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Episode 100
March 29, 2019

I'm Lovin' It: Upselling french fries in the age of personalization

In this episode, we unpack Instagram and Pinterest: Is social commerce the new "dot-com"? Can a fast food chain be a good steward of an AI-based startup? Plus: Glossier and Rent the Runway go Unicorn, Apple Credit, and Jeremy King leaves Walmart.

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In this episode, we unpack Instagram and Pinterest: is social commerce the new "dot-com"? Can a fast food chain be a good steward of an AI-based startup? Plus: Glossier and Rent the Runway go Unicorn, Apple Credit, and Jeremy King leaves Walmart.

Show Notes:

Main Takeaways:

  • It's our 100th episode, cue the confetti and champagne!
  • McDonald's acquires personalization company Dynamic Yield, and it's an interesting choice to say the least.
  • Levi's going public? Crapple? How much more can we talk about this?
  • Apple Credit is on its way in, will it be less terrible than everyone thinks it will be?
  • Two female-focused (and founded) amazing brands hit unicorn status, which is super awesome.

Is Mcdonalds Secretly a Tech Company That Serves Burgers?

  • There's so many McDonalds jokes to be made it's not even funny, most of them about obesity and high blood pressure.
  • The news of the week is McDonald's acquiring professional service/personalization company, Venture Yield, which has some people scratching their heads in confusion.
  • Brian says McDonald's is a technology company that serves hamburgers, Phillip does not react well to this.
  • Hot take: It is cheaper for McDonald's to acquire Dynamic Yield for 300M and let it enable all of its programs on the personalization front, and still allow the company to operate as a personalization engine to the masses writ large in e-commerce.
  • Essentially it is cheaper for them to acquire Dynamic Yield then it would be to contract with them in the next three to five years.
  • And maybe this acquisition is a talent play so McDonald's can use Dynamic Yield's personalization capabilities to be able to make a play in the future economy.
  • However, can McDonald's, being well McDonald's actually be good stewards of this brand when they can't even be good stewards of their milkshake machine?
  • Brian makes the point that Dynamic Yield may actually help McDonald's make their customer experience better.

Is Dot-Com Going The Way of The Dodo?

  • Jeremy King is leaving Walmart, and heading to Pinterest.
  • Phillip says Instagram commerce is Commerce 3.0.
  • Pinterest is back in the commerce game, just in time for their impending IPO, and it's basically 2016.
  • Phillip says commerce on Instagram and Pinterest will eliminate the need for websites, especially with the discovery elements on these platforms, and it's Amazon's worst nightmare.
  • What about Shopify? Shopify could be a pretty big threat to Amazon as well, and it's the cereal of choice for private equity, and VC backed D2C brands.
  • Brian makes the point that dot-com will still be necessary in the future for certain types of purchases and will be part of a brand's strategy for future growth.
  • Phillip compares dot-com to fax machines, which is pretty great, and says that brands will not need to heavily invest in dot-com because websites are not aiding in discovery.

Pinterest Signals a Step Towards Better Tech by Hiring Jeremy King:

  • Jeremy is King moving over to Pinterest signals that they are looking to level up their tech game, through technology platform and developer adoption.
  • Could Pinterest see a similar technological revolution to Walmart?
  • Phillip throws out vague sports references
  • Warning: retailers really shouldn't miss the bus on Instagram like they did on Amazon, it will be a huge mistake, huge.
  • Phillip tries to buy sneakers, which is shocking but there's a story: somehow purchasing through the Nike app is not as seamless as it seems, and Phillip almost ended up with four pairs of the same sneakers.

Apple is Not a Bank: Stop Pretending This is Real

  • So why should we care about Apple credit?
  • Brian questions whether Phillip wants to talk about this at all.
  • Shoutout to Brian
  • Commerce impact: To get the rewards at the reward rate you have to use Apple Pay as opposed to the titanium card, which will make Apple loyalist demand that retailers accept Apple Pay anywhere.
  • Brian throws shade at Apple loyalists.
  • Apple is basically just a money machine at this point, but at least Apple Credit seems better than the Apple home speaker.
  • Brian and Phillip are not qualified to talk about finance or banking or budgeting systems.

News Stories of The Week: It's Pretty Crazy Out There:

Brian: [00:01:18] Welcome to Future Commerce, the podcast about cutting edge and next generation commerce. I'm Brian.

Phillip: [00:01:23] And I'm Phillip.

Brian: [00:01:25] Today we have another exciting show. Actually show 100.

Phillip: [00:01:30] This is it. One hundred. Wow. One hundred episodes.

Brian: [00:01:33] One hundred episodes. One hundred episodes in the books.

Phillip: [00:01:35] Congratulations, Brian. I will give you a virtual... We'll clink glasses from a couple thousand miles away from each other.

Brian: [00:01:43] My coffee mug clinks yours.

Phillip: [00:01:44] And my can of bubbly. Holy cow. Okay. Well, I wanted to do something really special for one hundredth episode, but instead we're going to talk about...

Brian: [00:01:57] Crazy stuff that's going on.

Phillip: [00:01:58] Crazy stuff. It's not like we don't know what's happening in the world. It's just, you know, how much more can you possibly talk about Levi's going public? How much more can we possibly talk about...

Brian: [00:02:10] Apple Credit...

Phillip: [00:02:10] I want to talk about those things. But if we...

Brian: [00:02:17] Do you? Do you really want to talk about Apple Credit?

Phillip: [00:02:21] Well, remember, I did predict that Apple is dying a slow and painful death. And people have reminded me that Apple is dying a slow and painful death with 250 billion dollars of cash.

Brian: [00:02:31] I think that's probably why they're dying a slow and very painful death, because when you have 250 billion dollars of cash or whatever it is.... Fact check that one. Then you tend to don't have to hit it as hard. You don't have to crush it.

Phillip: [00:02:53] Oh, sorry, I understated it. I understated it. No, I overstated by a hair as of November 1st it's 237 billion cash on hand. Q1 2019 Outlook, 245 billion cash on hand. Up 3%. You know what, they could put that in a bunch of short term CDs. I feel like they could do better with that investment. Anyway, I'll talk way more about it than I ever wanted to talk about because it doesn't really matter. Do you know what I want to talk about?

Brian: [00:03:21] Yeah, I have a feeling I know what you want to talk about because it's crazy. Crazy. Crazy talk.

Phillip: [00:03:30] I have... So I've been workshopping how I'm even going to possibly do. The news of the week to me, which blew my mind. You know what's all the rage right now in e-commerce is personalization, right? And one of the biggest upstarts and one of the biggest personalization platforms that's getting a lot of attention lately is a company called Dynamic Yield...

Brian: [00:04:00] Yeah. Full steam ahead.

Phillip: [00:04:00] Yes. Yes. Full steam ahead. And Dynamic Yield has just announced that they'd been acquired by Salesforce. No, no...

Brian: [00:04:14] No, no, no. Hold on.

Phillip: [00:04:14] No. By Adobe.

Brian: [00:04:15] By Adobe.

Phillip: [00:04:16] No. By Microsoft. No, no, no, no, no. Oracle. No. It's actually McDonald's.

Brian: [00:04:25] Good ole Mickey Ds.

Phillip: [00:04:27] And you know what I said when I saw that? I said I'm loving it. That's what I said.

Brian: [00:04:36] You know what I said when I saw that? That was more of a WTH, man.

Phillip: [00:04:42] I don't... I do not understand... McDonald's... Ok.

Brian: [00:04:50] So, no, here, here's the thing, man. I think McDonald's is a technology company that happens to serve hamburgers.

Phillip: [00:04:58] Ok. I've just, I just threw up in my mouth a little bit. Not from the McDonald's, but if you ever say that phrase again,.

Brian: [00:05:07] That was. That was my. That was my joke based off your tweet.

Phillip: [00:05:10] I loved it. Oh, my gosh. I just I can't. It's so interesting. There was... I was talking to someone in our industry that, you know, he was basically saying that he did a lot of work back in the day with a real estate developer, and they built skyscrapers in Manhattan, and they found that it was easier and cheaper for them to acquire an electrical company, and to acquire an architect, and to acquire a general contracting sort of group than it was for them to try to outsource all of those pieces. And, you know, his hot take was it is cheaper for McDonald's to acquire Dynamic Yield for 300 million dollars to enable all of its programs that it wants to do on the personalization front and still allow the company to function as a personalization engine to the masses writ large in e-commerce. It is cheaper for them to do that than it would have been for them to contract Dynamic Yield in the next three to five years.

Brian: [00:06:26] And let's be honest, McDonald's is all about doing things that are cheap. So this is an easy decision for them.

Phillip: [00:06:37] Yeah, exactly. I just don't... What if you're CNN, the headline is "McDonald's wants to personalize your fries order." I don't understand what McDonald's is personalizing. No, I understand that every single interaction that happens at a McDonald's nowadays has data behind it. Right?

Brian: [00:06:59] Yeah. Well, no, I mean, think about their app. I mean, McDonald's has invested a ton in their app. They pushed it really hard and actually they've done a really good job. They've done a really, really good job with their app in terms of like adoption and daily usage and, you know, all that. I think they've been really successful. I think they see continued focus on addressing their customers and what their customers want. And so I think this kind of makes sense. I also think about this... We talk about talent acquisition a lot. You know, this is actually... If McDonald's wants to play in the future economy, they're going to need the skillset that Dynamic Yield brings to the table. So I think there might be a little bit of a talent play here as well. If Wal-Mart is acquiring Jet for three billion dollars, and a good chunk of that was just getting Mark Laurie on the team and his team on the team. To me, this is like the McDonald's way of doing that, which is 300 million dollars instead of three billion dollars.

Phillip: [00:08:11] Here's the difference, though, is that Dynamic Yield is a startup... When McDonald's acquires a large portion of, or invests in a company, like Chipotle, it makes sense, right? Because it's still food service. It's still restaurant experience. It's still within there... It's still within their understanding of the world. This is a professional services business with A.I. and machine learning, e-commerce services tooling. And very large clients. Right? Dynamic Yield powers a lot of really interesting direct to consumer brands, powers a lot of actually large media outlets.

Brian: [00:09:00] Yeah.

Phillip: [00:09:02] It's very interesting to me... Can they be good stewards? Wal-Mart can be a good steward of Jet because fundamentally Jet was a retailer, was a marketplace, right? That makes it a lot harder of a leap for me to understand the company whose milkshake machine is always broken being able to run...

Brian: [00:09:24] I feel like when Wal-mart acquired Jet, it was actually not... They weren't stewarding Jet. They were asking Jet to steward them.

Phillip: [00:09:33] That's a great point. What can Dynamic Yield teach a company like McDonald's?

Brian: [00:09:38] Right. Exactly. I think that there are opportunities, in terms of customer engagement, because if McDonald's tagline is, "I'm loving it," their entire goal is to get their customers to love what it is that they're purchasing. And so Dynamic Yield is the type of tool that I think can help drive people towards making purchases they're going to love. If you can love anything from McDonald's.

Phillip: [00:10:08] I mean, if you love obesity and high blood pressure and diabetes, then you're going to love Dynamic Yield. I wonder if you can split test the effects of high blood pressure... I don't know where I'm going with that. So, OK. It's a multivariate test...

Brian: [00:10:31] It's multivariate test. Yeah.

Phillip: [00:10:33] Takes a long time to...

Brian: [00:10:35] Evolutionary algorithms...

Phillip: [00:10:37] have something that, you know, reaches statistical significance. I have a very interesting... So you already talked about Wal-Mart, right? You segued us into the Wal-Mart conversation.

Brian: [00:10:48] I really did.

Phillip: [00:10:49] This is a big deal. Jeremy King is leaving Wal-Mart.

Brian: [00:10:54] Jeremy King, who I think we need to get on the show.

Phillip: [00:11:00] He seems like he might be more available nowadays.

Brian: [00:11:02] Yeah. Being the CTO of Wal-Mart...definitely a pretty big job. However, being in charge of commerce at Pinterest...also a pretty big deal. I don't know if it's just commerce that he's involved in there, but he's headed to Pinterest, which is really interesting because Pinterest is back in the commerce game.

Phillip: [00:11:23] They're back in the commerce game, baby. It's like it's 2016 again. People are gonna buy stuff online. That's what we're doing.

Brian: [00:11:32] Social commerce. Back in action.

Phillip: [00:11:35] Do you know what's awesome about this? That Pinterest got there before Instagram, and but Instagram is the one with the big story here. I said on this show, and we really need to figure out how we can be able to resurrect clips like this, because I've said it before. Instagram commerce is Commerce 3.0, is E-commerce 3.0. Commerce on Instagram will obviate the need to have a dot com domain. It is the thing that is the next...

Brian: [00:12:14] Portion, yeah.

Phillip: [00:12:14] Right. Because I... Product discovery happens on Instagram already. That is already happening. Eyeballs are on Instagram, Amazon and YouTube and that's it. That is the new normal. And so being able to purchase directly on Instagram and having an interesting... I've skipped right past Pinterest here, but Pinterest also has integration to actual e-commerce platforms, which Instagram is not there yet. Instagram has a small pilot with like twenty three different brands, like Zara, but and Nike and Adidas, and all the others. What's really interesting is the world that we're migrating towards is the existential threat for Amazon, right? It is the only thing that we have that can rival that. It's the check and balance to...

Brian: [00:13:01] Not the only thing.

Phillip: [00:13:03] It is kind of. It really is.

Brian: [00:13:04] And what about? What about Shopify? I mean, Shopify has created, and I think they've got an opportunity to play this game, as well. Will they do it? Will they do it? I don't know. But I think there are other places that that threat could come from.

Phillip: [00:13:21] It's very interesting that you bring up the Shopify name because we're talking about... So, the charter of our podcast is talking about Future Commerce. I think that's really interesting because Shopify seems to be the tool of choice for private equity and venture capital backed retail brands and direct to consumer brands.

Brian: [00:13:43] Right.

Phillip: [00:13:45] We've had a number of them on the show. It probably is the future, or at least near-term mid-term future, for a lot of brands in existence right now. So I think that that's a very interesting insight. Also, Pinterest... Shopify is a launch partner for Pinterest e-commerce integration where guess what? The Oracles in Adobe's of the world aren't.

Brian: [00:14:06] Right.

Phillip: [00:14:09] And I think there's a natural market fit. It's not that, you know, you're talking about aged legacy brands. I think that Oracle has a place in the world. Salesforce has a place in the world. Adobe has a place in the world. But when you're talking about the high growth, rapid direct to consumer growth phase of a business that is venture backed, what platform are you going to choose? Because that is a direct Venn diagram. It's the intersection of the world of direct to consumer and the things that are experiential that can be shared on platforms like Pinterest and Instagram.

Brian: [00:14:48] And actually to me, this sort of contradicts a little bit the point that you made earlier, which is is not necessary. I actually do think the is going to continue to be necessary for certain types of purchasing. And having a will be an important part of your strategy for future growth. Because, yes, well, a lot of purchasing is going to happen on Instagram. And a lot's just like Amazon. You don't want to put too much into one channel. You need to have your own direct channel, as well.

Phillip: [00:15:22] I mean, I'm not saying like dies. I went to...

Brian: [00:15:26] Well you kind of were saying that.

Phillip: [00:15:28] I think, listen, I mean, fax machines still exist, right? I went to the...

Brian: [00:15:34] No, no, no. That's basically saying it's dead. I disagree with you. I don't think that. I think there's a place for your own specific channel.

Phillip: [00:15:42] You go to a car dealer, right? And what did they print your car title on? A ball head impact printer that is a web fed, tearaway, hole punch, you know, in triplicate, carbon copy piece of paper. What I'm saying is that these technologies will live for ever. Like they'll be around for ages. Dot coms will be around for ages, but I think that there is less of a need in the next five years for a direct to consumer brand who exists more in the minds of the consumer on Instagram than they do anywhere else already, there is less of a need to heavily invest in dot com and traffic building to get you to a dot com in a world where SEO doesn't even really matter anymore. Direct, organic traffic from Google doesn't even really happen anymore. If you're not on Amazon and Instagram and YouTube, you don't really exist in the mind of the consumer because that's where they're discovering you. You understand what I'm saying?

Brian: [00:16:48] I 100% understand what you're saying. I think that you're right. I think that my addendum to what you're saying is that these brands need to protect themselves, and the way to do that is to ensure that they continue to have their own selling channels, as well. And I think that there are ways of driving traffic to your site and having purchase happen on your site that are going to continue to be necessary good and forward thinking methodologies. You're saying that dot com is going the way of the dodo. I think that dot com is not. I think that dot com is going to morph and change. It's going to look different than it did over the past 20 years. But it's definitely got a future, a strong future in that it is your direct selling channel, and you need to protect it and build it and grow it just like you would any other channel. But I do agree with you in that discovery, and you're going to have to have an entire strategy around this, and a lot of people already do, but discovering and purchasing of initial...that's all going to happen on Instagram, Facebook and Amazon. And Instagram, like you said, is really... What they're doing is they're providing competition for Amazon.

Phillip: [00:18:16] They really are. Yeah. They really are.

Phillip: [00:20:04] When you look at Pinterest and you look at a talent acquisition like Jeremy King, who has done this many times, Wal-mart Labs, Wal-mart proper... Having someone of that stature come over to a team like Pinterest signals that Pinterest really, really understands that what they need is technology platform,.. developer adoption... You know, Jeremy King brought open source ethos to Wal-Mart.

Brian: [00:20:30] Eight years ago, no less.

Phillip: [00:20:32] And led a technological revolution. Wal-Mart is a major contributor to a lot of open source stacks that modern e-commerce platforms depend on, including Shopify. So I think that that's a very big story, and it's something that we'll all be keeping our eyes on. You're definitely not going to... If I were to sit down and part of my full time everyday job is to give strategy to big brands... And so I'm not saying to anyone, "Don't fund your site development." What I am telling people is you lead the receiver. Right? You throw to where the receiver is going to be, not where he is at the moment. You skate to where the puck's gonna be, or whatever the idiom is...sports ball. I'm terrible at sports. So you get to where you're gonna be, you need to have a strategy for what two years from now looks like.

Brian: [00:21:34] Yeah. Totally.

Phillip: [00:21:35] And I think Instagram being an actual part of your omni channel strategy, and probably a big part of that is as important as you know, as... Like, don't miss this bus the way that you probably missed Amazon.

Brian: [00:21:46] Exactly. Exactly.

Phillip: [00:21:48] Don't under invest in and discount the influence of a channel like the Instagram or Pinterest...

Brian: [00:21:57] This is as big as back when, you know, you could advertise on Google and it was like printing money.

Phillip: [00:22:03] You know, it really was. It really was. But you know what? Those things don't last forever either.

Brian: [00:22:09] Right. This is another thing. Google is going to feel he's here as well, for sure. I mean, this is...

Phillip: [00:22:13] Big time.

Brian: [00:22:13] Between Amazon and Instagram and Shopify and, you know, and things that are happening right now... Pinterest... Google is actually probably going to take the most heat. Think about it. Amazon's about to swipe away a significant portion of Google's ad revenue. And let's not forget, most of Google's revenue still comes from ads.

Phillip: [00:22:39] Oh, totally. And you know what? More so these days from things like Google shopping, right?

Brian: [00:22:44] Right.

Phillip: [00:22:44] So people want to interact, and they want to have a marketplace like experience where they can do price comparison. I shop. I do all kinds of shopping on Google. But I do it when I don't already have a relationship with the brand that I'll go to directly for things that are effectively specialty items that I don't really care where I get it from. That's not every single interaction that I have.

Brian: [00:23:10] Yeah. I...

Phillip: [00:23:10] It's definitely a tertiary experience for me. And sometimes when you go to the brands direct, even when they have you as like a brand enthusiast, you have bad experiences. So I still want to shop at Amazon, right? I don't necessarily want to go to Google shopping to find the cheapest price that's, you know, Joe's no name warehouse where I don't know what kind of experience I'll get is. And even then. Right. Even when you are a brand loyalist and you shop directly with them and they're name brands that you love that you have great experience with in the past, they still can fail you. I was moaning on Twitter because I had this issue with Nike. We were talking about having people shop in omni channel fashion, right?

Phillip: [00:23:59] So, one of the strategies for a brand is, you know, I'll acquire you through a paid channel and then I'll keep you as a loyal consumer and make your CLTV, your customer lifetime value, improve over time by marketing direct to you and getting you to purchase direct without me having to spend more money to get you back to the site again. And I am that consumer. So Nike sends me a push notification through their app, which is installed on my phone. And they say we're having a 50% off flash sale today only. This is Monday, the 25th. And I was like, "Oh, sweet, let's go see what's on sale." The running shoe I've been looking at, which is in my cart right now, is now 50% off. That's awesome. I'm gonna buy it. And, you know, I click "buy" and it says an error occurred, and I click "buy" again, and an error occurred. And I'm like, "What is this?" So I'm like, "What payment method do I have? Oh, it's PayPal." I try it one more time. An error occurred. I'm like, "You know what? Let me just try to switch it to Amex," and then I put my Amex in, and it's like, "Oh, the order went through." Awesome. And so, Phillip goes to sleep, wakes up on Tuesday morning, and four shipment notifications for four of the same exact shoe, in the same size, in the same color way, in four different shipments, and four separate payments even though I got three different error messages from...

Brian: [00:25:25] I'm surprised that they didn't get fined as fraud or something like that.

Phillip: [00:25:27] I don't understand how a brand, even like Nike, can have that poor... Like, I expect that from Joe's no name running warehouse. I don't expect that from Nike. And do you know what you what the funniest thing is? The first thing I tried to do, I tried to buy on Instagram. I'm not even kidding. When I got that push notification, I didn't go straight to the app. I was like, "Oh, you know what? They're on Instagram now, let me see if I can buy it there first." And I couldn't find it. I couldn't find a way to shop on Instagram from Nike because I wanted to try it. Anyway.

Brian: [00:25:59] I wonder also if their sales would carry over from their app and experience to Instagram. There's gonna be some questions there. I know that I don't think you can do that with Amazon right now. It'll be really interesting to see how promotional, promotional and marketing content flow back and forth across all of your channels...

Phillip: [00:26:28] And if you want to encourage...

Brian: [00:26:30] Yeah.

Phillip: [00:26:30] That's kind of...that is one way to build a lot of engagement is to get a cross-channel customer. You want them to sort of operate independently. And so if you want me to buy through the app, you're gonna buy an app only sale. If you want to buy through Instagram, you're going to have an Instagram only sale. Anyway.

Brian: [00:26:48] Interesting. Interesting. I have another story that sort of relates back to like buying it through a channel like Amazon or Instagram vs. versus buying direct from the brands experience. And so my wife was going to buy a pair of Birkenstocks, and she was looking around. She didn't think to go to first. She went around and looked at some different sites first. And she found some on Amazon that she liked, and they were like $20 cheaper than everywhere else. And she was like, "Hmm that's weird." And being a savvy shopper, she just did a quick search. And it sounds like there's a lot of people that are kind of skeptical of Birkenstocks sales on Amazon, saying that they felt like they were knockoffs. And she's like, "Well, how do I? Do I want to even risk this? And I was like, "Oh, you should go to the brand site and just buy from there." And she was like, "Yeah, I'm going to do that." And so she ended up buying from the dot com experience because actually she was nervous just based off of a quick search. And who knows if it's true or not. But just like her initial reaction, like first thing she found when she searched was that people were concerned that the ones on Amazon were knockoffs.

Brian: [00:27:59] Definitely something to consider as people go start to sell on on Instagram. If you're not an actual, if you're not like the verified seller or not even a verified seller, but if you're not the brand experience on those sites, and you're a reseller or an influencer that's selling maybe through something... That's something that they're gonna have to consider. Are people going to trust the sellers as they make the purchases? Are they going to go direct to the brand's experience on Instagram or whatever, and it'll be interesting to see how Instagram handles that. For instance, the Target marketplace that they're about to open, or have opened now, is invite only. And so you're only going to get specific brand experiences. I wonder if Amazon and Instagram and Pinterest could suffer from eBay's syndrome where people were unsure of the purchase and started to get really nervous that they were getting knockoffs or that they were gonna get even like fraud and other things like that. Obviously, I think that's not happening too much on Amazon right now, but that knockoff thing is a big deal.

Phillip: [00:29:18] For sure. I think that's why you have those official... That is definitely why the Instagram approach is a lot more cautious in its partnership. And they're saying it's like a soft launch. Right?

Brian: [00:29:29] Well it is right now. It is right now. But I'm saying once they get opened up, is it really going to be this free for all where influencers can sell whatever they want, you know? Is anyone going to be able to sell or is it going to continue to be a very curated experience? I'm curious to see what happens.

Phillip: [00:29:51] Okay. Well, we'll wait and see. Lots happening on that space. Something that... Well, I... We sort of talked about the Apple Credit thing. I do want to touch on that.

Brian: [00:30:02] Do you I mean, do you?

Phillip: [00:30:07] I don't care about Apple TV Plus. I don't care about the Apple News Plus. I don't care. I don't care about Google Plus. I don't care about any of the pluses. But I do care... I kind of care a little bit about Apple Credit. And there's a lot of people who've said a lot cooler things about it. Brian Romley, in particular, who was on the show...

Brian: [00:30:33] It's time to get Romley back on the show.

Phillip: [00:30:35] I want to get it back on the... Brian, call us baby. I'd love to have his take. He's got a great way of breaking things like this down. I really like the partnership aspect. Apple is not a bank now. It is a co-branded card. It's Goldman Sachs. It's a very Apple like experience. What I sort of love is the idea... OK, you want the commerce impact and why I care about this? I love the idea that to get the rewards at the reward rate, you can't use the actual titanium card. You have to use Apple Pay.

Brian: [00:31:13] Right.

Phillip: [00:31:13] And what will that do to the U.S. consumer? It will make them demand NFC payments everywhere that they shop.

Brian: [00:31:20] Right.

Phillip: [00:31:21] And that I care about, because I've very slowly through my pixel three, through my Google pixel Excel, I try to pay with my Google Pay everywhere. And it pretty much works everywhere it's accepted. It's just not accepted everywhere. So I do think that that will have an effect in the next few years in retailer adoption of contactless payments. So that's what I'm hoping to see come out of it. You know, it's kind of a crappy rewards program.

Brian: [00:32:05] Yeah, I mean. Yeah. If you're an Apple consumer and you're an Apple loyalist and you want to just live in one world, I could see you signing up for this. Obviously, that's a pretty specific set of people. I think they've got money, though, which is good for Apple. And honestly, I mean, this makes sense for Apple because they're just... it's just a money machine. Yeah. So why wouldn't they do it right? It's a no brainer for Apple, as long as they get a certain amount of adoption, which they will. You know, they're just gonna make money. It's definitely a better... I think that this is a better first step into this than their home speaker was. Thier... the Apple... I don't even know the name of it now. Do you even care about that device anymore?

Phillip: [00:33:08] I mean, I don't.

Brian: [00:33:09] Nobody does. But my point is, I think everyone said that about that speaker. I think this is better than that in that it's going to be just cashing in. For them, it's a no brainer.

Phillip: [00:33:27] How far are we from? I don't know... Remember, we talked about a year and a half ago about the customer satisfaction ratings of some of the Apple devices that were heralded as, you know, monumental failures, like ear pods, or AirPods...

Brian: [00:33:47] Wait, AirPods weren't heralded as a failure were they?

Phillip: [00:33:50] Well people... There was a serious meme culture for a little while, and its early days of they're easy to lose... There was this whole sort of outrage against it. I was always bullish on it.

Brian: [00:34:05] I think everyon that actually used them were bullish on them.

Phillip: [00:34:08] That was the thing. It was getting people to actually just accept that it's a thing that they should try.

Brian: [00:34:12] Yeah.

Phillip: [00:34:14] I have to wonder if there's gonna be a similar... Is it sort of the Apple fanboy... Are people just... It's the emperor's clothes. No one wants to admit that the Apple product that they just got is actually really bad. They don't want to be the first to admit it, so everybody just kind of goes along with it. I don't know. I have... Maybe I'm just that guy. I kind of want to try it. I love the idea of having an app that is directly connected to all of my financial information and having a daily budget that's enforceable with a click of a button. That's like, oh, here's my cash for the day that I can spend. Yeah. And only being able to spend that. Putting some some walls up around how I budget. Having instant access to rewards. Those all sound like things that banks should probably do anyway.

Brian: [00:35:09] Agreed.

Phillip: [00:35:09] Maybe this puts a little bit of pressure from the consumer...

Brian: [00:35:11] Or is it banks that are the ones that should be doing that? Or is it actually retailers and technology providers? I'm not sure if banks... I don't know if they're the ones that should be building those experiences.

Phillip: [00:35:24] I know. I know one thing for sure. You and I are not qualified to talk about this. Let's have someone else come on and talk about. I love the idea and the conversation. And I want to see more pervasive acceptance of contactless payment.

Brian: [00:35:37] I am interested to see what happens when... And I know, Amazon already has like a branded card, but I am interested to see what happens when Amazon starts to get serious about programs like this. You know, more than just the card, but to build out budgeting systems and things like that. It will be interesting. So anyway. Let's keep our eye on this one and definitely, I agree with you...let's get Romley on or someone else to Ramiliana on our or someone else who can speak to this more than we can.

Phillip: [00:36:18] There are a few other news stories I want to make sure we do some justice to before we wrap up. We've been trying to not do hour long episodes. We're trying to listen to you. And I feel like we've had some really great insight on this one. So a couple of things I want to hit real quick. I think we mentioned right at top of the show, you know, Levi's goes public. There are just like a bunch of really interesting news stories in the past week. You know, one that we put out on our social media, on Instagram and Twitter and LinkedIn... UPS is partnering with some no name block chain company I've never heard of, called Inxeption Zippy, which just is the worst name ever, to build a block chain capable B2B e-commerce platform. UPS of all people? That's almost as bad as fast food multivariate testing.

Brian: [00:37:17] I like the fast food multivariate testing.

Phillip: [00:37:21] I kind of like the idea... I kind of like the idea of UPS being in this business because it would be a different player who has a new take on it. And UPS is a trusted name in B2B.

Brian: [00:37:33] I can't help but feel this is not going to pick up steam.

Phillip: [00:37:36] Yeah, if you're going to choose a partner to only do a press release with and never do anything concrete, Inxeption Zippy sounds like the right partner to choose. It's a great press release, but nothing more than that. Also, we probably could have done a lot more around this...

Brian: [00:37:58] No, maybe we should save this for our next episode. Well, let's just touch on it and then maybe we can get a little further in it later.

Phillip: [00:38:04] Yeah, yeah, yeah. For sure. Well, I mean, I want to unpack a bunch of new stuff. I do think I'd like to, before we wrap up, mention Rent the Runway now joins the elite club, like Glossier, in female founded unicorns, which is companies who've hit over a billion dollar valuation. And so earlier last week, Glossier hit unicorn status at 1.2 billion dollar valuation and now Rent the Runway is there, as well.

Brian: [00:38:35] Rent the Runway picked up some investment from Franklin Templeton and Bain. So, yeah.

Phillip: [00:38:41] So congratulations both to Glossier founder CEO, Emily Weiss, and Rent the  Runway's co-founder, CEO Jennifer Hyman and Jennifer Fleiss also. So very, very cool. And you know what I love about Rent the Runway? It's in that sort of the vein of the second hand commerce being almost like it's not even a renaissance. It's like a first outing. It's something we've been talking about for over a year, that it's just part of the cultural zeitgeist now to have something secondhand and not be ashamed of it. And that's kind of a... that's an important part of, I think, a brand new sort of a breed of business. And the fact that we have a billion dollar valued business in this space is kind of...

Brian: [00:39:35] Yeah, totally. Absolutely. I feel like secondhand commerce has been one of our top three themes of the past year, actually.

Phillip: [00:39:44] Oh, yeah, for sure. For sure. Well, what can we say? We're pretty smart. We know how to tell a future.

Brian: [00:39:52] He says modestly.

Phillip: [00:39:55] He said of himself with all the humility he could muster. Awesome. You know, actually, I'd love to... You know, he's a big fan of Rent the Runway and Glossier is Lianne Hikind. I'd love to get her take on some of these as well, as well as some other folks in our network. We have some interesting new voices we're gonna be bringing to you pretty soon. So stay tuned in the next couple of months. We're going to be doing a lot more analysis and have other people lend their voice and their opinion to our shows. We'd love it if you want to help us build that content. We'd love to hear from you. And you can reach out to us at media@FutureCommerce,fm. So I'd love to hear from you.

Brian: [00:40:42] To start with, just a little tidbit there. If you made it this far. Well, thanks for listening, Future Commerce. We're always looking for feedback, so don't hesitate to give us a little bit of feedback on our site or anywhere you can find us. Twitter. LinkedIn. Anywhere.

Phillip: [00:40:59] And Instagram.

Phillip: [00:41:01] Instagram and definitely. We're really investing in Instagram right now. And as always, you can find us on Apple podcast, Google podcasts or anywhere else. So don't hesitate to head over there. Subscribe. Leave us to review, all the above. And we just we love your feedback and we're using it to guide the content of our show. Hopefully that's really clear. So thank you very much for listening. Phillip, you want to end the show?

Phillip: [00:41:29] Yeah. Retail tech moves fast...

Brian: [00:41:32] But Future Commerce is moving faster.

Phillip: [00:41:33] Cue the music...

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