PROFILE

Heidi Sax

Content Marketing Manager, CB4

Heidi Sax is Content Marketing Manager at CB4, a technology company whose proprietary AI and machine learning algorithms and app helps retailers like Levi’s and Barnes & Noble empower store teams, transform brick-and-mortar operations, and rise to the increasing complex demands of shoppers.

Heidi quite literally grew up in retail, picking up shifts at her mom’s local gift shop, and later moving to Manhattan to work as a retail marketer for some of apparel’s most iconic brands. Now, she uses that experience to help retailers use cutting-edge technology to better serve their customers.

Heidi holds a Master of Science in Professional Writing from New York University and a Bachelor of Arts in English from Emory University.

For more information, see: The CB4 blog

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  • Posted on: 04/27/2020

    The politics of sick leave

    The problem for Amazon isn't the "lenient vs. strict" paid leave policy, but the workers' perceived lack of proper protective precautions, which leads to "sick outs." It's not in the best interest of public health or employee morale to exclude part-timers from paid leave given retail's outsized reliance on them. The industry standard will have to change. Employees will take advantage of "lenient" policies as long as they feel they have been treated unjustly. Once they adjust to the new normal, I expect businesses will earn their loyalty and engagement.
  • Posted on: 04/17/2020

    Has COVID-19 transformed Gen-Z forever?

    It's hard to predict based on the findings in this study alone, without having compared Gen-Z's answers to those of Millennials, Gen X-ers, and up. We're all struggling. I would posit, as others have, that they may be more cautious about spending. Influencer marketing and celebrity may become a less powerful lever to activate this audience in the wake of this.
  • Posted on: 04/15/2020

    Will Walmart’s daily pickup hour for seniors cause operational challenges?

    I tried to use a Walmart competitor's curbside pickup a few days ago and it was a big failure. I couldn't even obtain the items I paid for after I went inside to customer service for help! Hopefully Walmart will make sure they're giving their frontline workers the tools to succeed before rolling out to all locations.
  • Posted on: 04/14/2020

    Has COVID-19 turned fashion into an endangered retail species?

    People will always want to express themselves through clothing, so the apparel sector isn't at risk for going extinct. But only those capable of thinking and iterating fast will survive. For example, Lululemon and others are bulking up core assortments to avoid stock overages of seasonal merchandise. Levi's is using 3-D tech to send product mockups to wholesalers, rather than samples.
  • Posted on: 04/10/2020

    Do brands have an obligation to fight the coronavirus?

    Yes, I think brands have something to win by giving back here -- whether that means manufacturing PPE, donating, etc. That said, brands are one thing. For retailers to win right now, they have to be better able than peers to serve shoppers' immediate needs. Creating stores environments or observing practices that shoppers perceive as safe/clean and making product available (in whatever capacity they can) will be what stays in consumers' heads.
  • Posted on: 04/02/2020

    How will this change us?

    I'm hoping that retail's hourly workers will be able to take some benefits they gained as a result of the crisis -- namely paid time off and sick days -- with them once we've recovered from this. I'm not sure whether retail workers from non-essential businesses are experiencing more appreciation than they once did. All are hurting at this point one way or another.
  • Posted on: 03/23/2020

    Costco is refusing returns on hoarded items

    Yes this makes total sense. Costco needs to focus on serving as many customers as possible, not just making a few who have more money to spend happy. Plus, their store associates need to focus on re-stocking and ringing, not returns. The sanitary considerations are a side bonus.
  • Posted on: 03/20/2020

    Will GameStop lose more than it wins keeping stores open during the coronavirus outbreak?

    GameStop should focus on enhancing their e-commerce presence to keep their employees and customers safe. This money grab is not a good look for them right now.
  • Posted on: 03/19/2020

    Food retailers go on a hiring spree as coronavirus numbers grow

    I hate to kill the mood, but communicating and showing appreciation isn't going to cut it when you're worried about yourself or your loved ones being exposed to a fatal virus because you have to work in a crowded, stressful setting ... particularly while others have the "luxury" of staying at home. Gloves and masks are bandaids at best and an extra $16 a day won't erase the trauma. How about offering them free membership to Talkspace or similar distance therapy? Giving plenty of breaks as others suggested is also critical.
  • Posted on: 03/17/2020

    Retailers act to protect seniors from coronavirus shopping chaos and contamination

    In the case of Woolworths of Australia, the move was made after they had to halt delivery in Victoria and pick-up in stores across the country. They also cited the competitive shopping environment in stores, which wasn't navigable for the elderly and people with disabilities. For those who fit into those categories and rely on that grocer, this is the best and most responsible thing to do.
  • Posted on: 03/09/2020

    Can retailers ensure stores are coronavirus-safe?

    Retailers should not only amp up cleaning measures, but make those measures highly visible to shoppers by offering hand sanitizer upon entry. They should also work with staff on proper personal hygiene so that shoppers don't see staff sneezing into their hands or touching their eyes. And, as mentioned, offer paid sick days. Beyond this, stores are live environments, and there isn't anything anyone can do to ensure that any location is "coronavirus-safe" short of a lockdown. As for whether stores will buy in, everyone has a different level of sensitivity and concern here. It's really going to depend on the individuals serving the stores and how much they buy into all of this.
  • Posted on: 01/27/2020

    Why did IKEA end its pilot on Amazon?

    There's a lot of competition on Amazon for the exact types of products IKEA makes, and a lot of them are of poor quality. With an emphasis on value, I'm not sure that IKEA really fits within that space. And they have enough brand equity that they don't have to. A marketplace with a more curated selection, where IKEA is the low price high quality option, makes perfect sense.
  • Posted on: 01/24/2020

    Can aesthetics cure our throw-away society?

    Clearly "sustainability guilt" isn't compelling consumers to change their behavior. It will be much more convincing for brands like Loop to portray the impact "you" can have on caring for the planet. Convenience is a huge factor, followed by aesthetics, and least of all improved flavor in terms of what will have an impact here. Overall the problem will have to get worse and personally touch more consumers' lives before it gets better, although I do think we'll get there.
  • Posted on: 01/21/2020

    Nike offers advice on successful marketplace partnerships

    In addition to considering the suggestions made by Hogue, brands need to make sure that they have a human partner at the marketplace dedicated to their account and brand representation. For brands like Nike who are constantly evolving and pushing the envelope, a marketplace's ability to nimbly make changes on the brand's behalf is huge. That doesn't work without a good external partner who actually cares about your brand too.
  • Posted on: 01/17/2020

    NRF 2020 Review: Human vs. Machine

    The most promising technologies positively improve shoppers' in-store experience by enabling people--frontline workers and HQ--with trigger-based, data-derived, bottom-up insights into their business. We're limiting our understanding of AI (and revealing antiquated thinking) when we limit the framework of the conversation to people vs. robots. I didn't see many providers touting actual consumer-facing robots in stores (although certainly there were some).

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