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The Jason & Scot Show - E-Commerce And Retail News

Join hosts Jason “Retailgeek” Goldberg, Chief Commerce Strategy Officer at Publicis, and Scot Wingo, CEO of GetSpiffy and Founder and Executive Chairman of Channel Advisor, as they discuss the latest news and trends in the world of e-commerce and digital shopper marketing.
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Now displaying: April, 2022
Apr 29, 2022

Amazon released their Q1 earnings for 2022 on Thursday April 29th. In this episode we do a deep dive into all the details.

Key Topics:

  • Declining macro economics
  • First quarter 1P sales were down year-over-year for the first time in two decades, as it had to comp against a very strong Q1 2021 which was elevated by the pandemic.
  • AWS getting a strong boost from the pandemic.
  • Ads continue to quietly be a bright spot for Amazon
  • Andy Jassy's first annual shareholder letter
  • Amazon's new "Buy With Prime" offering for DTC sites.

Episode 291 of the Jason & Scot show was recorded on Thursday April 29, 2022.

http://jasonandscot.com

Join your hosts Jason "Retailgeek" Goldberg, Chief Commerce Strategy Officer at Publicis, and Scot Wingo, CEO of GetSpiffy and Co-Founder of ChannelAdvisor as they discuss the latest news and trends in the world of e-commerce and digital shopper marketing.

Transcript

Jason:
[0:23] Welcome to the Jason and Scot show
this is episode 291 being recorded on Thursday April 28 2022 I'm your host Jason retailgeek Goldberg and as usual I'm here with your co-host Scot Wingo.

Scot:
[0:39] Hey Jason and welcome back Jason and Scot show listeners
it is a Thursday in April late April and that means it's Amazon results so we're going to take everyone through the results that came out today
talk a little macroeconomic and a little bit of ecom's if we have time
Jason I wanted your hot take on Ilan buying Twitter are you freaking out.

Jason:
[1:04] I am not freaking out but I'm having to have a lot more conversations with people about it than I might have expected people are super interested in following it closely.

Scot:
[1:14] Yeah I had.
I think I'm not freaking out but I think one because everyone is freaking out they may be looking over a little prick
little kind of idea I had which is if the logic path goes like this the dad model on Twitter hasn't worked
since they went public that hasn't really grown or do anything the subscription model is tricky and if you do have Elon doing this he obviously understands e-commerce really well with Aziz.
Help create PayPal yeah I think it could be an interesting experiment
to do a hybrid some kind of a subscription type program but also I think if anyone could take a run at actually doing e-commerce right inside of Twitter building on Marketplace of some kind I think that would be interesting to see him take a run at that
now we could have the whole if you don't go to a cocktail party to buy stuff
conversation but I do think there is something there where if you are a influencer and you know obviously Instagram is starting to figure this out all the live streams
I think there's something there that Twitter could monetize so we'll see that's kind of what I'm thinking more versus make you know.
That kind of losing my mind.

Jason:
[2:34] I think if you're a traditional Advertiser that has for what like.
Who benefited from the advertising model like you're concerned because there's potential disruption but I'm with you I think there's the.
The rate of change is likely to increase it Twitter like Twitter had been you know somewhat stagnant for a while so like I'm always excited to see interesting new experiments and trials so
I suspect we'll see some.
Some clever new ideas at least attempted to be implemented in that and you know some of them I'm sure we'll be cool side note and I maybe shouldn't disclose this on the podcast.
I'm a pretty long term user of Twitter I was like in the first million users I'm pretty sure I've never seen an ad on Twitter.

Scot:
[3:18] I see him all the time.

Jason:
[3:19] So what I haven't figured out why it is I don't see them like I have a verified account and I don't know if there's some.
Oily status where like they don't show as many ads but I also primarily use Twitter through apps and it doesn't seem like any of the apps show ads do you use a web browser or do you use like.
Tweetdeck course.

Scot:
[3:44] Phone I use that wealth the apps.

Jason:
[3:48] Use the Twitter app.

Scot:
[3:50] Yeah I use the Twitter app the old apps don't really work anymore because they limited them to like some they're all hobbled at this point.

Jason:
[3:57] So except for tweetdeck which is owned by Twitter it's like an alternative a poem by Twitter that I stole.

Scot:
[4:04] Okay I didn't know that still existed.

Jason:
[4:07] Um yeah so I have like hesitated to Deep dive into why I don't see ads because I'm grateful that I owe but but.

Scot:
[4:16] Show me Aunt as the chief digital ad officer you should be seeing ads though I do think that's pretty important.

Jason:
[4:23] Every time I watch a TV show in my wife fast-forward through all the ads I'm like like I say you realize Those ads paid for this house right and.

Scot:
[4:30] Yeah.

Jason:
[4:32] I'm sorry tell the advertisers listening.

Scot:
[4:35] Well I saw on Twitter that you have been spending some time in the meadow verse what's that all about.

Jason:
[4:40] I have its kind of fun I got invited to a conference that was put on by meta AKA Facebook and
the reason I was interested in it was not necessarily the topic
they were hosting this 800% event in the middle verse so they sent us all their latest headsets which is the.
Used to be called the Oculus quest to now it's called The Medic West too.
But I hadn't really looked at their Hardware since the first generation that you and I bought the Oculus Rift which required a,
pretty beefy computer and a bunch of sensors and cables and I was pleasantly surprised by The onboarding Experience like you just take this thing out of the box doesn't have any cables doesn't require any external sensors.
And it seems like it works way better and easier than the old Hardware so that was kind of fun and it was kind of fun to see,
the early iterations of how.
Facebook in Visions like 200 people having a virtual meeting in a in the metaverse I'm not sure.
It's a super exciting or that the experience has been nailed yet this is like very much a 1.0 kind of thing but it's fun to see you know people inventing new things.

Scot:
[5:57] Cool yeah a lot of those things you just kind of like you fiddle with your avatar for a while then it's you're sitting there watching other people you're like what is going on because their hands are moving all weird as they're like typing or something.

Jason:
[6:09] Yeah they have a very like accurate looking avatars and I'm like that's the last thing I want exactly.

Scot:
[6:15] Yeah I want to be Brad Pitt for crying out loud number one reason to go in the meadow Reese's to look better.

Jason:
[6:21] Indeed indeed well they apparently opted not to do that for this conference.

Scot:
[6:26] Well we we had mentioned doing a web three deep dive and I got a lot of listeners that reach out and said they would really like to see that so we need to put that on our agenda.

[6:42] Yeah yeah yeah you know what I mean Dad request for us to do a podcast.
Your pedantic so you want to kick us off with the little view of what's going on the macro before we jump into some micro.

Jason:
[7:01] Yeah so in general the macroeconomics are kind of a Debbie Downer and you know I am spending an awful lot of time talking with retailers and brands that are kind of planning for.
Wean sort of next 9 months as a result of that but kind of frame this up.
You know the Marquis - macro is inflation which there's a bunch of ways to measure it it's a wildly imperfect thing but the the most popular foot like General inflation number we use,
we're now at 8.5 4% which is a 40-year high so inflation is very high.
Another one we look at is like various credit worthiness and so like mortgage delinquencies is a good proxy for consumer health.
And mortgage delinquencies aren't alarmingly High yet but they're in the last quarter they ticked up.
And so that that is a potential early indicator.
A bigger indicator that we don't like is to see the savings rate Decline and so historically like for the last 10 years I would say.

[8:20] The average savings rate has been about eight percent so consumers save about eight percent of their income,
during the pandemic we had the highest savings rates ever because consumers got really conservative and they were gifted a lot of extra money in terms of economic stimulus so it like briefly pipe.

[8:38] Spiked over 20% but now it's back down below the it's at a 10-year low now so it's at 6.6 percent so that.
It says that all of that inflation has kind of sucked all the savings out of the the US consumer and we're starting to see more defaults,
I don't have data on it but one that I've heard is alarming is we're starting to see a high default rate on all those buy now pay later services that everyone you know has gotten attached to.

[9:07] I've been in the housing market lately and for those that don't know the you know mortgages are starting to to really shoot up so that the.
Traditional 30-year fixed mortgage rate is up at 5.1% now.
It was it that during the pandemic it was down below 3.
And then you know a particularly alarming one is GDP,
which you know we had been kind of growing in that that one to two percent a quarter and you know we just got the the.

[9:45] The Q I want to say I think it's just Q4,
GDP and it was expected to be up 1% and it was actually down 1.4 percent so the economy shrunk witch.
Was alarming and then you roll all that up.
And you and I have talked about this being a little bit of a mixed bag but there's these consumer confidence index has and the one I look at is the University of Michigan survey,
and so they have it kind of indexed against a hundred and so right now the the consumer confidence survey is that a five-year low so it's,
lower right now than at any point during the pandemic and it's it sixty five point seven and so often.
The consumer confidence our roads before the consumers actual Financial Health our roads but spending tends to correlate with consumer confidence more than.
Then actual economic macro so so that's a particularly alarming one to the retailers,
the one thing I would say is bright is as I've talked about before you know in general retailers did really well in the pandemic and and sales,
um we're quite a bit higher over the last two years,
and we haven't really seen them take down there the rate of growth has dramatically slowed so March retail sales versus a year ago was up 5.5 percent.

[11:14] You know that's up forty percent versus two years ago and q1 of this year was up 10.8 percent versus last year
it's up thirty percent versus two years ago so retail sales are still strong what you know some people would rightly point out however is what we what's hard to measure is how much of those.
Of those increases in retail sales and q1 were actually from that inflation right so you know unit sales could have been down significantly because prices were up so much.

Scot:
[11:48] Yeah I just one of our interns handed me a note the GDP is a quarterly so that's the q1 result they do frequently update those kind of after the fact that they get more data and so but I don't
usually it's kind of fractional so I don't think it's going to swing to a positive sadly.

Jason:
[12:07] Yeah so you roll all that up and let me just say like we went into two strong years in January and February a lot of people are planning a lot of aggressive.
Investments and I and it feels to me like people are like really curtailing those investment plans as and are starting to hunker down for for potentially rough economic year,
so we shall see.

Scot:
[12:32] Are so when you're out there talking to clients or few people kind of saying because right now everyone's maybe they already done it maybe they're kind of making their fourth quarter planning decisions right so it's kind of like a very very,
cloudy crystal ball.

Jason:
[12:49] Oh yeah I've I've already like finished a bunch of holiday campaign plans so I've been talking like Christmas toys Non-Stop,
three weeks which is a little weird but yeah and you know they're like they're there is a inflation layer to everybody's holiday plans right now,
you know hopefully we get to use the the optimistic version and not the pessimistic version but everyone's planning for you know potentially going into Q4 in not great shape.

[13:30] Yeah yeah but I mean you're going to tell me not to worry about any of that because Amazon made a bazillion dollars right.

Scot:
[13:36] Well want want also not great news on the Amazon front so that part of the setup here is we are lapping q1 2021 where covid will a huge
Tailwind for for Amazon we were still we weren't shut shut in per se are locked down but there was still you know.
Very little air travel and people weren't out doing stuff and then also last year there was a prime day and q1 so that's not this year so that swings the number some to some degree
and then just a blanket statement whenever Jason I cover these things we always go with the data that excludes the,
any changes from Financial currencies what Wall Street would call X FX so so - is the X any any.

[14:25] Currency kind of changes so that neutralizes the currency stuff which is actually been oscillating quite a lot with the the whole Ukrainian Russian thing
so but we take that out so we try to get kind of a neutral currency view of what's going on
so it was really interesting earnings this year are this quarter because you know we had Netflix coming out and really kind of miss their number and,
you know there's a family of public companies that everyone thought there was a new normal but it was actually this kind of covid-19,
pull forward that is gone away so Zoom Peloton are in that camp and now it's looking like maybe Netflix's there.

[15:11] Yep Shopify shopify's well I think Shopify has a whole nother world of hurt we'll talk about here.
The other the other surprising thing of Netflix is just kind of randomly on the call we tasting the co kind of said oh and we're looking at an ad model and I think I'd like surprise
people inside the company hadn't even been briefed on this so that's good for you so so good news I think maybe an ad models coming to Netflix so more more ads for you to go sell and do your thing.

Jason:
[15:39] Yeah but honestly I think no one heard that because he's right before that he said we're going to stop letting everybody share passwords I think that's.

Scot:
[15:47] Yeah it was like what.
So yeah so you can tell they're they're scrambling to kind of they're opening their minds to things they never thought that they would look at before because the subscription actually had a loss of net subscribers
even when you take out the head turned off Russian subscribers don't even if you take that out it was negative and then Google was really interesting because you and I I think we're actually
pretty clearly some of the first people to talk about how worried we were about the IDF a some people call this a TT I do
I don't like to call that I call it the idea phase so the the blanket term will just use as the the Amazon the Apple privacy changes
and Google's results were interesting because Google has a lot of businesses inside of their Google core is immune from the Apple privacy changes because they are the search partner of Apple.

[16:43] So you just go right in there they have access to all the delicious cookies and all that kind of stuff and then also they you know search is nice because you get this intent in the form of the search term so you don't have to guess what someone's trying to do and use all this
add technology to figure it out that being said the YouTube part of the business we got hammered and
reading through because apples a big partner of theirs but also a competitor
you kind of like you had to parse their language really carefully but it seemed like YouTube was hurt hard enough that it really,
really kind of ended up.

[17:23] Putting pressure on the overall business even though the core search business was was pretty resilient through the changes so that was interesting and then you know what's going to.

[17:34] What's going to make this even worse just broadly is they are
pretty publicly stating they're going to bring a lot of those changes to the Android platform so it was kind of an Apple only platform problem but now Androids going to replicate,
many of those no tracking hiding your email all these kinds of things that.
Our overall good for consumers to some degree maybe they're going a little too far because there is some benefit for having.

[18:02] Good product recommendations in those kinds of things that are I think are going to get hurt from this but yeah so that is all getting worse,
so then Facebook so then I was like oh man
this is gonna be really bad for Facebook but I think what Facebook did is they kind of kitchen sink it last time and they basically said in fourth quarter wow this apple stuffs bad let's just go ahead and if we're gonna rip the Band-Aid let's rip that thing off.
Chest hair in off and they.
They they actually did less worse than everyone expected so that was a relief which is we're kind of in that market and so I think they had predicted that it would be really really terrible and it was only.
Terrible and then apples revenues were up 9 percent which was in this climate is when it's very low for Apple but a wind that brings us to Amazon results,
anything from those who wanted to opponent before we jump into Amazon.

Jason:
[18:59] No just I think the apples Apple earnings were today and I would say they were surprisingly upbeat like both.
Like they talked about the macros but they you know what would what you would expect to be particularly acute concerning apple is supply chain given that a bunch of their factories are walk down and closed in China right now,
and Tim Cook seem like quite optimistic that they had a solid supply chain point and go forward so I hope he's right because I'm gonna want my new iPhone.

Scot:
[19:30] If anyone would have a handle on that I would be Tim Cook so so.

Jason:
[19:34] No I mean I.
He's credible I wasn't saying he was wrong I was just pleasantly surprised to hear I don't hear a lot of people talking about feeling like they have their hands arms around supply chain this year so that was an outlier to me.

Scot:
[19:49] Well they talked about.
He was a year ago diversifying out of China into was it Singapore or Vietnam they may have been Vietnam so I think they've got a couple you know they have Diversified there,
they're manufacturing portfolio across multiple countries so maybe that that's part of the resilience that they're seeing there are maybe they think those cities that are locked down in China will get back to it but by the time they have some new iPhone or some.

Jason:
[20:14] Yeah and I do think they have this privilege status where when their factories get walk down they get watered down with workers and them so there is that.

Scot:
[20:22] So productivity is up yet for going to shelter in place you might as well do it on the assembly line making the Apple phones.
Okay so let's jump into Amazon results and start with Revenue
so the little bit of A Tale of Two Cities here so online product sales when - at minus 1% which obviously isn't good some Wall Street analysts did the math and they pulled out
the comp,
to the Amazon Prime day and I think that made it basically neutral so not up or down but still you know not something you want to see here I guess if GDP is decreasing,
you know zero is the new wind but but not what you expect from Amazon and clearly one of the you know I would I need to go back and look at 08 and 09 it went - in those years.

Jason:
[21:15] I was going to ask did it because I couldn't remember it going -

Scot:
[21:18] It did yeah I have a chart in a presentation and it goes e-commerce went like - 20 and Amazon went negative 5
so it was better than always is tracked considerably better than the e-commerce data but it did go - for a period of quarter or two in 08 and 09 I want to say q 4 of 8 and he wanted nine is my memory but I'll fact.

[21:38] Conversely subscription Services were up 13% and and there is Prime and you know all the things associated with Prime
so that's interesting and then you had some commentary from the call that you heard around that that I'll say it for you unit sales were flat and in the commentary on the call they talked about that being due to inflation so you know they're they're starting to say
hey we're seeing the signs of inflation here and we're fuel is rising and supply chain and they're starting to kind of.
Throw a lot of these things out there that you know I think.
We're doing this the evening of the report so I think wall Street's not going to really like this whole body language coming on Amazon
overall growth when you stroll together all the Amazon business units you get to seven percent growth which is the slowest growth since the recession of 08 09 and if you compare that to Q4
of 21 which it's your of your growth of Q for 20 that was nine point five percent so a pretty material slow down quarter-on-quarter from the growth rates here that we're seeing,
they do split out a couple segments so North America was up.

[22:57] 7.6% all in and then where they felt a lot of pressure was International it was down six percent so it feels like you know.
Internationally known us has is actually kind of in a worse slide from a macroeconomic and we're starting to feel it here as well,
so that was that and then physical retail was up 16% that's an easy cop because you've got people weren't going to stores largely Whole Foods mix that up,
this is good time you and I haven't had a chance to talk about it but they did announce that they're closing a lot of their stores so here we had a was interesting we had just opened a 5-star store,
four star whatever that is and,
and then they closed it like it was literally open for like 45 days I didn't get a chance to go to it and they're closing a lot of those bookstores and whatnot and that's been attributed to the new Co Jassie,
saying hey we're not going to really pursue that strategy anymore.

Jason:
[23:55] Yeah it was a little surprising because that you know there was a decent Fleet of the book stores they closed them all the five-star stores the,
the stores that were saved were the grocery store so obviously Whole Foods but also these Amazon Fresh has they added like six more so they're like 46 now if I'm,
I'm counting right and then they have announced a new fashion store that supposed to open this quarter in Los Angeles,
and as far as I know plans are still,
on to do that but yeah it was surprising that the bookstore here in my neighborhood closed as well.

Scot:
[24:35] Cool and then you were watching The Profit side of Amazon what you see there.

Jason:
[24:40] Yeah well the they you know they talked a lot about all of these macro pressures and you know,
those all having an impact on rising cost so labor costs were up fuel costs were up,
and you know overall supply chain was significantly more expensive they talked about shipping expenses reached 38 percent of revenues and like in comparison that normally is about 32%.
What you know fuel being a big factor and all other shipping costs and so roll all that in and they made three point six billion for the quarter which is like a 3.2 percent margin,
and I think the consensus estimate was.

[25:27] 4.6 so a meaningful Miss on the margins and it's interesting because.
You know normally these - macro things they it's they can have a weird effect because,
when the mat the inflation is high but consumer confidence is okay it actually,
increases demand because you sell the same amount of stuff and you sell it for a higher price,
but once consumer confidence starts dropping people start buying less right so you know Amazon you can see that demand dropping on the top line so that's a concern and then all of their costs go up because of all these macros and so the margins.
Take a bigger hit and so that's a big concern and then in their commentary there was this interesting,
um narrative around Amazon inadvertently ended up with too much capacity so primarily in there there with just X Network so.

[26:28] You know over the last two years they famously have doubled their their warehouse capacity which now I think in total is over 100 billion dollar investment.
And.
They also hired a ton of people during covid they had a lot of people on covid we've said they backfield a lot of positions and then all those people came back and they apparently had too much labor so too many warehouses and too much labor equals,
a hit on margins as well and so a lot of their narrative was around,
they're they're expected focus on improving the efficiency of that supply chain this next quarter which.
Means they have to either get more Goods in their Network and do more stuff and I you know I think we're if we have time we'll talk about some new programs Amazon's rolling out that my do that and it'll be interesting to see if they.
Shrink or at least slow the rate of their labor force growth based on some of these comments as well.

Scot:
[27:32] Yeah yeah and.
You know one Wall Street analyst kind of rolled all that together and kind of put a 6 billion dollar number on it which which is kind of yeah wow that's a
it's a lot of headwinds that they're facing there so it'll be interesting to see do do they read the tea leaves and take that capacity out or do you just kind of keep it in place for a holiday because the cops will get easier through the year right because
you have things were less crazy covid Wise from second half of last year.

Jason:
[28:06] Yeah and I you know I mean they both rightly pointed out like Hey we're glad we made the Investments we did,
like they put us in a strong position you know as I don't don't pay too much attention to year-over-year comps because we're competing against such a weird year the way to think of this is,
um
That sales are way up in there mostly staying up right so that's kind of the the management spin on the circumstance but there for sure our head winds and I would say.
If Amazon is feeling head wins the vast majority of other retailers are feeling like a head storms because,
you know Amazon has more levers and more scale to insulate them from a lot of these challenges.

Scot:
[28:54] Yeah so so rough spot on on the cost side how about usually the bright spot is AWS how did that.

Jason:
[29:03] Yeah so that is exactly the opposite like,
I demand you know one of the things they talked about is like a lot of people rethought their their infrastructure needs as a result of covid and it's greatly accelerated.
People's migrations to the cloud so it had a good run during the pandemic and it continues to go gangbusters so it was up.
Um 37 percent year over year for Q4 I think it was up forty percent so that that's a.
A huge highly profitable business that's continuing to,
um to go well I you know I think their total revenue was like eighteen point for tea.

[29:48] Four billion which was above the consensus and you know I don't like a lot of the other businesses this is like a 35%.
Gross margin business so that substantially beat the expectations which were like I think just under 30%.
And it's interesting they didn't so much cover this in earnings but an indie jassi's shareholder letter,
he spent a lot of time talking about some of the,
amazing Innovations on silicone and the Amazons rolled out that have dramatically improved their their efficiency on AWS so it seems like they still have.
They feel like a lot of Headroom to keep driving their cars down even as demand for capacity is,
is growing really fast so AWS continues to be a good story I would say though I don't sleep on the ads and interestingly,
they didn't talk a lot about ads in earnings they didn't talk about ads in the,
the shareholder call but they sold seven point eight billion dollars worth of ads in q1 which is up 25% from last year q1 so not growing quite as fast as they WS.

[31:04] That does mean 30 their last 12 months they sold almost thirty three billion dollars worth of ads and so a couple things to bear in mind.
That's 33 billion dollars at like 75 percent gross margin so.
Pretty you know appealing business even compared to if you call a WS like 75 billion dollar business at a 35 percent gross margin and you know.
Thirty three billion dollars in ads Twitter just sold for forty four billion dollars and they sell less than 5 billion dollars a year in dance so so that that is a,
highly profitable and still strongly growing business.

Scot:
[31:52] Yeah yet kind of doesn't get enough sunshine I think the how big this is getting.

Jason:
[31:58] Yeah I will say every other retailer has noticed this even if no one's talking about it and so the if the number one conversation I have with retailers is about inflation right now the number to conversation I have is about retail media networks which is
code for like part of the way we'll deal with inflation as we'll get more money from the manufacturers.

Scot:
[32:17] Yeah and again I kind of circle back to those apple changes when when Apple gets rid of all this tracking the companies that are best positioned to,
to benefit from that
have closed loop data which is retail retailers because they have that transactional data and you know I think that Apple change is one of the unintended consequences is going to make
Amazon's ad business huge at the detriment of Facebook and Snapchat and,
Twitter in those kind of companies but then also a Walmart and Target and anyone that has you know hundreds of millions of people coming in there and and doing closed-loop transactions now is in a better position to build in that ad Network than Facebook who was
so dominant for so long.

Jason:
[33:07] 100% And if any of these social networks like you know really start to lose value because of these challenges like don't sleep on on seeing a retailer require them right because,
what you do is you swoop in with all that first party data in a choir that Network in China a lot of the big social networks are owned or aligned,
by big retailers and if you remember when B dance was going to have to sell tick-tock,
like it was a bunch of retailers lining up to to be involved in that transaction so yeah you know that,
first party data that the Retailer's own is very valuable and you can expect they're going to look for multiple ways to monetize that you did tease one other takeaway from the.

[33:55] The Q and A after the earnings were at least,
was Andy they mentioned that that the rate of prime memberships is is now growing faster than pre-pandemic.
Which that was a surprising bit of good news to me because I think they disclose their over 200 million Prime members now so you would.
Assume like 60 percent of that's in the US that's pretty good saturation,
in the US market you would expect the rate of growth to slow and then with all these macros and consumer confidence going down you would expect people to be cutting back on these.
You know kind of optional subscription services and so you know apparently Jack Reacher and The Marvelous Miss maisel are good enough that that Prime is continuing to kill it.

Scot:
[34:47] Jack Reacher's Beyond good it was excellent.

Jason:
[34:50] Absolutely I saw a few people that said their new use for for Twitter is just proposed changes to propose plots for Jack Reacher season 2 so I think that was funny.

Scot:
[35:03] Cool and then with Wall Street it's always not what have you done for me today but what's the future look like and so all eyes were on Amazon's forward guidance which was kind of a this this quarter in Wall Street that kind of use this would you do this quarter and what's your projection and this would be
a missing lower kind of quarter which is like,
death quadrant of results so the forwarder forward guidance Wall Street had a consensus of 125 billion for the Top Line.
In Amazon's range came in well below that their range was 116 to 121 which let's see it
so 18 and a half kind of in the middle versus Wall Street was expecting 125 as kind of where they thought things would be and then
gaap operating income Amazon said will be minus a billion to 3 billion positive
and Wall Street had a consensus there of 6.7 billion so they basically took down the top line by a good seven,
billion ish and then the midpoint of operating income by another 4 billion so this could begin I've mentioned Facebook kind of kitchen sink to it in the fourth quarter if
if you're the CEO of Amazon and you're relatively new on the job.

[36:25] This is a good time if you're going to have a bad quarter you might as well lower expectations and make the rest of your easy for you and I feel like there's a little bit of that in there but but again you know maybe they also
they see all these things going on macro and it's also a good time to be really conservative on guidance because you don't want to
you don't want to be the one cheery voice out there and then then miss it and and that that's cataclysmic in the Wall Street world.

Jason:
[36:50] No I think you're exactly right.

Scot:
[36:52] Yes so having done I don't know how many ways we've been doing this for so we've probably done 20 to 30 of these kinds of shows and this is you know this is except for that you know that.
For as long as I've been watching Amazon except for those 08-09 years this is this is
this is kind of a rough one so it's going to be interesting to see how the market reacts tomorrow after hours things were down about nine percent and you know this is a 1.5 trillion dollar market cap company and when it's down 10% that's
150 billion dollars so it's like,
losing three shopify's kind of to put it in that context so it's interesting to see how the market reacts tomorrow and if it causes a broader concern Shopify hasn't reported yet we're going to talk a little bit about that and then
yeah so yeah it's going to be interesting to see how Wall Street reacts has.

Jason:
[37:42] Indeed so what what other news did you want to talk about Scott.

Scot:
[37:46] Yeah well it is interesting thing about Shopify because in this world with the Apple privacy.
You and I have talked a long time this may have to go back at my holiday predictions Shaka is in a really rough spot right now so they,
so on one side many of their Merchants were using Facebook to advertise and that was really efficient so that's been cut off now there's been articles talking about how Facebook really wants closed-loop data they don't have it,
so the best way to build it is to,
need to have that close look data is for Facebook to build out a shopping platform there's a lot of talk about friction between Shopify and Facebook.
You know if your Facebook buying Shopify just makes that easy but Shopify Toby at Shopify has kind of famously never wanted to sell the company and wants to stay independent.
So you could see a day where Shopify is best partner Facebook becomes their biggest competitor so that's that's kind of an interesting thing so that's one,
one attack front Shopify has kind of coming the other one is Amazon and you know I've talked on the podcast where for the longest time Shopify has been,
poking the bear at Amazon and you know,
I've been at this 27 years and anyone that has ever thumped Amazon on the nose has not really survive that and so so I think that's coming back to roost here because Amazon seems to have a lot of.

[39:13] Programs targeted at you.

[39:18] Taking the gmv back from from Shopify that's over there what are the ones I found most interesting is this idea of by with prime now a.
You know skeptic would say Amazon's tried these buy things for a long time they've never worked what they've lacked in my opinion is
as a merchant out there having a new payment thing you kind of famously have that NASCAR logo thing that you do and and you know it doesn't really move the needle at this point there's so many payment options and there's already by pay with Amazon,
and this this program isn't there so I'm kind of reading the tea leaves here a little bit.
But if I'm Amazon and I can go to a small Merchant and say all right if you add this by with Prime.
We are also going to add you into the discovery side and exposure to all of our prime numbers that starts to get really interesting because now you're bringing me new customers and I think,
I think that's where Amazon is going to go with this quote-unquote by with prime new thing and that.
That is a perfect this is a perfect time to offer that because if you've your Shopify merchants and you're reeling because you've lost all this Facebook traffic.
And then suddenly Amazon throws you a life preserver and you're going to take that life preserver even if Amazon is going to see some of your data and you know then it's really interesting because if your Shopify.
Do you block that like do you stop your Merchants from taking this and it's a it's a bit of a gordian knot that they've put them in here that it's going to be interesting to watch.

[40:46] One reaction to all this is we talked about it on the show last quarter Shopify announced they were going to spend a billion dollars to really beef up their delivery,
and I kind of mocked that because the Amazon spin.
Like 200 billion so so to think you're going to compete with Amazon and some material way with a billion dollars is kind of not serious they did acquire a company called deliver which has an extra are I don't know if how you say it deliver.
And you know that's interesting but and I think they paid like three billion so they are starting to get pretty serious about this.

[41:19] And I think they now see that Amazon is going to turn their Logistics Network on on them and leverage that side,
the delivery side and the supply side the traffic side to hammer them the thing that makes me nervous about this these networks that are just built on existing 3pl infrastructures out there they're not going to really solve a lot of problems because,
you know Amazon's got.
200-plus fulfillment centers and thousands of dsps doing last mile delivery and just building on existing old-school 3pl infrastructures even with a more friendly software
isn't going to solve the same economic problem that Amazon is yes you may be able to get two day shipping,
but it's going to be like $12 and Amazon's going to be at like three dollars at some point and they'll be able to offer that and they'll be able to Merchants and say the standards two days do you want to do this deliver Network you thing that shopify's doing for $12
or do you want to use our Network for three dollars and obviously you know.
The choice is obvious in that room so I think it's really fascinating to watch these really big,
Titans battling it out in a way that that is changing very rapidly and Amazon is really good using these these downdrafts to really Hammer a competitor and I think I think we're going to see this cure they're going to get,
Shopify in a vice and I be interesting to see if shop of I can get out of that.

Jason:
[42:49] Yeah no I think your analysis is spot-on I do want to,
clarify or clean up a couple of things the last I heard they they actually haven't closed the deal with deliver like so,
you may have more recent information than me but I read like there a lot of reports that they're in talks and that there's like a,
a two billion dollar price on the table but I don't think they actually announced the acquisition yet so maybe you might have you may have called it first.

Scot:
[43:18] It was just yet still rumors at this point I think they'll do it yeah I'm assuming they're going to do it.

Jason:
[43:23] So just for listeners that may not be quite as in the deliver is a 3pl so you know you there.
Company you can hire to store your goods for you and ship them for you when you sell stuff and you know part of their value prop is they can,
ship stuff from orders you get anywhere so you get orders on Walmart marketplace they'll ship them you get orders on Amazon they'll ship them.
You get orders on your own Shopify special site they'll ship them and.

[43:52] You know if Shopify serious about building out the logistics Network they need some jump starts off he's,
3pl so an acquisition would make sense but to put things in perspective the very best 3pls can kind of match Amazon service levels,
and when they do they can be part of this program called,
vendor fulfilled Prime which essentially means we're going to ship just as fast as if we were in Amazon's Network and so Amazon's going to you know offer Prime benefits for that shipment.
Deliver is not a 3pl that has that status so,
like when you talk about even if Shopify acquires them this it's not going to put them in a position to compete with Amazon I would say you're absolutely right like not only are they weigh smaller in scale,
they don't have near you know they don't have the service level to even get Vineyard fulfilled Prime,
and like almost all 3pls they're dependent on the traditional parcel carriers to deliver the package and they're the they're forced to pay the market rates for those deliveries and.

[45:02] Amazon just has this huge Advantage from being able to deliver their own stuff so.
Not saying it's not smart for Shopify to acquire some 3pls and I'm sure they'll be able to leverage them but that definitely is not going to make a fair fight with.
With Amazon and then you were talking a little bit about Amazon's new offer but I'm not sure we said exactly what it is so last week Amazon announced this new service called by with,
and what essentially it is is it's taking app Amazon pay and bundling it with.
What Amazon would call fulfillment by Amazon.

[45:43] And I think technically it would be FB am which is it fulfilled by Amazon merchants,
um and so this is a program Amazon hasn't offered very often and doesn't offer widely where you put your goods in Amazon's fulfillment center and you and Amazon will ship goods for orders that didn't happen on Amazon.

[46:05] So Ernie early you can only put Goods in Amazon's Warehouse to fulfill orders that happen on Amazon so if you sell something on Shopify.
You have to store those goods somewhere else and you have to have kind of your inventory split but implied in this by with prime is they did this clever bundling of.
Hey we'll let you fulfill orders that happen elsewhere so that could be on Facebook or on Instagram or Tik-Tok,
or on Shopify and we'll bundle it with,
um the Apple pay I'm sorry Amazon pay and we'll give you the badging so it essentially if there's a Prime member shopping on your website
they'll see a thing saying hey get the same fast delivery you're used to you know same day delivery or next day or two day for free
don't have to type any of your payment information don't have to pick any of your shipping addresses because we have all that it's a dramatically lower friction check out and it's,
it's going to be super appealing for a bunch of sellers especially if you selling your own site and you sell on Amazon.
It's going to be really appealing and it's kind of a deal with the devil because you are giving more data to Amazon and you are making Amazon a stronger potential competitor.

[47:19] I think it's going to be hard for a lot of people to turn it down I think the only thing that makes it.
I think it's a death blow to a lot of 3pls out there the only thing that I think makes it not completely devastating is that they will only it will only work for Prime members so.
You couldn't for example launch your Shopify site and say by with prime is my only checkout flow.
Because you wouldn't you wouldn't be able to sell anything to non-prime members so you still need an alternative solution for non Prime members but if.
Amazon ever expanded this program like you know it that that would become.
Super devastating to a lot of the 3pls and and folks that are looking to compete with Amazon in the space and I just.
I think it's a super scary / clever way to both leverage that excess capacity that we just talked about and you know kind of.
Um pull up the ladder behind you know after that after they kind of use their their fulfillment as a competitive advantage to,
too kind of you know acquired 200 million Prime members now they make it way harder to compete with him bye-bye you know letting letting people use that service wherever they want to shop.

Scot:
[48:38] Yeah you had the one thing I'm still trying to get my arms around is I think deliver started building fulfillment centers and then they decided I think they have one or two and I think the rest of their Network ended up being a network and not
ones that they own and operate so I don't think they really bring into the world to new delivery capability or capacity.

Jason:
[48:59] Ya know I as far as I'm aware they don't either so I think we.
Yeah so I do think that's big news I think there's gonna be a lot of talk about it 11 kind of Niche use case but you know there's a lot of established brands that only sell through wholesale and they're all secretly figuring out how they sell.
How they added direct-to-consumer component and in this this this offering is going to be right in all their wheelhouse right like if.
If you're a big brand and you suddenly need to figure out how to you and you're used to shipping pallets to Walmart and you suddenly need to figure out how to fulfill each as and you.
Party have a bunch of inventory at Amazon it's going to be super appealing they just say what use Amazon for.

Scot:
[49:42] Yeah and then you beat me to the punch and you read the shareholder annual letter I have not had a chance to read that with what was interesting in there.

Jason:
[49:50] Yeah well quick reminder for listeners Jeff Bezos wrote the shareholder letter every year,
the 1997 when was particularly amazing and in fact Jeff agrees with me on that so,
every year since then Kiri copies the the 1997 shareholder letter in it so this was a point of particular interest to me because this was the first shareholder letter written by someone other than Jeff Bezos,
so Andy jassy in the new CEO and I think it very much follows the.
The kind of pattern in the Cadence of the typical Amazon shareholder letters up to and including having the 1997 letter embedded in it at the bottom.

[50:32] I wouldn't necessarily say there were any huge Revelations or or huge new takeaways.
From from the letter like a lot of the letter talked about.
Kind of the iterative nature of all of these successful Services than Amazon launched so they kind of painted the picture that like people imagine that.
You know Kindle was just born as this amazing fully form business or ews was an amazing business,
and he talked about how the first versions of all those Services were pretty mediocre right and he used this term that a few others have used.
Minimum lovable product and he kind of Paints the picture about how they evolve like how they launch.
Um AWS and it was very rarely useful because they couldn't offer both compute and storage which most people tend to need and storage was going to take another year and a half so they launch compute without storage.
And then later added storage and then later added their own silicon and how each of those iterative steps made it a much more powerful offering until it reach today's Juggernaut and.
Similar stories for Alexa and and Prime and a bunch of these other things so he was kind of painting this,
this picture about how things iterate in the back of my mind I'm thinking.

[51:54] My my Alexa is disagreeing with me the.
In the back of my mind I'm thinking he's setting us up for some of his initial initiatives being kind of mediocre at first I don't know I don't know if that's,
really where he's going but then he did kind of highlight the autonomous teams principle that we've talked about several times on this show he talked about how important it is to,
expect and accept failure that you really you know can't be successful if you don't have some failures and well that sounds obvious I can't tell you how many times I've talked to,
potential clients that you know said hey we want to do some crazy Innovation but we can't afford to fail.
And that you know seems like a recipe for disaster so I do appreciate that advice and then this may be really nitzsche but he did he talked a little bit about there.

[52:47] Their press release and their six-page narrative principle that they use and we've talked about this before like so you go to a meeting and you read The six-page Narrative for new idea and at the back of that narrative they have a press release,
that is kind of written to paint a picture of the press release will be able to issue if this initiative is successful so it's kind of begin with the end in mind idea,
and in this Cheryl the letter he also alluded to the they now make you write they frequently asked questions to go with that press release which I hadn't heard that before and I thought that was interesting so,
so those are kind of.
The the main recap of the the shareholder letter but you know if you haven't if you have a few moments I would definitely it's worth a quick read and checking it out.

Scot:
[53:32] Did he explain why they do the frequently Asked question.

Jason:
[53:35] He did not he just referenced it and maybe maybe one of my Amazonian friends will correct me but I feel like.
Most of the the kind of external stories about that process have focused on the narrative and the press release and I just had never heard.
The Q&A being part of the or the FAQ being part of that that package before so I just thought that was an interesting.
Interesting tidbit.

Scot:
[54:03] Recall any other e-commerce news you want to cover.

Jason:
[54:08] You know there's always more stuff we could talk about but the good news is we always have more shows and it has happened again we've used up more than our lot of time for this episode
so I think we should probably call it quits let everyone get off the exercise bike,
hopefully you write us that that five star review and we'll pick up some of the other exciting industry news in the next show.

Scot:
[54:31] Thanks everyone and until next time...

Jason:
[54:34] Happy commercing!

Apr 1, 2022

EP290 - Shoptalk 2022 Recap

ShopTalk held it's first in-person show since 2019, May 27-30th in Las Vegas. The show made the move from the Venetian to the Mandalay Bay. Nearly 10,000 attendees joined more than 600 exhibitors at this years show. Making ShopTalk one of the first industry events to truly feel like it did prior to the pandemic, and living up to the billing as the retail industries reunion. Shoptalk has truly established itself as the preeminent digital commerce event in the US.

In this episode Jason and Scot recap all the major keynotes, trends, and themes from the show. If you wren't able to attend, this show will catch you up. If you did attend, they episode will help you write that event recap you owe the rest of your team!

Episode 290 of the Jason & Scot show was recorded on Thursday April 8, 2022.

http://jasonandscot.com

Join your hosts Jason "Retailgeek" Goldberg, Chief Commerce Strategy Officer at Publicis, and Scot Wingo, CEO of GetSpiffy and Co-Founder of ChannelAdvisor as they discuss the latest news and trends in the world of e-commerce and digital shopper marketing.

Transcript

Jason:

[0:23] Welcome to the Jason and Scot show this is episode 290 being recorded on Thursday April 7th 2022 I'm your host Jason retailgeek Goldberg and as usual I'm here with your co-host

Scot Wingo.

Scot:

[0:38] Hey Jason and welcome back Jason Scott show listeners

well tonight we are excited to talk about shoptalk Jason you went for the show I was not able to make it this year unfortunately but you went and you are going to report on all the happenings and I'm excited to hear how it went.

Jason:

[0:57] I know I feel like listeners should know that your April Fool's joke is you told me you were there and I kept waiting like at the Starbucks to meet you and you never showed.

Scot:

[1:06] Not true not true I was a good co-host and I let you know with plenty of time I wouldn't be able to make it.

Jason:

[1:12] I am teasing but I do think shoptalk overlapped April Fool's this year.

Scot:

[1:17] It was her a lot of shenanigans.

Jason:

[1:19] There there was not any there was some usual trade show Shenanigans but I'm not sure I would say there was any April Fool's related Shenanigans but it was a good show you missed a good one.

Scot:

[1:31] Before we dive in what was the Starbuck situation.

Jason:

[1:33] So the Starbuck situation I would give it a B+ so it's a

for people for a long time treat your followers shoptalk started out at the Aria as a small show and then it outgrew the Aria and they moved to the Venetian which

it was nice because the Venetian does have on-prem Starbucks but the Venetian is a,

kind of very big and they did it there for a number of years and then they right before the pandemic they announced they were moving it to Mandalay Bay and so this was the first one in Mandalay Bay

and Mandalay Bay is good because it has.

To Starbucks one in the casino area and one on the way to the convention center so so ordinarily I would give that a plus

but they one of the Starbucks is still closed from the pandemic it hasn't reopened and the one on the way to the convention center normally takes mobile orders which is awesome,

for the convention they turned up they turned off mobile orders every day of the convention.

Scot:

[2:41] I don't need it.

Jason:

[2:43] I stayed very well caffeinated and in my new world where I drink iced coffee from Starbucks branded iced coffee from the grocery store I got to augment my stops at the Starbucks by having a couple,

jugs of Starbucks iced coffee in my room as well so no one should be worried about me.

Scot:

[3:01] That you can say in your backpack or strapped to your head like I have one of those beer hats.

Jason:

[3:06] Exactly and I showed up at a couple morning meetings with like to Starbucks and it's always this great debate like should I go hide in a closet somewhere and finish one so that the people in this meeting won't know that I was double-fisting it or should I just embrace my,

my problem and I embraced it.

Scot:

[3:22] Everyone listens to the podcast Selena it's a well-known thing no one judges you for your Starbucks.

[3:35] We live all coffee we're pretty agnostic on the coffee.

We'll call what were the so that's the Starbucks what about the this whole thing called retail and e-commerce.

Jason:

[3:50] Yeah so before we jump into all the the topics and going ons it's a I would just say like I think there,

I don't know what's the official or The Unofficial theme but they called the retails reunions and I feel like it was pretty apt this is the first big show,

that to me felt like it did before the pandemic they had 10,000 attendees which.

If it's off from from 2019 it's only slightly like maybe they had 12,000 attendees in 2019 so,

10 felt like a big show they had a 650 exhibitors.

It felt pretty normal which was awesome and one of the best things about shoptalk normally is the networking and catching up with friends and I feel like that was in full effect and,

extra fulfilling this year because you know I just got to see a bunch of people that I enjoy spending time with that I hadn't gone to Sea in a couple of years.

Scot:

[4:52] Prickle yeah so it's kind of a I like this post covid lifestyle where it just feels like nothing happened it uh it's a it's a joy.

Jason:

[5:00] Yeah yeah I feel like the biggest Debbie Downer for me is everyone I was excited to see was like mostly just asking me about you.

Scot:

[5:07] All right sir I'm through through Outlet cool what did any.

Jason:

[5:15] Throw out because maybe I'll throw a contrary position at the end but I would say the overall mood at the show was also interesting to me it felt very optimistic like people were upbeat people were.

Kind of like enthusiastic about the year ahead and you know I don't know it was it was a good vibe.

Scot:

[5:36] Yes I was tracking a lot of the social media and it was interesting a long this so you had shoptalk which is like you know it was like one

one track if you will and all the positive things there but at the same time and there was like some some

chaos in e-commerce land where we had the single click checkout thing called Fast kind of falling apart we had,

lot of the rapid delivery companies,

go puff is not one of them but you know them better not be a gorilla and like three or four of them kind of imploded kind of right during shoptalk so there is kind of envisioned you guys like yeah this 15-minute deliveries the future while right outside the conference center it was kind of falling apart.

Jason:

[6:17] There was some version of that there was you know Uber instacart and doordash all talking about instant delivery well a lot of the,

the tenuous VC funded ones were,

we're announcing their their shutdowns and for sure they're there was I mentioned 650 exhibitors I think about 620 of them were payment providers.

Or buy now pay later surfaces and what like if you walked around the show you'd think that was the biggest thing ever and and yeah / your point like you know one fast runner fast as a payment provider

was kind of spinning down and laying everyone off while this while the show is going on so not a lot of talk about that at the show.

Scot:

[7:05] Yeah weird will call I'm excited to hear your take on things let's let's jump in.

Jason:

[7:10] Awesome so I kind of am dividing tonight's talk into two sections the main Keynotes and kind of what my highlights were from the Keynotes and then,

some of the main trends that I sort of picked up on from the show so they will start with the key notes

and all the big media companies you know had a keynote So So Meta was there not with maybe the most senior met a person like that like shoptalk tends to get big names for the Keynotes

and The Meta was like a track keynote from Benjy Shalimar who's like the VP of Commerce which you know big roll it

meta but it wasn't like they had Sheryl Sandberg or someone,

they had Alan Siegen from Google who's like the president of America's Partnerships and they he talked about Google and YouTube,

and you know from those platforms,

meta was like super bullish on social commerce as you would expect but they were highlighting that like hey the biggest growth area at Facebook in the short term is Commerce,

and he specifically called that stuff you talked about all the time that like there's a huge amount of untapped buying intent and Facebook groups,

and Facebook Marketplace and then they're very bullish on the live streaming via reels in Instagram.

Scot:

[8:40] This guy's a genius.

Jason:

[8:41] Yeah so he was he was pitching that and you know he didn't.

Again people don't tend to break news at this show but you got the impression that there was going to be some some new product launches in the in the near future that we're Commerce related you definitely don't get the impression that that,

Netta is exclusively focusing on VR and moving away from Commerce,

and then very similarly Google was like Hey Commerce is where it's at,

you know they always have fun data to share that you know they always share some Trends about like,

search and you know one of the interesting things is they were saying was that while there's a lot of evidence that people are returning to stores as the pandemic abates,

that it's not at the expense of digital it's in addition to digital so they were.

They now have a lot of geolocation data in the Google ecosystem and so they were talking about how like fifty-four percent of shoppers.

[9:40] Have been to five different shopping channels in the last two days so in-store and online and they're they're super bullish on YouTube as a Commerce platform so they're they're both talking about,

lot of new shoppable video formats and shoppable video ads and YouTube is a live streaming platform for influencers.

In you know increasingly they have so many add products on Google that it can be hard to figure out where to put your money and what to invest in and so they have kind of one new,

new ad product they seemed to be leaning into pretty heavily which is called performance Max and the idea is you just close your eyes and give Google its money your money and Google figures out the best places to put up for you.

Scot:

[10:26] It sounds a little suspicious I'm going to get Sr some machine learning in there that just going to magically spend my money for.

Jason:

[10:33] It's got like a bunch of real time optimization and and you know the obviously like you should be cynical about those things I'm a little dubious but I would say that a lot of these.

Real-time allocation and bidding systems like you know they do tend to work pretty well like they do tend to outperform humans that are trying to make make you know decisions based on.

Historically wrong stuff and opinions.

Scot:

[11:01] Yeah the we've been experimenting with some of the stuff that spiffy and you used to do

narrow match and Broad match experiment and then as you as you do some of these under the hood as we watch what they're doing at least you have some visibility it's not like a black box you know it actually seems to be doing a

pretty good job and it takes a lot of manual work out of what some of the best practices that you would do so so I like to poke fun but I do think there's definitely a there there.

Jason:

[11:28] Yeah ya know I tend tend to agree and prove your point like you can put all the parameters you want and so you can run a test and see how it works and kind of,

increment into you know a bigger chunk of your budget,

but then we had like one real retailer on the main stage which was Catholic a who's a CEO of Sam's and she was pretty interesting she was talking

because you don't normally think of Club as being a super digitally engaged category and you know digital being super important to club like the,

the most famous club retailer in the world is Costco who I would argue is why quite famously a digital Luddite,

and Kathy was talking a lot about how important omnichannel was for Sam's and how like successful scan and go has been and that like.

That that specific particularly with younger Shoppers with Millennials that there's that there's a preference to scan and go over you know traditional checkout and the scan and go customers,

shop more frequently and spend more so they're they're the best customers and that Sam's Club is even running ads promoting,

the scan and go functionality and that was interesting to me because.

[12:51] Walmart has kind of tested and moved away from scan and go a couple times I feel like they're kind of leaning back into it at the moment,

but it seems like it's and it's club like they're pretty convinced it's a no-brainer that it's a net positive so so just walk out.

Type technology you know sort of more proof that customers appreciate.

Scot:

[13:14] Nursing J W for the win.

Jason:

[13:16] Exactly and then the Big 3 key notes as far as I was concerned that were most interesting where all the the.

I'll call them local Commerce is what they want to be called now or we might traditionally called them rapid Commerce but so it's the.

CEO of instacart Fiji Simo,

the president of doordash Chris Payne and then the CEO of uber dhara and I can never pronounce his last name but but so that would,

he begets as far as I was concerned and those are you know three interesting companies in our industry right now and.

[13:57] You know at least two of them maybe all three of them you don't necessarily first think of as Commerce.

Or if you do you think of them exclusively is kind of food Commerce and they all were kind of talking about their General Commerce Place so so it instacart,

it's all about becoming the platform for local Commerce right and so exactly kind of like.

[14:19] GSI pivoted from being a turnkey solution to being a platform that retailers used instacart is launching all these white label Standalone services so carrot ads and.

Carrot fulfillment and they're opening their own rapid Commerce distribution centers that you can stage your products in and,

and you know offer 15 minute or 30 minute delivery windows,

so that you know it's kind of interesting instacart was really trying to sell their their stuff as services and and white labeled services and not just for food so across all of Commerce,

the same with doordash doordash seemed to be talking about hey we're we're all general merchandise,

were you know doubling down on using.

Fulfilling orders from stores helping stores either use us as their own last mile service and even helping.

[15:28] Create inventory locations for retailers that are closer to Consumers and Chris Payne talked a lot about,

these delivery promises and it was interesting he was like.

You know we can all do 15-minute delivery but there definitely is not a path to doing 15-minute profitably and there's a lot of operational challenges and he was kind of arguing,

that he felt like 30 minutes was The Sweet Spot that that like he thought it was totally viable the offer,

in a peeling assortment of items for 30-minute deliver and meat delivery in major Metro areas and that that was going to be the focus of doordash.

And then Uber,

same thing like you know right now ubereats makes as much or more than then Uber rides,

and if you've been watching TV you may have seen they have a national ad campaign right now which is pretty funny called Uber not eats and it's you know promoting all the non edible stuff that you can get delivered from.

From from Uber and and that like they wanted their kind of phrase for themselves was we want to be the local business operating system so all the stuff.

That a business needs to do kind of local Last Mile does that get you all fired.

Scot:

[16:49] Chris Payne was that a it does Chris Payne was a team I know him from her.

He always has he was at like MSN and then eBay he's been all over the place he said he's kind of a he started I think it was a CTO for a while but I think he's now more operational.

Jason:

[17:09] Yeah I mean he was good and you know it was interesting to hear from all of them I do think all of these like startups that are you know.

You know I think there is a significant infrastructure disadvantage when when kind of uber doordash and instacart are all weaning into your space.

Scot:

[17:28] Yeah it's hard to hard to compete with them on one side and Amazon on the other it's a bit of a crunch.

Jason:

[17:36] Yeah and it kind of my big takeaway from the these these key notes in aggregate is,

the swim lanes are off by each of these companies might have been born in a slightly different category of the gig economy of you will,

and they you know they each had kind of their home market and they all have decided that the growth opportunity is to expand into each other's market so I think these three companies,

feel increasingly like direct competitors to each other.

Um so that was kind of my Keynotes and then and I did not get to attend every single key note it was a pretty busy show and I was over programmed,

but so then I did attend as many other sessions as I could and here kind of the big themes from my perspective and you tell me of any of these resonate with you.

[18:26] There are a lot of sessions about buy now pay later and like it was very optimistically covered,

in these sessions and Mackenzie did a session where they were sharing some consumer research that you know more than sixty percent of consumers plan to use it I thought all the,

the buzz around being PL was interesting because,

in my world it almost feels like like that that trend has already peaked and is starting to decline.

[19:00] So you know part of a lot of retailers adopted be in PL they originally World on their website now the ruling it out in point-of-sale and a little known fact,

it's more expensive for most retailers than a traditional credit card transaction and the argument was,

that it would bring incremental customers and higher value customers,

um and like that hasn't been universally true amongst my clients that have tested it,

and the kind of the world has changed a little since these Services first rolled out now these services are all showing up on credit reports which,

for a while they weren't and so that was a reason a consumer might have chosen to use this versus traditional credit card was if you know,

they already had a spotty Credit Report or didn't want to risk getting a spotty credit report and there's a lot of talk about like default rates starting to really creep up on these things so I kind of wonder.

[19:57] How durable they're going to be in the long-term especially if you know the economy keeps being challenging for a little while.

Scot:

[20:05] Yeah and one of The Shining examples was Peloton which is kind of Hit the skids pretty hard and I think they were like half of a firm's volume or some some crazy number you know of one of the.

Jason:

[20:19] Meaning a lot of protons where bye.

Scot:

[20:21] That's got a great ahead.

Jason:

[20:22] Installment plan yeah okay.

Scot:

[20:25] Yeah like something like 80% of peloton's had an affirm plan and so but also I think it was by far our firms biggest Merchant.

I've read you know like a very material percentage of a firm's,

what do you guys call it transaction payment volume through those bmps I don't know whatever the metric is of the transaction volume flowing through I think I think Peloton was a big one and it's there in a world of hurt so I wonder if that's creating some pressure on the industry to.

Jason:

[20:50] Yeah at the very least I don't think the world needs as many as we have right now so I would expect at the very least that we're going to see some consolidation in that space and it,

you know it certainly has a place in the ecosystem but there was a while when I was like oh my God the Magic Bullet to every Commerce problem is buy now pay later.

Scot:

[21:11] Yeah there is was there any good consumer Behavior though that you believed or was it all felt like the the buy now pay later guys had just funded it that consumers love it.

Jason:

[21:26] Yeah well yet I mean I don't think the Mackenzie research was funded by by a particular company but you know it was this stated preference survey from customers and you know how much I love.

Stated preference service from from consumers.

Scot:

[21:41] Yeah.

Jason:

[21:44] Side note 99% of all alcoholic say they can stop drinking whenever they want if you want to do a survey.

Scot:

[21:53] Absolutely and everyone says they'll spend more money for something environmental friendly than they never do.

Jason:

[21:58] And a hundred percent of people are of above average intelligence.

Scot:

[22:03] Yes and handsome.

Jason:

[22:05] Which doesn't yet turn out to work out so.

Another big talking point at the show was everybody's favorite word to hate is omni-channel like there were a ton of omni-channel sessions there's a lot of interesting talk about,

people returning to stores like there is mixed messages about the rate of digital adoption declining and I would say.

[22:34] The rate of acceleration is declining but like digital is not diesel is not shrinking in any like absolute basis.

A lot more of these omnichannel amenities and so this was like that was a lot of the Sam's Club talk was about that Dave gilboa who's the one of the cofounders of Warby Parker

he was talking a lot about Omni Channel and the role of the stores in their business model

and how they've kind of gone back to Virtual try on like the I don't know people know that the original plan for Warby Parker was,

that you could use your phone to try glasses on and.

The technology wasn't quite there when they launched the company and people didn't like it very much so they end up having to do all these,

tried for five pair for free as an emergency stop Gap but now they feel like with the lidar and the latest iPhones they feel like the virtual try and experience is working better than the,

the tripe are model and so they're starting to see a lot of uptick in that but people still want to come into the store to buy the glasses so kind of talking about,

Omni channel for the win.

Scot:

[23:45] That's not harmonized.

Jason:

[23:48] Yeah no only 44 what's his name Steve Dennis.

Scot:

[23:56] Dennis yeah.

Jason:

[23:57] Sorry I missed her bifurcation is how I think of them but.

Data is always a buzzword at this show which again I like data as much as the next person but I'm not sure like as a tactic that it's a standalone thing but a lot of people wanted to provide case studies about how they were,

you know leveraging data in new ways and particularly omni-channel data so John strain who's the chief digital officer Gap was talking about,

all the new initiatives that Gap is doing for first-party data and he was arguing that like you know with the two doing personalization with first-party data like they were saying.

[24:41] Did that,

they were able to acquire customers that were like 40 percent more likely to be new file customers as opposed to Labs customers and it had a 30 percent higher order value than,

then kind of their their pre data-driven customer acquisition tactics.

The Steve Miller who's the head of digital at Dick's Sporting Goods he was talking about a lot of.

Sort of the data collection techniques that they were using and how they were getting way you know better outcomes out of personalization they had a kind of cool example I like.

Dick's Sporting Good launched an app called I think it's called Game Changer and what it is is it's an app for your phone to keep score at a baseball game and by keep score do you know what I mean like track all the stats.

People for a long time have Branagh book and like.

Scot:

[25:37] Book yeah.

Jason:

[25:38] Manuel keep score the game so they created this app they give it away for free but what it does is it now like get wet them get 27 million.

Like weekly Baseball fans like in their ecosystem that they then get to Market you know they have first-party data on and get to Market to so it's kind of like when.

Um Under Armour bought MyFitnessPal for example like kind of interesting places where retailers are,

are like building or buying these digital utilities that aren't necessarily directly related to Commerce so I just to get closer to customers that they can then Market.

Scot:

[26:21] Yeah that is color all Trojan Horse strategy.

Jason:

[26:24] Exactly and then Julie Bornstein who's the founder of the yes,

I think a past guest on the show she was kind of talking about her first party data and she was throwing out red meat to all the Consultants that are selling personalization so here's going to be the money quote that you're going to see in every brochure you get for the next year,

our first party day I driven first-party data experiences drove a 75% increase in annual spend a hundred percent annual order frequency and 125 percent better retention rate.

So sounds great sounds like they got some improvement that move the needle for them I'm excited for them,

here's going to be the thing when you see all these personalization vendors that are now pitching that to you like.

Personalization isn't like a binary thing it's not like you don't have it and then you do have it and these are the results you expect when you do have it right like everybody's doing personalization to some extent and like how much,

Improvement in results you're going to get is going to be directly related to how bad your experience was before and how far you improve it.

Scot:

[27:33] Yeah yeah could so it could be just started with really bad bad numbers and then didn't kind of.

Jason:

[27:40] Exactly so I wouldn't I mean I wouldn't be like putting too much stock in these like benchmarks are case studies as like

predictive in any way of what an individual user will get but like of course if you can get more customer data and use it to have more relevant experiences that's going to be you know benefit.

Scot:

[27:57] Now one thing I'm noticing is previous shoptalk sweat with this whole panel format this is sounding much more like individual speaker was that that kind of change of the format.

Jason:

[28:08] Not necessarily so they kind of have a few formats so they have like they have the key notes which is almost always,

an interview that presenter an interviewer and that that was still true so then they have

track key notes and attract keynote is usually in individual speaker or an individual speaker

followed by an interview and then they have these panel formats and so in some cases,

I'm cherry picking what I thought was interesting from one speaker and a panel of three but in a bunch of cases these were track Keynotes.

Scot:

[28:47] Got it.

Jason:

[28:49] And we'll get to the very best track keynote in a minute which you know was obviously mine.

Scot:

[28:56] No bias there.

Jason:

[28:58] Yeah,

so a lot of talk about the best and most cost-effective ways to acquire customers so you know there was a ton of sessions talking about live streaming and kind of the,

the kind of at this point I'll call it the kind of predictable tripe that like oh my gosh you live streaming is huge in China and may or may not be coming to the u.s. but you should be testing it like you know Google obviously had a big keynote talking primarily about live streaming

a ton of practitioners were talking in particular about like their experience on Tik-Tok and successful live streaming

HSN was obviously talking about their success and then there were some,

shop shops is a live streaming platform that you know gave an interesting case study and then,

I would say there's always a couple of vendors that like emerge I don't know if they're necessarily the best or not but like kind of win the show for share of voice

and so every time someone's talking about live Commerce the vendor that they were talking about partnering with was firework which is a enabler of live streaming,

Commerce and so it felt to me like they they did a good job showing up in all these conversations are you bullish on live streaming.

Scot:

[30:17] I am but it's because you have trained me that it's so big in China and then you know it's one of those things,

a lot of the stuff in China we thought would be good kind of come across as not like chat Commerce and why bow and all that so but it's one where you know I see these influencers and I think it will catch on because we've got,

the Kardashians and if they ever did a live stream or something like that it would be huge we just need we need like that spark and kind of a unique American take on it,

probably from a Content perspective not underlying technology but it all has to come together.

Jason:

[30:52] Yeah so I don't like we may need a an updated deep dive on live streaming in China because it's actually,

it's evolving super rapidly like there was this interesting phenomenon at first where all the live streaming was happening on retail platforms so it was like,

kind of influencers that got made famous by Ali Baba and j.d. on their platform so think of it as people were consuming live streaming on Walmart.com not on tick tock,

and then the government kind of crack down on some of these influencers who apparently weren't paying taxes,

and and it kind of shifted the live streaming to the social platform so no like now Dao Yuan which is Tick-Tock in China is.

The destination for live-streaming so it's just been interesting,

but one wave live streaming I really like and I think coach was talking a lot about in their their track he noted the show,

is sales associates as in as micro influencers and doing live streaming either from the store or after hours which.

Scot:

[31:55] Yeah we'll have to get caught up on them.

Jason:

[31:58] It's a related Trend that got a lot of Buzz this show as another way of acquiring customers as micro influencers that's another one that I'm kind of bullish on and there were some good case studies there,

so Jill Ramsey is the CEO of AKA Brands was talking about like micro influencers being their most successful new customer acquisition strategy there are a bunch of apparel brands,

um one that I hadn't thought of that I feel like I need to get updated on more,

Alyssa Walt is the chief business officer for Burton Snowboards so you know all the snowboarding accessories,

and she was talking about they were having huge success using NCAA athletes as influencers,

and of course if you're not following it closely that used to be illegal for or not illegal but like it was a gainst the NCA term so you lose your college eligibility of you made any money as a,

influence our sponsor and now their college athletes are all permission to.

To endorse products and make money and so it's kind of open this new,

new channel if you have a product that's appropriate to be.

[33:13] Advocated by college athlete so that seemed interesting that they were a fast mover there,

and then I mentioned coach was definitely leaning into influencers and particularly using sales associates as influencers.

Scot:

[33:29] Cool aunt heard the NCAA thing yielding some some fruit so that's interesting to hear.

Jason:

[33:35] Yeah I've seen some funny like local case studies where do I go up a car dealership hired some NCAA athletes and as you could imagine,

like some of them are awful and some of them are awesome.

So I just like some of the like the quality of the deliveries have been pretty funny and uneven.

[33:55] So another big talking point that kind of it was not the topic of a lot of sessions but it got mentioned in a lot of sessions including mine was the emergence of retail media networks and I would say that was,

something that came up at a lot in hallway conversations more so than in like content on the stage.

But everybody and their brother you know now has a retail media Network and they you know they're all doubling down and one thing they're all doing is expanding,

Beyond digital search so you know more different ad platforms on their websites but increasingly a lot of.

Media opportunities in stores so you and I were talking about some of these offline like you know you know in-store displays and things like that,

and then also a bunch of these retail media networks are offering dsps and letting you buy ads on Google or Facebook using,

first-party targeting from the retailer so you know you think about the depreciation of cookies in your ability to buy your own look-alike audience on Facebook,

you know you can still pay Walmart to buy look like audiences on Facebook for you and that can be pretty successful.

[35:14] So we already talked about the payment Trends another big Trend that came up a lot we kind of covered it in the,

the Keynotes was the rapid Commerce being a big thing and then what I wanted to put on your radar screen.

When the came up an awful lot a few times in sessions and then a lot in the hallway is everyone is metaverse curious.

Scot:

[35:41] Yeah yeah I read one of the summary as was everyone's talking about metaverse but no one thinks they'll actually be an e-commerce down there so I don't know we're people thinking there's actually going to be some Commerce happening or they were just.

What is this wise.

Jason:

[35:56] So I don't know that's a good question I tried to ask probing questions and like the vast majority of people you talk to don't actually understand what they even meet like there's a lot of confluent,

compilation of terms right like web 3 metaverse,

um blockchains cryptocurrencies and so it's it's you know you're talking to someone about the metaverse and then they're telling you why they invested in Bitcoin and you go well like those are related but they're not the same thing.

Scot:

[36:28] Yeah it's like 13.

Jason:

[36:30] Yeah but so there are a couple case studies from some gaming companies that we're doing some in-game Commerce again Mackenzie like kind of had some consumed like part of their presentation had all these like,

evolving consumer Trends and they again there's a stated preference for take it with a huge grain of salt

um but they ask customers how many hours a day they expected to spend in the meadow verse five years from now and the average answer was 4 hours a day,

and for for Jen's he's the average our answer was nine hours a day.

Scot:

[37:03] You know every pretty much every waking hour or sleeping hour will be the members.

Jason:

[37:09] Yeah and,

you know I'll tell you about my evolving opinion The Meta verse in a minute but you know a really interesting question is what it like is like are we in the meta verse right now like like a zoom call the metaverse is.

But Facebook messenger chat the med over like you know the there's a lot of gray area in definitions.

Scot:

[37:34] Nursing.

Jason:

[37:36] And so if you can't like if all my time on Twitter is in the meadow verse then I might be close to that average now.

Scot:

[37:44] Yeah yeah I don't know I don't think that counts.

Jason:

[37:49] And so I will highlight like I di think we have a metaverse Commerce Deep dive in in our near future,

everybody wants to learn about it and understand it like I've been doing some kind of meta verse 101 Commerce conversations with a bunch of clients,

and like at the very least if you're going to be an early mover and do some piloting like there are a bunch of easy to make tragic mistakes to make early on that you should.

You should be aware of and so it just you know it might be an interesting topic for us to do a deep dive on.

Scot:

[38:25] Yeah we'll put it on the list.

Jason:

[38:27] Yeah and I got corralled by everybody's favorite venture capitalist Andreessen Horowitz and they're wildly boyish on the members.

Scot:

[38:36] Which which one of the folks steamer.

Jason:

[38:40] So they now have like a whole team,

dedicate like that and you probably know them better than I do but you know they're trying to have this spin of providing all these services to entrepreneurs so they have like a lot of kind of.

Share real sources and so you know the pitch to me is like,

you know man if you have any client projects like we can play matchmaker and help introduce you to the right you don't companies in our portfolio and stuff like that so the these were not like Investment Partners these were all operating partners.

There were trying to accelerate business for their portfolio companies that were pitching me.

Scot:

[39:25] I knew they had crypto Focus I didn't know they had a team thinking about the meadow verse that sinners.

Jason:

[39:29] They do have a crypto focus and I'm saying metaverse but I'll tell you what they really have their their their in addition their trip to focus they have a web 3 Focus.

Scot:

[39:38] Okay they're kind of loving it all together.

Jason:

[39:39] Um yeah which there is an important distinction between metaverse and web 3 which would be fun to talk about it we do a deep dive.

Scot:

[39:47] Yeah alright good teaser.

Jason:

[39:49] Awesome,

lot of talk I mentioned this already but there was a lot of talk about the return of stores which is funny because you know I wasn't where stores went away,

but maybe the buzz of the stores went away and you know now like stores are coming pretty well against their soft pandemic numbers and digital is comping,

not as well against their Mega pandemic numbers and so,

there's a way in which you look at it and go oh man you know store growth is unusually high and digital growth is unusually low.

[40:22] I think that's kind of a misunderstanding of the data a little bit in a lot of cases but that was,

a big hallway conversation and then the conversation that I didn't hear that really surprised me I mentioned the mood was really kind of Rosie,

I have to be honest all my one-on-ones with clients leading up to the show have not been Rosy like there's a,

awful lot of concern amongst the folks I work with about what everybody's calling the macros and you know by that they mean,

like inflation persistent supply chain problems you know consistent persistent like economic instability like housing supplies and cost-of-living going up like all these,

these kind of Doom and Gloom Financial measures and then you throw you know gas prices in war in Europe,

on top of all that and I'm talking to a bunch of people that are like really worried about the Financial Health and spending ability of their customer base and there was none of that at the show.

Scot:

[41:24] Yeah yeah you know the consumer confidence numbers taken a precipitous fall which I always use is kind of my barometer and I'm I am also worried about the macros.

Jason:

[41:36] Yeah I mean you know I get these wrong all the time but there was a time early in the pandemic when,

when you know my narrative was like

the pandemics probably going to cause a recession and it's probably going to end with a period of like crazy accelerated spending similar to The Roaring 20s and the irony is,

the opposite kind of happened like the pandemic like drove a two-year period of crazy spending and it feels like it's now ending in her session.

Scot:

[42:07] Yeah yeah it's kind of kind of backwards from what we all thought.

Jason:

[42:11] Yeah I hope that's not how it all plays out but.

Scot:

[42:14] Shown up in the numbers like you know the numbers that you talked about the retail numbers the but so it's either not happening or its early indications and we haven't seen it yet that's just kind of the big concern.

Jason:

[42:25] Yeah yeah no and I will tell you like if and it's going to come up here pretty soon I think another week.

Last March was a mega month for retail and so the comps this March.

Are copying against are really hard number and you know a lot of people feel that like the macros like really started to show up in the consumer numbers this March and so if,

like there's a chance that like the comps are going to be really ugly this March it's going to be a interesting month to watch.

Scot:

[43:02] All right we'll keep an eye out.

Jason:

[43:03] Yeah I did say the last best session best session for last,

I did a track keynote talking about achieving digital profitability right and I so I was the one Doom and Gloom session I'm like hey there is a bunch of macro concern over out there like obviously there was a bunch of extra digital,

um activity and now the challenge we all have to face as we got to figure out how to bring more profit to our digital business and so I did a whole,

track keynote talking about,

um opportunities to improve the profitability and then I had a guest Jerome Griffith who's the CEO of lands and like I did a,

like a 15-minute presentation and then we did like a 20-minute fireside chat talking about the best strategies to make money in this climate.

So I tried to channel my inner Scott as much as possible.

Scot:

[43:56] What were some of the what are some of those strategies.

Jason:

[44:00] Um I mean it's it's black and tackling stuff we kind of you know talked about you know typical framework of,

reducing cost getting more customers you know generating more revenue from each customer and then we kind of hit on,

our favorite tactics within each of those three buckets Jerome like you know by far feels that the,

the easiest best place to start is on the cost controls right and he's in the apparel space historically the apparel space does a horrible job of demand forecasting.

[44:36] So they make the wrong stuff and they make too much stuff in that really hurts costs and you know just just fundamental costs of goods and and having good rigor around controlling,

manufacturing cost is his kind of home base but like the part of his.

[44:56] Feedback that was super interesting to me is lands in was a direct-to-consumer company so they were a company that was born as a catalog that sold 100% direct-to-consumer,

they got acquired by Sears so then they were exclusively available on the lands in catalog and in Sears stores,

and they were acquired by Sears I greatest years was starting to get distressed and turning into a fast Eddie Discounters and so suddenly lands in which hadn't done any discounting was heavily discounted,

and then they got spun off from Sears and you know tried to recover their non discount price point and,

they expanded into a bunch of other channels so today you can buy lands and direct from their website which is still about 50 percent of their sales but they sell wholesale through Macy's and Kohl's,

which you know our discount channels and then they they also sell 1p on Amazon and so it was interesting he talked about wholesale and marketplaces being,

a very important and vibrant customer acquisition strategy for a direct-to-consumer company and so he felt like.

[46:07] Like the customers that he was meeting at Kohl's were incremental to the customers he met directly and that like partnering with coals and Macy's was,

way more cost-effective way to acquire customers then Facebook ads.

Scot:

[46:20] Nursing and then I like the marketplace take that's a that's a good one.

Jason:

[46:24] Yeah yeah yeah so he I mean he was kind of like you got to be where the customer is control your costs,

and then you know there are things like if you are direct-to-consumer like you should launch a retail media Network and try to supplement your,

your Revenue with those kinds of tools and you know I did some stuff just on basic block and tackling and on mobile experiences that we all still get wrong and improving mobile conversion and stuff like that.

Scot:

[46:54] The was there a standing ovation at the end of the session.

Jason:

[46:59] There was there was because I said I was going to shut up now and that that generated incredible standing ovation.

Scot:

[47:05] Did you do the whole Spiel of if you like this I've got 290 hours out there on the internet for you.

Jason:

[47:11] I did but it's 3:00 because even though we only have 290 shows the average one is longer than an hour.

Scot:

[47:17] Nice yeah yeah good yeah some guy we interviewed somebody's like I've listened to all your podcast is like I'm not really sure yet.

Jason:

[47:28] Yeah although I will tell you I ran into a ton of people so many nice comments I'm so grateful like the thing I feel bad about when you miss a show is,

just so many random people like recognize our name on my badge and I had a Jason and Scot show badge,

and like we're honest with Sinners and had great feedback and I was just found out talk to all these people and and it's nice to hear that people appreciate what we do and if you don't know the most common,

comment I get about the show is that oh yeah I listened at 1.25 speed or 1.5 speed while I'm at on my exercise bike.

And I want to say for the first time ever I met a guy who's a regular listener to the show that said he listened at 2X and that I found I sounded kind of sleepy and tired in real life.

Scot:

[48:18] This is in your holding two coffees did you have the thing where you're speaking and someone recognizes your voice and they're looking around like a weight had I've heard that voice before that happens to us it.

Jason:

[48:32] It's Starbucks every single time because but I mean hey I spent a lot of time standing in a Starbucks line and I spend a lot of time talking so a lot of people have the chance to hear my voice and go wait a minute you sound familiar.

Scot:

[48:43] Did anyone make fun of your title that's my favorite part.

Jason:

[48:46] So yes but like in fairness there mostly people that are friends of yours or mine that just like on team Scott.

Scot:

[48:55] Okay they're just just carrying on the chief digital retail analytics customer Journey officer.

Nice cool did you guys did your company have a been big shindig was it a good show for you guys.

Jason:

[49:11] It was it was it was also fun because I had a fair amount of co-workers their it was fun to spend time with them and we had a team dinner that was awesome.

The most purposes agencies wouldn't necessarily exhibit but we own a company that helps

Implement a lot of retail media networks called Citrus ad and so they had a booth there so I it was fun to hang out with them a little bit their founder by the way we might have I try not to put pupusas people in our show very often but we might have to have him on because

he's a two-time very successful entrepreneur he tricked us into buying his his most recent company.

He also is a former professional Australian Rules Football player like legit.

Scot:

[49:58] Oh ah yeah that's that weird football that they have yeah it's kind of fatter and stubby or than our football.

Jason:

[50:06] What version of football is not weird that okay yeah.

Scot:

[50:08] Cool well yeah and we should talk about if pupal sis needs to acquire any car washes with you you and I can have that one offline.

Jason:

[50:18] Yeah yeah for sure you I get as you can imagine that's that's most of the cycles that that I spend it purposes is pitching on us leaning into the car wash space.

Scot:

[50:28] Cool did you get a chance to walk through the booths and the the show floor and see Annie was that well traffic to an any any kind of.

Jason:

[50:38] Yeah it's always it's always hard to tell I do think shoptalk one of the things shoptalk does well is two things they try to have some events in the floor.

Um

so so you know like the lunches and stuff you kind of have to walk through the tradeshow to get to the lunches so they try to artificially create some traffic but one thing I really appreciate about shoptalk is,

they have down time in the agenda when there's no track or keynote content like they have like two hours a day and part of the reason is they have this

this function cut these out meet up so I can retailer can attend shop up shoptalk for free if they agree to take like five meetings with vendors and then these vendors pay for these meetings

and so they have to have a window to do those meetings in and so I appreciate that,

it creates a more natural opportunity for people to walk the show and discover vendors without feeling like you're missing something.

Scot:

[51:36] Crinkle how many retailers did you meet with.

Jason:

[51:40] Yeah so I do always try to walk the show and I do try to stop and talk to some booths I got to be honest there's a weird dynamic Scott and I feel like you would appreciate this but Walking the Floor makes me feel old because,

I walk the floor and,

here's basically what goes on in my mind I don't recognize the name of any of the vendors and then I agreed to sign for a second and then I figure out that there are vendor I know super well that's changed their name three times.

And so it's like I feel like the Wikipedia that's like remembering oh yeah you used to be this and now you're this and now you're that and then I know I go oh and I know these 3 people that work there right now.

It is now the case that all the people I know that work at all these vendors are too old and Senior to be in the booth so.

I know I never run into any folks I know in the booth that's always the the Next Generation.

Scot:

[52:33] Yeah and then I'll get excited that you're a retailer and then you're a podcaster and they're like.

Jason:

[52:39] Yeah and that's my my unfulfilled young Lame Game I play with all of them is.

You know by and large they're like so what do you do and I go I'm mostly just talk about this stuff all the time and there and they like think I'm lying when in fact that's exactly what I said.

Scot:

[52:55] The new about the 3:00.

Jason:

[52:58] Yeah exactly.

And then in a couple cases it Dawns on them wait a minute you're the Jason and Scot show and they like chase me down in the hallway and go you I listen to your podcast.

Scot:

[53:08] Very cool.

Jason:

[53:10] Then we go into those sleepy tired thing anyway but in the interest of bringing the average down I feel like I've covered all the show do you feel like you caught up on everything you missed by not being there.

Scot:

[53:23] I do the one thing that I've heard chatter from the folks I talk to is this

continued pressure on Shopify you ever seen they announce their last quarter's earnings Q4 their stock has been on a

precipitous slide that they haven't seen since their IPO and like 2016 I think,

maybe 15 was that that come up at all or no.

Jason:

[53:50] It didn't come up a lot and I'm trying to remember like I actually don't think they had a booth at the show which is interesting.

I could be wrong on that but I kind of don't think they had had a big booth,

and yeah I mean you know obviously they're totally lumped into this whole category of companies that did amazing in the beginning of the pandemic and then like you know seem like they acted like they would continue to,

to grow that pace and obviously couldn't and then you know the their stock got punished for it.

Scot:

[54:23] Yeah yeah and there's been a lot of Wall Street notes out saying you know that I think what freaked everyone out is the fact they're going to invest in infrastructure meaning warehouses and there's a lot of Wall Street folks trying to say.

It's not that bad it's only a billion dollars but I remain skeptical that that's going to be enough and then,

yep so we should just wondering if that was.

Jason:

[54:48] Yeah I mean if anything I would say there are a lot more fulfillment companies that would be competing with a Shopify fulfillment Network and a lot more you like I'll tell you where Shopify has a ton of competition at this show are like.

POS systems which is actually a meaningful part of shopify's offering now and you know like kind of.

Solutions as a service besides the e-commerce site the payment systems and all of these things that you know Shopify does and I will say it's kind of funny.

I still think like a lot of people try to describe themselves as the Shopify of X which.

Like doesn't sound as good as it did a couple years ago and you still hear people trying to say like we're the word be Parker of X and I'm like have you looked at worry Parker stuffers.

Scot:

[55:37] Yeah how about how about some of our friends from The Headless Commerce industry was there a lot of a lot of Buzz there with the.

Jason:

[55:47] Yeah,

so those platforms were there in full strength Fazal and fabric had a big presence there you remember they raised some good money right before the show,

we had Kelly on from a Commerce tools you know a number of episodes ago and he talked about the mock Alliance and that mock Alliance,

has really gained a lot of traction like I'm seeing a lot more and more vendors emerging that are now members of the mock Alliance so it seems like.

You know that that's not just a marketing thing that's kind of like a legitimate Trade Organization for all these headless providers.

Scot:

[56:27] Nursing was there like common badging throughout or something like that.

Jason:

[56:31] Well yeah there's a mock Alliance logo that was on a bunch of booths I they may have had events I wasn't able to like attend any of their.

There are social events but yeah it seems like it's getting traction I don't know if this is a perfect show for that like.

There was an ERA when like everybody needed a platform you need to go to a show to meet vendors and find out about platforms like I kind of think the average attendee here has a platform today and so you know maybe there's some that are thinking about switching.

But I have a feeling that those booths have gone a little bit more from customer acquisition to.

Customer relationship management and retention at the shows.

Scot:

[57:11] Yeah yeah nursing will cope well we appreciate you going out and braving the wild environs of the Las Vegas hotel circuit and this the Starbucks to report back to us.

Jason:

[57:25] It was my pleasure and if she's listening definitely congratulations to Christina Gibson and the whole team at shoptalk I do think they put on a good show and it's,

like I think it's definitely set itself up as the preeminent kind of digital Commerce show in our industry now.

[57:59] Yeah and until next time happy Commercing.

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