Kim DeCarlis

Chief Marketing Officer, PerimeterX

Kim DeCarlis is a seasoned go-to-market executive with a unique combination of product marketing, brand building and high-tech sales experience. Kim is currently the CMO at PerimeterX, a growing Series C company that provides modern web application security solutions that safeguard digital businesses in retail e-commerce from malicious activities.  Her experience spans roles at technology companies including Citrix and IBM, as well as at Information Resources, Inc., a provider of solutions to the retail and CPG industries.  She is a frequent speaker at industry events on cybersecurity, B2B marketing and C-level engagement, and has been recognized by the Silicon Valley Business Journal as one of the “Silicon Valley Women of Influence.” She is a graduate of Stanford University and serves on the Boards of Directors for Model N, the Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose and Girls in Tech.

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  • Posted on: 11/11/2020

    Will self-driving, electric vehicles power Walmart’s contactless delivery future?

    Self-driving delivery services have the potential to leapfrog forward in light of our ongoing pandemic. This gives people - especially in vulnerable segments - an easy alternative to get the products they need without potential exposure. For these services to become widespread, they must be proven to be safe and reliable, and they must meet or exceed regulatory requirements for self-driving vehicles which vary by location - not an easy task. Additional hurdles include security. This includes making sure that the vehicles cannot be hacked, and keeping the apps that people use to buy products, and schedule their delivery, safe from harm. Earlier in the pandemic, we saw browser extensions introduced that helped users get highly coveted delivery slots for groceries. These extensions introduced risk since they can drag malware or malicious code along with them - the kind that can harvest consumers' user names, passwords and credit card numbers. Retailers must ensure that they both jump over self-driving regulatory hurdles and build their apps and websites to protect against malicious add-ons. Both are possible -- it just takes time and resources.
  • Posted on: 11/04/2020

    How do online reviews build trust?

    Trust benchmark reports typically find that people trust people like them. Think about it: pre-pandemic, if you were a foodie that ate out regularly and had a keen ability to find the best spots to eat in any town around the world, you'd likely discount a restaurant review from someone who rated a restaurant highly, but stated that they only go out twice a year on birthdays and anniversaries. With this in mind, brands should make sure that their online reviews include specifics about the reviewer so that other readers can determine whether the context and expectations map to their own experience. This is one definition of a market: a self-referencing group of customers. Since reviews are a key point of engagement with customers, brands should acknowledge all reviews. But they should take special steps to respond to those that are negative, acknowledging the feedback and providing answers and action steps. This kind of transparency will make future shoppers more comfortable working with the brand and has the potential to frame negative reviews in a favorable light.
  • Posted on: 10/26/2020

    Google Shopping makes price comparisons easier

    Price comparisons are a double-edged sword for retailers, whether they come from Google or another provider. While they can incent a quick purchase, they also disrupt the online shopper's path to purchase on your site by offering comparisons for the same or similar items from vendors on another site. In real life, this would be the equivalent of a shopper in big box store A being shown a better price for the item at big box store B and being physically pulled away: it would never happen! Research firm Aberdeen estimates that between 13% to 20% of all online shoppers currently have web browser extensions installed; sometimes they are installed knowingly by the consumer, but they often ride along with other extensions. Retailers need to pay close attention to signs that unwanted comparisons are happening -- including high abandonment rates -- and consider solutions to stop disruptive comparisons from compromising their shopper experience and eroding their business.
  • Posted on: 10/21/2020

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

    New norms continue to be driven by the pandemic and curbside pickup is one of them. But it will take more to attract Prime members to the chain: product selection and price being chief amongst them. The availability of convenient pick up times will also be key. Since the beginning of the pandemic, record numbers of grocery and food delivery apps have been downloaded, and securing a delivery time has become a key challenge. In fact, browser extensions have been introduced for the sole purpose of finding coveted delivery times, and convenient pick up times will likely be next. It's important to note that extensions can drag malware or malicious scripts along with them. In order to be successful, it will be imperative for Whole Foods to offer a broad selection of pick up times and to instrument their app to protect against malicious extensions that steal customer data and sully the experience they are trying to create.
  • Posted on: 10/14/2020

    eBay to guarantee the authenticity of collectible sneakers

    Collectible sneakers -- particularly the Air Jordan and Yeezy brands -- are hot commodities and sell out very quickly when released. This is often the result of automated bots that buy up inventory and resell them at significant profit on secondary sites like eBay. The challenge is understanding which products are authentic -- and perhaps worth the premium price -- and which are counterfeit. This step by eBay is admirable and will win them more loyal customers and revenue. It will also raise the bar for authenticity guarantees on other limited edition products and premium brands. It's important that other online retailers get in front of this consumer expectation and build a plan, quickly.
  • Posted on: 10/05/2020

    Are employees or execs holding back data-driven cultures?

    There is a saying "In God we trust, all others must bring data" that we've all heard at some point. But it is human nature to make a decision based on instinct or experience, and then to find data that justifies the decision. The first step to change this reality is to ensure a reliable system of record -- whether that be a sales force automation or enterprise financial system -- that is used consistently and rigorously maintained. Only with a reliable system in place can data-backed decision making be demonstrated and reinforced at all levels.
  • Posted on: 10/01/2020

    Is it time to hit the ‘panic button’ as women leave the retail workforce?

    According to Forbes, women drive 70-80% of all consumer purchasing decisions, so losing female employees should always be of grave concern to retailers. While it's unfortunate that it takes a pandemic to bring this concern to the fore, retailers need to take this moment to assess their total employee rewards programs and provided updated options that are meaningful to all employees. Importantly, this includes men who could utilize innovative benefits to relieve stress on a wife or partner. Benefits could range from more flexible work hours to child care and education stipends, coordination of home school helpers and even meal delivery services. Retailers will find that small changes to keep women in the workforce will have long term dividends.
  • Posted on: 09/30/2020

    Holiday hiring ain’t what it used to be

    In short, yes! The patterns observed in e-commerce this year have shown that what lies before us is more uncharted territory. The initial spike in e-commerce traffic in March 2020, during the initial period of COVID-19 stay-at-home orders, rivaled levels of Black Friday and Cyber Monday for many retailers. And there has been a continuous, more gradual increase in e-commerce traffic across segments since that time. It's logical that holiday hiring will be less for in-store roles and more for back office functions including warehouse, distribution, and direct to consumer shipments. There is also the potential for additional hiring in the area of analytics and insights so that retailers can be more in tune with trends and buying patterns as they evolve.
  • Posted on: 09/28/2020

    Retailers and brands shortchange cross-platform analytics tools

    Taking liberties with an old adage, "Half the money I spend on marketing works; the trouble is I don't know which half" is something that weighs heavily on marketers. The lack of comprehensive data feeds this challenge. The insights drawn from cross platform analytics can help marketers better understand digital behaviors, but it will take a multi-discipline effort to bring that to reality. In most cases, the data required is owned by marketing, sales, e-commerce, digital, IT and finance, so a broad initiative with the right executive sponsorship will be required to truly understand and improve customer experiences.
  • Posted on: 09/24/2020

    A successful diversity initiative led to an unintended consequence at Walmart

    There is a growing body of evidence that diversity drives improved business performance. While this effort at Walmart had negative unintended consequences, it should be commended. And Walmart should be challenged to pay attention to the supply chain of talent ready for management and executive roles. By continuously developing talent across the diversity spectrum -- sponsoring college programs, scholarships, internships and mentorship -- businesses will increase representation and be less likely to have forward movement with one group mean regression for another.
  • Posted on: 09/23/2020

    COVID-19 may push retailers to use voice assistants instead of touch screens

    New norms continue to be driven by the pandemic and as a result innovation and digital transformation have accelerated. As retailers strive to address customers' health concerns, testing voice interaction is a logical step but, in addition to physical safety, information security will be key -- particularly for payment information. And as familiarity with voice-activated technology and comfort with security increase, in-home adoption will grow.
  • Posted on: 09/21/2020

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

    Retailers have long been trying to pull holiday shopping forward, often frustrating shoppers who don't like seeing decorations for Christmas in October! There are practical reasons to extend promotional periods this year, and smart retailers should explain their rationale to shoppers -- as Home Depot did -- to avoid potential backlash. Our data shows that since the pandemic began, online shopping traffic has been more than triple that seen on Cyber Monday last year. It will be interesting to see how behavior changes this year and if there is a Cyber Monday spike at all!
  • Posted on: 09/18/2020

    Are older shoppers wiser amid the pandemic?

    The first rule of marketing is "know your audience." At no time has this tenet been more important. Given the generational differences in reactions and stressors seen during the pandemic, brands must differentiate their messages -- and even their product offerings and channels. Messages that connect with the realities and the emotion of the audience tend to have more impact. And note, this is ALWAYS the case ... not just as a result of the pandemic.
  • Posted on: 09/17/2020

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

    The pandemic is yet another event that has reset the bar for go-forward norms. In order for consumer to feel safe, retailers must find new approaches. Techniques that leverage buy online and pick up in store are likely to persist - both for safety and convenience. This is particularly true when the consumer knows what they want and doesn't need the casual shopping and browsing experience. Apple Express directly addresses that need. It will be interesting to see how retailers address the casual shopper in a way that is safe and efficient for the business.
  • Posted on: 09/16/2020

    Retailer saves itself at the buzzer with TikTok

    In this omnichannel world, retailers need to engage with consumers across channels. TikTok can become an important social app, but as we know many short-form video apps have been flashes in the pan (Vine), so the app alone is not sufficient. We should also expect apps from other big social players to improve and fragment the market. Success on any app requires influencers and engaging content -- this is where retailers should focus their efforts.

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