marketing | January 03, 2013

Retail Speaker Doug Stephens: The Future Of Mobile Commerce [VIDEO]

"For me, mobile 3.0 is pulling everything together," retail speaker Doug Stephens explains in a keynote speech. "It's pulling in social, it's pulling in my past purchase preferences, my financial information, my calendar, my purchase history...and melding it into an algorithm that follows me wherever I go." Not only does this algorithm chart what you've already done on your cell phone or your computer, but Stephens says it also becomes predictive of what you will do. The technology learns your preferences so well that your mobile devices will eventually be able to, "tap you on the shoulder and say: 'By the way, that thing you love? It's two blocks away, here's a coupon.'"

While some people find this "creepy", Stephens says that a recent survey showed that 40 per cent of consumers are actually interested in having this technology if it provides them with relevant information. Essentially, customers want to have artificial intelligence tracking their patterns and predicting their desires—but only if the predictions are accurate and beneficial to them. This may become much more accepted in the future as machines are getting smarter every day, and the methods they use are becoming increasingly more accurate. "Our digital assistants," he explains, "are going to become our digital companions who we will talk to as if they are cherished friends."

While these advances won't eliminate the traditional store, Stephens does say that the expansion of mobile commerce will change the definition of a store. It will create new ways of purchasing and shopping and will force companies to provide their customers with truly beneficial information and products—especially because it is so easy to get what you need elsewhere. The founder of Retail Prophet consulting, Stephens delivers eye-opening predictions for the future of sales and retail in his keynotes. His insights have been influential to large companies such as Air Miles, Home Depot, and Disney, and he is frequently quoted in the media. He charts the patterns emerging today so that his audiences can see what's to come and stay ahead of their competition.

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business strategy | January 02, 2013