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Laurent Haug's newsletter, issue #26

Back from an intense week of travel with lots of fresh ideas and links for you to enjoy. Feedback wel

Laurent Haug

September 29 · Issue #26 · View online
News and thoughts on society's ongoing transformation.

Back from an intense week of travel with lots of fresh ideas and links for you to enjoy. Feedback welcome as usual, especially on consumer retail and millennials banking as these are two topics I’m frequently presenting on. Have a great week.

Consumer retail trends 2015+
Last week I was invited to speak at the Next conference in Hamburg, and I presented the trends I see impacting consumer retail. I published the slides, Next has a live blog of the session, and here is a quick write-up of what I found while researching that topic. I see eight major transformations happening:
Online = offline
The difference between online and offline is disapearing, turning “ecommerce” into simply “commerce”. The online players are opening physical stores, and the physical stores are pushing shoppers into more and more digital interactions. In the future, commerce seamlessly integrates the online and offline worlds into a unique, consistent and homogeneous experience.
Just like we are measuring almost everything in the digital world, we start to have the tools to analyze what shoppers are doing in the physical world. Understanding these data points will be the key of tomorrow’s retail, and the future is much much more tracking (what else could it be…).
Content integration
Commerce is getting integrated into content a little bit more everyday. Social networks are launching buy buttons right into their news feeds, and now TV shows, magazines and movies are directly coming with companion stores.
Vertically integrated retail
How to fight Amazon? By creating vertical integration, where one controls everything from production to distribution to retail. Works with high margin, high volume items, and some very interesting brands are emerging (Dollar Shaving Club, Warby Parker, etc). Ironically the destiny of most of these brands is probably to be bought by… Amazon, just as it happened with
New entry points
Perhaps one of this talk’s most important point. We started entering the web almost exclusively via search engines (1990 - 2005). Then came social networks, which became a second way to start journeys on the web. We are entering the third phase, that of the personal assistant. A lot of shopping will happen with people just asking Siri/Google Now/Cortana/Messenger M “I need some shoes”. Being the one shoe pair recommended by these services is the new fight that brands will have to undertake, after having to exist in Google (SEO) and on social media (SMO).
A global trend impacting every part of society, artificial intelligence is also having an impact in retail, on things like distribution (delivery drones), marketing (automated pricing, predictive shopping) and sales (automated sales assistants, customer support).
Transparency on price, values and performance is forced down the throat of retailers by the most advanced users who have systems like ShopGenius and AvoidPlugin at their disposal.
Tracking, automation, digitization, all these things are making retail less human. Some brands are fighting back, and one can see how a human touch remains and will probably be more and more of a distinctive, positive factor in the future.
Points I didn’t have time to develop
- Asia is much more developed than the West on these topics. If you’re interested in retail look at China and Korea.
- Augmented reality is making a small push with systems like this and this (my gut feeling: funny and spectacular but will never go mainstream).
- On the other end, virtual reality retail (shopping via Oculus Rift) will be huge.
See or download the slides here.

What millennials want from banks
My colleagues at Anthemis just released a free report on the needs of the digital natives, written after conducting dozens of interviews all around the world with the help of Claro Partners (a Barcelona based firm specialized in design thinking and ethnographic research). 
Lots of insights for those of you working in the financial industry. Three highlights to hopefully convince you to download the full report.
The four “financial modes” of millenials
Banks should think along these lines, rather than according to customer segments. The four modes are: PATCH (solve the problems of now), INDULGE (enjoy the moment), BUILD (a family, a house) and DREAM (things to do if life gets generous).
Align bank’s engagement model to digital consumers’ mindset
There is a misalignment between how banks presently approach these elements and the mindset of the digital native (DN) customer. The below table shows the difference between the traditional approach and the new, much needed approach.
Defining a fintech strategy
For banks that want to maintain the customer relationship, engaging with the FinTech ecosystem is a critical part of the strategy. Banks can learn from the FinTech ecosystem on how to acquire new customers, how to engage them and retain their trust, and how to build propositions that deliver what digital natives expect. Here are the four strategies banks can adopt when it comes to engaging with fintech.

You know you live in the 21st century when...
Engineers are working on creating "unhackable kernels" to keep all computers safe from cyberattack
Sperm was created from stem cells in the lab
TV news goes all-iPhone
Unlearn, relearn
E-book sales slip, and print is far from dead
Cool stuff
Meural, modern digital frame
Plug Pico Cassette into your smartphone and play a game
Permeable concrete
Now you see it, now you don't: invisibility cloak nears reality
This face-tracking projection is the craziest thing you'll see today
Kingii, the new standard in water safety
This week's link for parents
10 Survival tips for flying internationally with kids
“The biggest communication problem is we do not listen to understand, we listen to reply.”
Anonymous (via Laurent Bolli)
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