Sramana Mitra: It sounds like this is also a key open problem around which more innovative solutions are in order and where innovators and entrepreneurs could come up with more innovative solutions.
Kevin Eichelberger: Absolutely. Mobile payments issue is a big opportunity. Mobile user experience is a big opportunity. I think there is a larger underlying shift in retail that will open up even greater opportunities for new ideas, new solutions, and new entrants in the marketplace in terms of a better way to engage with customers. That’s certainly something I could speak further about during the course of the conversation.
Sramana Mitra: Let’s turn it around into something very specific. If you were starting a company today focused on this problem, what kinds of things are in your mind about ways to solve the problem besides the mobile wallet issue? Are there other things that you can do that would be interesting?
Kevin Eichelberger: If we narrow that focus specifically to the mobile shopping experience, think about how companies create shopping experiences and how they create a website and mobile site. Who makes decisions in those processes and how are decisions made? By and large, mobile shopping experiences still trail behind desktop and laptop not only in checkout but in other areas as well. The question is what other areas can be made better in mobile shopping experience and what are better techniques to understand what can be better.
I don’t think most people even have the answer. The answer is to have a more innovative approach when thinking about customer experience. I’ve been through a lot of these platform redesigns or site redesigns. If you’re a fly on the wall and listen to the people that are involved in making these decisions, the approach of using individuals’ opinions, ideas, and experiences might yield a better result but if I were to create a startup focused specifically on solving this one specific problem, it would be around a better solution to creating shopping experiences.
In particular, how data is used in that process because what ultimately has to happen for us to get from the mobile shopping experiences of today to a higher converting mobile shopping experience is by listening to our customers. The ways we listen to them is by gathering data about those experiences. We can use quantitative and qualitative data about those customers. We can develop tools for understanding information. We can create feedback loops and mechanisms. There are technologies that do some of this today.
By and large, focus on user experience first and informing those decisions with data-based insights to say, “This is what you might think as the right solution. If I listen to all your customers, this is what you should be doing.” Right now, in order for us to gather that data, we have to sue a variety of tools and techniques. It takes a lot of time. lot of clients don’t have that time. Solutions that can help guide those decisions fast are strong opportunities to help lots of companies understand what exactly they should be doing from a mobile experience standpoint.
There’s a broader problem I could speak on that might be a broader opportunity for entrepreneurs to enter the market. In the beginning, I referred to how people shop today versus how they shopped 10 to 15 years ago. It also leads to the question, “How is shopping done in 10 to 15 years versus today?”