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Episode 226
October 15, 2021

In-Store is the Next Frontier for Digital

Today on the show we talk about the store opening of Aime Leon Dore, the good, bad and ugly from Brian’s perspective. PLUS: we’re joined by Roland Gossage to talk about the next generation of site search, and building the customer experience. Listen now!

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this episode sponsored by

The Modernity of Site Search

  • We recount Brian’s visit to Aime Leon Dore’s flagship store in Soho, talk about the store design, the need for physical retail for “anchoring” the ultimate vision of a brand.
  • We contrast the store design of ALD with another Soho shopping experience: Shinola. 
  • The future of digital requires having a physical experience. Brian’s ALD experience will likely drive future digital purchases.
  • We’re in a brave new world of being introduced to brands. Price doesn’t matter anymore. User accessibility is what’s important. 
  • “In-store is the next frontier for digital.”- Brian
  • There is still a lot of opportunity to optimize the experience for shoppers, if stores are able to create a seamless instore and online experience there would be a lot more growth.
  • GroupBy’s Roland Gossage joins the show to talk about the past, present, and future of customer journey orchestration, and the tools that help us do that today. The GroupBy Product Discovery Platform powered by Google Cloud Retail AI drives the world’s most relevant and highly converting eCommerce websites. 
  • In the beginning days of eCommerce, it was all about working to create an online experience and seeing it would work. Now, twenty years later, the game has changed.
  • “80% of clients who hit a website that have a poor user experience are likely to never return. So the stakes are much higher.” -Roland
  • The market is ready for a plunge. It’s getting bigger and better. Bringing in new waves of technology helps all parts of the market. 
  • “The old analogy was garbage in, garbage out and that still exists today. We realized upfront that we had to solve the data problem first. So we had to create the golden record.” -Roland

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Phillip: [00:01:44] {late night voice} Hello and welcome to Future Commerce. I'm Phillip.

Brian: [00:01:49] I'm Brian. {laughter} Where are we going with this?

Phillip: [00:01:53] This is late night, so we're doing... This is after dark.

Brian: [00:01:56] Oh man.

Phillip: [00:01:57] Future Commerce after dark.

Brian: [00:01:58] We haven't done after dark that way before.

Phillip: [00:02:00] No we haven't.

Brian: [00:02:01] We have after dark.

Phillip: [00:02:02] We're going to have to have some... Chris set the mood music. There's like there's some like really nice saxophone going in the background right now. We have a great show for you. Coming up, we got Roland Gossage, who's going to join us in a little bit and kind of demystify everything you need to know about the modernity of site search. And here's somebody who spent early career at Endeca and is now building GroupBy and a bunch of, a whole suite of customer engagement tools around that platform. And they've been a great partner of ours here, but he'll be on the show a little bit later to break that down. In the meantime, we're breaking down how to pronounce... How do you say it, Brian?

Brian: [00:02:47] Well, I've heard a couple of different things, but according to Complex... Complex. Complex?

Phillip: [00:02:54] Oh no. We've gone down the rabbit hole already. Yeah, according to Complex...

Brian: [00:03:00] According to Complex, it is Aimé Leon Dore (amily on door).

Phillip: [00:03:05] There it is. It's my ex-girlfriend, Emily...

Brian: [00:03:09] On door.

Phillip: [00:03:10] If you put her on the door. It's Emily OnDoor. You spent some time. We were in New York last week and you braved the hour long wait that it took to get into the shop. And how was it? The actual physical retail experience for the famed brand ALD or Aimé Leon Dore?

Brian: [00:03:32] It was good. It was good. I enjoyed it. There was a wait. There was a wait in New York. It was consistently probably a 30 minute wait, maybe more. I think they were limiting the number of people that could be in the store due to COVID. And they also have a cafe in the store.

Phillip: [00:03:56] So people are hanging out.

Brian: [00:03:59] People are hanging out, yeah, yeah.

Phillip: [00:04:03] Let's do this, let's do this. The good, the bad, the ugly,

Brian: [00:04:07] Ok, the good was the product is phenomenal. It's well displayed. It was front and center as it should be. And it was by collection. It was more like sample items in the store. It wasn't like what you see on the rack wasn't their stock. It was just like, then they go back and get it for you which was smart. You can really merchandise the store well. The exterior of the store... So sticking with the good, actually, the cafe was nice. I got a flat white. It was quite nice. I thought it was good.

Phillip: [00:04:53] Nice. {laughter}

Brian: [00:04:54] Yes, that's good. I mean, it wasn't as good as the flat white I got it Culture with you earlier that day.

Phillip: [00:05:01] You were on a string of coffees that day.

Brian: [00:05:04] And then I went to the Nespresso shop after that.

Phillip: [00:05:06] I was so mad. I was so mad because I wanted so badly to get coffee right there. But my Lift had pulled up and I needed to get to the airport. I got to Newark. So anybody who understands New York travel, I made it from 38th and 8th to Newark in like twenty one minutes.

Brian: [00:05:29] That's ridiculous, I've never heard of such a thing.

Phillip: [00:05:31] I have the texts to prove it.

Brian: [00:05:34] Yeah. It doesn't exist. I wouldn't believe it except I was there.

Phillip: [00:05:38] Will Smith in that movie with the zombie vampires...

Brian: [00:05:42] Oh, oh, oh, oh. Yeah. I Am Legend.

Phillip: [00:05:43] ...was the only other person to experience New York with less traffic than I had in I Am Legend.

Brian: [00:05:49] You are a legend.

Phillip: [00:05:51] Had an I Am Legend experience getting to the airport. But anyway, I really wanted to go to Culture and get a drink there. They had this really awesome tote bag. And this is something I've noticed more and more. Michael Miraflor is consistently on Twitter geeking out about tote bags. And so now I notice them and Culture had this really cool tote bag and I was going to pick one up. But then I had to go and then you took off and you went to this great retail experience. So the merchandizing of the store, Aimé Leon Dore... Great.

Brian: [00:06:25] It was good. Yeah, it was good. It was great. The store itself...

Phillip: [00:06:28] The coffee was good.

Brian: [00:06:29] Coffee was good. Wasn't anything particularly special in my opinion. I've been in a lot of retail experiences that are well merchandised.

Phillip: [00:06:38] Well, we're going to contrast it against one we both went into the day before, so we're going to come back.

Brian: [00:06:43] Ok, we'll talk about it in a second. We'll check that in a second. But so it wasn't like it was like particularly incredible. It was good. It was well done. And the products are phenomenal.

Phillip: [00:06:59] You get the hype now.

Brian: [00:07:00] I get the hype. Yeah, the hype is good. The wait in line was a 30 minute wait. So that was probably, you know, I wouldn't call that the bad. That's more of the ugly. And I guess that's part of the experience, though, is like, you know, being in line...

Phillip: [00:07:14] You just skipped a thing. You did the good. That's the only good?

Brian: [00:07:20] Yeah. I think so.

Phillip: [00:07:21] Okay, so the good is...

Brian: [00:07:22] The good is the product, the good is merchandise, the good is the service was good, you know, people were very attentive. Someone came and asked me if I wanted that in a large or whatever it was. Yeah, I mean, it was a well serviced, well run, well, merchandise store with great product. There you go.

Phillip: [00:07:52] Nice. Was there a Porsche 911 signature edition parked anywhere inside the store?

Brian: [00:07:57] I didn't see one. It was a very small. It was a very small store. The merchandise was sort of around the side by collection and there were like hats displayed on top of the collections and in some of the shelving between.

Phillip: [00:08:14] Yeah, they're big on hats.

Brian: [00:08:15] Yeah, shelving between. I'm not a hat guy. I've got a huge head.

Phillip: [00:08:19] Neither am I.

Brian: [00:08:20] Yeah. Well, you have the hair. Yeah, you've got the hair.

Phillip: [00:08:23] So you've got some hair too, brother.

Brian: [00:08:25] I got some. All right now I've got some hair. Let me tell you.

Phillip: [00:08:30] Not pictured. He's got a little bit of a truffula tree kind of a look going on. Very Lorax inspired.

Brian: [00:08:37] When I don't put anything in my hair I look like a little bit of a marshmallow.

Phillip: [00:08:43] I love it. I love it. And then so it's sort of collection based in the store. You're kind of getting a good sense of the whole current collection like the whole season, right? And yeah, OK, there's a try on. They have a dressing room and all that?

Brian: [00:09:08] You know, actually, I didn't even try anything on. I just grabbed my size and I ran. I ran away. I got a pretty, pretty dope shirt.

Phillip: [00:09:22] {laughter} Channeling a little Larry David there. Ok.

Brian: [00:09:26] It was a good shirt.

Phillip: [00:09:27] So what's the bad? What's the bad and the ugly? The bad was the wait, you said.

Brian: [00:09:31] Yeah, the wait. But I mean, that's I guess that's kind of part of the experience. So I won't mark that as a huge notch against it.

Phillip: [00:09:39] I would say it's a reasonable wait, considering Mad Happy opened today or yesterday in Soho and had an like an hour and a half wait, one hundred plus people in line.

Brian: [00:09:51] Yeah, ALD, I mean, ALD's been open for a little bit longer. I bet you the wait was longer when they first opened.

Phillip: [00:09:59] That's probably true. That's probably true.

Brian: [00:10:00] But the fact that they kept it consistent, you know, half an hour, 40 minute wait is actually pretty impressive. It never got shorter. Interesting observation about line. It was about 70 percent male. Very scientific counts.

Phillip: [00:10:17] Very large sample size.

Brian: [00:10:19] Yeah. And I also laughed when a mom and her two boys got in line behind me in Kith. They were dressed to the hilt in Kith and Jordans. I thought that was kind of funny.

Phillip: [00:10:33] Kind of fit the bill.

Brian: [00:10:34] Kind of fit the bill. Did fit the bill. I had people calling out people in line like, "Where'd you get that? Like, when did that drop?" Yeah, this is true. Like it was very much high culture.

Phillip: [00:10:46] It's a scene.

Brian: [00:10:47] It's a total scene.

Phillip: [00:10:47] And the ugly? The store design is completely ruined by scaffolding right now.

Brian: [00:10:51] The facade was a little like meh. There were some...

Phillip: [00:10:57] Worth an eighty five dollar T-shirt ticket? Worth the price of admission?

Brian: [00:11:01] According to Macklemore, no. But according to me, actually, I really liked the shirt that I got.

Phillip: [00:11:07] I'm shocked. I'm like, I'm very, very shocked at you that you like this.

Brian: [00:11:12] I showed you the shirt I got. It's cool, right?

Phillip: [00:11:15] It's so cool. Yeah, OK, we'll post a picture of it up somewhere. I don't actually. You know what? We'll put it up on our Twitter. We'll link it here in the show notes.

Brian: [00:11:22] All I need to do now is buy some of their cords, get some hype Nike's and wear the Kanye puffer jacket and complete the ensemble.

Phillip: [00:11:33] Actually, I disagree a little bit. I feel like what you need is you need the Salehe Bembury Water Be the Guide New Balance. That's what you need.

Brian: [00:11:44] The New Balance. Yeah.

Phillip: [00:11:45] And then you need an Alex Mill canvas worker jacket. You need that with the cords and that t shirt. It's like a whole look.

Brian: [00:11:54] Yeah. It's a whole look.

Phillip: [00:11:55] Anyway, Future Commerce is where... We're so off the rails.

Brian: [00:11:59] The cords are looking hot. I'm like an on the cords.

Phillip: [00:12:02] I'm down with cords coming back.

Brian: [00:12:04] Corduroy pants are not in all the time thing, but when they're on, they're on.

Phillip: [00:12:09] Let's contrast that with the experience. We went to the Shinola. I don't know if it's their flagship. I'm going to guess their flagship is not necessarily in New York City, it's probably in Detroit. But we went to this Shinola store together. We were there.

Phillip: [00:12:22] Yeah.

Brian: [00:12:22] Also in the same week, just this past week. I had never been into a physical retail Shinola experience before. I have seen their products in the real world. Much more impressive, seeing them a) altogether and b) in a nicely designed store. It was a pretty awesome retail experience. Would you say the store is, the Shinola store is much bigger than ALD?

Brian: [00:12:47] Yes.

Phillip: [00:12:48] Oh yeah. By like, what is the magnitude?

Brian: [00:12:50] Yes, it's a lot bigger. Remember that front area of the Shinola store? Like if you got kind of like the counters and stuff, that's closer to the size of ALD.

Phillip: [00:13:01] No way. Oh, that's small.

Brian: [00:13:03] It's small, man. I'm telling you.

Phillip: [00:13:06] You remember a couple of years ago when I was complaining about Koio on Abbot Kinney and Koio had this, there was literally nowhere to sit down to put on shoes.

Brian: [00:13:14] On the Shinola train. Like, I think their shop was better merchandised, actually.

Phillip: [00:13:20] I mean, they have more to merchandise, for sure.

Brian: [00:13:23] They do well and they have all the bikes. And like, you know, up above.

Phillip: [00:13:27] They've got everything. What's really impressive to me is the way that they've branched out over the years, you know, I mean, they didn't have much apparel, they didn't have much in the way of apparel. And I feel like I think of Shinola as being much more into apparel than hard goods these days. Or maybe that was a prior collection in year or two past.

Brian: [00:13:46] They acquired Filson a while back or whatever or however that happened and Filson's a lot more apparel focused, and I love Filson actually. Talk about incredible merchandizing and in interior.

Phillip: [00:14:03] That company is on a whole other level. We might have done a cross post. There was a Merchant to Merchant episode live at Filson that we did a few years ago, but I don't know if we went into depth about the actual makeup of the store, but getting back to Shinola.

Brian: [00:14:19] Yeah.

Phillip: [00:14:20] I thought that that was an exceptional experience. I think watching them... We did not do the watch building, but we sort of walked by that whole watch building timepiece sort of like assembly section where you can choose a band and you choose...

Brian: [00:14:33] It's really cool.

Phillip: [00:14:34] It's really, really, really well done and home goods, too, really flexing on the home goods. There's a lot for office, which feels like that might be fairly new, given that everybody's working from home and probably tricking out their home office a lot. A lot of like larger timepieces that you might like have for display in your office. Really got the sense of, "Oh wow, gosh, there's so much I could really do here," from like a styling aesthetic perspective. You almost bought a candle which blew my mind.

Brian: [00:15:01] I mean, you could say I almost bought a candle, but I didn't really get that close to buying the candle.

Phillip: [00:15:06] You smelled the candle.

Brian: [00:15:07] I did like that candle a lot. The grass one. It was like grass, musk, and rain, which is very, very Seattle.

Phillip: [00:15:18] Yeah, very, very, very Seattle. And not very Detroit, which would be like motor oil and, you know, crushing poverty.

Brian: [00:15:28] But it's so funny. I feel like Filson like influenced Shinola at some point. And now they just like...

Phillip: [00:15:34] Potentially. Retail in-store experiences, man. I'll tell you, having not experienced these brands in person until very recently, my sense of what they are and what they can be is so much more heightened having been in the physical, I mean, which is stupid, I know that. You know that. Anyone listening to the show knows that. But it's kind of an incredible and magical experience when you have that realization. Shinola was on our list last year of Nine by Nine, right?

Brian: [00:16:10] Yeah, there were. I believe they were. Yeah, or maybe it was Filson. One of the two. But yeah, no. It's interesting that you say this. It's funny because like I was talking to some, I met somebody when I was in New York and she was saying that like, she flew into LaGuardia and she's like, "Yes, I'm back. This is amazing, LaGuardia." And I'm like, sign of the times. We're getting in back to physical retail and it's like so cool, because we haven't, we haven't touched it in so long. And so or at least, you know, beyond our Costco's and grocery stores and in the places that we all frequent in our local communities.

Phillip: [00:16:57] Yeah, it's true. It's super true. Well, Shinola actually made number four on our list of Local Heroes last year in our very first inaugural Nine by Nine. Before we bounce, any last words on physical retail experiences, Brian?

Brian: [00:17:17] Yeah, I had so much coffee in New York while I was there and it was like, coffee shops are so awesome, it just felt so good.

Phillip: [00:17:27] That's a great... {laughter}

Brian: [00:17:29] Yeah. I went to an Nespresso store. Talk about like physical retail.

Phillip: [00:17:33] Yeah, that is an immersive experience.

Brian: [00:17:34] That was incredible. Like the way that they've display all their boxes of espresso is actually really cool. And then they've got their little café. So all in all, I love New York. I love physical retail. It's good to be back. I had so much fun with you on that trip, and I think it was just awesome to be out and about and doing things.

Phillip: [00:18:00] I concur and the physical store openings, I mean, they just kind of keep rolling on. Scotch and Soda is, you know, according to Retail Dive, is opening twenty two new brick and mortar locations, which is just incredible.

Brian: [00:18:18] I walked past one of them. I walked past one of them when I was walking from the train over to ALD.

Phillip: [00:18:27] Yeah, they're sort of popping up everywhere now. It's, you know, a brand also that I kind of fell in love with a few years ago. And after having walked into a physical retail store. I find that to be really, really, really interesting. You know, Amazon is making its footprint a little wider these days. They're going to be building Amazon department stores now. You know, there's a lot happening. In other news, I think HomeGoods was it just launched eCommerce for the first time.

Brian: [00:19:04] Heyo, HomeGoods.

Phillip: [00:19:06] Yeah, digital to physical, physical to digital. It's all back in swing. I feel like you could have recorded this, you know, many, many years ago.

Brian: [00:19:15] In 2019. That's so true.

Phillip: [00:19:16] Very much. Yeah, very, very relevant. Actually, 2019, we would have been talking about retailpocalypse, which is funny because that's less relevant now than it's ever been.

Brian: [00:19:27] That's a really good point to end on [00:19:29]. The retailpocalypse. No longer relevant. It's actually the opposite. We're seeing store openings now, and it's not to say that there isn't still physical retail that's going under and brands that are dying, but nobody cares. I think the part that's exciting is that stuff is opening. Things are popping. There's cool retail experiences now. Finally, we can stop talking about old brands that are dying and talk about new brands that are thriving. Let's do that in 2022. I'm looking forward to next year and seeing what comes about because I think it's going to be pretty cool. [00:20:09]

Phillip: [00:20:09] I agree. We went a little long in this segment, but we know there's so much more for Future Commerce to come. After the break, we'll be joined by Roland Gossage of GroupBy. Please stick around. It's a wonderful conversation that ties the age old practice of designing the language of the web and how the old world and the things we learned from the way that we did site search and the visual language of the web was developed, how that's playing into today and how we're doing that today all over again and how retailers can expect to adapt to the coming changes here. All right, that's it. Roland Gossage up after the break.

Brian: [00:20:48] Hello and welcome to Future Commerce, the podcast about next generation commerce. I'm Brian.

Phillip: [00:20:51] And I'm Phillip. Today we have a great partner organization and we're thankful so much for the support of GroupBy here this year in 2021. But we're just delighted to have the CEO of GroupBy, Roland Gossage, joining us on the show today. Welcome, Roland.

Roland: [00:21:09] Thanks for having me, gentlemen.

Phillip: [00:21:10] And we're going to cover some serious ground here. This is the kind of conversation that I geek out over because I've been in the eCommerce space for a long, long time, long before the platform revolution, long before the SaaS and cloudification of eCommerce and long before the DTC era. You know, back in the day, and this is where everybody rolls their eyes, and I have to be like, "Back in my day..." You had to build this crap from scratch. And Roland, I take it, you've been in this industry for a little while, too. You spent some time in Endeca. You have some you battle scars in the world of commerce, I take it.

Roland: [00:21:52] Oh, absolutely. We've come a long way, obviously in the early 2000s when really just after the dot com bubble and all that and really eCommerce was coming into its sort of first wave of technology. And like you said, most of the stuff was hand built. There was a lot of homegrown. Obviously, the emergence of the first rounds of companies like Endeca, which pioneered things like that left hand or faceted navigation. We were in the sort of early throes of tackling this very hard to solve problem of creating an online experience that was easy to use, cradle to grave. Hit the site to check out in a cohesive manner, especially in those days.

Brian: [00:22:34] And now fast-forward 10-20 years, and we have GroupBy which is, you know, like next level. Tell us a little bit about how things have evolved over these past 20 years since the dot com bubble.

Roland: [00:22:52] Yeah. So it's interesting. And Endeca was a great company. It was a bunch of Harvard and MIT sort of think tank turned into company. It's the reason why I joined. A great set of people. And we created huge innovations that didn't exist before and merging navigation and search and merchandizing and really trying to anticipate how the user wanted to interact with the catalog and the information on the site. A lot of this, again in the early days was all on premise, right? So this was, you know, Bare-Metal, rack servers, all that sort of stuff. And there was a lot of architecture built in to make sure they scaled. Back then with Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it was a white knuckle time of year for people. Obviously, fast forward the move to the Cloud, which we know is an ongoing process. There are still a lot of retailers that we come across that are either in the transition or thinking about it still, and there's a lot of that are fully in the Cloud now, right? They are the early adopters and moved rather quickly, and the Cloud has changed the way the systems themselves work in what an eCommerce team and IT team and now that rise of the Chief Digital Officer which happened, you know, probably the last six or seven years have to worry about. But the games change, right? [00:24:11] The bar has been increased, so much so now where everybody expects that Google-like or that Amazon-like experience on any site they hit. And if you look at the statistics, 80 percent of clients who hit a website that have a poor user experience are likely to never return. So the stakes are even higher, but we have a lot more tools at our disposal. The technology has come a long way to create those new experiences for users. [00:24:41]

Brian: [00:24:41] You know, that's a really good point. Like back in the day, if you hit a website that wasn't great, like a lot of stuff wasn't great. {laughter} And so it was a little bit less scary. Now, if you hit a website that with a poor experience, you're like, "Oh my gosh, what have I gotten myself into?"

Roland: [00:24:59] And the rise of social and things like even Reddit, the abuse that these brands get and the exposure when there's a bad experience, like it hits the board. Before was like eCommerce wasn't even part of marketing, right? They were started as like a little sort of appendage as I called them back in the day. Obviously, we've started to integrate them because it's a holistic part of marketing. But yeah, it was everybody was kind of, you know, using the same worn-out tools to try to do things. But nowadays, obviously, there are definite differences between the top of the food chain and the very bottom.

Phillip: [00:25:38] There is an unbundling of the feature set of Amazon that's kind of happening in eCommerce SaaS over the last few years. We have all of these experiences that, like you said, Roland, there's an expectation from a consumer, "Well, why can't I just have rich search?" Or "Why can't I just have the layered navigation?" These are all things that it's interesting that every eCommerce platform solves for that in some way, but they also solve it poorly. Can I say it that way? I don't know if that's giving them enough credit, but there's a reason why these third party tools can exist and so many of them. Because there's a lot of choices out there right now, in the way that you might solve site search if you're an eCommerce brand.

Roland: [00:26:28] And there's different challenges based on size, scale, complexity of the data, completeness of the data that also factors into it. So there's layers, right? So there's the Shopify BigCommerce sort of thing. I have a handful of products or maybe a thousand products. I do transactions in the millions of dollars. And then you've got the large ones which are doing, you know, 100 million, 50 million, you know, or billion, not million and even three billion, four billion online. We have very different problems and obviously we've also seen the rise of the marketplace. Obviously, Amazon kind of started that. Others have realized to stay competitive that they need to use their endless aisle to truly be endless, which enters a whole new complexity when you get to size and scale where you're doing... Some of the sites that we power might see in a single second eight thousand search queries per second. And solving that at scale when you have millions of products and making sure that every search is relevant is actually quite difficult, right? Amazon, who everybody talks about, has thousands of developers working on search. Most retailers can't put that kind of horsepower behind it, which is also why they turn to partners like ourselves to help them with that problem. That includes also the platform plays because they know that they have to build sort of an end to end, but allow an ecosystem to do some best of breed as well, which we also see in the market.

Phillip: [00:27:59] Complete bunny trail here, but I saw a TikTok recently where there is someone who was like, "Yeah, I'm a Product Manager at at Google." "Oh yeah, what product?" "Oh, it's actually the apps the Google apps like Button on your Gmail. It's like the nine little dots that you click on in like a square and then it like shows you all the apps." And it's like, "Oh, that's cool. What does a product manager over that do?" "Well, actually, technically, I'm a product manager for the like top left most dot of the nine dots." And it's like, that's the kind of poking fun at the fact that these are thousands of people that work on these types of products. You know, I think that's kind of funny, but I would assume that, you know, a company like yourself is building a digital product has a very similar structure, probably of a different size, different scale. But you've got a bunch of different products in your search suite, and you're probably thinking intensely about how you can solve small challenges on, you know, every part of it so that an eCommerce merchant doesn't have to.

Brian: [00:29:10] Yeah, actually, you're in several different places that, you know, kind of even beyond search. Like you're sort of addressing in a number of different ecosystems. Which ecosystems are you in and what challenges are you seeing in those ecosystems right now?

Roland: [00:29:24] Yeah. So it's kind of interesting when we look at the two primary markets are the B2C market... So think about the Bed Bath and Beyond's of the world. You know, the Cabela's, that sort of size, the brands that we're all used to, the direct to consumer brands. But we also operate in the B2B side, which although it seems like it's a similar problem, is actually very, very difficult because they have custom contracts, custom pricing, a whole bunch of other things... Punch out, which is where ERP systems connect directly to the eCom system, so they buy through their SAP system but find it on the website first, so there's complexities there. So that's your industrial supply chain, your large manufacturing, so manufacturing to business and manufacturing to consumer companies. And we realize that to solve both of those, they still want to put the right product in front of the right user at the right moment. But each has unique challenges in how they look at that. And then of course, on the B2C side, you have things like marketplace where they have data that's coming from other suppliers that they're not in control of that we have to deal with as well. And so in both of these, you know, since we're all aging ourselves and whatnot is the old analogy was garbage in, garbage out and that still exists today. So we realized upfront that we had to solve the data problem first. So we had to create the golden record. And we also knew that there was supplier information, there was marketplace information that was coming through. First of all, we had to get it all together and then join it into this golden record. The other thing too, is there's a lot of data that's sometimes missing. We get some records, believe it or not, that have a title, a brand, and a price. And that's it. So that's not a lot for even the greatest search engine to go against. And so what we built was both an ETL level, so an extract, transform, and load where we can push and pull information from our clients' ecosystems, pull it into a single structure, and then augment and then put the voice of the customer onto that record. So we capture all the user behavior data and how people are looking for that and have an enrichment process that then puts that in there. So if someone searches on Google for "little black dress," "great for a first date," we actually have all the metadata in the system so that your CEO works so that that search, if they did on site, would also work and that your SEO is being indexed in Google for that kind of search. And then, of course, once it's in it, you have to have a superior user journey, right? So that's supporting that search as you type or the predictive search that sort of anticipating per keystroke what you're looking for, navigation, the mega nav and then, of course, the search results page. But we go right down to the shopping cart because we want to do cross-sell, upsell so that we can increase your average order value. And you have to do it with one to one personalization, right? So that's why this challenge becomes pretty unique. But then you have to have an ecosystem. That's why we call it a product discovery platform. It's kind of how we refer to it. I know a lot of people still use the word search, but is a little bit more than that. Search is of course the hardest piece to solve because as soon as you get humans using free form, you'll be surprised. Six different users looking for the same product do six different searches. Or you could have six users putting the same search in, but each expect a different product.

Phillip: [00:37:19]  [00:37:19]Those are the hardest types of challenges to solve for, because I often said, once upon a time in an eCommerce strategy role, there's nowhere else in the customer experience in digital where someone tells you in plain English what exactly it is they're looking for. But there's also nowhere else in the entirety of the customer journey where you can misinterpret what it is that they're asking for. [00:37:39]

Roland: [00:37:40] Absolutely. That's why the problem of search is so difficult and why so many people struggle with it, because it is very complex, because you really have to understand user intent, but also buying behaviors and preferences. And you have to do that in milliseconds and calculate all those and bring that result back because people expect search to be fast. They don't want to sit there and go get a cup of coffee and come back. It's got to be instantaneous. So to do it well at that speed and scale is quite difficult.

Brian: [00:38:09] Phillip is like freaking out inside a little bit right now. He had a whole talk on this a few years back, and I could just feel him being like, "Oh my gosh, yes."

Phillip: [00:38:19] I'm paying attention. We have this really handy tool now that tells us how much percentage of this show is me talking versus anyone else, and I'm trying to shut my mouth now.

Roland: [00:38:31] I'm sure we could nerd out for hours on this stuff.

Phillip: [00:38:34] Oh for sure.

Roland: [00:38:35] Because it is an exciting problem to solve. Because when you get it right, the amount of positive feedback, and you look at your C-stats and all that sort of stuff that come off the site and then the lack of, you know, board members reaching in or executives like, "I did the search or my wife did this search and why doesn't it work?" I have a plethora of emails that I was keep. It's kind of interesting that, you know, when you get it right, you hear nothing but you get sales and when you get it wrong, your phone rings off the hook. So high reward, high risk. But when you do get it right, magic things happen.

Phillip: [00:39:09] You have to wonder, though, too where I think sometimes the the... It's the Henry Ford quote, which is I think, over rot to some degree, but it's, you know, "If I'd asked a customer what they wanted, they'd tell me a faster horse." I think there's also a visionary component.

Roland: [00:39:30] A faster horse that eats less.

Phillip: [00:39:32] {laughter} Well, that's true too, right? That's true, too. And I mean, now we dig up dead dinosaurs to, you know, to feed different type of horse. That's a whole other story. But there's a problem in sort of the customer feedback loop in the way that product teams create product roadmaps. I think it's a really interesting parallel between running a SaaS business that's in service of its customers, but also its customers' customer where you're trying to build out a product roadmap to anticipate what customer expectations will be in the future. At the same time, I don't think enough eCommerce operators understand that their eCommerce store is also a product, and they don't manage it as such. They don't manage it as if it's a digital product. And I think that they lean a lot of times on, you know, third party SaaS to solve those problems and sort of see around corners for them. What are your thoughts around that seeing as you're sitting in the driver's seat of one organization that's trying to solve this for your customer and your customers' customer?

Roland: [00:40:41] So I'll preface it with the fact that I'm biased, so I'll give you...

Phillip: [00:40:44] Yeah, we know. We know. We all are.

Roland: [00:40:47] Yeah, so my thing is, we've always, you know, our biggest competitor is actually not other SaaS offerings, right? And people will say that like they kind of look at you funny, that wouldn't be your nearest competitor. Actually, we don't see them. What we see the most, especially in the places that we go, is the build versus buy problem still. There are IT organizations that think, "OK, well, we'll get hire a bunch of developers, we'll get 100 developers or 200 developers..." God, we've seen, you know, in the thousands and some of the larger players, "and we can build our own better." So you have retailers trying to be technology companies or software development shops, and because they do work a website and there is technical piece of it, you can kind of see where the logic comes from. But the difference, like you said, as a platform is very broad and same things that plague the platform plays. The monoliths, have to do everything. They run into the exact same problem. But what has happened, especially with the move to the Cloud, is finally, you know, your friendly neighborhood CFO now is starting to weigh in on some of these capital spends and like, "Hey, I'm buying it off the shelf and I'm only paying for a piece of that development work," because they build once and then charge it up multiple times. "Why do I want to take one hundred percent of that?" And then, of course, they also build something that's not necessarily world class. So you spend all this money and we've seen a lot of failed projects as well. And then you don't end up with the outcome that you want. And sometimes they'll take multiple kicks at that same can. With companies the sort of best of breed approach and the SaaS approach is you get to look at the problems you're trying to solve and there are amazing vendors, right? The whole eco space right now is super exciting. We work alongside some of the most amazing technology companies from we integrate with same day delivery services or BOPIS, right? Buy Online Pickup In Store type vendors where we don't do that part of it, but we integrate with it to create that system. And I always think you should buy, right? That's my biased view. And the technology is moving at such a great pace and there's so much money coming into this market via venture capital and private equity. Amazing products are being built that's way better than any retailer could build on their own. And whether it's in our segment or someone else's, I'm like, "Always buy off the shelf." Because there's an amazing, there's optionality... You can pick the one that's best to your needs and your time to market is going to be a fraction of what it would be trying to build it.

Phillip: [00:43:13] Composable Commerce {singing}. That's the catch phrase of the decade for the 2020s. Brian, you were saying something...

Brian: [00:43:21] Oh no, I think it's really interesting. So this is one side of the coin. So you've got very big organizations that are like making the decision to build versus buy on one side of this coin. And they're like, "OK, maybe we shouldn't build because it's just way more efficient and way better to buy because we're going to get more out of the box and we're not going to have to manage like the process of enterprise software," which is a process, and it requires a skill set that's in high demand. On the other side of the coin, we also sort of see this very broad set, a lot of smaller brands that are kind of coming into the marketplace and kind of coming into their own now and in the past, these smaller brands, they've typically come with smaller catalogs and search has just not been a priority, but they're starting to grow up and they're starting to add more catalog or they're introducing a marketplace, and they're adding in other other brands, brands and they're becoming a retailer or a marketplace on top of having their own stuff, and they're coming into the world of search now. And I know that you're kind of reaching the top end of the market, but for the bottom end of the market, what advice do you have for those retailers about how they should think about decisions when they go to like make decisions around search, especially given that like we've all been saying, even platforms haven't done a very good job of like having their own search products. So yeah. That was a lot...

Roland: [00:45:04] So for us, the interesting thing is my talk track is what we're trying to do as an organization is do a couple of things. One, is we want to democratize the technology. So one of the things that we have in the works is integration. So we're just about actually it's going out on the wire next week. We're going to be announcing a new version of our product that we co-built with Google in a very tight partnership with them.

Brian: [00:45:32] Cool.

Roland: [00:45:33] So actually, I've said it now on your podcast like a week before it goes out. So I can't say too much about it, but it's a really exciting release. Imagining harnessing the power of YouTube, you know, and Google Shopping and all of the learnings from that and packaging it up in an easy to consume GroupBy platform. So that's a little teaser there. So that's where we're going with this thing and really trying to not only serve the top of the market, right? So like obviously the big organizations, they can afford solutions. We're trying to actually come down market. And one of the things that we have in development right now is actually a one click and you talk about marketplaces for Shopify. So Shopify is going to be our first partner that we allow the small retailers at a very reasonable monthly fee to have the same algorithm and machine learning capabilities from GroupBy on their thousand products. So we really want to democratize it. Like give everybody, including the mid-tier and lower tier that only may have a thousand products or ten thousand products and do hundreds of thousands or millions a year the same capability without having any IT involvement. So it's really going to, I think, change the landscape. So we're kind of excited about going what we traditionally would say down market, but it's a huge market. Shopify has got one point forty five million sites that are on their system, and a lot of them have had solutions that you know are OK, like you said, good enough, but really couldn't play with a sort of relevancy that you would get from a Google like experience. And so we're really trying to democratize that and give everybody the same arrows in their quiver to go and win a market.

Phillip: [00:47:29] It's funny because when you're thinking of eCommerce platforms, you know, and folks are rattling off the major players, Shopify is often said in the same sentence as, you know, Salesforce and BigCommerce and some others. And in reality, you know, Shopify is at a scale that I think is quite unfathomable for the other platforms, especially like a Salesforce where Shopify has one point four million and Salesforce has, you know, one point two five seven million fewer. But that's a whole other conversation topic. I think the challenges that you solve in those at that scale. Brian, to your point, there smaller catalogs, for sure, but it doesn't mean that discovery isn't something they solve for. Maybe the tactic is different than on site search or natural language search. It's discovery in the top of the funnel rather than, you know, mid funnel tactics to try to increase AOV or increase propensity purchase.

Roland: [00:48:34] And Shopify has come a long way as a platform. When we first talked with Shopify, they were just thinking about Shopify Plus. So that's quite a few years back. Since they've launched that they've got a market. There are, you know, billion dollar retailers that actually run off Shopify Plus. So that's why, of course, it's sort of like, you know, we obviously were at the top end. They were moving up through the ecosystems as they could scale their platform and add enterprise type capabilities. They did a great job. Obviously, I'm a little biased again, being a Canadian and living in Toronto and Shopify, being a great Canadian success story. They've done a tremendous job and that's why also, they're a great partner to Google. We all kind of operate in this. So it's sort of a mixture that made sense for us with how great they've come up market and the fact that we want to come down market at the same time. So it just seemed to make sense and they're executing extremely well as an organization, very healthy, amazing growth rates, happy clients, which is what we want to have as well.

Brian: [00:49:38] Mm hmm. Yeah. In fact, I think your timing is perfect. And as we talked about in our recent report, Nine by Nine, that there are [00:49:49]... It's not just Shopify maturing, it's not just GroupBy being ready to make this next plunge, it's the market. The market's ready. I think this is a perfect time to be introducing something like this. [00:50:02]

Roland: [00:50:03] Oh, absolutely, yeah, the maturity of the technology again with Cloud and what that's brought us and being able to auto scale and use sophisticated machine learning models that do a lot of the human middleware that used to happen with these systems, it allows us to actually better service all parts of the market. And so right, it is a maturity level that we're seeing in this current wave of technology that's coming out. And again, there has been some tailwinds, as we all know, with the rise of the sort of Shopify or BigCommerce and those kind of accessibility platforms to someone that traditionally doesn't have any IT staff that just have some products they want to sell, but also the advances for the larger tiers that they don't want to have armies of people manually tuning systems, right? They want to focus on selling product, not again being an IT team. So I think it's actually helped all parts of the market with this current wave and the COVID and the move to online, and for some time, that was the only way you could buy anything. So knowing that the entire market could go completely online was definitely a catalyst for companies making this easier for their customers.

Phillip: [00:51:16] I'm curious, shifting gears just a little bit, Roland, what your thoughts are around the consumer interaction piece, but you mentioned a good deal of the other parts of what you're solving for is B2B interactions. One of which I think is listed as a part of your solution is ETL centric, which it stands for extract, transform, load. But it's something that you know, if you are a business that's integrating with so many different types of business interfaces, different pieces of the software suite again, Composable Commerce, insert the jingle, those are things that are very important for you to be able to fulfill parts of whether it's a drop ship arrangement, a moving data between systems, you know, in particular, OMS or ERP integrations. These are all things that a B2B buyer is really concerned about. But there's other things that I think... What's the buying center for that sort of a product? It's not likely somebody who's a small operator who's trying to solve for one, you know, piece of functionality on the site, is that right?

Roland: [00:52:30] Yeah, I would say this the smaller catalogs, when you don't, you can, you have a thousand products. It's a little different when we look at B2B, so you think about someone who maybe manufactures heavy machinery. So think about farm equipment or industrial supply like emotion industries. Part of a genuine parts, they supply stuff to GM, as well as even to Amazon for their automation systems. The rollers that all the boxes go down and all that sort of stuff. They supply that. There's some complexities in that because obviously Amazon, with how much they buy, is going to get a very different price than a small northern manufacturer that has one facility. So you need to be able to market to those different users dynamically differently. There's other things that we support like obviously, shipping is a big piece of it, so we actually pull in data to be able to calculate shipping. And what if you put two things into your cart that one of them is hazmat and it can't go same day air, but you have other parts in it that can go, but the hazmat needs to go two day ground. Having that metadata and that information, we have to like integrate in some of ours, we have maybe 15 or 20 different data sources, other customers, even the B2C side, time of day pricing. So dynamically knowing... And Amazon's been doing this. They had to make about two point one million, I think, data price changes a day on their products. And so based on the time of day, you're actually a different buying behavior and we're less likely or more likely to buy at a different price in the morning versus the evening. Being able to support that in the data model, you need that ETL capability to bring all that data together. Things like shop by store. So in the case of Bed Bath and Beyond, you can actually find or shop multiple stores to find a product because I want to pick it up on my way home for work. So I'm going to do the one that's on the highway, on the way home versus the one closer to my house. Things of that nature that requires inventory by store for all the different stores that you have to be able to manipulate that data to only put the products that that user can buy from that particular store. And same with same day delivery, which we support. So time of day pricing seem to be delivery BOPIS. All of these things require data from different systems, right? So you have inventory systems and picking systems and availability of a pricing that works on what does the price need to be at nine o'clock versus nine p.m.? All of that comes from different places. In a small one thousand, you know, product thing, they don't have that same problem. But through our platform and through that ETL layer, we're able to easily ingest that data. We can actually pull it from enterprise, you know, like a soap request or an enterprise bus and pull that from the systems. We can have a data pushed to us. It can be a multiple file formats. The system puts it out in a comma separated file. Another one maybe it's tab-delimited. Maybe it's, you know, we got a query, a database. It's a sequel statement with an object coming back. So you have to support whatever way the data is formatted and how to access it. And it's very, very easy, right? So we need to get time to market very, very fast. And then as new systems come on board, we need to be able to adjust them. And so that gives people speed and time to market and then less complexity. Again, the promise of SaaS is that you do a lot less work. And so that's always our goal is to build systems that make that a) delight our clients and help them increase revenue and decrease cost.

Phillip: [00:56:14] I'm going to ask you a meta question. And you are free to strike this from the record. But I'm curious, as you move, as parts of the products, we move into enterprise SaaS territory, the pricing model also has tended to trend towards the enterprise sales type pricing scenario, whereas the rest of the ecosystem has moved to sort of either a transparent, fixed price pricing model or a percentage of revenue. And I think that like this disparate means of pricing for various parts of your infrastructure actually leads to lack of adoption for otherwise good medicine that a brand might take to have a system in place that's purpose built to do a specific thing. But there's this like complexity in the way that you manage your business operations because these things are effectively cost centers. So the big meta question here is, is there a strategy in a suite of solutions like yours that can bring the things that are profit centers like, you know, onsite search packaged together with things that are typically operational cost centers in a way that allows you to take a bitter pill with one that you know, otherwise will deliver also on incrementality. And if you need me to further refine the question, I can, but I think I said what I was trying to say. Is there something natural in the way that you're pairing both the front end and back end solution so that the pricing works itself out so that you have a fuller suite of solutions, so you're not just focused only on driving revenue, but you're also focused on driving operational efficiency?

Roland: [00:58:05] So for us, and I wouldn't... And the thing too is SaaS has different models. It is complex. I think it's actually very difficult for retailers sometimes to understand it, and some of the more sophisticated ones understand. So it really kind of lumps if it's in the Cloud as just the word SaaS, which most of the time, it's not. There's still services and implementation costs, and all that sort of stuff. It's not truly a what SaaS I think was meant to be in the early days when it was defined. But there was also like PaaS, which is platform as a service which still allows you to do configurations and usually enough to hurt yourself. And design systems that are not really totally taking advantage of the Cloud. They're more Cloud enabled versus Cloud native. We always went to the Cloud native stuff. We were very early adopters of containers like dockerization, kubernetes before it was actually put in the Cloud by Google and managed as a managed service because we wanted to fully take advantage of the Cloud service and really meet the promise of SaaS. And in a true manner is that most SaaS is essentially should be either a fixed price for the service or a metered service. In other words, it's like going to the gas station. If I need to go a thousand kilometers, I know I need so many leaders in the tank to do that. And if I'm going to go double that, it's double. And that it's a very predictable model. So either it's fixed, it's X number of dollars per month and I don't need to worry about it, or it's based on my current usage and then growth. And hopefully if these systems do their jobs, it will naturally grow so you will pay more, but both your top line and your profitability is going up. And for GroupBy, we don't actually focus on... A lot of people, especially with things like search will just focus on conversion percent and it kind of is actually too narrow of a focus in the way that you need to think about it because we care about things like gross margin and margin dollar contribution. We think about average...

Phillip: [01:00:08] Preach. Yeah.

Roland: [01:00:09]  [01:00:09]We think about holistically the health of the business and our dashboards and everything reflect that. And that allows us to work on the health of the organization and what they're trying to achieve and keep the CFO happy while also making the VP of Marketing or Chief Digital Officer also meeting their goals. And so I think you have to have that wide health of the business approach and go for something that is truly SaaS. [01:00:37]

Brian: [01:00:37] It's incredible. What a way we've come around here talking about Endeca at the beginning. And now look where we are. What's next? That's what I want to hear about.

Phillip: [01:00:48] That's the big question.

Brian: [01:00:50] Where is the future of product discovery and the future of search headed?

Roland: [01:00:55] So, I think it's pretty exciting. We're still not at the Promised Land, so we're working really hard to get there that we really want to blur the line that the user experience when we think about digital also includes the stores. You know, obviously a very digital only business, OK it's digital only. But a lot of our organizations that we support obviously have physical locations. And so really blending it so that the user can really have... And I know we've used omnichannel a lot, but I don't think we've really got to that point. We're just starting to like edge into it properly. But the idea, like obviously we talk about like BOPIS and same day delivery, which is great, you know, the mobile apps being in store apps as well. You know, we've done a lot of things like Bed Bath and Beyond the tablets and stuff that the employees use in the store to help their clients. That's powered by our system. The scanner, by the way, when you do gift registry also powered by our system. So traditionally people go, "Oh, I didn't even think about GroupBy when we think about gift registry in store, you know, representative apps. The online, obviously in the mobile apps make sense. But think about when you come into a store being able to have a virtual or augmented reality where I can just say I'm looking for this product and you just your camera comes on and there's a blue dotted line that you follow and you just follow it through the store and you'll find that product. Or being able to put your phone up to a particular product in all its metadata dynamically shows around it in a sort of tag cloud with all the different attributes and information so that you don't have to read the tiny little print on the back of the the Advil bottle or something like that at CVS. So really, the blurring of the line is sort of that next thing where it just becomes intuitive that I don't actually know or notice the difference between in-store and online. It becomes true to that click and mortar business, and it just becomes intuitive to use it. Just it sort of just happens for me. And that's where I think we're going collectively as an industry is to remove all the friction between in-store and online and really delight the clients with discovery of products that are available, not just meeting my shopping list.

Brian: [01:03:21] I think you're right, I think that in-store is the next frontier for digital, and I think another side of this is metrics as well, like as we develop out the, you know, the in-store experience. And you know, and like you said, like that mobile app becomes sort of an in-store, you know, gateway as well. I think the opportunity to optimize for shoppers and make that experience seamless is still there's still so much room, there's so much room. Like there's a lot of opportunity to like to make their online experience, their mobile experience, just like when they go in-store, this just feels another part of that and being able to find things and discover new things and then being able to optimize for people personally, you know, and adding that component of personalization, I think you're you're absolutely dead on. So I'm excited. I'm excited about where this is going. Search has been around for a long time. Where we're headed next is just it's I think I think you absolutely call it out. It's not search. It's beyond search.

Roland: [01:04:39] Absolutely, absolutely. And then there's other things like virtual merchandizers, really leveraging your data, also understanding what is the impact a lot of people say, like some of the reporting and analytics that we're doing, the big data side of it in the new platform is understanding user behavior across different parts. So I may have done all my research online and tying that to the in-store transaction and be able to report that back to the user. So, you know, a lot of times digital will struggle with what is their actual contribution to revenue, right? So the easy one is just to add up every time I buy something online and then get the total. But people are a) influenced a lot by social as well as their friends. I think something like seventy five percent of people will actually check with their friends if they've had an experience with that product or brand. So that's very influential and they're doing a lot of research prior to buying a product. And not just by the way, price is no longer actually one of the largest drivers to acquiring it and really understanding that the ease of use of a system and access to a brand is actually outweighing price. So I think there is a huge opportunity there, but it's going to be a brave new world that some of this tech that's going to be introduced is going to fundamentally change the way people think about brands.

Phillip: [01:05:59] Where do you think there's an arbitrage opportunity at the moment? I think a lot of the truisms that we see kind of bandied about as best practice are actually things that are kind of table stakes that everybody should be doing and they don't actually drive a ton of growth. Where are the areas of underinvestment that a merchant could be a standout in customer experience that very few are investing in in the moment?

Roland: [01:06:23] Oh, that's a really good question. We have some clients that have done some really amazing things. So one of the largest jewelry companies in North America, at least, maybe not in the world, is Signet Jewelers. So you would know them as Kay's and Jared.

Phillip: [01:06:43] Oh yeah.

Roland: [01:06:44] People's Jewelers. They're a client of ours. They're doing some spectacular things. I just was at Retail X with Jane Lily, who is their Senior Vice President of digital there. And amazing person, and she's done some great things where if you think about it, these are fairly large priced purchases, right? So it's a little different and very personalized. You think about an engagement ring or an anniversary gift or whatever that may be. And obviously with COVID happening, they implemented some amazing things to where you could digitally try on the ring and see it on your own hand, you know, figure out your size, all that sort of stuff. And really, I think the next thing is to create sort of a virtual store experience online. And there's a lot of interesting tech and this is stuff that we make power from a data perspective. This is not an area that we focus on. But I think that the one area is sort of creating that virtual assistant technology. And it's not... I'm not just talking about chat bots, but being able to try things on see them on you. Sort of that augmented reality type stuff is probably an area that a ton of brands could, and some we've seen some amazing stuff like the there's a, and I'm trying to think, was it Macy's or something? I may get the retailer wrong, but one of the big ones had a wall in the things where you can actually virtually try on stuff in store, right? So I think that kind of more more leading edge tech is going to become more mainstream. It's going to need some great data and imagery to probably do some of those. But I think that's probably the one I would say is kind of underinvested in that we see some a lot of potential in. That sort of augmented reality in store walk through. It looks at my whole shopping list that I put together and it'll walk me in the right order through the store. I don't know if I'm an awful grocery shopper. I go up and down the same aisle six times.

Brian: [01:08:40] You do that for fun, though. That's fun. {laughter}

Phillip: [01:08:43] That's Brian's default state. We've talked about that ad nauseum on the show.

Roland: [01:08:46] Don't do while you're hungry. That can be very dangerous.

Phillip: [01:08:48] Oh, that's so bad.

Brian: [01:08:49] Oh yeah. All right. I'm all in on that

Phillip: [01:08:54] I think I think you're you're right. I do think there's a lot of assistive tech for optimizing, whether that's optimizing for like the the shortest path to purchase. So there's a convenience aspect like you mentioned there, Roland. I love this idea of optimizing for just a heightened experience without having to drag your your rear end into a jewelry store. Although I do think that there's something really powerful that's happening in that this technology is becoming much more pervasive. And so hopefully we'll see more of these especially highly considered purchases take advantage of that type of technology. So and if that happens, you'll be sure to hear about it on Future Commerce here. Thank you so much for your time, Roland. It's been such a pleasure to have you on the show, and we thank you for your partnership here this year. It's been wonderful to have you along. Where can people find out more about GroupBy?

Roland: [01:10:00] Quite simply, And you'll get to read and lots of good content to download, as well as contact us type of usual forms on our types of website.

Phillip: [01:10:15] Well, thank you so much. Thank you for listening to Future Commerce. You can find more episodes of this podcast at or anywhere with podcasts are found, and if you want to learn a little bit more about maybe even one or two of the brands that were mentioned here on this show, we have a brand new consumer trends report brands trends report that just came out. It's called Nine by Nine. It's the nine trends that you need to know about, and nine brands rated a piece of those that are standouts businesses, these companies, brands that are changing the way that we shop online. And because I believe that commerce touches everybody, that means that they're changing the way that we all interact as people and maybe changing the world too, as a result. You can get the Nine by Nine report at And that will be a great thing for you to read here in the next couple of weeks as we get into some more deep content about how those changes are impacting every single one of us. That's it. Thank you so much for listening to Future Commerce.

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