The Pulse at Etail Boston

PLUS: Roblox gambling spurs a class action lawsuit
August 23, 2023
Pictured: our fourth Future Commerce Salon of the year. In attendance: On Running, Converse, Sweetwater Music, Lashify, Planet Fitness, and many more.

This week we’re on the road promoting our forthcoming Generative AI in Commerce (GenAI) report. 

Last night, we hosted our fourth Future Commerce Salon of the year. This time we found ourselves in Boston, hosting prestigious brands, breaking bread, and talking about the Future of Commerce.

Our esteemed guest was Bain & Co. Fellow, Fred Reichheld, who created the Net Promoter Score, a way for brands to measure their customers’ willingness to share their experiences with others.

The value of NPS is an oft-debated topic in the circles of eCom. According to Fred, twenty-three years after creating the objective scoring mechanism that so many brands utilize today, it’s an inadequate measurement for today’s digital brand, especially in an era when customers have greater control over their experiences with a brand than ever before (something that we cover in detail in The Multiplayer Brand). Also inadequate: CLV, and any other metric that optimizes how much you can take from a customer. New metrics must emerge that measure the pulse of a customer who desperately wants to be participatory in their relationship with a brand.

One such new metric is Earned Growth Rate (also created by Fred), also called Net Promoter 3.0; which seeks to solve the revenue portion and self-reported bias of the NPS system. 

As we ended the evening rapt in conversation, we began to wonder — does NPS succeed or fail because it brings the customer to a decision point? Does the act of asking a customer whether they would recommend your brand or product taint their perspective? 

If so, it would mean that customer sentiment is truly quantum.

— Phillip

P.S. What is the secret to successful product development? We decode how to devise, create, launch, and measure the growth of a new product in our newest series. Check out Season 2 of Decoded: From Concept to Cart, presented in partnership with Big Commerce.

Sight & Sound: Scientists use brainwaves to replicate Pink Floyd's "Another Brick In The Wall". Lockheed Martin offers a Hershey's smores kit in their corporate store, emphasizing the peace they provide for such enjoyments.

The Palate: Marvel integrates McDonald's into the MCU, leading the fast-food chain to highlight its features in popular shows. The sardine becomes a major fashion trend, influencing clothing and accessories. Millennials are shifting from alcohol to marijuana, with significant increases in daily marijuana users since 2018.

The Sixth Sense: A new class action lawsuit accuses Roblox of enabling illegal gambling for minors through third-party sites using Robux. 

Our Take: In the modern age, our very first eCommerce experiences are in-game. Roblox, Pokemon, Fortnite, and Animal Crossing; our expectations of consumerism, and our tastes for digital interfaces, are formed at an early age in video gaming. 

But as sports betting and digital gambling become more normalized — and gamified — we should expect to see more aberrations like this Roblox case. To be clear, this is not gambling on the Roblox platform-proper. It is happening on a third-party site using the digital currency through an API. As a facilitator of the API, Roblox may be held culpable, which could create new and interesting challenges for the growth of over digital currency gaming communities.

Still, brands will continue to build on the Roblox platform. For a complete listing of brand activations in the gaming community, see our Roblox Brand Activation Tracker.

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