PROFILE

Heidi Sax

Director, Growth Marketing for Wizard

Heidi leads growth marketing at Wizard, a conversational commerce platform that helps brands sell, market, and engage customers — all via text. Wizard is co-founded by Marc Lore, former CEO of Walmart.com and the entrepreneur behind Diapers.com (which sold to Amazon) and Jet.com (which was acquired by Walmart). Before this, Heidi was on the small but mighty marketing team at CB4, a Sequoia-backed AI startup for retail ops that grew quickly and was acquired by the Gap in 2021.

Heidi grew up in retail, picking up shifts at her mom’s local gift shop. After graduating from Emory University, she found her way to New York City to work as a retail marketer for iconic international apparel brands. Now, she uses that experience — and her Master of Science in Professional Writing from NYU — to help retailers and brands better serve their customers with cutting-edge technology.

For more information, visit: wizard.com

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  • Posted on: 10/20/2022

    Christmas 2022’s inventory looks a lot like 2021

    It depends on the retailer and the product. Old decorations = no biggie. But for old fashion, it will have to do a lot with the price point and the buyer. If I were a retailer, I'd try to make the old new again by styling it in new ways and merchandising it with fresh merch.
  • Posted on: 10/13/2022

    Is Victoria’s Secret’s inclusivity messaging resonating?

    I appreciate that Victoria's Secret has now fully committed to a brand turnaround -- not that they had much of a choice in the matter. The video and image campaign is powerful. I have questions about "becoming the world's leading advocate for women" (come on!) but I'm willing to wait and see what they mean. The logo is still a little triggering, but I appreciate that they're owning their history and past mistakes rather than trying to erase it. It's a marathon not a sprint for VS so we'll see how they play their cards over time.
  • Posted on: 10/03/2022

    Does Sephora need a same-day delivery subscription?

    If the competitors are offering same-day delivery, then I suppose Sephora "needs" it in the same way that consumers "need" it. I wonder how many of Sephora's consumers live within a stone's throw of a Sephora to pick up the items themselves and how much lost revenue this will help them recoup. Either way, it keeps with the industry trend of focusing on subscription, swift fulfillment, and convenience.
  • Posted on: 09/20/2022

    Are biases still holding back marketing analytics?

    Good marketing is a combination of having strong gut convictions and minding the data. But there's a reason "How to Lie With Statistics" by Derrell Huff has been a go-to marketing text since the 1950s. And as good as AI is at recognizing patterns in data, it falls short in answering the question of "why." And nailing "why" is at the heart of great marketing. For this reason, marketing analytics investments shouldn't be the be-all, end-all and I'm comfortable scaling them back.
  • Posted on: 09/15/2022

    Will upgraded virtual try-on tech get more Walmart shoppers to say yes to the dress?

    It does seem that this is an improvement on pre-existing similar tech. That said, unknowns will determine what impact this has on purchases and returns. How many products have the "try it on" button? How well does the tech work - is it accurate? How likely are customers to be their own model and what influence does that have on results? How do shoppers buy Walmart clothes? Are they an impulse purchase? Or is there a long consideration phase? What impact does fabrication have on their decision to return or not? What's their general basket size and how does that impact how much they use the tech? Certainly Walmart has considered all of the above and it will be interesting to watch what happens here.
  • Posted on: 09/14/2022

    Walmart and other retailers are canceling billions of dollars in orders

    Order cancellations should be a last-resort. And as much as cancellations raise the risk of straining vendor relationships, the truth is that inventory overages are just as bad for the brands as they are for the retailers. If anything was learned at the top of the pandemic, I'd say it's understanding the importance (and shortcomings) of inventory optimization and demand forecasting solutions.
  • Posted on: 09/09/2022

    Should Ulta be merging premium and mass beauty products in its stores?

    Brilliant! Prestige and mass products aren't for two different customers. Product categories (ex: skincare vs. haircare) should live together. Let the consumer should be in charge of how she divvies up her dollars. I, for one, will be filling my basket with Chanel foundation and Revlon mascara in one fell swoop.
  • Posted on: 09/08/2022

    Will robots nail in-store manicures at Target?

    Manicures are about a lot more than color. The article glosses over filing, cuticle trimming, and shaping, but these are really pretty core to the manicure experience, no? That said, I like this for being fun and experimental. I'd definitely try it and clearly others will too. But it's going to be a temporary PR burst like most in-store events are rather than a true added value experience. As for other robotics in health and beauty stores, at a bare minimum I'd love to just be able to pick up my prescriptions by checking in on a screen at the pharmacy. I've seen these in the wild but they never seem to work...
  • Posted on: 09/07/2022

    How does smartphone shopping differ from laptop shopping?

    It's an interesting topic. For larger, established brands it might be worth experimenting with as more and more consumers shop on mobile apps and via SMS. That said, I'm not sure retailers and brands should be altering what they offer based on what consumers might consider "unusual" or "personal." Shopping on a mobile device is ideal for quick purchasing decisions like re-upping when you're running out of something. Or when you're on the move and you suddenly remember "Hey, I didn't buy that thing I need!" To that extent, what retailers and brands should be doing is focusing on making the mobile shopping experience faster, easier, and more rewarding for their customers. Enabling shoppers to browse the options, quickly learn about products, and then buy them in the moment of intent is what will give merchants a leg up here.
  • Posted on: 08/26/2022

    Transactional reward programs are easy, but do they build customer loyalty?

    Let's be real. Up front discounts and promotions are practically table stakes to gain opt-ins for loyalty of all kinds - whether it's a loyalty program, an email list, or a text channel. The trick to avoiding the opt out kickback is to continue to offer value without having to keep offering steep discounts. You can't only send spammy marketing messages and expect to keep earning loyalty. Brands that can a.) offer true personalization based on loyalist's preferences and buying patterns; and b.) make browsing and shopping faster and easier for loyalists will win in the long run.
  • Posted on: 08/05/2021

    Kroger seeks to ghost up take-home and meal delivery sales with dark kitchens

    Where and how Kroger rolls this out will be key to the conversation here. I could see this getting traction in markets where there are fewer convenient fresh food options. In other markets, I think it will be pretty dependent on what's being offered and how accessible/seamless it is.
  • Posted on: 08/04/2021

    Prime members will have to pay for grocery deliveries from Whole Foods

    It will deter some shoppers, probably as much due to frustration over free delivery taken away as because of the fee itself. It will be interesting to see whether that means more customers will opt for curbside pickup and whether their experience will be friction-free. Unfortunately, it may be the delivery drivers who pay a price with a reduced tip.
  • Posted on: 08/02/2021

    Should food be an afterthought for Target?

    You can't be the best at everything. Target's grocery aisles are more than sufficient. Props to them for focusing on what they're best at and what their customers want and expect. In times like these, it's a strategy they can bank on.
  • Posted on: 07/30/2021

    What’s holding consumers back from adopting AR/VR shopping tech?

    The short answer is, the technology needs to improve before consumers adopt it. I've never even seen AR that's easy to use--except when it's in a physical store--and even that's pretty unsatisfying.
  • Posted on: 03/05/2021

    Regional retail chains have the highest rated loyalty programs

    Sure, regional chains have an edge here. With fewer locations, they have more control over the customer experience. A lot of that comes down employees' training and feeling of connection with corporate. Bealls ranks highly for these reasons. Meanwhile, Holiday Stationstores has the advantage of strong regional footing combined with the resources provided by Alimentation Couche-Tard under the Circle K umbrella. Vans, however, doesn't fit in here. While it has Cali roots and perspective, it's by no means regional. And I'm not sure that it should be on the same playing field as marketplaces like Zappos/DSW/Foot Locker.

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