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Burlingame, CA, September 25, 2014
“Conexxus Hosts Technology Innovators at San Francisco Strategy Event”
Conexxus’ Technology Research Committee (TRC) sponsored a day of presentations by Bay area technology companies targeting the mobile commerce space as part of Conexxus’ Annual Strategy Conference. A key partner in this event was blue-chip venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers (investors in Google, Amazon, Intuit, AOL) who provided 3 portfolio companies to present to the group at their Menlo Park office.
The morning started out with an overview of beacon technology provided by Gimbal, recently spun off from Qualcomm Communications to develop the proximity, geo-fencing and point of purchase consumer interest markets. The Low Energy Bluetooth (Bluetooth LE) allows medium proximity determination in the retail environment, and is standard on current Apple mobile platforms and higher-end Android devices. When a beacon is sensed by a connected mobile device, targeted promotion, payments and even consumer interest (dwell time) can be determined. Several Conexxus members are currently experimenting with this new consumer facing technology.
KPCB’s Rouz Jazayeri, Partner and Chief of Staff to John Doerr, and liaison to KPCB’s digital and green-tech portfolios, led a discussion on three of KPCB’s most relevant companies:
ChargePoint is the world’s largest Electric Vehicle (EV) charging network, with over 18,500 locations already installed the US. The ChargePoint station is readily installed at locations where consumers routinely spend more than 30 minutes (malls, parking, office) and allow the EV consumer to “top off” vehicle batteries while engaged in other activities. Analysis by big box merchants offering this system indicate longer store times and basket value lift for ChargePoint customers.
Reputation.com addresses the critical need for all companies – especially retailers – to monitor, measure and improve their reputation in today’s “crowd-sourced” online world of customer opinion. Citing their observation that detractors are more likely to post a negative review than fans, Reputation used sophisticated and pervasive web analytics to benchmark web “net promoter” status and measure a company’s efforts to improve their online image.
Shopkick has developed into a leading consumer shopping platform (over 6 million users) that, until recently, relied exclusively on ultra-high frequency sound recognition in a consumer’s mobile device to monitor specific store traffic. Now embracing Bluetooth LE, Shopkick is augmenting its consumer rewards (“Kicks”) offer to real-time CPG promotion and the point of presentation. Shopkick also aggregates consumer data to provide retailers and CPGs with a more complete picture of consumer behavior throughout their day.
Upon returning from KPCB, the group heard a presentation from Datalogix who has successfully transitioned from a leading print marketing firm to include online and mobile consumer big data. Datalogix approach is the change consumer “reach” to a “pay for play” model that allows retailers and CPG to see the direct results, in sales, of coordinated marketing programs. The takeaway message from Datalogix was that retailers are sitting on extremely valuable data they should market, before someone takes it.
SkuRun presented their beacon enablement strategy that offers a common API for retailers to build and leverage their own beacon networks. Following on to Datalogix’ assertion that retailers undervalue their data, SkuRun markets the toolsets that allow retailers to fully value and monetize consumer shopping data in their stores.
Lastly, Marty Ramos, Chief Technology Officer of Retail at Microsoft presented a survey of retail IT trends his group is seeing in the marketplace. From sub-$500, tablet-based point-of-sale platforms to Bluetooth connected store peripherals, Microsoft sees a greater adoption of consumer technology (and price scale) by retail. Marty also reviewed Microsoft’s retail experience center which boasts a convenience store among it prototype exhibits.
“The attendees were effusive about the relevance and readiness of the innovators they saw today”, said Doug New, CIO of Tedeschi Food Shops and chair of the Technology Research Committee. “The value of customer data, augmented by the enabling technologies we saw today are going to change the way many of our member companies’ strategies in the near-term. This is what Conexxus’ TRC mission is about – innovation and transformation.”
Conexxus, formerly PCATS, addresses technology standards to improve business processes, reduce costs and increase productivity for the convenience and fuel retailing industry. For more information on how you can get involved visit conexxus.org.