Mirror, mirror on the retail wall

November 14, 2012

On the back of recent research by the Australian Centre for Retail Studies (ACRS) that found that only 4% of people start shopping in store before eventually purchasing goods on-line and that the majority of shoppers don’t go in store with the intent of buying online, but rather are driven there by poor in-store experiences, I chatted with 6PR’s Tony MacManus about the future of Retail.

We explored magic mirrors that let you try on clothes and accessories in store without getting undressed; at home webcam technology that lets you try on before you buy; mobile phones and tablets that let you navigate around retail spaces to find exactly what you’re looking for and technology that lets you bring in-store your virtual closets or pantry so that you can match what you already have, with whatever you’re looking to buy.

All this will happen in a future retail landscape that will offer a seamless blend of in-store, mobile, and web-based experiences in which retailers and consumers will sell and buy in whichever environment suits them best depending on their immediate situation and needs.

My final message to retailers in this interview was to not overlook the longer term retail revolution that’s happening behind the scenes of the immediately more impactful economic conditions, to do so is to doom your retail store to irrelevance.

Listen now and let me know your thoughts on the Future of Retail


Listen to Yesterday, Speak to Tomorrow

November 14, 2012

Listen to Yesterday, speak to Tomorrow is one of my mantra’s and in the world of innovation and invention it has never been more true.

Tomorrow’s landscapes are built on yesterday’s dreams, hand crafted from the flimsiest of unfulfilled desires, often brought into the world in the quietest of voices, voices that only become louder once they gather mass and a semblance of reality, and once thus formed and tangible are then collectively shouted to the world.

I know that’s a bit airy fairy, but it is how I see many great innovators approach their new thoughts and possibilities.

Today’s innovation landscape is vastly different from that of even five (5) years ago.

Five (5) years ago we spoke of patents, IP and confidentiality agreements. Today we preach openness, transparency and co creation. Neither is better or worse, just different.

In our regular on-air interview of all things Future, ABC Wide Bay’s David Dowsett and I chatted about this brave new innovation landscape, where websites like kickstarter, microryza and many others that allow innovators to share their thoughts, garner support and funding in order to get to the next level of possibility.

In today’s business world we have so many wonderful incubator spaces that you can rent on ad-hoc basis, but its more than the physical space you rent it is the collective minds, goodwill and innovation spirit that abound in rarefied these places where together everyone is learning, sharing and expanding boundaries, networks and capabilities.

In this brave new world, my off the record discussions with patent lawyers yield comments like “just go for it, being first to market today can be far more powerful than having the IP and Patents locked down” and this is simply that the slowness of applying and getting statutory approval will often mean that you will miss marketplace need for the product and by the time you have gained all of the IP and Patents the product and market may have moved on.

The most powerful questions that you need ask today in innovation is Why and What, the How, Where and When can all be co created.

Have a listen to this weeks segment and as always I’d love to hear your thoughts on the Future of Innovation.