Future Commerce  - A Retail Strategy Podcast
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A retail podcast focused on what's new and what's next in commerce - cutting-edge, next generation technology and strategy for modern brands. We unpack the daily news of retail brands around the world and break it down into actionable insights for your business.

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    Global Accessibility Awareness Day 2019

    As Brian heads to NRF Tech Phillip pontificates on a foreseeable future where permits and certificates of occupancy are required to build shopping experiences on the web. Listen now!

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    "Deliciously Sinful" - Brand Sustainability in the Age of Impulse Luxury (w/ Ingrid Milman)

    Ingrid Milman (Ann Taylor, LOFT) sits in this week in our Earth Week deep-dive to discuss sustainability, transparency in supply chain, and "deliciously sinful" luxury impulse buys. Who has the true influence on the eco-conscious purchase decision - the brand or the consumer? How can fashion lead the conversation in transparent supply chain and manufacturing processes? Featured brands this week: Outdoor Voices, Rent the Runway, Reformation, H&M, Allbirds and more. Listen now!

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    Bonus - Earth Day 2019

    What do Amazon, Everlane, Allbirds and New York City have in common? They have all announced Carbon Offset initiatives. Brian's out so this is our first mini-episode covering some of the stories that landed on Earth Day, April 22, 2019. Listen now!

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    "Data-Driven Storytelling" - feat. Rachel Swanson, Method + Mode Research

    In the age of brands having veritable lakes of data how do you action and champion the story behind the data - how do you use it to bring real insight into who your customer is and what she wants? In this episode we sit down with Rachel Swanson, founder of Method + Mode, a market research firm, to take some of Future Commerce's own medicine - to listen to our audience and learn from the data that was generated from our first-ever audience survey.

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    "The Modern Consumer Has Trust Issues" feat. Scott Emmons, CTO at Current Global

    Are digital experiences the gateway to a more accessible luxury experience for millennial consumers? Scott Emmons opens up to us about his successes at Neiman Marcus, the future of technology adoption at retail brands, and how he's bringing that culture of innovation and technology leadership to other brands in his new role at Current Global.

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    "I'm Lovin' It": Upselling french fries in the age of personalization

    In this episode, we unpack Instagram and Pinterest: Is social commerce the new "dot-com"? Can a fast food chain be a good steward of an AI-based startup? Plus: Glossier and Rent the Runway go Unicorn, Apple Credit, and Jeremy King leaves Walmart.

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    "Transforming Showrooms into Collaboration Spaces"

    Live from Shoptalk 2019, there's a lot to say about brands, Levi's keynote, and puppies which seem to be everywhere! Future Commerce Director of Content Lianne Hikind joins the show, and clienteling is a major theme at Shoptalk sessions.

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    Deep Fakes for Commerce: A New Era of Personalization for Retail

    CVS launches "Beauty Mark", its truth-in-advertising campaign; while AI is generating faces that are plausibly real. Meanwhile companies like SuperPersonal are putting customers into model try-on videos. Have "deep fakes" - AI algorithms that map faces and micro-expressions onto stock footage - come to retail? How can they help? How can they hurt?

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    "The Intersection of Preferences and Intent" (with Chris Homer, CTO @ thredUP)

    Recorded live at eTail West 2019, Brian sits down with Chris Homer of thredUP to talk about how data is assisting the "treasure hunt" in the secondhand retail market space. thredUP uses data, events and preferences to help their customers find wardrobe pieces they'll love, and they use technology to assist them to have joyful experiences over and over.

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    "Bottle Up Kindness" (w/ Ingrid Milman, Ann Taylor)

    Brian sits down at eTail West 2019 with Ingrid Milman, eCommerce Strategist for Ann Inc (Ann Taylor | LOFT | Lou & Grey) . Ingrid talks about customer expectations in the digital age, clienteling as a culture, and how to lace kindness into a brand culture from top to bottom - from employee interaction to customer experience.

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    "The Future is Driven by Failure"

    Shoptalk 2019 is mere weeks away and so we take the opportunity to look through the brands, the speakers, and the agenda! ALSO: Is voice dead? Why don't we talk about failure? What were the key takeaways from the 2017 and 2018 editions of Shoptalk and what are we hoping to learn in 2019?

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    "Controlling My Data Should Be a Fundamental Human Right"

    "Controlling my data will be a fundamental human right in the 2050's" Phillip and Brian recap Future Stores Miami and get deep into futurism on what the future of humanity and commerce looks like as we evolve from Homo Erectus, to Homo Sapien and finally to Homo Deus.

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    Annual Predictions Episode - 2019 Commerce Trends and Technology

    Phillip and Brian deliver on their 2019 predictions - AR is here, where is it heading? Retail wages - are they rising? Brands can finally compete with Amazon - and what about Charitable Commerce? All that and more - PLUS what the "retail apocalypse" was REALLY all about. Listen now!

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    "Instagrammable Moments" Live @ NRF 2019

    Products that are sharable are all the rage - in part 1 of our recap of NRF we come to you live from the show floor and talk about how retailers are using customer engagement to shape how their product assortment and marketing are crafted. Listen now!

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    "New Commerce" with Brandon L. Singer, Cushman Wakefield

    "Stores with in stores" is a concept often spoken but seldom understood. With retail closures on the rise we look at how real estate is adapting to new digitally native brands, how flagships are shifting focus, and how companies like Cushman and Wakefield are helping brands get to market faster than ever. Listen now!

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    First Look: Mobile Optimization Study

    The question of the day is "how can I turn mobile browsers into buyers"? The mobile optimization community initiative is helping answer this question by partnering with an engaged ecommerce community of retailers and systems integrators to test assumptions and deliver solutions for their clients. Listen now!

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    Wayfair: Building Durable Customer Experiences

    How do you build durable customer experiences? According to Wayfair's Steve Conine it starts by innovating and owning the entire experience, soup to nuts. In this episode we interview the co-founder of Wayfair and how investment in platform, technology, customer experience and even open source are the differentiators in creating engaging customer journies. Listen now!

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    "Shopify LA" = Apple Genius Bar?

    Shopify opens its first physical brick-and-mortar store in DTLA to support merchants on the platform. Is this just for the press or does it signal a reposition of the company and how it thinks about itself? Listen now!

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    Amazon Cake Mix®

    We review Amazon's Four Star store concept - is it "Analogue Amazon" or is it just the Service Merchandise of 2018? How does Amazon prevent it from becoming mostly Alexa devices or 100% in-house brands? Does realtime pricing affect classism? Listen now!

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    "California Is Our Only Hope"

    Netflix is pioneering digital-first "Choose Your Own Adventure"-style content; because who else owns the delivery platform and the content authorship? Also: Plus-size investments are becoming more prevalent with Wal-Mart's acquisition of Eloquii, California bans "bots". Listen now!

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    "Right on Target"

    Target released its earnings just before we published Episode 80 - and our whole perspective shifted. Plus: Salesforce's Benioff is on a spending spree; Apple's major differentiator - creating products you literally can't live without. Literally. Listen now!

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    Shop.org 2018 Innovation Lab

    Brian attends Shop.org 2018 and interviews the most compelling exhibitors in the Innovation Lab. From 3D body scanning to projection mapping listen how retailers are pushing the limits of technology.

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    "There's Always Money in the Banana Stand"

    What do Wal-Mart, Target, Shipt, Instacart, and squeezing avocados have to do with the one-a-day banana? Plus: how Facebook and segmented targeting of social ads can lead to race discrimination. Listen now!

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    "Email is a Global Identity Platform" (w/ Allen Nance, Emarsys)

    According to Allen Nance email has transcended from a communication platform to a global source of identity for consumers the world over. The CMO of Emarsys sits down with us to talk about how this communication medium has a globally accepted protocol which may unlock the key to identity in a social and mobile commerce future. Listen now!

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    "Clicks to Bricks"

    "Voice is dead", Hema launches experiential grocery, cast your votes with the blockchain! Also - which online mattress retailer is opening 200 stores in the USA? One guess, and it rhymes with "blasper". Listen now!

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    "Zucchini in a Cucumber Pile" w/ Sucharita Kodali

    Sucharita Kodali of Forrester Research joins us to talk about the unfortunate demise of Toys 'R Us and her new book, "Toys 'R Bust: Reasons One of the Country’s Most Revered Retailers Collapsed". Listen now!

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    "There is No One Best Experience" (w/ Monika Kochhar, Smartgift)

    For all of the testing and optimization we do on today's ecommerce sites we are missing a vital section of our shopper personas: those who buy on behalf of someone else. Monika Kochhar of Smartgift walks us through the "Science of Gifting" and how, at its heart, gift-giving can be improved in today's digital commerce experiences.

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    "PANDA-MONIUM": The Great Build-a-Bear crisis of 2018

    Is Magic Leap ready for prime time? Adidas and Parley harvest Starbucks straws from the ocean and pack them into overpriced running shoes, and kids experience existential dread while waiting in 7 hour lines for "experiential" commerce. Listen now!

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    "We Shouldn't Have to Wear Juggalo Makeup"

    "FREAKING PRIVACY? HOW DOES IT WORK?" We dig into the privacy impacts of advancements in facial recognition software and how it has vast impacts on Global Commerce. PLUS: Brian has a huge announcement! Listen now!

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    "Choose Your Own Adventure" (w/ Dave Pelton, Vertex)

    LIVE from IRCE 2018! The Supreme Court of the United States is about to make a decision in a landmark case which may affect how sales tax nexus is calculated for merchants in all 50 states. Dave Pelton, Product Line Leader at Vertex, breaks down how this decision could affect retail and how - regardless of the outcome - online merchants may be impacted going forward.

    Listen now!

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    Community as a Retail Differentiator

    Community-building is powering everything from product innovation to commerce platforms. In this episode we dive into how to build a community and how to do it with authenticity. Plus: how did Kanye West's Yeezy brand shape the entire footwear industry in just 5 years?

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    "Nirvana of Personalization"

    Can you be persuaded into behavior based on social proof? "Retail Predestination" is what happens when a social network decides you need to purchase something. Do you have the agency to make purchase decisions or is Facebook deciding your fate and retail persona? We dive into the Adobe + Magento partnership and uncover how personalization is affecting how purchase decisions are being made, and in turn, how consumers are behaving.

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    Manufactured Scarcity: Secondhand Commerce

    As resale of luxury goods and scarce artist collaborations in fashion is on the rise - how long until brands begin to own their own "secondary markets"? Secondhand commerce is here, and we take a deep dive into the maturation of the afterlife of luxury goods. ALSO: subscription commerce comes to the auto industry. Listen now!

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    "Sommoliers of Retail"

    Experiential retail is here - what does the sales force look like? Facebook is mining Instagram photos for context with AI while unveiling a new dating service. Twitter fesses up to a security issue. Commerce comes to social. Also: is the AI talent market causing brain drain in education?

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    "Push Notifications for Chewbacca Bobble Heads"

    The Oculus Go makes a splash at a killer price point - true consumer VR is here. Instagram is shoppable now! Amazon's trying to be Snapchat. Plus: bar banter is dead.

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    "Secondhand is the New New" (w/ Ryan MacInnis)

    "Secondhand Commerce" is changing the way that we purchase luxury goods - from watches and handbags to sneakers - secondary markets are finding life after the initial purchase. Plus: Macy's acquires Story in a move to bring experiential retail to big the department store. Special thanks to Ryan MacInnis of Voysis for joining us on this episode of Future Commerce!

    Apologies for the audio quality in this episode as we encountered a technical issue. Should be fixed going forward! Thanks for listening!

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    "Leading Indicators of Unchecked Inflation"

    We're back! Brian joins Amazon, we talk subscription movie passes driving return to the shopping malls; and are we seeing leading indicators of unchecked inflation? PLUS: Who is the Nordstrom customer?

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    Retail Renaissance: A Review of Shoptalk 2018

    "Hopefully GDPR is the medicine we need to start putting our customers at the center of the story, and not our conversion rates". We review Shoptalk 2018 in the wake of Cambridge Analytica with a discussion about the content, the vendors, the experience, and how merchants can take the knowledge gained at a show like Shoptalk and turn it into actionable results.

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    "Deep Fakes" - Weaponizing Artificial Intelligence

    What happens when you no longer control your own likeness? Is there an ethical line to be crossed with posthumous product spokesmanship? We skirt the line in this episode and get topical - talking about the subject of ethics and artificial intelligence and how online communities have banned "Deep Fakes" - pornographic simulations produced by artificial intelligence.

    Also - this week we have the return of Future Policy with Danny Sepulveda - this week we have an update about Net Neutrality and how it will affect global commerce and infrastructure.

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    Bonus Episode: Interview with E-commerce Braintrust Podcast: Voice Commerce

    We're bringing you a bonus episode - we sat down with Kiri Masters of Ecommerce Braintrust Podcast to talk about the proliferation of voice and voice commerce - and how it's changing the perception of what a brand is and how they engage their customers. To listen to the WHOLE thing head over to ecommercebraintrust.com and listen to Episode 19!

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    Voice Commerce: Distribution vs. Brand (w/ Ryan MacInnis, Voysis)

    Voice is dominating commerce experiences: but is it kitsch or is it kismet? What separates retailers who are implementing voice strategies? Ryan MacInnis of Voysis joins us to talk about how to give your brand a voice in a world spoken by Alexa. Plus: Facebook Fiona and Aloha - one more smart speaker / tablet to contend for our attention.

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    We Pay a Visit to Amazon Go

    We fulfill a promise to our listeners and provide an in-depth review of Amazon Go - including food, assortment, experience, and how the technology will be applied and extended into the future. Listen now!

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    "It's Twenty-Bleeping-Eighteen"

    Homepod: more like yawn-pod. Plus: retail investment is gaining steam, mobile advertising to overtake traditional advertising, bye bye sales! Nike makes the foam sole more personal.

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    "Zero Mentions of Omnichannel" - LIVE at NRF 2018

    We recap NRF 2018 in a way that only Future Commerce can - LIVE from the show floor at The Big Show! Plus: is retail real estate in trouble? Have we left Omni Channel behind?

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    Mine Bitcoin with Kodak for Fun and Profit (CES 2018 Review)

    "Bitcoin isn't so much a currency as it is a commodity". 2018 is shaping up to be the year of Cryptocurrency - so we dive in a bit thanks to some news from CES 2018. Why should you care as a retailer? Plus: a preview of NRF's The Big Show 2018.

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    Virtual Reality You Can Feel (w/ Greg Bilsland, HaptX)

    We're joined for a special interview with Greg Bilsland of HaptX to talk about VR for Commerce and how touch in VR isn't as elusive as you may believe. Impossible technology worth paying attention to now: how realistic haptics will add another dimension to our immersive experiences in retail and training.

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    "Don't Underestimate What Can Happen in Just 1 Year"

    Future Commerce is making predictions all the time - so predicting the future of retail is right in our wheel house! Episode 55 is about making predictions for the coming retail year - from "experience" to flagships, to tech adoption and consumer sentiment - we cover it all. Plus, we're joined by Danny Sepulveda with our weekly Future Policy segment.

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    "Microsoft Paint, but for Augmented Reality"

    What exactly is Deep Learning? What can HAM radio teach us about decency in the social age? Danny Sepulveda joins us for a new "Future Policy" segment. Also - what exactly is Facebook Messenger Kids all about?

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    "Consumerism is our Religion"

    "If consumerism is our religion, then malls were our temples. Our temple now is the internet." Episode 53 is all about how Amazon owned Black Friday and while our heads were spinning they decided to take over Augmented Reality as well. Goodbye Black Friday, hello Black November. Also Google Poly and - in case you hadn't heard - Amazon's eating the world.

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    "One Technology Leading to Another"

    Technology can help you take your next step in retail - so we review the current landscape of retail-tech-focused podcasts, provide critique and offer insight into our favorite resources for keeping up to date on retail news.

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    FC INSIDERS Giveaway - PLUS - sneak peek at Episode 52

    BONUS EPISODE! We're giving away FIVE GOOGLE HOME MINIS! Sign up for FC INSIDERS newsletter before December 1st to receive one of FIVE Google Home Minis! PLUS - A quick shout out to Deborah Weinswig and a preview of Episode 52 of Future Commerce

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    AI, Classism, and the Digital Divide

    This week we've entered The Odd Couple territory. Brian's relentless optimism and hope for harnessing technology for a bright future contrast with Phillip's expressed skepticism that advancements in AI and automation will benefit the working class without regulatory oversight.

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    Gamifying Healthcare

    Healthcare is no game, but try telling insurance carriers that. Phillip gets manipulated into buying a denim jacket, innovation in fitness and fashion, Adobe "reinvents" fintech, and the guys go deep (real deep) on healthcare and insurance.

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    Is Magic Leap the Solyndra of 2017?

    What is eVTOL? Does the future of the world depend on disruption in Food Delivery and innovation in Public Transit? Also - Project Loon in Puerto Rico, Magic Leap takes a Series D

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    "Behind the Veneer"

    A review of Shop.org, Rockets, Rebuilding Puerto Rico, Toys 'R Us declares Bankruptcy and FC Insiders

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    Ecosystem Innovation (w/ Peter Sheldon, Magento)

    "If it doesn't add value, don't invest in it" - Peter Sheldon of Magento joins us to talk about crowdsourced ecosystem innovation, what PWAs mean for retailers, and gives his input on what the next 5-10 years looks like for retail

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    #retailcrisis

    Whether it's real or not, retail crisis is in the news and is the topic of conversation among retail merchants. Saku Panditharatne joins us to talk #retailcrisis.

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    Future of Content (w/ Acquia)

    We sit down with Acquia to talk their new partnership with Magento, the role of personalization, and recap of ShopTalk 2017

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    NRF Series: IBM Watson with Amber Armstrong

    Brian discusses Watson, Cognitive, and the challenges of applying technology to retail with Amber Armstrong, Director of Digital, Social, Influencer at IBM

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    "Whoa Amazon Go"

    The guys do a prediction episode and 2017 looks like it's coming up AI

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    #VoiceFirst (with Brian Roemmele)

    Part 1 of 2 of a deep discussion with Brian Roemmele about how voice interaction (and other tech) will revolutionize most everything.

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    "Unbridled Witticisms"

    Best practices for chat bots, Google goes AI-first, #MadeByGoogle event coverage, Alexa announcements, and more.

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    The Dark Side

    Maybe the future isn't so bright, after all? We dig into recent news and some listener feedback that has us wondering just how positive our future will be with mounting global political uncertainty.

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    Body Data

    Brian and Phillip go futurist and talk about the emerging technologies around Body Data. They dive into more privacy issues including a national healthcare database and owning / managing your health data.

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    Acquisitions, Acquisitions Everywhere

    Brian and Phillip talk about merger and acquisition activity in the digital commerce space and how it will affect the future of digital commerce.

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    Augmented Reality is Just Getting Started

    Brian and Phillip discuss the future of Augmented Reality (AR) and how Pokemon Go raises questions about the future of commerce, mobile computing, digital commerce and privacy.

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    Cognitive Commerce (featuring Tom Robertshaw)

    The guys sit down with IBM Watson and Cognitive Commerce Expert Tom Robertshaw to talk about the future of machine learning , artificial intelligence and tradeoff analytics.

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    An Introduction to Passive Commerce

    Brian and Phillip talk about "Passive Commerce" (a phrase coined by Jason Baptiste) that describes the ability to "harvest" purchase intent by giving purchase opportunities outside a traditional shopping cart.

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    Conversational Commerce: Google I/O

    Phillip and Brian cover the Google I/O 2016 announcements and how they all seem to enable conversational commerce.

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    Conversational Commerce: WWDC

    Phillip and Brian dissect the announcements made at Apple's WWDC event on June 16, 2016 and how every announcement touched on developer access to APIs and tools to develop conversational commerce.

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