EP099 - Tulip Retail CEO Ali Asaria and News
Digital Retail Newsmaker
Our Digital Retail Newsmaker segment, features an interview with Ali Asaria (@aliasaria), CEO and Founder of Tulip Retail. Tulip Retail is a mobile application provider focused on empowering workers in retail stores. They recently raised $40M in venture capitol, lead by Kleiner Perkins.
Don't forget to like our facebook page, and if you enjoyed this episode please write us a review on itunes.
Episode 99 of the Jason & Scot show was recorded on Thursday, August 31th 2017.
Join your hosts Jason "Retailgeek" Goldberg, SVP Commerce & Content at SapientRazorfish, and Scot Wingo, Founder and Executive Chairman of Channel Advisor as they discuss the latest news and trends in the world of e-commerce and digital shopper marketing.
A weekly podcast with the latest e-commerce news and events.
New beta feature - Google Automated Transcription of the show:
Jason: [0:25] Welcome to the Jason and Scott show, this is episode 99 being recorded on Thursday August 31st 2017 I'm your host Jason retailgeek Goldberg and as usual I'm here with your co-host Scott Wingull.
Scot: [0:41] Hey Jason and welcome back Jason Scott show listeners Jason you know what I got 99 problems and are podcasting ain't one.
Jason: [0:49] I'm sorry to hear about your other problems but I'm super excited we're about to have the Y2K of our podcast.
Scot: [0:56] I know you'll have to see what happens when we go triple digits this whole thing could fall apart on us.
Jason: [1:00] My naming conventions for our audio files way up with iTunes like everything's going to break.
Scot: [1:07] Don't tell me that I'm actually legit right now.
Jason: [1:10] I didn't mean to make you nervous I've actually I programmed everything at three three digit so until we get to 1000 we're good.
Scot: [1:16] I'd Optical you have been on the road as per usual and I think you were most recently up in Boston tell us what's going on in that part of the world.
Jason: [1:27] Yeah yeah I've been traveling light I'll be on the road I think almost every day this month, and I was in Boston this morning and yesterday which is a great retail City I was meeting with a couple of clients and some of my colleagues but one store in particular I had been meaning to get to that I finally got to, is the ministry of Supply Flagship in Boston and is in a retailer and what's pretty cool is. They have a make on demand. Wool Blazer machine in the store so you you can figure an order your Blazer. And they literally knit it in the store on demand.
[2:12] So it's kind of you know which is definitely a potential potential future Evolution for a lot of retail is kind of you know. The Maid to Order personalized products at Masco and and pushing manufacturing out to the edge and all these things and you know.
[2:30] In the distant future we might have a lot of this manufacturing capability in our homes but for many years before we have that. It'll make sense to be putting it into retail store so it's just think it's kind of interesting concept to watch. I saw them sell a couple sweaters while I was there and definitely not a perfect experience at the moment I think it takes about 3 hours to knock out one of these sweater so you're you're ordering it you're leaving the store to do some more shopping and then coming back later that day to picking up.
Scot: [2:58] Because you don't just stand there and robots kind of so it on to you Westworld style or that's not how it works.
Jason: [3:04] That would be awesome that will be a future version no it's a pretty big machine that looks like a fancy 3D printer it's pretty funny fun to watch. And what's interesting you'd almost expected the like that it would be a little gimmicky in that the product want to be that good but it's actually it's a stylish wool Blazer and it's like a.
[3:25] The the Yarns are like high-tech wool it's like an athletic performance wool so it's like it's intended to breathe and Wiccan and you know it's it's meant to be convenient travel garment that. That look stylish but but doesn't make you too hot and sweaty.
Scot: [3:45] Call how do they get your body measurements with a Kinect kind of a thing.
Jason: [3:49] So they are not doing like a 3D scanner for the body measurements they the measure you the old-fashioned way with a. A tape system but one of the disappointments is they are not custom making the sizes yet so they do they measure you but they measure you to figure out which of the standard sizes they'll make you. So you can custom pick the colors. And some options and things like that but you can't for damn pole say I want 2 more inches in the in the Chester's or shorter sleeves or something like that which. Seems like a obvious thing you'd want and expect in a made-to-order garment.
Scot: [4:26] Is there some complexity around like making it kind of fit right and back on stuff.
Jason: [4:32] I think it's it's early like I think this is intended to be a permanent machine there some other versions Adidas is done one of these with sweaters and it was sort of a pop-up shop in Berlin for a couple months this is intended to be a permanent fixture in the store. But I think you know we're seeing generation one of the experience and I think they've said that there. They're you know going to see what customer adoption is like and and eventually expand to make door sizes.
Scot: [4:56] Thankful well thanks for the trip report and, one thing I want to talk about is it's tomorrow is force Friday and for this is like a Star Wars Insider thing but before they do the movies the first wave of merchandise comes out that's called Force Friday, so I'm actually making a huge sacrifice I am forgoing Midnight Madness for Force Friday to be on the podcast here tonight far listener so that's how much I care about her listeners Jason I'm willing to give up a little bit Star Wars action.
Jason: [5:30] I am super grateful I hope you don't miss anything super valuable by not being a right at midnight but I've actually I feel like there's been a lot of things pulling on your, testing your dedication to the podcast is that I don't know of our listeners are aware of this but we we actually had to delay the recording of last week's podcast because you are a celebrity appearing on The Today Show.
Scot: [5:53] I wouldn't say I was a celebrity it was just kind of one of those things aligned much like an eclipse and I was I was able to be on the Today Show it was kind of fun so got to talk about, it's funny I'm sure you've done these things where you talk for 30 minutes about something and they use like a 10-second snippet but I talked a lot about it we'll talk about it later in the show, the tie between Walmart and Google so they were looking for experts couldn't find anyone I guess you were traveling and they ended up finding me so and I was the one guy that answered his phone I like 9:30 at night.
Jason: [6:27] Is funny they actually called me first and they had me send a picture and then they got the picture and said you know what you have a face for podcast we're going with Wingo.
Scot: [6:36] Applebaum was funny the only wall we had at Channel visor that had the logo where the camera can fit in Halogen orange wall and it made me look like a Oompa Loompa so that was exciting.
Jason: [6:48] I'm glad you noticed that because I did but I felt that it want to bring it up unless you.
Scot: [6:52] Everything's I have like spray on tan but that that's not the case.
Jason: [6:57] Yeah I have to be honest I feel like that was shoddy work on the cameraman like I feel like they could have fixed that.
Scot: [7:02] Well you know they don't have the professional crew like we do here at the Jason Scott show.
Jason: [7:07] Exactly the audio engineer on the Jason Scott show would never let you sound Orange.
Scot: [7:12] A couple other quick things for get into it the, as a recording this we found out today that September 12th is the big day when Apple's going to announce something which we all know is going to be the iPhone 8 so that's going to be exciting and I'm sure they'll be some e-commerce implications we have a couple of things tonight we'll talk about, and then I'm going to cook Commerce on September 13th to 14 really just as a spectator to come look and see what they're doing I'm super excited they're doing a tour of a prime now facility so I look forward to reporting back to letters on what I see there, if any lister's are at that event and want to connect shoot me a note on Twitter or LinkedIn or where.
Jason: [7:53] And it's adorable that you think you're going to go there without me because I of course will be the one sitting next to you.
Scot: [7:59] Bloom I wasn't sure if you're going make it that's exciting.
Jason: [8:01] I am I am having to take a red-eye from a client obligation on the west coast so I might be a little sleepy but hopefully they're there will be a Starbucks in Manhattan that I'll be able to find.
Scot: [8:11] I'll be waiting there with a Trenta for you so that you're ready to get refueled and and hit the ground running.
Jason: [8:18] I totally appreciate it a side note on the world's best planned obsolescence like I thought you no one's expecting they're going to announce and iPhone 7S which might be available. Very soon after the announcement and the iPhone 8 that's going to be probably a pretty constrain product and might not be available for a month or two. After the announcement maybe that's the sort of common speculation and there's also a lot of speculation that they're going to launch a new Apple watch at the event and so they, Apalachee solve the problem for me you know what I was going to be sad cuz I'm going to want the aid and that means I'm going to have to delay gratification and wait to get it, but on the day they announced the announcement announce the announcement yeah I got off the plane and my Apple watch exploded.
[9:03] The screen not an actual exothermic explosion but the screen flew off. So now I have a legitimate reason to buy the Apple watch so that'll that'll acute fulfill my my short-term gratification and then then the iPhone 8 will be my longer-term when I guess.
Scot: [9:21] Dump yard so Elon Musk doesn't call them explosions their violent release of atoms so that's what you're watching.
Jason: [9:29] Yes not as violent as some of his Rockets thankfully.
Scot: [9:34] Well Jason this time of year between summer and kind of the Fall is the crazy time in the world of digital retail cuz everyone's pushing out all the things they've been working at out for the since last holiday, and getting ready for this holiday season and true to Fashion it's been a crazy busy news week so let's jump into it and then, one thing for listeners to stay for years we have a new segment today it's called digital retail newsmakers and, that will follow a short update on the news and first thing we want to cover tonight is Amazon news.
[10:25] Yes so the first thing that we have to cover here is we are kind of deep into this Whole Foods Amazon, integration so the sequence was Thursday last week was I believe the 23rd or 24th, Amazon sent out a press release saying we have received, that the transaction is going to close on Monday and here's some of the things were going to do, and that release itself really set the not only the internet on fire but also the stocks of the grocery companies so I saw that several of the main grocery companies were down 8%. And I thought it was funny because when they, that in the precious there was three or four bullets and it was almost a bullet for bullets list of the things you and I predicted on our Whole Foods Deep dive that we did right after the announcement. The quick take so pat on the back to us because I think we got most of the stuff right.
Jason: [11:29] Yeah yeah I feel pretty good and then one thing we, we did talk a little bit about on the show but the other thing a ton of people were predicting that there would be a lot of them Regulatory impediments and that that would slow down and that the government was going to look at it. Really closely and I think both of you and I discussed on the show and then did a bunch of Prince interviews where we we said that that was silly on that that this was going to. Not have any antitrust issues whatsoever and sure enough it it it got very fast approval.
Scot: [11:57] Yeah yeah and then so the day one activities were pretty impressive were you able to pop into Whole Foods on day one.
Jason: [12:04] I was and yet impressive is definitely the word the the speed at which they got so much done is truly impressive and scary to a lot of the folks that have to make a living competing against them.
Scot: [12:19] Yeah the so. The biggest one is price cut so they picked some of the most popular items and did some pretty substantial price cuts and and then kind of said more to come, this is nursing you know you're starting to see this kind of, you know you hear of this whole fake news and how the news media covers things in the political side of things but seeing e-commerce where. Yeah I saw some people report as much as 40% off and you know what day it done is just really kind of found two things that had been discounted and then didn't average that was one way of looking at it, and then the most conservative article I read said that it was only like 1% and what this person did as they took like. Every SKU in the store and. Including like that you know the 50 to 100 top sellers and then they just kind of looked at the math that way and that one's kind of the dinner some cuz it was clearly designed to get the worst results and it basically said well you know the prices have achieved more than 1% we checked. 10000 items and so I thought that was funny that it's clearly they they either had absolutely no idea how Commerce works or they were just trying to. Prove a point that it wasn't that big of a discount.
Jason: [13:33] Yeah I mean it it does go like there's an age-old problem with. Like tracking prices and you know everyone has a different basket of goods and and you know every basket is going to have a. A different outcome in so you know the most interesting studies are the ones that like pick a consistent basket of goods over a long period of time and then you can see. Ctrends.
[13:57] But you know I just have to say like the fact that they got prices changed at all in my mind was super impressive and their brilliant about milking those price changes for for a huge amount of PR but just in general. They got a bunch of Amazon signage up in the stores they got a display in every store that was merchandised with a bunch of Echoes that were for sale. And you know they they they change prices on you know a hundred items that are you know likely price sensitive items that that people are paying attention to in generated a bunch of media that prices are lower in Whole Foods which is. Going to drive a bunch of extra traffic to Whole Foods weather.
[14:40] Does customers particular baskets are lower or not so you look at all that that they got done on the first day that they took control of the store and you go you know man in a traditional grocery store that list of activities would take nine months to deploy.
Scot: [14:54] Yep and it goes even deeper so when the arrow kind of points from Whole Foods to Amazon so the things I saw they had you know a really good selection of Whole Food private label and that's called, whole 6330 another word for 365 and so that was on Prime now it was promoted categorized and you know the pricing seem to be pretty aggressive I didn't check exactly to the store but it seemed to match the, a couple things I saw on Main Amazon you had some things so that that was also an impressive that they got that done so quickly.
Jason: [15:33] Yep absolutely there they are just operating at a different speed than everyone else in and that you know should should really be a wake-up call if if you're you're planning to compete with them.
Scot: [15:46] Yeah nothing in the announcement that I thought we had talked about that a lot of people poo-pooed but is definitely happening like it's two things so number one they're kind of it's not a day one thing cuz there's an integration. Amazon Prime will become the whole food customer reward program and then, I know folks that have gone in and chatted and heard from cashiers that there will be an overall Prime discount to your entire basket. One cashier said 10% I have no idea how they're going to verify your Prime imagine maybe a mobile app or something but that's going to be interesting to watch roll out. And another one that you know is interesting in and unite talk about this kind of being able to, I think a lot of people are really obsessed with this are they going to just ship is going to become a shipping station and this kind of thing and actually the reverse was announced where Amazon's going to put Lockers in there so if you're going to Whole Foods you have some Amazon returns you bring them with you, I just told her to lock her and now you saved yourself a trip to the UPS store or whatever it is you need to drop those off.
Jason: [16:49] Yeah yeah bunch of the crazy things on day one and I'm sure we've only seen the first wave of the interesting integration so it's it's going to definitely be a fun one to watch.
Scot: [17:00] And then continue on the Amazon news11 tidbit I saw we've talked about this on the show or fair amount where you know I think the Amazon ad. Kind of opportunity is way bigger than people realize and there's a lot going on there so there's an article in digiday where they talked about. Not Amazon has really kind of opened up in within the Amazon Marketing Group AMG and AMS a lot of AP eyes that allow for more programmatic bidding so as you know being in the ad to yourself you know the. Biggest advertisers have these pretty complex things they want to do they want Total Control they want to be able to programmatically do things the first generation of the Amazon API would basically say or or Amazon's. Add technology basically said Mr Advertiser that's great but here's our little system this toy built you're going to have to use it yourself that really kind of delayed adoption so now when it comes to things like the bility to you spin up. Retargeting campaigns display ad campaigns and then search programmatic search kind of things they have a piece out there now that they are pretty actively. Getting into the hands of advertisers which eyemagine is part of a Q4 push to to really kind of dramatically grow that business so so that's pretty interesting and I still think that's probably the most underappreciated kind of. What could be another multibillion-dollar pillar for Amazon is is the the Amazon ad technology.
Jason: [18:32] For sure. Another interesting Amazon announcement partly because of the irony is that they announce their, a new fulfillment center that they are opening and the location is quite interesting because, they are taking over a 900,000 square foot mall and Randall Ohio so this is one of the very first. Indoor Regional malls close back in 2005 and you know there's a lots of Taco in the mall again and World about you know what.
Scot: [19:19] You think they really turn it into a cell phone I kind of envisioned I'm having a bold as it don't you think.
Jason: [19:25] Yeah the location yeah I think the I think Amazon's fulfillment centers are highly optimized I don't I don't imagine they would reuse the space.
Scot: [19:34] Yeah it's called it like a huge fulfillment center I think it's going to 800,000 square feet which Amazon's building of it like 1.5 21.9 now it's actually a small fulfillment center for Amazon.
Jason: [19:46] Yeah but I mean to put that inside that's a very typical sized you know Regional mall and so your point like a regional mall is a small Amazon fulfillment center.
Scot: [19:59] Yeah and then I think it's a nursing cuz I'll probably a lot of jobs inside of there too so I don't know what do you say so.
Jason: [20:05] I think they Dance 2000 people on day one.
Scot: [20:09] What is to do the math of the conversion rate for every dollar you lose in retail and how many employees does that and then what's it look like over at Amazon I think that would be a fun exercise will do a deep dive on it.
Jason: [20:21] Awesome are there is a lot of good dialogue around that Trends in in retail hiring and what happens with unit e-commerce Jobs go up as as brick mortar Jobs go down on all this or something so that be a great thing to deep diver.
Scot: [20:35] Another quick hit on amazon.com Square put out a pretty interesting chart I will put it in the show notes and what they did is they did one of their comps Corey studies with Millennials and they found that shocker Amazon is the number one app with millennials, and they asked interesting series of questions like you know what app would it be most hard to live without an Amazon came out on top of that, I and another interesting fact wait on that as you had Amazon it number one and then you had some Social Media stuff, Google was in there but it's kind of me okay third the size of of. Of Amazon it's just another maze data points that kind of shows that as people. A Amazon has become the de-facto kind of product search that the people look for and then be, as people look for products they are not really going to Google anymore they're going to Amazon.
Jason: [21:29] Yep and you know it that isn't surprising I've just done a bunch of consumer research on behalf of of some clients and you know one of the huge takeaways is is Amazon is just simply becoming a loved brand and. You know they're there an important part of the consumer's life they're not just a place to get stuff so it makes perfect sense that their app would be the. The sticky one of the top of the Heat.
[21:57] I think there's also a lot of interesting not Amazon news this week. One of my favorites is there was an article in the Wall Street Journal this week talking about citing Warren Buffett and talking about. Retail and Brands being on a collision course.
[22:18] And this was that super exciting for me because I have been that that is slide one in my my retail Trends presentation for the last 6 months so when. Warren Buffett agrees with me that's one of the rare occasions when I feel like I'm probably on to something.
Scot: [22:34] Call did Warren call you for advice on this.
Jason: [22:37] She did not but essentially like the the the spin here is. Retailers and brands have always been Frenemies that retailers have been trying to create their own private label brands. Forever but you don't allow the more recent Trends are the the stigma around private labels is going away and customers are much more happily adopting them and. As a result. National brands are losing their equities are losing their Equity you know stores are all getting Consolidated so the retailers have more power and from Warren's position who owns a lot of cpgs. You know you know what I think he's saying that the retail and brands are on a collision course and the retailers are winning.
[23:26] Which which I certainly think is is possible in one sense I think the industry interesting thing we talk a lot like. These products retailers are making are no longer private labels like they're their National Brands the. Kirkland is the best sounding you know sells more on Amazon than they do on on Costco right like that's that's a brand it's not a a private label for Costco and you know that the Amazon Echo. Is it certainly not a private label product like it's it's the market-leading you know best ecosystem product in a space. So I certainly think that the trend is true I think it's beyond. Just private labels but one of the interesting subtext under this is the this article kind of echoed a lot of Articles have been in the news this this week.
[24:21] The one one of my competitors in the space wpp announced servisoft Revenue quarter and you know people are making a lot of. Conversation around hey is advertising or digital advertising. Dying or weighing it looks like he's big big Ad Agency holding companies are starting to see soft soft sales so you know a lot of. People that care about me or asking you know if my curse in Jeopardy and I do think. That that we're seeing those kind those digital ads really start to wane like that. What I call interrupted rim and advertising like interrupting when someone wants to see in order to you know force-feed them this advertisement just. Is a decreasingly. Effective tactic and it's the the analog versions are less effective in the digital versions are less effective and I think you know our friend Scott Galloway like he calls advertising is increasingly becoming. Attacks that poor people pay any talks about all the. The the rapidly adopted ways that more affluent people are paying to avoid ads and you you get your your media from Netflix without ads and. You pay for ad blockers and he pay for subscriptions to you newspaper to get it without ads and said I feel like this traditional. Interrupter of an advertising is sort of dying and you know so agencies like mine or having to reinvent themselves to serve customers in ways other than advertising and and of course the.
[25:53] The particular company I work for it doesn't really do that kind of advertising so so it doesn't particular dust. But the big article that came out that really triggered all this was about a week ago and it was marked picture who's the chief customer officer at P&G. And he announced that they had really concluded the digital advertising wasn't working and they were they were going to cut at least a hundred million dollars of their digital ad spend because it wasn't effect.
[26:19] And that's interesting because I do think there's a strong Trend towards.
[26:26] Eliminating some of this this interrupt driven advertising but I don't think that's the whole story of Procter & Gamble. Patrick gamble has some some some serious activist investors that are kind of in their shorts right now and you know there's a lot of pressure on them to cut costs and it really looks to me like. They just did a brain-dead analysis and some of their marketing activities and are trying to justify the fact that they're having to significantly curtailed their spending so you know their there they're doing like.
[26:56] Kind of brain-dead last-click attribution on a on a whole bunch of marketing spend and just saying hey hey you know we don't anticipate sales are going to significantly go down when we. We stopped spending this this hundred million dollars but it you know it it really kind of. Doesn't feel like they they've done a very detailed analysis on how you know how, you have and how that media is or could be influencing sales in their wholesale partners and and you know they're there, they just seem really rudimentary on the metrics Mark Mark is like one of the most powerful guys in advertising and he spends all his time talking about, a metric called visibility like whether or not you can just see an ad, and wow it's super important that that that metric be right it seems like someone about 32 levels below Mark should be focused on that and someone at marks level should be a lot more focused on, how can I marketing tactics drive more profit for human and you know it just seems like, like tractor is kind of lost lost sight of that kind of view on on their digital marketing spend.
Scot: [28:01] Sold articles are nursing say think so Buffett and then also one of Sam Walton's descendants of sold quite a bit of Walmart stock, and it's just confusing cuz the Articles kind of time together but like you can tell the, the two events that happened separately in Warren Buffett's not really saying the reason I'm selling Walmart stock is because of this battle of between Brands and retailers but but it's interesting to because he's he's kind of. With his wallet he's buying Brad's and Son retailers but then he's kind of saying that he thinks retailers are winning that battle what's your.
[28:38] Which kind of your view on that.
Jason: [28:39] Yeah I don't I agree he he I'm a less sophisticated investor than you but part of me feels like he has a very disciplined investment strategy, that you know is based on value investing and so you know in a market where the cpgs are losing power to the retailers are the retailers stocks becoming, yeah less likely to meet his value criteria and does he feel like if he can pick the the subset of winners among the cpgs that those are potentially better. Better value investment censored you know better fit his in his particular investment profile.
[29:20] I don't know if that's true or not I was that's internally speculation on my part.
Scot: [29:24] Yeah it's it's a little confusing the way they time together but they're not really meant to be together.
Jason: [29:31] Yeah for sure it's going to be an interesting space to keep watching, I think we talked on the show it's going to be increasingly hard to make a living selling other people's stuff and so what you just are going to see is you know, retailers are going to start looking a lot more like Brands and Brands you don't going to have that retail distribution so they're going to have to start selling direct to Consumers and so they're going to start looking more like retailer so I definitely wouldn't we say collision course I think the two businesses are going to know start looking a lot more the same than different is as we progressed.
Scot: [30:02] I'm just glad that we have a little break from the mall again merkel's it's getting kind of a little old.
Jason: [30:08] Yeah and I don't think we have much of the data points but like, a bunch of surprisingly good earnings quarter this year so they're a bunch of companies kind of surprised us with some beats even if they're there future outlooks weren't particular promising.
Scot: [30:25] Yeah I think that's why actually had quite a strong quarter and surprise whilst reading.
Jason: [30:29] Yeah and and again though like had caution that that wasn't the new normal and then there's talk one way down to spite the fact they had a big beat.
Scot: [30:37] I mentioned it to the top of the show with the Today Show kind of live there but the other big news in e-commerce was Walmart in Google really kind of. Deeply partnering to effectively take on Amazon and yeah I think I think it's early to call this one but what's really interesting in this story to me is the whole, you know enemy of my enemy is my friend so you know here's two companies that have never really had, an alliance I'm aware of other than I'm sure Walmart's large Google Advertiser in that kind of thing really kind of aligning and saying, hey you know we need to create a counter to this this Amazon kind of meth it's growing and and figure out what we can do there it's interesting too cuz Google has always play this kind of you know, we're neutral we just in traffic to all the different retailers we don't have a favorite retailer but it's starting to sound like Walmart is one of their favorite retailers.
Jason: [31:35] Yeah and I mean you know you think of that like it's it's increasing in the case that Amazon's big competitors are are these platform Echo Systems more so than. Then other retailers and so you know that that puts them much more odds with Google and Facebook than it does Walmart so it's interesting you note. Google and Facebook have some monetization problems versus Amazon's model in so you don't Google Plus Walmart feels like a more valuable. Competitor to the to the Amazon Echo System and I think you called it but like one of the most interesting parts of that announcement is not that hey you can order Walmart excuse. Through Google home, it certainly is interesting and by the way Walmart's up till like 67 million skus now so there you know it's a pretty pretty deep assortment, but the most interesting thing is Walmart is sharing first-party data with Google and so what would that lets Google do is. You know have much better inside and what you purchased in the past and be much more predictive so that your your voice experience can be much more impressive in its going to accurately guess. What size Campbell Soup you buy or what size Ruffles potato chips you buy and so they they get that SKU right cuz you know voice. Ordering becomes a disaster when they don't have good data about you and have to guess which of the hundred variance you might you might be interested in buying.
Scot: [33:03] Yep another quick one that I saw is so so.
[33:10] Google shoppings at ad unit is called Product listing ads and saw that they are running a new pill a ad unit usually the way this works is you go to Google you search for, you know I don't know. Screwdriver or power drill or whatever and that's you see a bunch of those products from multiple retailers we saw unit that effectively was kind of a retailer take over so you would search for, I think the one we found with some office supplies at the Go staplers and they had, The Container Store where you could just kind of say as a user you would only see Container Store Staples in the ad unit and then there would be the same number of kind of, products with in there so that was kind of nursing not in a Google test tons of things all the time that we're always looking for new ones so I thought that was kind of interesting single retailer ad unit, that we hadn't seen before I will put a link to that in the show notes as folks are interested in learning more.
Jason: [34:03] Yeah that's toy interesting another one we saw was that the target. It seems to have moved off of AWS and that that's interesting for a couple reasons listeners World member about a month ago, Walmart launched too aggressive initiative we're not only did they say will not use AWS but we're encouraging any vendors that that's support us to not use AWS and now you see, Target moving off of AWS like the the obvious impetus for all of this is. These retailers don't need to be paying money to a competitor that that competitor can then use to develop new products and offerings, they make them you know more competitive with Amazon and so so you know this is always been, kind of the case but I think it's it's becoming much more apparent that retailers are recognizing it's foolish for them to use any Amazon Services even if their services than aren't competitive because they're all of course. Supporting and funding. Efforts that are competitive so if your Microsoft Azure or Google Cloud platform like, you know this is probably great news for you you got you know a lot of retailers are, are modernizing their it infrastructure and moving to the cloud and increasingly it's clear that the one category in the world that's not going to adopt AWS as the dominant Cloud platform is going to be the retail one.
Scot: [35:34] Cool and I know we're up against time we want to make sure we have room for a newsmaker but you know long time Lester's will know we are very enthralled with augmented reality and virtual reality and there's a bunch of news there. So I put it on my Star Wars hat one of the ones that was exciting is as part of the retail launch day of of this Force Friday they have added an AR functionality to the Star Wars app. I know the way this works is you go to your retailer and there will be a display there and you hold up the AR app to a QR code like thing and then there's a Star Wars character that appears in virtual reality or augmented reality that you can see. Did you can take pictures of them and collect them so one of the clever things they've done is there's something like. 20 characters 15 to 20 characters so as Star Wars people you kind of try to collect these things and let's say you're going to Walmart on tomorrow on Force Friday, well they're going to rotate characters to characters you see over the next four or five days will be different so they're kind of using this this virtual kind of technology to draw people, back to the stores versus just having him come in one time so I thought that was kind of interesting marriage of of the Two Worlds that we like there.
Jason: [36:48] Yeah I am not surprised at all that you are the earliest adopter and I'm excited to give it a try myself another interesting AR.
[37:00] Milestone is this week both Google and apple release their variance of AR kits, which are essentially their api's for developing AR & VR but mainly AR experiences in their mobile phones and this is a huge deal, Google this had some AR technology called Tango, but it was really restrictive it only worked on very specific Hardware configurations and now Google is released this AR kit which works, on the majority of Google Hardware out there so it already works out over 100 million devices apple is released a kid that's works on basically all the. The Apple devices that can run the current operating systems in this is really likely to usher in. A huge crop of new you know highly functional AR apps in the. In the app stores like you look at a successful Arab like Pokemon go in the developers had to develop it on themselves and now you're getting. Napi from from the hardware manufacturer that that is much more robust and higher performance and. And takes the burden off the programmer to do all that so we've talked a lot on the show about. How AR apps are going to be important part of retail and you know that the availability of these api's is is definitely going to be a catalyst for seeing one of those so I'm excited to see what comes.
Scot: [38:24] Yeah I'm kind of seen some indications that there's e-commerce is a category that they're really interested in and, I think Ikea is a lunch partner and you know it'll be interesting to see, I'm imagining so apples really excited about this we couldn't event coming up in a couple weeks you know what if we had a retailer on stage I don't think that's ever happened where we had a retailer on stage kind of talking about new technology, let me nursing to watch and see what the retail implications are.
Jason: [38:55] For sure and I akea is the perfect lunch partner cuz they're one of the retards that went to the work to program their own custom AR app. I'm the day already had so it will eyemagine it was super easy for them to sort of adopt and expand it to use the new new kits.
Scot: [39:11] Yep in the last little tidbit so company when we did our deep dive on a rvr that we talked a lot about is magically. And I belong away depend for their headset was released today or are at work it's off to the patent pipeline so that's definitely an interesting read if you're into this whole world, there's there's, the air BR world is please pretty split on this a lot of people think this company is really kind of you know never going to ship something and that it's really vaporware and other people feel like maybe they're getting pretty close now this patents up.
Jason: [39:44] Yeah yeah for sure I'm eager to find out more let you know they've had some patents on the kind of underlying technology before this Pacific patent is actually about. The wearable glasses version and at least you know the Pak patent makes it feel seem like. They expect to be able to build a pretty lightweight convenient device. That that might be consumer-friendly and and that's interesting cuz a lot of people have feared that the technology you know like the prototypes of the moment the smallest one is a pretty heavy backpack.
[40:17] So the fact that they think they can build it into assetto eyeglasses is is very encouraging and so with that we should. Turn to our next topic is Scott mentioned earlier tonight we are trying a new segment that we're calling digital retail newsmakers so what we're going to do is pick interesting companies in the e-commerce ecosystem, it has an interesting recent news and talk to the folks involved to get the inside scope, so Scott who is this week's digital retail news maker.
Scot: [40:57] Will Jason on August 22nd which was last Tuesday Kleiner Perkins which is one of the bluest of Blue Chip Venture Capital firms out there announced a 40 million dollar investment in Toronto based. Tulip. And here's the kicker all these headlines about Molly getting all the buzz around e-commerce Amazon Etc while read about store closures, tulip is not an e-commerce company but it really focuses on providing a mobile application platform to store associates that are in. Source so we are really excited to have alyas area live from Toronto he is the CEO of tulip retail with us here tonight.
[41:36] Thank you so much for having.
[41:38] Sure sure before we jump into it I wanted to bring up kind of a beef I have with you I was a very early Blackberry user, and from because I was on the BlackBerry from definitely like 2000 2007-2008 super pretty heavy user I think I've got all the way from the little kind of. Pager kind of form to the bigger ones and my favorite app was brick breaker breaker which I learned that you had some kind of a involvement in tell us the backstory on that. Yes it is quite a backstory but it's funny cuz like for a lot of my career I always always get introduced as the guy who created Brick Breaker and now it's funny cuz it's times past, what does time passes lesson bus people remember that game and sometimes. Recapture to be like the excitement that was created from that that one out that I created that was on that one more time so I'm like a hundred and fifty million mobile.
[42:34] Yeah they were calculated the hours consumed done on your brick breaker. Oh man there's actually so many articles written about how much wasted time has been like that has been lost like from even likes to senior people like that I think the former president Obama used to be a big player I feel sort of guilty about it but not too.
Jason: [42:50] You are single-handedly responsible for lowering our GDP.
Scot: [42:54] Even ready to be at least I could you imagine the numbers on that.
Jason: [43:09] So obviously we have hinted at part of your background but Allie for listeners that don't know you why don't you give us the the recap of what your background is and how you came to tulip.
Scot: [43:22] Yeah so I mean my background is I mean I studied Computer Engineering at University called Waterloo here in Canada and I was really focus on Hardware that time and I got this new job at this. It's relatively new company called blackberry and started working there and wherever and eventually work there full time. But quickly I mean after I graduated University I I felt like I had to start something so I started this company I mean about 10 10 11 years ago. Caldwell. Yay and it was literally just me in a closet. I'm trying to build an e-commerce site from scratch I rode by wrote the code myself and I was packing the boxes myself and then we'll does he agree to what is now like one of the largest e-commerce companies in Canada, in that process it for the beanie Mike rewrite I literally like when I started well that's yeah I didn't know anything. About retail about merchandising about Warehouse Logistics and vendor management Ida learn all that from scratch as an engineer. And then that kind of led me to do what I'm doing now is building software for retailers having dinner retailer for a big part of my career.
[44:20] What tell us more about well. CA what did what did you sell there. Better inside your Pharmacy and eventually groups of being what's I would describe it maybe it's like diapers.com for Canada so it sells everything from baby to Health and Beauty it's kind of largest largest company in Canada in that category online. Get it sounds like it's still operational so is that something you sold or or what how did you know what was the end result that. It was kind of interesting so I was the CEO up to about 4 years ago and at that time. Rebuilt how much software there that I actually went to the board and I said hey look there's a ton of value here I want to step down as a CEO of this retailer so that I can build a software company out of all this, great engineering that we have here and the potential for it and so to actually started with me you know promoting, who is Dennis to out who is now the CEO of so that I can step down and pull out a lot of the IP and that's that's how we begin, tulip with me kind of saying there's actually made me more value in this softer than there isn't any in the rest of the pictures.
Jason: [45:28] Very cool, and I guess I don't know if irony is the right words got always correct me with when I use bad diction but the wheel that CA is if as I understand it is is premature play, e-commerce site and then it seems like the biggest play for tulip is is is clearly an omni-channel pitch.
Scot: [45:52] Yes it's got me this is kind of the irony of my career but I think maybe a lot of lessons make sense right is that it's so much of my life was focused on trying to. Compete with physical retailers by building an online, retailer in love and in that process I was competing with all these retailers that I eventually build relationships with and so I would I would know all the folks at companies like Toys R Us that we now work with and some of the other folks and. What I started to realize was that what the thing that I think a lot of us know but it have any figured out how to really capitalize on which is. 90% of retail still happens inside these places called physical stores and there's so much opportunity there but it feels like 90% of the Innovation is all happening on that on the comp side only on the outside. My career is now about kind of trying to take all of that Innovation that I learned that I originally deployed Annie, try to replace that inside storage.
[46:46] Cool so so 4 years ago you started tulip in when did you know you wanted to kind of go the store router was it kind of you edited there in somewhere. Yeah we started right away saying that stores matter and there's a massive opportunity there but I don't think we knew exactly what we were going to do there. The journey from me really sad was with me sitting with a bunch of big retailers that I built relationships with over the years and saying like help me understand what are your biggest challenges. And what I started to learn like just by sitting on the floor inside the stores and talking to heads of stores was that. It's really hard to innovate inside physical retail because they're stuck with these old green screen like you don't point-of-sale terminals that were built in the 1980s and the culture of stores and so difference and there's like one of our retailers has 40,000 employees there, all we know part-time and high turnover and so you're in this world where they're so much. The man from customers to innovate on their retail experience but when you're a retailer front operate these like very complex businesses it's really hard to adapt with the software in the technology that we have right now and so I was just like hey this is all opportunity this is a, big tough scary but big opportunity and so that's kind of what we went on.
[47:57] Got it so so soon I'm an e-commerce guy and I don't know much about stores which would be a good assumptions give me kind of the elevator pitch for for tulip. Diane and why stores need to use this. 90% of retail is happening inside physical stores but I think the part that we forget is when we say. What's happening in physical stores it's happening with real human beings going up to other real human beings called store associates and buying through them and so you have this large job it's actually the largest job in North America I didn't know that, retail store associates of job which is never had tools before so we've all experienced customers. Frustration of going into a big retail chain and try to talk to a store associate that looks like they just were hired the day before and they can't answer basic questions that. You was a consumer can answer on your own phone right I can I can sometimes look up inventory an answer more complex you know product questions on my own phone and I would expect a store so she filled answer answer the opportunity to realize. Give this massive massive job category that's never had gray tools before. What happens if we actually gave them the tools to be able to answer customers questions and pull up inventory from other channels and help people transact across you, and in-store regardless of where that product is. Well if we could do those things. Maybe there's a potential lift and in the sales that we can do inside stores and that was the theory when we started we had no idea like at the massive opportunity and in the lift that we could create once we once we did and that's kind of where all the success companies come from.
Jason: [49:32] Perfect that you know we we used to make the joke like for a longtime store associates weren't even you know a common rule in a retail store was it store associates couldn't even use their own phone in the store.
Scot: [49:44] I work with these folks right so now I sit on the floor sorry but I mean I'm sitting on the floor with these door so I started to see the other side of it. Open very young people who know how to use technology cuz now everybody knows how to use a phone but they're so frustrated because they can't get access to basic information sometimes the only computer they have is the point-of-sale terminal so if there's people checking out. There is nowhere for them to, research information sometimes they're using their own retailers like mobile app because that's all they have and so I feel for these folks now and I didn't even though maybe in my previous career I used to kind of make fun of them because I see now what it's like being on the floor inside a story you want to help customers we don't have tools rent.
Jason: [50:24] Oh yeah it's it's believe me it's it's a difficult job and we you know and like originally doing all these rules, we are nobody wanted the sales associates to have more technology cuz frankly everyone was afraid they'd be playing brick breaker on it all day long and not talking to customers so I guess there's some irony there, but the the you don't when customers started walking in with their own phones and having all this information in the sales people are completely unequipped we used to talk. About you know the sales associates were essentially bringing a knife to a bazooka fight like it was. Totally asymmetrical so makes perfect sense to start equipping those the sales folks. You you can help me as an advocate a little bit because it is you may know from listening to show Scott doesn't really get the value of retail store so you know Scott. Scot as a drum in his office called retail Mulligan and and he just constantly beats it.
[51:22] And you don't Infernus him like there are in fact a lot of stores closing and there are in fact, actor water stores facing some headwinds but I just beat you know curious what what's your general like so you know your future is tied to the future of the store's what what what do you think's going to happen to physical retail.
Scot: [51:41] I think you can see I'm a little biased because I bet my career in my entire company on that idea that stores matter right but I think like from our perspective right like you're seeing is right we see a lot of the retailers we work with right now, as tulip enters into the retailer to start our work with them. The head of stores has been mandated to close 10% of the stores but increase sales by 15% in those in the remaining store and so what's I think what's happening I think we're all seeing as that, even if the shift towards like you know you, goes from 10% to 15%. There's still a massive number of transactions that were going to continue to happen inside the stores in a space where there's like three trillion dollars retail transactions in North America and so you have a massive massive category on the other hand. You know 5% shift online means lots of jobs lost and so. The world in which tulip lives is we're working with me Taylor's that are saying yes stores will have to close and we have to correct for them the right number stores for the remaining ones. Bad experience that we drive for those customers we need we really need to up our game and it can't just be by. Lowering prices or in a fighting on trying to not have Amazon have access to the channel it's got to be about creating a differentiable experience inside stores at customers. Actually want to come to and that's kind of the world in which tulip plants ring.
Jason: [53:02] It makes perfect sense I'll just eat like the customer behavior is fundamentally changed as a result of. These digital tools that they've now become accustomed to and you know one of the big examples we always use his ratings and reviews to become super important for customers and making decisions, but none of those digital tools are available in the overwhelming majority of stores writing so you know a super common problem for a retailer is what is the in-store digital experience that, brings all those digital amenities to the The Shopper that they become accustomed to from their online shopping, and most of the answers to that question are inconvenient like they're they're super expensive and very hard to maintain and you know, digital signage and digital fact tags and you know there's there's a lot of baggage attached to doing everything on the customer's mobile phone and having him be kind of heads down in your store and by the way it's super hard to get the customer to download your mobile app anyway so they're all these these headaches and, it it it seems like providing the the sales associate which is the one variable in the store you can control. With access to these digital tools to use on behalf of the customer or with the customer seems like one of the the best solutions to that problem.
Scot: [54:17] Right I think you see that right when people talk about the, the end of stores you look at something like the Apple store right be like apples in this position where they don't have to open physical stores but they continue to open them and they're doing phenomenally well right and so I think we see this world in which like another we work with examples right bonobo started online. Did really well and then started opening physical stress you see all these like these folks were doing well online still opening stores but the stores feel very different, in terms of experiences it's different, how you drive a perfect experience for a customer, device they can share that with a customer cuz they know that to the customer that matters but in addition to that they'll also pull up pricing from other retailers write a big part, the selling process for some of our some of the rituals we work with his saying. Are you afraid that this product is cheaper on Amazon let's go to Amazon together and look at that price because they know that the customers thinking in the back of their heads.
Jason: [55:15] Well so of all the sort of features that can exist on that tulip tablet you know I'm imagining things like inventory information product information you know customer, Behavior information although sorts of things I get is there one one experience that you feel like. Is the overwhelming leader I would just be curious I once they sings Get deployed like what's the the most go to feature for for the majority of sales associates.
Scot: [55:42] Yeah there's there's basically two big experiences that we drive that usually Drive the most left right. The first one is on the channel selling so that's the ability for the store associate to say, whether or not the product you're looking for is in the store in front of us right now I can sell you any product from online and in the store in one basket and so that's that's key for that for a lot of the details who can't carry all of their inventory at one location. Does the second big thing that we do which is really interesting cross we learned a lot about her last years was is what's called clienteling and basically. Try and retailer on a lot of their business but like a significant percentage of the business for a lot of the best high-end luxury retailers happens through these one-on-one interactions that they have with customers and so a lot of a tulip does in that case. Is we help retailers write personal email text or says it's my personal emails during SMS messages to their best customers saying. Hey this just came in I thought it would look right with that thing that you bought before I put these these three items together and putting them on hold for you at a building that really one on one relationship that you can only get with that with a great tool plus a great store.
[56:46] Awesome and so you mentioned but no bus which I guess now you get to count Walmart as a customer it's always nice to upgrade took like 5 minutes to switch that logo. What are some of other retailers that are utilizing your technology. Able to talk about in class which is a big pig to play fetch 800 locations across America, one of our best customers Saks Fifth Avenue and that whole network of retailers that are associated with them in miles from specialty retailers like, Toys R Us to the bonobos to Chanel it's been it's been very interesting to see how different ringtones work.
[57:31] Cool and then says I fell off and we're always love to hear the story to the extent you can tell it of fundraising you know it's pretty clear that you convince the the nice Folks at Kleiner, 10 fasting what you're doing so that they're they're Believers is this the first round of funding you've done and, you know what what's the point of you of some of the feces out there that are raised that are looking that you're talking to are they do you run into some of that are like. Stores what are those or are they all pretty open-minded to that that kind of pitch these days. Yeah I think that's like one of the tough kind of side effects to the rise of Amazon are all the challenges we talk about one more time trying to compete with Amazon that I think not everyone knows about it is that it is next to impossible to raise money right now. For a business that is in the econ category right well. See experience that a lot just because VC's are very well aware of how difficult it is to compete at scale when once you have to go head-to-head against Amazon. I'm in that same kind of, light when we started to if I started to talk to me season but when I wanted to do next and I just was told basically by everyone that I was crazy why are you going after this category that's. It's going to be massively shrinking and no by the way retailers are the worst customers and so hard to work with but we just felt like it was just too big of an opportunity and I think. A lot of the things that scare people but the category for me kind of indicated that there was actually something there that people have figured out cool.
Jason: [58:59] So you're one of the things that I'm curious about all the you mention for example the the customer follow-up use case and just maybe I would generic be caught like the clienteling use case.
[59:13] Imagine there's a yes or two pads for all those sorts of things build that native functionality into to it and so then you know it's it's in your ekosistem in and all that sort of thing versus interfacing with all the other, tool that does big retailers you just mentioned. Likely already have in their ecosystem is like does to try to be a complete solution with everything integrated in one big killed base or are you having the interface with a lot of other retail systems and how's that working out.
Scot: [59:46] So I think that's probably the biggest challenge for building tulip is that we're working in a space where you cannot you can't go to a retailer. The size of the returns that we typically work with and say, hey please throw it all of the tens of millions of dollars you can vested in all of your big ecosystem and all of that you know that the side effects of what what those things are connected to because we want to swap it out for this other cool app which we just built and so if you look at two of it where anywhere, rather large company now, about half of the company literally just does Enterprise Integration since the typical project bras with a big retailer will take some time six months maybe more. Just integrate with 15/16 back-end systems everything from sap to IBM and all of the mixture stuff that they have so a lot of tulips kind of, way of working greenhouses to say hey we're going to work alongside all of the systems that you bought already and we're going to have meant them and replace parts of parts of them when you don't have the right system but we can't come in and say please swap everything out at least to start with.
Jason: [1:00:46] Sure sure what one other question I'm curious about the, kind of retailers that are sort of best suited like I'm of the opinion that no retailer is purely self-service or purely sales assistant that like almost every retailer. Spectrum of those too but there some some classes of retailer that are much heavier sales assisted. And obviously some of your early customers like I would put in that category but then you know there's huge swaths of retail that are mostly cell service and you mentioned your biggest appointment was Toys R Us I would think of them as a, mostly self-service environment so I'm I'm tears in my wrong that that you're a better fit in a sales assisted environment or what's what's the strategy there.
Scot: [1:01:33] So when we first started we said let's focus on retailers where sales associates really matter where, retail just saying the store experience and we want to act like it Ramon in Destiny's people that's the category we thought we do the best in we started getting contacted by grocery retailers, 7-Eleven type retailers in quick-service and all the sudden we started to realize that I think what we're going to see is that. I think personally that every single job in the cattle work like sales associates in Cashiers all of those jobs will have a mobile device in their hands as part of their job for some of the. Less service-oriented one those mobile devices will be focused on you inventory counting and more of the kind of back in tasks and more of the service books ones will be more about. The summit tools kind of very famous for out front and center you know sending emails to customers and helping with the I like product information but in the end I'm of the belief that. Every category retail is going to have to arm its associates with a mobile devices as part of their job that's just so the reality of the Next Generation Enterprise.
[1:02:33] On until we started with a lot of these high-end folks but now we're we're going to be deploying with a lot of the three times that you would traditionally think of his being sales associate Focus.
[1:02:42] Regal one so do you help stores with kannada omni-channel implementation so do you get involved with buy online pickup in-store and ship from store in that kind of stuff. Absolutely I think like. You know one of my my big beliefs in this in this industry is that we all kind of maybe did it to service to the industry by over focusing on the word omni-channel because. Two lot of the consumers and and practically from an experience this perspective I'm just held it really mean anything until you do something with it right and so it's more of a philosophy than it is an an an experience and so tulip ends up being kind of good thing you do after you realize how many shells important, super a lot of okay we want to build a cell across channels that's an omni-channel selling experience but to do that I need to actually give it tool to. Perform the sound and so tulip is basically everything we do is if I don't Channel but it's kind of its kind of maybe the post on me channel thing that you do. What day in matching would be hard and we struggle with us at chill advisory even on the digital side and, the store side just kind of blows my mind this maybe while you have half your company is on the integration, peace but you know that the buy online pickup in-store in the ship from store has really high failure rate and no one really publishes one but my guess is somewhere between 5 and 10% based on personal experience. And I can imagine you're only as good as the systems you're integrating with so if I is a user in going to retailer and having that that. Pretty high stock out experience it must be frustrating for the clienteling app to be you know a boy we're going to sell this customer widget X and it's going to be awesome and then the store associate.
[1:04:16] Can't find widget X because the underlying data is Bad Hat is that a challenge for you guys and how do you saw that.
[1:04:24] Yeah definitely write like a lot of the returns we work with they don't have a perfect view of inventory a lot of them they don't have photos of most of their products that aren't available online and so a lot of tulips projects end up reviewing to the retailer. Places where they need to know reinvest in terms of improving data quality and process right. Is that you can do a lot of things quicker now so you can ask a store associate to go fetch a shoe and then you can find out within. 2 minutes whether they executed on the task and if not you can be assigned that task to another store and the other piece I think none of us really realized until we fully started like working in this space at tulip was the incentive structure behind meant so one of the important things for tulip is not just. Telling a store associate to go grab a product or instructing them to sell something from online but to make sure that also they get commission for that cuz I work right. And then one last question I noticed you guys seem to be pretty heavily aligned with Apple so so tell us more about that and is that a formal alliance and in or is it just kind of you prefer their Hardware how does that work. So this is been kind of one of the biggest surprises.
[1:05:33] FR company right was that when we started tulips we started winning all these big retail accounts and then follow us and we got a call from Apple which we never never predicted. I was actually that basically what happened was that. We had I guess went as retailers have bought two of they had triggered the sale for so many iPads and iPod Touches that we got on the radar, answer that quickly grew to now what is a formal partnership Direction where we're at we're in a partnership with, appleworks we actually work with them alongside so you look at a lot of the screens on our app they would actually code is IND at in Cupertino with apple and they come along with us to sales sales opportunities actually help supervise project with us into one of the big opportunities of my. My life now in my career has been filled to work kind of hand-in-hand with some of the best Folks at Apple to help kind of tell this shared Vision around what is the future. Mobility inside retail in in the Enterprise cuz I will kind of shares the same vision right in their stores near like Hey we're doing so well because we figured out how to. Innovate on the store experience partly through giving our sales associates better tools if we could just show retail like General retail that same vision. Mean green salad or devices and so too it's kind of part of that very cool Super Geek question have you been in the spaceship.
[1:06:53] No I've been looking at it I want to go actually where we have appointments coming up that I think will finally go there but I've been meeting just outside of that. Will have to do a special edition of the spaceship edition of the show so you can give us a report on on what it's like inside of their.
Jason: [1:07:08] We're not all meeting at the the iPhone announcement on the 12th.
Scot: [1:07:13] Oh yeah it's going to be being from there right.
Jason: [1:07:18] In the Steve Jobs theater is if I'm not mistaken.
Scot: [1:07:21] Yes I heard I heard.
Jason: [1:07:22] What what are the things that's interesting to me about the Apple partnership is just been a lot of time doing technology inside of retail stores and for a long time I would have said. Oh you know it's like consumer technology like apple stuff is great for proof of Concepts and quick prototyping but when you really want to scale it it's totally inappropriate for. The store environment that it's it's not hardened and people are going to want to steal and it's really hard to lock them down and you know it's it's hard to keep them charged and you know there a million like frankly very valid reasons why it's not. That that Hardware isn't perfectly suited for the retail environment. But I've completely lost that argument and long ago gave it up because it just it just seems like the the argument that, hey the store associates already know how to use the consumer technology in the consumer Technologies so much cheaper and more ubiquitous and frankly like when any of those bad things happen to it it just cheaper to replace it then it is to buy, uglier more clunky industrial tablet that cost 5 times as much up front is that is that what you're finding or do any of your clients use industrial. Hardware for the for the stuff.
Scot: [1:08:35] Yeah if you if you ask me that same question I would have been in the same camp as you write I would have said that you have to focus on an Enterprise hard and Hardware Apple wasn't designed for the consumer that's what I thought 5 years ago and so if you want to come a hint at.
[1:08:47] What I think is the secret long-term plan for tulip is that we believe that that mistake that we all made in terms of. Make the consumerization of the Enterprise write the influence that end workers have in terms of, what type of hardware and we hope what type of software is deployed inside the Enterprise will that prediction that we all had was so wrong that there's a massive massive opportunity now we think all of software in the Enterprise including UPS in retail. Is it going to change in the same way that the hardware is where. We we all miss predicted how how strong I think a lot of the Legacy thoughts we had around what soccer looks like in big companies and in the same degree Hardware so what we're seeing to answer your question specifically is. Apple's kind of just one in retail even though people didn't predict. Partly based on real people fight with maybe was too expensive at the timer it wasn't the right thing for Enterprise but all of those predictions ended up being wrong it's definitely the right solution and then what happens is you have any question of.
Jason: [1:09:48] Yep yep so I have a feeling that when I sing a lot of new investments in symbol and NCR and all those guys as a result of that I'd be Church though is the natural progression of that trend. Not that there won't always be some dedicated hardware for Solutions like you but could you imagine. A blended solution where where there's dedicated tulip tablets in the store and they're searching the sales associates that have that but did the Tulip app is also available for employees to install on there. I want Hardware to sort of expand the footprint bring-your-own-device.
Scot: [1:10:24] Yes. Yes a lot of our botones talk about bring your own devices and there's a decent like legal and compliance issues around that for in North America that we have we talked to her but definitely all of our retailers have on their road map. A vision of what Canon campus tours OC do on their own device it's different right because there's privacy issues you're not obvious even allow them to pull up any customers record and that's where thing but there's definitely tools we want to feel to give store so she can access any money off.
Jason: [1:10:49] Yep in that that does trigger an interesting thing so you've you potentially on the on the store provided Hardware have proprietary information about the customer and I imagine there's a fine line like you don't necessarily. Just want to make everything that a retailer knows about that customer transparently available to the sales associate in the store when a customer might see it.
Scot: [1:11:15] Yeah it she when we started with one of our best retailers it's like a high-end fashion retailer they started telling us about user stories that we needed to capture and part of, part of those stories is the idea that hey we have. The addresses and phone numbers of all of these famous celebrities in North America we can't just even have any of our store so see you know type in, famous person's name in pull up their phone number and so I'd like to actually has built-in privacy tools to make sure that that's our stuff is locked out it's it's crazy when you start thinking about the information that you could have access to it.
Jason: [1:11:45] Yeah I did a project with a a large chain of of wine and alcohol stores and they they were too playing a clienteling solution and they wanted what, I don't know if it's pop anymore but what used to be popular is this rfm scoring recency frequency monetization score for each customer how much stuff they buy how often they buy a valuable they are but they very specifically didn't want, they wanted that to be a relative number they didn't want an absolute number because they they they didn't want customer seeing like how much gosh they were consuming for example.
[1:12:18] Which makes perfect sense.
[1:12:22] So where do you think all this is going is it like you see a further Evolution or do you see like is the main played just expand the footprint for the kinds of solutions are offering today or or are they experience is going to get even better.
Scot: [1:12:36] Like for me the hardest part of my career now is. Sitting now inside retail and seeing all of this opportunity and wanting to go after all of it but also trying to stay focused right and so I look up I look at the stores as these massive opportunities to Pivot. Cross at the thing I see across all of the returns I talk to Everyday is this shared Vision around the future of the store be coming. Presenting experience center right and so what I push a lot of the retailers that I work with. To think about is not just about improving their stories and allowing on the shower transactions but to try to build a location that customers would actually pay to go to, that should be the bar you should be so awesome that it's feels like you're going to Disneyland or you know this place is like the Disney Store they like the Crayola Experience Store we actually have to reserve a spot to get in there, cancel. What I think is going to be the future the store is that they're going to be brand experience centers that will be so great that you actually people will stop criticizing stores and see them for what they really truly can be which is, this really awesome fun way to experience brand whether or not you buy in those stores. Doesn't really matter it's as long as there's a way to facilitate the transaction and connect it to that towards Branson somewhere.
Jason: [1:13:48] I think that makes perfect sense and all of that is going to be a great place to end it because it is happened again we've perfectly wasted an hour of our listeners time.
[1:13:59] So we certainly want to thank you for joining us and wish you all the best with to Apple you look forward to following a future success and just a reminder listeners are always welcome to continue the conversation on our Facebook page and for sure if you like Today's Show jump on iTunes and give us that that 5 star review, we we greatly appreciate them and it's super important.
Scot: [1:14:23] Thank you so much I appreciate it thanks Allie.
Jason: [1:14:27] Until next time happy conversing.