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Episode 94
February 15, 2019

"The Future is Driven by Failure"

Shoptalk 2019 is mere weeks away and so we take the opportunity to look through the brands, the speakers, and the agenda! ALSO: Is voice dead? Why don't we talk about failure? What were the key takeaways from the 2017 and 2018 editions of Shoptalk and what are we hoping to learn in 2019?

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Main Takeaways:

  • Phillip and Brian preview Shoptalk 2019.
  • Levi's takes a second shot at an IPO, and it's going to a pretty big deal.
  • Brian is ridiculously excited to see Shaggy.
  • Phillip wants a Canada Goose freezer-esque dressing room for his house.
  • Why isn't anyone talking about voice anymore?

Pre-Shoptalk Shop Talk: So Many Speakers, So Little Time:

  • Phillip is now officially #ShoptalkPhillip
  • Brian and Phillip are pretty excited about Shoptalk's entire agenda.
  • Everything that has been talked about on FC for the last two years was featured at Shoptalk2017.
  • One panel Phillip really wants to see is the Swarovski panel on "The New Digital Innovation."
  • Brian says that Shoptalk has so many panels and breakout sessions that Shoptalk FOMO is pretty much guaranteed.
  • Gabrielle Chou from Allure Systems will be speaking at Shoptalk, Brian had the opportunity to talk with her at Shop.Org, where she had a lot of fascinating things to say about body data.
  • Matthew Shay from NRF will also be speaking, which is interesting when you consider that NRF is a lobbying organization, and many of the retailers whose interests he would represent will be present at Shoptalk.

Levi's Second Stab at IPO: Hopefully Better Than The Jacquard:

Cold Weather Aspiration Retail: Puffy Jackets in Palm Beach?

Retail Conferences Need to Add a "Spectacular Failures" Track:

  • With all the talk about what brands are doing right, why is there not a track at retail conferences for the failures that brands have had in the process?
  • Phillip and Brian point out that failure is so valuable because it allows retailers to learn from each other's mistakes.
  • Will FailureCon2019 hosted by Future Commerce be a thing?
  • Holding discussions about failure is especially important this year, as so many well-known retailers are going out of business like Payless, ToysRus and eventually Sears.
  • Pretty much everyone would attend such a conference, but who would sign up to speak?

What Will The Next Generation of Tech Look Like?

Will you be at Shoptalk2019? Feel free to say hi!

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. Or Shoptalk, Phillip. How about that? I'm shop talk Phillip.

Brian: [00:01:27] Hashtag Shoptalk Phillip.

Phillip: [00:01:29] Yeah because if I get called Future Stores, Future Phillip, one more time. No, I'm just kidding. We had so many people tuned into the episode that we released last week, which was really well received. So thanks for listening. But man, I had extreme lovers and extreme naysayers on the Future Stores heads in jars...

Brian: [00:02:00] Futurama episode?

Phillip: [00:02:01] What I really, in particular, what I loved was that most everybody agreed that controlling your data will be a human right. So I kind of like that. It's a great outcome. Anyway, we're going to talk about Shoptalk today. The show's coming up. I don't think we've done a show preview in the past.

Brian: [00:02:23] No. Not really. Yeah. So this will be fun. Since we're doing this for the first time.

Phillip: [00:02:30] Yeah. This a grand experiment. What I thought we would do today is, because we're getting geared up, if you are going to be at Shoptalk at the Venetian in Las Vegas in just a couple weeks time, March 3rd through 6, then we will be there, as well, and you'll see us walking the show floor, and we'll be podcasting more than once there and interviewing speakers, interviewing exhibitors. So that'll be really awesome. I thought we would, in no particular order, and the agenda keeps changing, and they're adding speakers every day, so don't glue us down to anything, but I thought we would go through the agenda on this show and sort of pull out what we think might be the exciting high points, things we're looking forward to on a day by day basis and just kind of walk through it from there and kind of build a little anticipation.

Brian: [00:03:18] Yeah, I think that's great. I think that, you know, Shoptalk's always such an interesting show. And things get even announced and released at the show. So maybe you will even throw a couple small predictions at the end of this. We'll see.

Phillip: [00:03:35] I love it. I love it. I love it. OK. So we could rowe shambo for it or we could just... Why don't I just be a gentleman? I'll defer to you. Why don't you take the first crack at this. You get in on Sunday...

Brian: [00:03:49] Yeah. Well, the first thing that I'm hoping to go to, and I actually haven't registered for it, so hopefully it's not sold out. But I've always wanted to go, and I've never flown in in time to see this to be a part of it and that is code commerce. So yeah...

Phillip: [00:04:09] Oh yeah.

Brian: [00:04:09] It's a little add on to Shoptalk. They just do a little session, and they kind of have their own conferences, as well. It's Recode's commerce focused initiative. And so...

Phillip: [00:04:30] Like Jason Del Rey and Kara Swisher.

Brian: [00:04:33] Exactly.

Phillip: [00:04:34] Some other folks. Right? And it's like a mini conference around this conference.

Brian: [00:04:40] Yeah, exactly.

Phillip: [00:04:41] It's like a one day thing. Right.

Brian: [00:04:42] Right. Not even it's like a little add on on top of it. It's like a session two hour session as a part of the show. So I'm definitely looking forward to that. Jason Del Rey is always interesting. They've got some interesting speakers that are gonna be a part of it. And so that's the first thing I'm looking forward to. Jason always has pretty interesting thoughts on commerce and on the big tech. And so I'm definitely looking forward to that.

Phillip: [00:05:17] Yeah, that would be really awesome. I get a little later on Sunday. I'll miss it. But in our post Shoptalk recap, I'd love to hear what other people think about it. Yeah. I in particular, if I had to choose one thing out on Sunday, on day one... Which this would be entirely aspirational because I won't be in time to see it. I really enjoyed, I think I mentioned it already, I really enjoyed the presentation that Swarovski had at Future Stores Miami. I would love to see them on a panel. So if I had to choose a session and I'm just kind of, you know, just choosing one, there's a session in Track 2 called the New Digital Horizon. And Jason DelFino, who's from Swarovski, as well as Amy Eshleman from Sephora, and JJ Fleeman, president of Peapod. The three of them will be on a panel hosted by I think by Thuiswinkel, which is an interesting e-commerce brand out of Europe, led by... I don't know why I always choose the hardest names to pronounce for an English speaker... I apologize... I'm going to say Wijnand Jongen, who is the CEO of Thuiswinkel, but anyway. I'm really looking forward to it. And by the way, the Dutch know e-commerce. Holy cow, the Dutch know commerce in general. I think that's the thing everybody understands. But so that would be a session two, day one, track two. If I had to pick one, that would be exciting to check out. I'd love to hear more about this story.

Brian: [00:07:03] Yeah that one sounds really interesting. Maybe I'll have to catch that, too. There's always so much to do a Shoptalk. That's one thing about it. That it's really, it's kind of overwhelming.

Phillip: [00:07:15] Yeah.

Brian: [00:07:16] In that there's just so much good content, and it's really hard to know which session to go to. And then if you do land on one where you're like, I really kind of wish I'd gone to the other one... It's just really frustrating because it's there's so much going on, and there's so many interesting people to meet. I think that's another thing the Shoptalk does really well is they bring in a lot of different sort of outside voices, ones that you often can't get elsewhere. A lot of VC...

Phillip: [00:07:48] Yeah. Which is interesting. So we haven't talked about it yet, but one of the main takeaways from the market research that we did over the last few months for Future Commerce is a lot of people want to hear more about retail investment, and they want to hear more about brand partnership acquisition, funding, and investment both in private equity and venture capital. And they want to hear more about that from us and from our show. And we're working on trying to bring, you know, the right voices in to talk about those sorts of things. I can't think of a better place to do that than it Shoptalk to find the people who are in that world.

Brian: [00:08:27] Yeah. Totally.

Phillip: [00:08:27] That's the place to find them.

Brian: [00:08:28] Yeah, I agree. I've met some really interesting voices at Shoptalk in the past, and it's resulted in some of our our more interesting interviews, I think. So.

Phillip: [00:08:36] Yeah, yeah, for sure.

Brian: [00:08:38] Yeah, and definitely some of our Future Commerce alumni from coming on the show will be there at the show. Like we interviewed Gabrielle Chou, from Allure Systems, a while back. She'll be speaking and several others that we've had on the show are gonna be there, as well. I don't know... Is Sucharita speaking this year?

Phillip: [00:09:04] I haven't seen her on the speakers list, but it's pretty easy to find if you have to It doesn't look like she's speaking, but doesn't mean she won't be there. Oh, I will say another thing that Shoptalk does that, I haven't seen... Well, there're two things actually that I haven't seen a lot. One is they have a whole portion of the day one is for startup pitches, so they have a few rounds of startup pitches that are usually emceed by Deborah Weinswig over at Coresight. And so they're doing startup pitch again this year. And the other thing you'll see, if you're looking at the agenda, they have what they call a core curriculum course. So it's almost like a certification of having gone through a certain number of like, you know, I completed a certain courseware at Shoptalk to attain some sort of badge or certification that I learned a certain expertise while I was at the show. Which is, I think for certain retailers who want to make sure that they have continuous learning and continuous improvement in organizations, allowing someone to do that at a show like this is pretty impressive.

Brian: [00:10:22] It is. I think it's a great move Shoptalk to sort of ensure that they have retailers come because it's an easy way to justify the time and money that it takes to go to an event like this. In fact, I don't know if it's still available. I think it was coming up on the end of potential registration for this. But if you're a retailer or a brand, you can get up to a thousand dollars contributed towards your stay. It'll be gone by the time we air this episode. It will be unavailable. But it is interesting that, you know, I think that they've done a really good job of making sure that they give retailers every excuse to be at the event.

Phillip: [00:11:12] If I could shout out to a local West Palm Beach company that's actually going to be there, who's actually, they took advantage of that offer. They share an adjoining space to my office in West Palm Beach. It's a company called Maku. And they do like, you know, they're in the CBD space like a lot of companies nowadays. And what's really interesting about them is they would not be attending the show. They will not be attending Shoptalk if it weren't for that grant for merchants. It allows smaller merchants to get a window or an insight into what the bigger players are doing and to learn from it and hopefully close the gap of what the world of the possibility is. What's the world of the possible that's out there? And I think, you know, people get criticized a lot. And I put something out on Twitter a couple of days ago that everybody seemed to like whole lot. That, you know, basically, oh, who is it that I retweeted? I'll dig that up quick. But basically saying these conferences are all well and good, but everybody is always talking about these far future technologies that aren't applicable to most people in the right now. It's like everybody wants to conquer the world with AR and VR, but digital price labeling in your organization probably is going to have the greatest impact in the next two to three years. But that's the thing you should probably be investing in, because that's the thing that's actually going to move the needle. And having a culture of adoption and technology in your organization hinges entirely on your ability to do things like that, not just how do we live in AR and grocery shop? But I think you get a pretty good balance of both of those things at a show like Shoptalk.

Brian: [00:13:04] I agree. Yeah. It's a really nice balance of application and thinking out ahead. And it's funny, when the show first started, and I got to got to that first show, the stuff that was initially at the show, a lot of it was very groundbreaking. A lot of it was, you know, stuff that now we're all thinking we've all heard about for the past four years, three, four years. I should say four years. It's been three years. Right. This is the fourth one.

Phillip: [00:13:41] This is the fourth one.

Brian: [00:13:42] So it's amazing how far we've come since then.

Phillip: [00:13:48] And, you know, when we do our one hundredth episode, I want to do a retrospective of what the world used to be like.

Brian: [00:13:56] Exactly.

Phillip: [00:13:56] What was the world like when we started Future Commerce? And what is the world like now? I think it's a pretty stark contrast. And we're only two years in.

Brian: [00:14:04] We're gonna do a trip down memory lane. You know, how much has the world changed in two and a half years? There's a lot. There's a lot that has changed.

Phillip: [00:14:14] This is where I gesture and kind of tilt my head and say, come with me on a journey. Let's all remember what the Obama administration was like. That's so interesting. I think it'll be really cool to see this show this year and how it's evolved. I mean, we always say, you know, retail tech moves fast and Future Commerce is moving faster. Shoptalk it's out there. It's fast. You know, last year they had an entire neighborhood in their expo that was dedicated just to like AI technology. And it was sizable. I'm not sure what it's going to look like this year. My guess would be that that would, you know, at best or at least double in size because everybody's using AI in some way. If you look at just the titles of the tracks in the talk, a lot of people are finding application for these technologies that we used to consider as sort of fringe or only for bigger players. Looks like a lot of people are getting... Just looking again on day one, session 3 "Image and Facial Recognition." Oh, yeah. And it's from a bunch of, you know, Orbital Insight and Sight, which are two brands which are... And FaceFirst and eBay. Of those four, I mean, eBay is probably the one that I would suggest probably has business talking about facial recognition. Many brands are doing facial recognition nowadays.

Brian: [00:15:41] It's true. That's a really good point. We talked about this as well. The application of this tech has finally happened. So we have more, more tangible use cases and case studies. While a lot of us not necessarily pervasive, it's definitely headed that direction. I'm really excited to walk the floor and see what the next round looks like because there's stuff that we've talked about on this show that I feel like hasn't really hit the market yet. And I feel like, you know, we might start to see some of that. You saw a little bit of that in Future Stores, I feel like.

Phillip: [00:16:23] Oh yeah. On a much smaller scale. Right. I mean, it's a smaller show than Shoptalk. I think you could certainly engage groups of folks that are much more pragmatic in their approach or smaller, more aspirational brands. But yeah, you get very good flavor of all of that from... Whatever you really want to do. I mean, when I'm just looking at, again, the agenda, I look at five tracks and you see everything from a track about the edge of innovation to the new normal in retail, and marketing toward today's consumer, and then building brands. And then there's a whole track about AI. Could we have sustained that whole track about AI five years ago?

Brian: [00:17:17] Three years ago?

Phillip: [00:17:19] Probably not. Three, maybe two even. Yeah. Amazing.

Brian: [00:19:19] Another session I'm looking forward to... I think another thing that  Shoptalk does a really good job of, and has been focused on is what do brands look like in the future? And so track four on that first day kind of kicks off with the future brands, building brands. And the CEO of Barneys and president of Direct to Consumer from Levi's will be interviewed in that session. I'm really interested to see what Marc Rosen from Levi's has to say, because they're looking at that IPO, and I wonder if that affects how they think about their brand.

Phillip: [00:20:06] I mean, I'm a fan. I'm pretty sure, I'm just like checking, checking right now. The Levi's IPO is not going to be small.

Brian: [00:20:18] No. It's not.

Phillip: [00:20:19] And having such a turnaround of a brand like that, hints at a lot of things.

Brian: [00:20:29] Right.

Phillip: [00:20:30] I mean, it's tells a story of brand innovation and revival of a brand.

Brian: [00:20:44] Right. They revived it.

Phillip: [00:20:44] So I think there's that story, but I think they have been very keen on trying to remain relevant with partnerships. We talked some time ago, I think probably the first time we ever talked about Levi's on the show was talking about the connected jacket, the Jacquard, with Google. And it's things like that that don't even have to really be mass market, but to signal that they are forward thinking, and they're wanting to be part of what a connected, wearable public might be doing in the future, and be part of that conversation, and share what they learn about it. You know, you don't have to be successful in every single thing you do. But it's important that you understand where the world is going and try to be part of the conversation of how we get there. Right?

Brian: [00:21:25] Right. Exactly. I think that if we've learned anything from Amazon, that's exactly the lesson there, which you do need to be out there. You need to be working on other things that are interesting and fresh that are, you know, cutting edge, and dip your toes into those things. And some of them aren't going to stick. But some of them are. And even the ones that don't stick have an impact on just perception of your brand. And so, yeah, I am really interested to see what he has to say. I wonder if it'll be a retrospective or if it'll be more about the future. Obviously, this is something that they've been building towards. What happens after the IPO, though? Do they get more conservative with their strategy? Do they bring it more back in-house? They've had a lot of leeway to kind of do what they want. Is that going to change?

Phillip: [00:22:18] I mean, I could probably do a whole show just about Levi's and what I understand about their business. They're truly omni channel now. I've had, you know, growing pains experiences buying from them online. But Levi's is pretty much everywhere I want to be as a consumer. You know, they sell a Nordstrom. They sell in Target. They sell in.

Brian: [00:22:39] Costco.

Phillip: [00:22:40] In outlets. I can buy direct from them. They're doing technology innovation with laser beams for custom wearing and for more customization and  personalization. They have an incredible fit system that is incredibly consistent everywhere you shop. They're the whole package. I think it's interesting because you just don't think of them that way. And it's funny when you look at the panelists at a bunch of these brands. If you thought long enough about every one of them, you could probably say the same thing. Because there's a lot of recognizable brands like the Hershey Group.

Brian: [00:23:20] Right.

Phillip: [00:23:21] And American Eagle. And if you thought long enough about what they're all doing and the stories that you know about them in retail, you could say, "Wow, you know what, actually... Yeah. Like Dick's Sporting Goods. I know what they're doing. I understand they're their omni channel strategy. I understand their mobile strategy." It's interesting to get their point of view. And if you just kind of, if you didn't think about it, you might be like, "Oh, what is the Movoto group doing?" Well, everyone's doing something interesting. We all have something to learn from other brands. And anyway, very, very excited to hear from a bunch of them.

Brian: [00:24:03] Not everyone is doing something interesting.

Phillip: [00:24:04] You know, I actually take I disagree with that. I think everybody's doing something that we can all learn from.

Brian: [00:24:12] Oh, yes. That's true.

Phillip: [00:24:12] Like, even if it's not interesting. Let's say it was a story of failure. You can still learn from that. Right?

Brian: [00:24:18] Oh yeah. I 100% agree with that. Yeah.

Phillip: [00:24:19] I don't think we have enough, by the way, I love a whole track at Shoptalk just based on failures. Spectacular failures track. That's what I want. I want to learn for what other people have done that they would tell me never to do.

Brian: [00:24:32] Oh, my gosh. That's like a whole conference unto itself. Yeah. I love that idea.

Phillip: [00:24:36] FailureConf 2019, presented by Future Commerce. We'll do that. You ready? That'll be our...

Brian: [00:24:41] No. I mean, the thing is, the future is driven by failure.

Phillip: [00:24:44] Yes!

Brian: [00:24:45] You have to get out and fail in order to drive the future. I love that idea.  Well, maybe we'll talk [00:24:53] to Ziya about [00:24:53] that later. {laughter}

Phillip: [00:24:56] The Future Driven by Failure. You know, it's funny is that so many people would attend that and no one would want to speak at it.

Brian: [00:25:04] Right. There would be a few. I think some people are bold enough. Yeah, definitely. You would have some really interesting speakers.

Phillip: [00:25:13] I love that so much. That's the show title. The Future is Driven by Failure. We need more of that. OK. So we're really only on day one of... We're using this as a pretty interesting vehicle to just talk about the show in general. It's seeming to work for us right now. Let's talk about keynotes for a second. Can we shift over to keynotes?

Brian: [00:25:35] Yeah let's go to keynotes. Skip ahead. Yeah, I mean, cause that Canada Goose... Yeah. I'm looking forward to that.

Phillip: [00:25:42] I am, too.  Yeah. It's like my breakout brand of 2018 that's been around forever, but I wasn't really excited about them till they put freezers in their stores. And then I was like, "Oh my gosh, I love Canada Goose. I will pay a thousand dollars for a jacket.".

Brian: [00:25:56] You're like, "Yeah, I live here in Palm Beach, but I gotta have one of those. I'm going to put a freezer in my house just so I can wear one." {laughter}.

Phillip: [00:26:06] That's exactly the kind of experiential retail we all need. That's really funny. I'm really looking forward to that, as well.

Brian: [00:26:15] After going through the crazy weather that we've had out here in the Pac NW, I'm actually all on board. I think my Amazon purchase didn't cut it for this weather. I need to go get some Canada Goose.

Phillip: [00:26:33] Go get some Canada Goose. Well, you had like 18 inches of snow. It's not normal. It's not normal.

Brian: [00:26:40] It was not normal. It was not normal. We had some crazy wind, too. It was like, it was crazy. It was a crazy time.

Phillip: [00:26:48] Yeah. That's that's where you need your Canada Goose. It's interesting. I love stuff like that. I an aspirational cold weather shopper. I never have cold weather. When it's 55 degrees here, everybody's wearing, you know, overcoats. But I always love those brands. I want to shop at them. I walk into a brand like Superdry, and like 70% of the merchandise is puffy jackets. And I'm like, I want a puffy jacket.

Brian: [00:27:18] The puffy jacket.

Phillip: [00:27:18] And I have no reason to buy a puffy jacket or puffy anything, really. Which, you know, is the main reason why I don't shop at UNIQLO very often. Or why they only have one in Florida, in Orlando. But that's that. OK. Let's keep going.

Brian: [00:27:35] I mean, Hudson's Bay... Helena Foulkes. I always love hearing from Hudson's Bay. I don't know. I think the keynotes actually all look really interesting.

Phillip: [00:27:52] Yeah, they really do. I was going to say...

Brian: [00:27:56] Matthew Shay is speaking, too. Matt Shay from NRF. I love the partnership.

Phillip: [00:28:01] It's kind of shocking, actually. I giggled when I thought I was like, "Wow." To some degree, Matt Shay is probably sees himself, if I had to speak for him and I shan't, but I will anyway... the NRF itself is a body, is a lobbying arm of a whole federation of retailers who speak to our government in the United States. They help petition to make retail great again, if you will. I'm digging myself a hole.

Brian: [00:28:38] Yeah, don't use that comparison.

Phillip: [00:28:42] Ok. At any rate, he probably sees himself as sort of elevated above the conference circuit. And it makes sense that he would speak at something like this because the people that belong to his organization and need to hear from him, and this is where they're concentrated in the month of March. So it makes so much sense. And I love that cooperation. Yeah. So we've had someone who's a friend of the show for some time, David Isbitski. He's the Chief Evangelist of Alexa over at Amazon, which I'm super excited to hear a little bit from, in a main session in a main keynote. Do you think that we would see... Obviously, there's not gonna be like product announcement type keynotes, but do you think we'll see anything we haven't heard of in a keynote level interview?

Brian: [00:29:28] No. I don't. I don't think we'll hear anything necessarily new about voice shopping in that keynote. It will be interesting. Definitely. But nothing that we haven't heard. Last Shoptalk, Google pretty much, I feel like that was the unveiling of their retail strategy. I'm sure they had some messaging out about it before, but I really caught Google's vision for shopping at that event. The keynote that was given last year. That was by the same person who's speaking this year. That's Daniel Alegria, who is the president of Retail Shop and Payments at Google. And he just went step by step on sort of the unified vision of how retailers and brands can interact with Google and leverage Google to sell more. I thought it was really well thought out, really well presented. I'm interested to see if we get an update on that this year in his keynote.

Phillip: [00:30:32] Well, we're starting to see Google plays a massive role in retail. To see them actually engaging and assisting merchants and having products that are specifically designed, like having a strategy around it instead of a bunch of disconnected...

Brian: [00:30:45] Right. It wasn't siloed. It was totally all, you know, well thought through and put together. "Make shopping magic" was the tagline. I just thought that the way they presented it was just a very holistic view. If they can execute, I think they've done a decent job of executing on that, I hope to see kind of an update and get into maybe a little bit more of the nitty gritty instead of just the vision this year.

Phillip: [00:31:08] Sure. All right. So we've got a couple of minutes left because we've been trying to contain the length of these episodes, and especially ones like this that we haven't actually been at the show yet. I think we'll get into it when we actually get...after the show. We record at the show, and after the show, we'll talk about the content. What's one thing you're hoping to take away from Shoptalk, in a nutshell?

Brian: [00:31:28] Well that performance by Shaggy. I mean...

Phillip: [00:31:31] I'm pretty sure that when I mentioned that before, both you and LeAnn said, "Who's Shaggy?".

Brian: [00:31:38] That may have been true.

Phillip: [00:31:40] Yeah, I'm pretty sure I said even "It Wasn't Me." And you were like, "It wasn't you what?" And I said, "That's the song. You don't remember the song?"

Brian: [00:31:50] I was young when that came out, man.

Phillip: [00:31:52] You're killing me. You're killing me. You're killing me, smalls. Anything else?

Brian: [00:31:58] I did watch that. I get that reference.

Phillip: [00:32:00] Okay.

Brian: [00:32:02] No, I think the thing that I'm most hoping to walk away with from the show is just a new view into what the next generation of tech looks like. I know we're gonna get a lot of content about how people are applying, businesses are applying, existing technologies. I love walking Shoptalk's innovation floor. Seeing the new brands. There's so many brands that are there that, you know, maybe aren't gonna make it, but a lot of them are. And so being able to walk away with a whole new set of technologies to think through and sort of like end use applications to sort of project... I'm definitely looking forward to that. And Kroger just announced their own payments system just recently. And I know we're going to talk about that more here in a minute.

Phillip: [00:32:56] Yay, more fractionalization in payments. I love it.

Brian: [00:33:00] I wonder. I can't help but wonder, if we're gonna put a little prediction on the show, I can't help but wonder if we're gonna see a few other brands introduce additional payment methods, which is mind blowing. Since the beginning of the show, we have been talking about how payments have been fractionalized. Or that we've seen just an over abundance of payment tools out there. But brands are getting more and more... They want to bring those payment systems into their own ecosystem, and so I can't help a wonderful see a few brands follow suit at the show.

Phillip: [00:33:44] Yeah. That's interesting.

Brian: [00:33:46] Not that I want that. Not that I want that. I'm just saying that we could see more of that.

Phillip: [00:33:51] I don't really have a... I love that. That's great. I fully agree with that. I want to point out one thing, and I'm not really going to have a concrete takeaway from it or make our prediction about it. What I will say is that there is only one session that mentions voice in Shoptalk this year. And if I look at the sponsors, or the people in the expo, there are very few that actually say specifically that they do voice. Now, there's a lot of mention of AI which, you know, would power voice technologies. But I have to wonder to myself, "Have retailers already made voice so much a part of their strategy that they're not really calling it voice anymore, and they're just like, 'Oh, that's part of my mobile strategy,' and it's just commonplace. And that's just it is what it is?" It's that thing I say all the time about AR, which is we'll stop calling it X, and it's a thing my phone does. And so I have to wonder, is that just it's part of a mobile strategy or have retailers decided that voice is no longer a viable strategy? I think that's really what I'm hoping to take away, is kind of get a check in on things that we considered future two years ago and try to figure out sort of the the state of affairs around things like voice and things like app centric ecosystems, like marketplace apps, which, in my opinion, I'm going to be listening out to try to hear what people think about PWA and try to hear more about what people think about platforms like Miracle and some others that are trying to push into bringing marketplaces closer to customers in places they may not think that they would encounter a marketplace. And that's something Sucharita talks about a lot, but is actually just really hard to do.

Brian: [00:35:49] Well, actually, there are two sessions of voice. One of them is the keynote and the other one is the breakout screen. But...

Phillip: [00:35:55] Oh, yeah. Fine, fine, fine.

Brian: [00:35:56] I predict that you're right. We're going to see kind of woven into the conversation more than... I don't think that retailers have necessarily gone out and done a lot with it, yet. But I do think that it's going to be continued part of the conversation. And if you look at the session that is focused on voice, it's 7-Eleven, Sam's Club, Google and XRC Labs that are involved in that. That's a session I want to be a part of. I'm interested to hear that session.

Phillip: [00:36:25] Yeah. Totally.

Brian: [00:36:25] So in short, I think the first part of your prediction is... I think you can actually bifurcate it, and it's actually... Is it that they haven't done anything with it, but it's still interesting to them, even though maybe there's not a lot of sessions on it? Or have they already adopted it? I just haven't seen enough adoption personally to think that they have. So, yeah.

Phillip: [00:36:55] Yep, yep, yep, yep. OK. What is your what are your takeaways? I want to hear from our audience. What are your takeaways or what are you most excited to hear about at Shoptalk? Are you attending Shoptalk? Maybe we should put together like a Future Commerce meetup. I'd love to put that together. We'll put that out, and you can catch all of that on our Insiders e-mail that will be coming out in just a few days here. And we'd love to see you at the show. We've got a couple really interesting content pieces that are going to come out between now and Shoptalk. And we'll be live at the show, as well. So lots of engagements between now and the beginning of March, but we're all very excited. Anyway, like and subscribe. Head on over to Lend your voice to this show. And you can do that on the episode page at Or you can leave us a really nice review, and help us find new audiences over on Google podcasts and Apple podcasts, and anywhere else, podcasts are found. But as we always say... Retail tech moves fast...

Brian: [00:37:54] But Future Commerce is moving faster. Thanks.

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