Marc Andreessen in his article that retail will completely die is directionally correct, but rather than software “eating retail” per his “software is eating the world model”, it will enable a very powerful and personalized mobile-enabled retail experience that will blow away the experience of just buying goods online from the computer on your desk.
Think of the future of retail more like the Apple retail store model, powered by a compelling & personalized mobile-enabled shopping experience. Less inventory, more experience in the store and at its surroundings, much more known about the consumer while they are shopping and most importantly before they walk in the door.
The mobile computer in your pocket, combined with location transmitters and information sensors surrounding the spaces around you, and a powerful data engine with personalization capabilities will enable shopping and all of the activities that could surround a shopping outing to be fun and entertaining.
The benefits are great – excellent social experience with friends while buying goods, and the goods that you need right away are available, the rest can be delivered home. You can wrapper a shopping outing with food & entertainment with friends and super convenience through a tailored experience. Along the journey you will receive personalized offers and rewards, be navigated directly to the products you want to buy, learn about relevant deals and specials, earn rewards points, find interesting activities to do, be able to locate friends around you and gather for entertainment and dining, receive advice from friends & experts, compare products and services, sort purchases for immediate take-home or home delivery, and make the final purchases. And each visit adds to your profile, making future visits more compelling, valuable and entertaining.
That is a much better future than just sitting by yourself and buying every thing online from your computer!
Appconomy continues to plow ahead on its mission to map the world’s people, places and things to simplify people’s lives with mobile apps. Apps powered by Appconomy will serve people globally across their daily activities in the physical (non-online) world such as shopping, healthcare, entertainment, and transportation. Our apps are highly local – as local as the products in a grocery store only 5 meters away from you – and contextually aware – knowing what you are looking for and predicting what is interesting to you at any time and place. This is a giant mission, and every bit as big or bigger than Google’s mission “to organize the worlds information and make it universally accessible and useful.” What’s more, we have established an early technology advantage with indoor location services – with highly accurate indoor positioning capability that is independent of the mobile smartphone operating system. This has been a result of some amazing innovation by our team and partners.
Last week, we filed a first closing of our bridge financing, the proceeds of which will enable us to continue to rollout our platform in physical retail formats across China while we proceed to close an upcoming Series B financing. For those that have followed the Appconomy journey so far, you already know about our strategy of launching first in China. This strategy is every bit as big and bold as our mission. My co-founder and colleague at Appconomy, Steve Guengerich, recently wrote about China here, which highlights why we chose this dynamic country for our launch strategy. Doing so has not been easy as a foreign founded company, and the road to foreign founded company success in internet and mobile services in China is paved with many failures.
However, despite these poor odds, we are off to an amazing start. This early success is surely enabled by our strategic alliance with our amazing partner in China, Neusoft Corporation and their incredible talent and leadership team. Our JinJin mobile loyalty product is live at over 90 merchants and 1,000+ locations, and our mobile smart shopper app is live in Shanghai with Carrefour, the world’s second largest retailer to Wal-mart, providing first of its kind indoor location and navigation services that are already “wowing” Carrefour shoppers in Shanghai. The latter is generating compelling consumer engagement metrics and is rapidly attracting the world’s leading fast moving consumer goods advertisers and other major retailers. You can find a very good overview of the emerging traction of our platform in China and the apps it powers at Technode here.
All of this has been achieved on relatively little capital relative to the the size and scope of the mission and strategy of the company and the necessary integration with the physical world, which takes capital and clever partnerships to achieve. We will add further fuel to the fire with capital in our Series B financing and leverage with upcoming strategic alliances.
In the coming weeks and months we have several new announcements on deck as we rollout this platform in China and beyond. Stay tuned to our journey, and Appconomy is coming soon to empower you with the world around you, right in the palm of your hand!