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: 10/28/2020

    Where are curbside and BOPIS services falling short?

    BOPIS has played an important role for retailers throughout the pandemic and without a successful BOPIS system customers would have struggled to purchase what they needed/wanted during this uncertain time. An important aspect of BOPIS that many retailers still need to refine is keeping their inventory up-to-date across all of their platforms. If a customer is able to shop online with confidence that the item they want is available at the time of purchase, then there is a greater chance the customer will make a return visit. If a customer finds that the item they requested requires a substitution, after they had already purchased it, then that could lead to a bad shopping experience, potentially losing any future business with that customer. Another challenge retailers are facing with BOPIS, is how a customer returns items. As the survey points out, there will be a flood of returns for many brick-and-mortar stores. If retailers can figure out an easier way for customers to return an item, whether it's supplying a pre-paid return label or creating a new online system, then it could help the efficiency of the omnichannel set-up, helping retailers meet their customer's needs and creating more sale opportunities for the business.
  • Posted on: 10/23/2020

    Will Whole Foods draw more Prime shoppers with one-hour curbside pickup?

    Amazon's partnership with Whole Foods is a great example of a digital and brick-and-mortar partnership. It creates opportunities for both companies to increase sales and engagement. The use of curbside pickup has played a vital role for retailers during the pandemic and I think it will only increase in popularity even after things start to return to "normal."
  • Posted on: 10/23/2020

    Are immersive technologies ready to build online buying trust?

    Retail technology is already working towards closing the gap between in-store and online shopping. Throughout the pandemic, having an omnichannel approach has played a critical role in helping retailers stay on track as more retailers use online ordering, curbside pick-up, and more. The increased popularity of digital showrooms is another example that retailers are investing in their digital components. This feature was once reserved for the big retail companies, but through creative design and programming, smaller retailers are also able to use this feature to reach their customers while they shop at home. We're moving in the right direction.
  • Posted on: 10/15/2020

    Macy’s is turning stores dark for the holidays

    Curbside pickup has been a needed resource for retailers this year to help drive sales while keeping everyone safe. Big department stores have been suffering for years, so this is a good move on their part to continue to use resources they already have available to them. The challenge here is that Macy's will need to clearly communicate with their customers about which locations are going dark to avoid any confusion and frustration from customers looking to shop at a brick and mortar store.
  • Posted on: 10/14/2020

    Can relevant digital ads be too relevant?

    Targeted ads are a great way for retailers to reach new customers. Though we are still learning how to best use this technology, it is helpful for customers to see products that they are looking for, rather than be inundated with vague websites, services, and product offers. Ultimately, customers, not retailers, will decide what level of targeted ads is acceptable. If customers feel the use of this technology oversteps their privacy, it will show in the bottom line.
  • Posted on: 09/28/2020

    Retailers and brands shortchange cross-platform analytics tools

    Good data is essential to a successful retail business. But consumers don’t make their retail choices using a single purchasing channel. To really know their customers and market to them effectively, retailers need the holistic consumer insights that only comprehensive, cross-platform analytics can provide. But cross-platform analytics aren’t easy to implement. Apps, websites and online services accumulate data in application-specific silos. To access the bigger data picture, retailers have to make additional investments in data infrastructure and artificial intelligence. For many retailers, that additional investment seems like an unnecessary and potentially costly add-on to their marketing strategy, but they are worth the investment. Cross-platform analytics empower retailers to track consumer behavior across every channel and are an indispensable tool in crafting personalized user experiences that will drive the most sales.
  • Posted on: 09/22/2020

    Online to make up 21.5 percent of grocery’s sales in five years

    In the years to come, every grocer and retailer will need a digital presence. But delivering a functional omnichannel experience is a key part of any successful digital strategy. It doesn’t matter how loyal a customer is to your brand; if your digital offerings are clunky, siloed, poorly optimized or unintuitive, you will lose their digital business. By 2022, mobile commerce is predicted to grow by 68%, making a mobile app solution one of the best ways to build an omnichannel digital experience for your customers. Delivering a performant app solution is a win-win: customers will love it for the convenience and simplicity, and retailers and grocers will benefit from securing customer brand loyalty. But businesses should be wary about building an app solely because it is trendy. A good app solves a real need in your consumer base. A bad app is worse than no app at all. In the case of grocers, it’s crucial that any digital app offering provides real-time inventory visibility and streamlined shopping experiences customers want.
  • Posted on: 09/22/2020

    Will 2020 be the year the holiday selling season changed forever?

    For years now, retailers have been steadily bumping up their holiday promotions earlier and earlier. That trend will likely continue in the years to come. If anything, Amazon’s new October Prime Day may end up setting a precedent for future retail deals. That’s because retailers stand to win big in 2020 by adopting earlier promotion strategies amidst a surge in online shopping. If Amazon’s Prime Day is a success and helps retailers meet their financial goals, early October online deals and promotions may become an enduring feature of the holiday season.
  • Posted on: 09/17/2020

    Will Apple’s Express pickup concept drop off post-pandemic?

    While the pandemic may have made digital and online order pick-up approaches — like Apple Express — a necessity, consumers are continuing to show they actually prefer the convenience, ease, and consistency of the digital experience. This means the digital-first business model is here to stay, and companies that lean into digital innovation now will see demand from consumers to maintain their digital offerings even as the economy returns to normal. That goes for traditional brick-and-mortar businesses, too. One example is the DC-based health and entertainment destination, The St. James, which rolled out an all-in-one custom app to digitally enable its customers to safely and conveniently return to their fitness, wellness, and active entertainment routines. It’s a unique approach for a service previously reliant on in-person offerings, but the app has been so successful in keeping customers engaged that there’s almost no question it will become a permanent component of The St. James' business model.
  • Posted on: 09/09/2020

    Which COVID-19 consumer habits will stick?

    After the pandemic, we’ll likely see a short-term burst in brick-and-mortar spending as people enjoy the freedom to safely shop in person. But in the long term, the digital retail business has arrived and it is here to stay. Digital retail means more than just online shopping, though. The digital retail business of the future will be app-driven, simply because it’s the app that crafts a brand’s unique digital shopping experience. Retailers should expect consumers to continue to lean heavily on apps, even once the pandemic has ended. Functions that support safe in-store shopping will be especially important, like appointment scheduling to restrict the number of customers in stores and options to reserve items online before trying in-store to reduce time in the store.
  • Posted on: 09/08/2020

    Learn about AI success from execs who are getting it right

    As the coronavirus intensifies the need for digital and online retail strategies, retailers have a stronger reason than ever before to invest in AI solutions. That’s because data-driven AI technology can help retailers learn who their customers are and craft shopping experiences tailored to their online customers’ wants and needs. AI can power the personalized and data-efficient marketing strategies that will drive online sales. That said, an AI strategy should definitely be downstream from a broader digital strategy. Communicating the need for a convenient, streamlined, and enjoyable online experience should remain the top priority for retail executives in today’s market. AI can certainly empower and enrich your digital offerings, but it can’t fix a broken online experience. Customers want the benefits of AI from retailers, but they need a strong digital presence first and foremost.
  • Posted on: 09/04/2020

    How can automation help omnichannel fulfillment?

    Before the pandemic, automation was already transforming many industries, including retail. The coronavirus has only accelerated that trend. Retailers in particular can rely on automation technology to provide a new level of convenience, safety, and ease to customers. But retailers should be wary of over-relying on automation; in many areas -- and especially in customer service -- retail customers will always prefer the personal touch that only an employee provides. At the end of the day, automation should be a net positive for retailers looking for easier and more efficient delivery and fulfillment services, but only as long as they continue to offer strong customer service centers to help customers troubleshoot any issues they face.
  • Posted on: 09/01/2020

    Will the late Prime Day sabotage or catapult holiday spending?

    This year’s holiday season will be tough for retailers and cash-strapped consumers alike. Retailers absolutely should be looking for new ways to provide quality savings and discounts to shoppers throughout the holiday season, including offering additional deals around Prime Day. Amazon’s exceptional performance this year shows that retail customers appreciate the convenience, flexibility, and safety of the online shopping experience. An October date for offering Prime Day deals should be excellent timing for kick-starting the holiday season without overcrowding November and December with deals. This year gives retailers the opportunity to establish a strong and consumer-friendly online presence, and providing enticing online deals in early October is a perfect way to do that.
  • Posted on: 08/24/2020

    COVID-19 will redefine the meaning of Christmas creep in 2020

    Holiday shopping promotions seem to come earlier and earlier each year. While this may cause some consumers to burn out, there are certain benefits for both consumers and retailers to starting promotions early, especially this year. Early promotions allow consumers to spread out holiday spending and work on a budget and timeline that's best for them. On the retailer front, one of the biggest questions you have to ask this year is about the future of Black Friday. With the novel coronavirus and social distancing regulations limiting public gatherings, will the traditional Black Friday crowds be possible this year? By starting holiday sales early, retailers can generate consistent revenue going into the holiday season and potentially mitigate any negative financial impact in the event that Black Friday sales are lower than usual. At the same time, retailers can use their early promotions to gauge consumer interest and engagement in online-only sales offerings and start adapting their marketing strategy to a future in which brick-and-mortar sales traffic is lower than usual around the holidays.
  • Posted on: 08/19/2020

    Build vs. buy: Is that still a question in retail IT?

    Yes, it is still a question. For systems of record (finance, HR) the answer is always buy. If you want to truly differentiate or be innovative then the answer is build. Look at the business capability you are supporting and if it is like all your competitors then there will be a COTS solution that can support it. If the business capability is a differentiator in the market or a completely new concept then building will most likely be required.

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