Bonobos is the newest to try-before-you-buy brands, Walmart is killing it, Phillip loves on ULTA (again) but not for the reason you think - PLUS a new approach to designing e-commerce experiences for Gen Z. Listen now!
A pilot program that would have had facial recognition technology being used in a public school is put on hold, for all of the reasons.
Are stripped down, discovery heavy e-commerce sites the future of user experience?
Phillip's pretty much obsessed with Ulta, and for some pretty good reasons.
Walmart is basically just a tech company that happens to sell products.
The try-before-you-buy model is changing the way consumers shop online, and in-store.
Facial Recognition Being Used in Schools: Yay or Nay?
Facial recognition has become a hot topic lately, especially as the discussion around privacy continues to evolve.
A public school in New York's Lockport City School District was supposed to be the first school to adopt a pilot program that would've used facial recognition software on students, which sounds totally ethical.
The program which raised some serious privacy concerns has since been put on hold temporarily by the New York State Department of Education.
This prospective surveillance state story comes a week after JetBlue customers complained about cameras taking pictures of them as they were boarding their flights.
And no one should, or could forget about how easy it was for the experiment that spurred The Privacy Project allowed for cheap facial recognition to identify where (and who) professionals were as they traveled near Bryant Park.
Will The Entire World Get on Board With Entireworld?
What does the future of e-commerce look like, could it be that it looks like the category-less kind of zany The Entireworld brand?
Phillip definitely seems to think so, and apparently so does Nike.
"The future of e-commerce is a model that goes beyond the traditional checkout model"
Nike has set up a website that is very much in line with the layout of Entireworld and acts as a brand-bible that is basically a guide to materials and ethos and brand position for Nike.
This Show is All About Ulta: They're Killing The Merchandising Game:
Ulta: The Sephora alternative with pretty much everything, and seemingly immune from the broader "retail apocalypse".
So what is different about Ulta, why is Yahoo Finance calling them a "Diamond in the Rough?"
Here are some important data points: Ulta has grown exponentially: The stock has grown 3,845% over the last ten years, and now has over 25,000 products across 500 brands.
And according to Phillip where Ulta really excels is in their merchandising, and the experience of the store itself.
Brian says that Ulta's surge probably has to do with how many hair products Phillip purchases there.
Ulta has its products laid out by brand and offers in-house salon services where customers can actually experience those products.
Walmart Hires a New CTO With Some Extra Responsibilities:
Future Commerce is a big fan of former Walmart CTO (and current SVP of Technology at Pinterest) Jeremy King, and we were really interested to see who would replace him at Walmart.
And Jeremy King's replacement (who also will have the title of CDO) Suresh Kumar, has an incredibly impressive resume at top tech companies, including Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and IBM.
Three years ago Future Commerce was talking about Walmart as an acquisition apparel company, and now they're basically a tech company that happens to sell things
Brian says that Walmart has become more than just a thorn in Amazon's side.
Try-Before-You-Buy: Giving Customers The Option to Return Nets Bonobos Gains:
Bonobos try-before-you-buy model, similar to the ones utilized by companies like Stitch Fix, seems to be working really well for them.
Here's the way Bonobos brick-and-mortar presence works: the brand uses a showroom model, called guide stores, in which customers can try on clothes before they are shipped to their homes.
And it seems to be working: according to Retail Dive 35% percent of the service users of Bonobos using this service are new customers, which means that brick-and-mortar is certainly helping this formerly online-only brand.
And as Brian says, the best thing about Bonobos is how much they've grown under Walmart's wing, they're up 74% from August 2017, and up 34% from the year prior.
Phillip says this is all great, but none of these brands is using out of the box software, and e-commerce platforms are incredibly behind current expectations of customers.\ So we love to hear from our listeners: What does the e-commerce experience look like for your brand?
Let us know in the content section on Futurecommerce.fm, or reach out to us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Linkedin.\ Any questions, comments or inquiries, can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.