    Stores move to the front and center fulfilling customers’ expectations

    While customers have moved to e-commerce as the first point of engagement with many brands, brick-and-mortar locations still serve an important role in customer satisfaction, proving to retailers the importance of establishing a strong omnichannel system. Curbside pickup is a great example: people can shop safely at home without sacrificing the convenience of immediate access at their local store. With many various touchpoints for customers, collaboration across an organization is more important than ever. A shared mindset that prioritizes customer experience both online and in-person must shape the products and processes connecting retailers with consumers, engendering customer loyalty, and ultimately helping the business grow, even in uncertain times.
  • Posted on: 12/09/2020

    Are humans biased against AI-driven recommendations?

    Consumer bias towards AI-based recommendations and personalization is a real and growing phenomenon. The biases (real or perceived) are appearing in personalization and recommendation engines within e-commerce sites, as well as loyalty programs. Quality AI output is a key component of maximizing outcomes (brand loyalty, revenue, and profits). Marketers should strive to reduce bias within algorithms as well as the data used to train the algorithms, thereby minimizing the potential of bias seeping into one or more segments of a company's customer database. This can be accomplished by ensuring the quality of each customer segment's demographics and attributes are correctly represented.
  • Posted on: 12/09/2020

    Is IKEA making a dumb mistake ending its catalog?

    Print catalogs are no longer the needed resource they once were. More and more customers are reading and shopping online and with today's technology, they are able to implement more features into the product's page. For example, where once you could only see a product on a catalog page, you can now use AR to see how that same product would look in your actual house. This is the right move for IKEA, and I think we'll see more and more retailers doing the same.
  • Posted on: 12/09/2020

    Will the pandemic finally bring marketing and IT teams together?

    The pandemic has accelerated online functions for a lot of companies and organizations around the world. CIOs and CMOs should be aware of major projects so they can collaborate, creating the best product for their customers and/or clients. In order for teams to collaborate effectively, there must be a shared "Product Mindset." IT and marketing shouldn't be siloed parts of the organization, and the rapid shift to overall reliance on effective digital products has accelerated collaboration in a way that sets organizations up for future success, post-pandemic.
  • Posted on: 12/03/2020

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

    This past holiday shopping weekend may be down from last year, but numbers show that they are still on par with previous years, which is promising for retailers. It is unclear if holiday shopping will save retailers from their 2020 losses, however, the retailers who have an online presence will have better results than those who depend on their brick and mortar stores for business. Curbside pick-up, delivery, and other BOPIS options are key features for retail this year that aren't going away even when the pandemic has passed. Around 95.7 million shoppers bought online this year, which is an increase of 44% from 2019. These numbers are proof that retailers must invest in digital solutions to get through the challenges of doing business in a pandemic, but this investment now will only be more valuable moving forward to distinguish brands in a saturated digital market.
  • Posted on: 11/30/2020

    Was Black Friday a bust?

    In-store shopping for Black Friday was down, but reports are showing that online shopping increased by 22%. For a difficult year, this is a success for the retail business overall. Most retailers adapted to the shift to online shopping by spreading out the holiday shopping season, and I think that is one trend we will continue to see in years to come.
  • Posted on: 11/30/2020

    Amazon aims to keep holiday deliveries ‘spoiler free’

    We have seen an increase in online shopping for most of this year and there is no sign of that trend slowing down for the holiday season. Setting up these features is a great way for customers to still buy those surprise gifts without having to worry about all the ways they will need to hide the gifts. Retailers should be thinking of various ways they can meet their customer's needs while they shop online. Simple features like this will help retailers set themselves apart as more and more companies move everything online.
  • Posted on: 11/23/2020

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

    It would be difficult for the higher-end home decor retailers to be digital-first as their items usually prove to be too difficult to return if they do not fit the space they are intended for. Instead, retailers should develop and deploy virtual showrooms where customers can start the journey online and complete it in-store, allowing them to touch and see the product before they purchase it. This would also allow customers to book appointments and give store associates a chance to plan for the store visit.
  • Posted on: 11/18/2020

    Target and Walmart’s 3Q results are just – Wow!

    Walmart and Target are great examples of a successful product mindset. They understood what their customers were looking for, adapted their teams and businesses to meet that need, and created digital components and tracing in their point of sales systems, resulting in a successful quarter and happy customers who were offered the products they needed, in a safe and effective way. Additionally, they were proactive and not reactive -- they planned ahead. Walmart has been investing more in its digital presence through acquisitions and strengthening its e-commerce sector, creating a strong digital presence that meets customer's needs now, rather than scrambling to adapt and catch up. Retailers of all sizes could use these tactics to successfully drive sales for their business during these difficult times.
  • Posted on: 11/17/2020

    Are retailers cutting their way to profitability or slowly bleeding to death?

    This year has been rough for many industries, including retail, but digital commerce has stood out as a bright spot and helped many brands not just survive the pandemic but thrive. For example, today Walmart announced that their e-commerce earnings rose 79%. Companies should take this as a sign that they need to be investing in their digital platforms in order to meet customers where they are. Retailers must continually evaluate the costs and benefits of maintaining a brick-and-mortar presence. Ultimately, nothing will be able to outdo in-person interactions, especially for large purchases that buyers see as investments, but digital operations will only grow. Retailers need to have ensured they have the right blend in order to remain competitive.
  • Posted on: 11/13/2020

    Chipotle’s expansion plans include adding ‘digital-only’ restaurants to its menu

    This business model is a great way for brick-and-mortar and delivery to find a common ground. Fast-casual restaurants are all about food and convenience, so this a great opportunity for them to provide another option to earn revenue, without spending a lot of money on real estate. And though we've seen a boom in BOPIS and delivery this year, I believe the pandemic only accelerated these trends and we will continue to see them even after restaurants start to open up again.

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