I returned from my most recent San Francisco trip with a few key takeaways: retailers are pressed to adapt to the modern consumer, Amazon Go is still working out some kinks, Dor is kicking butt, and the Bay Area fog has a name.
Plug and Play’s Fall Summit curated an impressive batch of presenters. The clear theme I saw across multiple presentations was that retailers and brands are pressed to serve the modern consumer. A few of my favorite examples: alternative payment methods, differentiated product discovery and curation platforms, and individualized marketing technologies. With a growing number of customers avoiding purchases on credit, both SplitIt and Afterpay are providing alternative and simple payment solutions that break purchases into smaller amounts. As someone who attends many pitch events, I appreciated Plug and Play’s utilization of a real time digital schedule (LineUpr) and networking technology (Brella) to facilitate meetings.
Amazon Go opened its first San Francisco location the week I was there. While yes, the store is cashier-less, there was a 3:1 employee to customer ratio. Needless to say, I got in line. After being educated on how to shop the store, I downloaded the app and eagerly entered. I was disappointed that the app did not update my shopping cart in real time. However, overall I left with a positive experience and laughed when remembering Jeff Bezos describe the Amazon Go experience as ‘shoplifting without the jail time’ while speaking in Dallas.
One of my favorite aspects of this industry is supporting and watching entrepreneurs grow. After raising a Series A funding round, Dor moved into a beautiful three-story office filled with sensors at every Dor (yes, I’m forcing this pun), a table built for meetings AND ping pong, and a rock star team full of energy. Dor was the very first pitch I heard at RevTech and it has been amazing watching the team, product, and company develop.
Lastly, I learned that the Bay Area’s fog is named Karl. You can follow him @KarlTheFog for updates. I continue to leave San Francisco energized and excited about the future.