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Five Big Ideas to Transform Commerce. Will they Fly or Flop?

Posted on Jun 15, 2012
Editorial View from Leilani Doyle, Vice President of Marketing at US Dataworks

Disruptive technology is the current buzz when it comes to starting a new business. We are all looking for the next new idea that will make our lives better, simpler and richer in more ways than one. Dave Bruno, Marketing Director at RedPrairie, put together a list of five big ideas that could influence the way we do business. I have my doubts about some of these, but would love to hear if you think they will flop or fly.

Tap and Go is ready to go. The question is whether it’s ready to go, ready to go big or ready to go out the window? I would agree that the big name investors in NFC are ready for it to go, but there is a gap between their desires and reality. For example, I have not been able to pay for my daily fix of Orange Leaf yogurt by simply tapping my cell phone. But maybe I am missing something in this Tap and Go roll-out, like the  millions of retailers that have plunked down a chunk of change to update their Point of Sale terminals in this uncertain economy. 

Aside from the lack of merchant readiness, are consumers really ready? Consumers need a lot more education on this process in order to feel good about tap and pay. Many may think it sounds like an open invitation for electronic pick pockets. And just what happens if I tap my phone on the bar while waiting on my gin-gin mule? Did I pick up a round for the house? I get that a lot of money has poured into this technology with high hopes for a revolution in payments and other forms of commerce. I remain a skeptic and call this one a flop, at least in its current state.

 Who is the next Lady Gaga? Wow, now that’s a question I have been dying to get answered. And guess what, I am ready to plunk down a cool mill for the Big Data that will help me be the first in line for concert tickets. But in all seriousness, Big Data is an important shift in the way businesses and marketers create campaigns, design product launches and target their advertising spend. Big Data has the potential to make offers available to consumers at the exact time and place to have the biggest influence on a buying decision. I call Big Data a fly, even though it feels a lot like “Big Brother”.

A New Take on Reality. What Dave is really talking about here is Augmented Reality, a concept that has a lot of practical uses. Just think, every football game you watch you experience augmented reality when the yellow first down line appears on the screen. Fighter pilots currently have their field of view augmented with landscape and navigation information. As Augmented Reality develops it has great promise to help consumers make better buying decisions, by delivering information in a way that is easy, fun and genuinely useful…three qualities that spell a winner to me. I rate Augmented Reality as a double fly.

The Power of the Crowd. Need 10,000 or so testers for your new product? No problem: just crowdsource it from the web. The concept is solid and seems to work. Not only do you get information for a large sample, but you also engage them in the overall process which translates to instant buy-in. However, design by committee rarely leads to truly innovative products. I mean did da Vinci poll the town to decide exactly the type of smile he should paint for Mona Lisa? Overall, I rate this one a fly. Clearly crowdsourcing is useful, let’s just not take it too far.

Don’t Buy, Rent. As a big proponent of Cloud delivery of software solutions, like payment processing, I can’t argue too much with this being a macroeconomics trend. It will no doubt be hard for consumers who have the old mind set of property ownership to embrace this circular economic paradigm. I am officially on the fence with this one. I hope someone weighs in with their prediction of flop or fly.

Source Article:  AllThingsD June 2012

Blog Post Submitted by Leilani Doyle.