A lot of noise is being made about the rapid growth of ecommerce and the effect this is having on bricks and mortar retail. Forrester analyst Sucharita Mulpuru provides an alternative view, pointing to the continuing growth in the traditional retail sector and the need to distinguish between retailers making the right (and wrong) decisions.
Geoffrey Moore gives a rather sobering view on the effect that technology is having on America’s middle class and suggests some potential avenues to address this.
Marc Andreessen is interviewed in the Washington Post providing commentary on the impact of revelations on NSA surveillance, net neutrality and bitcoin. His commentary on the latter is particularly interesting and marks out why Andreessen Horowitz are investing heavily in the sector.
E-commerce would’ve gotten built on top of this, instead of getting built on top of the credit card network. We knew we were missing this; we just didn’t know what it was. There is no reason on earth for anybody to be on the Internet today to be typing in a credit card number to buy something. It’s insane, because — which is why you have all these security problems, the Target hack and all this crazy…. And these high fees, this high fraud rate. It doesn’t make sense online to have a payment mechanism that requires you to hand over your credentials to make a payment. That’s just an invitation to fraud and identity theft. It’s just stupid.
But we didn’t have the better way of doing it. So we didn’t know what else to do, and now we have the better way of doing it. Now, it’s going to take time. We’re quite confident that when we’re sitting here in 20 years, we’ll be talking about Bitcoin the way we talk about the Internet today. We just need time for it to play out.
Moving customers over to a subscription model of payments may provide companies with a valuable regular income stream but Brian S Hall points out that this is not necessarily in the consumer’s best interests.
Timothy B Lee looks at the New York Times’s Innovation report which identifies new disruptive players, but also suggests that the organisation like many incumbents is poorly placed to meet the challenge of new entrants.
Game Oven recently wrote a piece looking at the difficulties in writing software for Android given the fragmented hardware and software environment. Benedict Evans built on this post , pointing to the problems of Android fragmentation but also suggesting that the movement to a more cloud based environment may alleviate many of the current problems associated with developing for Android.
Deloitte has released its latest Media Consumer report looking at changes in media consumption patterns in the UK. Among the areas covered are device ownership, television consumption, trust in journalism, use of social media, cinema viewing, gaming and streaming of music.
Julie Ask looks at the role of disintermediaries in an increasingly mobile centred environment, with social media, mapping, entertainment, commerce and payments growing in strategic importance.
Today, a third crop of platforms are laying the groundwork to step into the powerful position of “owning the customer,” by serving them in mobile moments. Consumers expect to be able to get what they want in their immediate context and moment of need. They will reach for their phone for information and services. The issue is, most brands aren’’t yet there for their customers in this moment, challenged to even get customers to visit their mobile website or download the brand’s mobile app.
That’s where the platforms that dominate minutes of use, such as popular messaging and social media apps, come into play. It’s not hard to imagine a future where a small set of highly contextual and curated disintermediaries offer consumers a portal to the universe of services on mobile devices. Companies should consider the possibility of a future where their access to consumers is through this small set of disintermediaries
JWT Intelligence has a look at the mobile payments sector which is encumbered by the chicken and egg scenario. Consumers won’t use a service if they’re not familiar with it but retailers won’t invest in a platform if it’s not widely adopted. Efforts are being made to increase adoption and Apple is a potentially disruptive player waiting in the wings.
A growing amount of attention has been given to the mobile messaging sector lately, particularly in light of Facebook’s recent acquisition of WhatsApp. Line and WeChat are similar (provide text and photo messaging but different from the more traditional mobile messaging players with Mark Bivens and Jerry Yang comparing the two Asian powerhouses on Bivens’ blog.
I am a strong believer that we will see some version of enhanced eyewear make inroads in the future but Matt Lake’s review points to Google Glass being some way from the medium’s end goal.
There’s been a lot of talk lately of a cooling in tablet sales with commentators suggesting that the smartphone can more than adequately fulfill many of the use cases. Providing a counterpoint to these suggestions is research from Flurry which point to growing usage by tablet owners.
Relationship status is one of those sensitive areas that users aren’t always willing to make public on Facebook. In an attempt to overcome consumers’ reluctance (and provide another data source), Facebook is providing consumers with the opportunity to directly ask fellow users what their current relationship status is.
Facebook has added song and television show identification (à la Shazam) to its iOS and Android app, providing the opportunity to further enrich its collection of consumer data.
Whilst digital technologies such as HTML5 and WebGL are enabling a richer array of experiences online, the majority of online spend is still very much on direct response advertising in the US according to eMarketer figures.
The featured image is Reliefs by Evgeniy Dikson