I am absolutely humbled to be awarded the Most Influential CEO Award for Visual Merchandizing by Corporate Vision. On one hand, I find it to be an odd honor. My career has been focused on marketing technology, not visual merchandizing. Only recently, as CEO of Perch, has it been my focus. So why bestow this honor on me? There are so many more dedicated, creative, analytical and talented professionals who surely deserve this honor more than I do.
Part of my role as CEO of Perch is to be one of the flagbearers of the Physical+Digital merchandizing revolution. As a result, I am a pretty active speaker at conferences, regularly quoted in articles, interviewed on podcasts and active writer here on the Perch blog and throughout our social media (yes, you should follow Perch and me on Twitter). But that’s all a byproduct of what’s really important here.
Fundamentally, physical retail is changing. The days of simply putting products on shelves is over. There will be those that compete on other dimensions like price (Walmart, Dollar, etc.) or service (Best Buy, luxury). But merchandizing itself has taken center stage because it’s the core of what customers experience in product discovery. Of all the criticisms of Bed, Bath and Beyond from their activist investors, the confusing and haphazard way they merchandize products seemed the most damaging to the core.
Merchandizing is the core of the shopping experience and something remarkable is changing. A confluence of factors is driving retailers to adopt digital in-store. First shoppers demand it. We spend 5 hours a day consuming digital media. We expect ratings and reviews, videos, how-tos and more in-depth digital product info. And technology (network, hardware, computer vision) has made it possible to deliver digital for every product on the shelf without annoying kiosk interfaces, mobile apps, beacons or text messages.
In fact, I believe what we are doing is simply magic. Not just magical, but magic. Watching shoppers smile, laugh and play with products because of the surprise and delight of Perch is such a wonderful feeling. Bringing joy into this world at scale is no small feat. And ultimately, Perch lets every product tell its story. All the wonderful digital story telling online can finally make its way into store. And that’s what this award is really about.
Merchandizing is changing. We are finally seeing digital content merge with physical product merchandizing. And Perch does in a way that’s more engaging, educational, and entertaining. I am just a flag bearer of this Physical+Digital revolution.
And so I appreciate this award as a recognition of everyone at Perch and the work they are doing to reimagine the future of retail. It’s the innovation they create in this world that is far more influential than I can ever be on my own.
PS If you want to reimagine retail with us, we are hiring.