Contactless Shopping & The Future Of Retail Displays: The Top 5 Takeaways From HypeHour #3

06.29.2020 Blog , The HypeHour

COVID-19 has officially changed the way people shop, and the need for contactless shopping, touchless alternatives, and in-store cleanliness is more important than ever. So, what does that mean for retail displays? During our third Hype Hour event, we discussed how displays can be redesigned moving forward to provide an unassisted, yet engaging and safe retail experience.

In case you missed it, the Hype Hour by BDS is a monthly livestream event that covers relevant topics, answers difficult questions, and brainstorms creative ideas for today’s biggest retail challenges. Hype Hour #3 took place on Friday, June 12 at 1:30pm PT / 4:30pm ET, and it featured insights, opinions, and – of course – lively banter from four unique industry minds:

  • Andrew Catapano – SVP of Digital Strategy & Marketing at BDSmktg
  • Kelly Campbell – Senior Marketing Manager at BDSmktg
  • Chris Brandewie – VP of Strategy & Design at Outform
  • Jennifer Fisher-Finnegan – VP of Client Service at BDSmktg

You can watch the livestream video above, or you can read the detailed transcription below! Or – if you just want the top takeaways – here are our favorite lessons from Hype Hour #3:

1) iPhone Technology Will Assist The Touchless Transition

a. The old shopping experience was all about creating a tangible, interactive, tactile environment. But now, we’re tasked with eliminating the entire touch aspect in order to keep retail environments safe for shoppers and employees alike. Although it’s a challenging ask to say the least, technology advancements such as gesture control, motion sensors, voice control, and QR codes can all help ease the transition from tangible to touchless. Five years ago, QR codes weren’t even a “thing.” But today, they’re native to every iPhone’s software. In fact, it’s very possible that the iPhone represents one of the most important technological shifts we’ll see in our lifetime, and we’re just starting to scratch the surface of possibilities it presents in the retail realm.

2) During The Return To Retail, Shopper Reassurance Is Key

a. As stores continue to compete for consumer foot traffic, the #1 thing they can do to be successful is reassure shoppers that they’ll be safe while in-store. To achieve that necessary level of trust, a few things need to happen. One idea? Stores should consider investing in a temperature-taking system. At Outform, for example, they just launched an “eye display thermometer,” which is a freestanding thermal scanner that can integrate seamlessly with existing door systems and security cameras. That way, stores can eliminate the need for an employee to stand in the entryway, manually taking each shopper’s temperature with a thermometer gun. Another way to reassure shoppers is by incorporating anti-microbial materials into retail displays during the manufacturing process.

3) Retail Displays Need To Be More Functional Than Ever Before

a. COVID-19 is unpredictable; some experts say it’ll be with us for six more months, and some say six more years. Regardless, states are opening up and life is returning to a “new normal” of sorts, and it’s reflected in the retail numbers. According to a recent report, in-store retail sales were up 18% in May of 2020! Some retailers are even seeing the same level of foot traffic that they had before COVID-19 hit. However, to protect the health and safety of everyone involved, stores need to make sure they double-down on cleaning protocols. Additionally, since shoppers may be more hesitant to ask retail associates for assistance face-to-face, store displays need to be as functional as possible to facilitate the shopping experience.

4) Displays Will (Probably) Never Replace Human Connection

a. Although it’s difficult so say for sure, it’s unlikely that displays will never fully replace good old-fashioned customer service. Humans are humans, and people like to buy from other people. However, instead of comparing the two tactics, try to consider how they can complement each other in the long run. Especially as retailers are being forced to cut budgets to get back on track financially, interactive displays can keep shoppers happy and engaged while stores work to re-hire furloughed employees. Until that happens, interactive displays can fill that customer service role and deliver specific messaging to every shopper they come in contact with. It’s important to remember that although AI can simulate emotion, it cannot create emotion – only humans can do that.

5) At The End Of The Day, Cleaning Is Most Important

a. There’s one simple thing that retailers can do RIGHT NOW to boost consumer confidence and maintain safe store environments: clean, clean, and clean some more. While we all adjust to a “new normal,” making sure displays are clean and functional is key. Some major sanitary advancements have already been made; researchers are testing UV light as a sterilization method, in addition to the use of UVC light, a wavelength that’s proven to be effective against COVID-19. By using some type of UV or UVC light innovation, retailers could clean an entire store very quickly, which would also cut down on maintenance costs. Although the advice to simply “clean” doesn’t sound as cool or cutting-edge as AI or augmented reality, it doesn’t take away its ability to literally save lives.

We hope you enjoyed Hype Hour #3! Did any lesson in particular speak to you?! Let us know in the comments below or on Hype Hive’s social media – we’d love to hear from you! Follow along for more buzzworthy conversations and livestream shenanigans. 🙂


Hype Hour #3: Contactless Shopping Part 1: Reimagining The Display Experience, Video Transcription

Speaker 1:
BDS Marketing presents The Hype Hour with your host, Andrew Catapano and Kelly Campbell, featuring special guests, Sean Ludick, Chris Brandewie and Jennifer Fisher-Finnegan. Today’s topic, contactless shopping. Let’s get started. Here are your hosts.

Andrew Catapano:
Hello. Hello. How the heck are you Kelly?

Kelly Campbell:
I am good. How are you?

Andrew Catapano:
It is so good to see you. [inaudible] me today. With the headband today. Huh?

Kelly Campbell:
I know. Headbands count as hat maybe, I don’t know.

Andrew Catapano:
Sure. We’re going with it. Absolutely. It looks great. I couldn’t pull it off, but you do a great job with it.

Kelly Campbell:
Well, thank you.

Andrew Catapano:
Always the shiplap, as your cohost out there in Southern California.

Kelly Campbell:
Still here. We still got it going on. I’m excited. Some of our guests also have shiplap today, so we’re starting a trend here.

Andrew Catapano:
That’s what they tell me. How have you been Kelly? You’ve been doing okay? How are you making it through, the new normal?

Kelly Campbell:
Yeah, I know it’s actually very exciting. I went shopping.

Andrew Catapano:
Oh you did? How relevant to today’s topic, Kelly.

Kelly Campbell:
Right. Very relevant to today’s topic. Very excited. But really I went shopping for the first time. I love home goods, so I’m not going to… I totally stole a visit there. I was very excited to do it. It’s one of my personal happy places. But it was very different. So I’m excited to talk a little bit more about today and what this all looks like, now that we’ve been in it for a while.

Andrew Catapano:
What isn’t different today? We had a fantastic leadership meeting yesterday, run by our leadership team and our leaders kicked off the meeting with, “There is nothing normal. There is nothing the same. If you are not ready to pivot, if you are not ready to move, if you are not ready to adapt, you will be left behind.” It was a strong way to start off our leadership meeting and we were all reminded quickly that the old way of doing business is out the door and there is no, the same anymore. But with that, we’ve got some great topics today. We had a great topic today. Don’t we?

Kelly Campbell:
We do. We’re really excited about today’s topic. It’s all about contactless shopping and re-imagining the display experience. What does the aisle really look like today? It looks very different than it did even three, four short months ago after all of this has happened. So we’re excited to dive into more of a futuristic approach today. Then we have some amazing guests on board. So excited to talk with Sean. He’s coming back to bring us an update on sort of the state of the aisle and what things are looking like now. We’re so excited about that.

Kelly Campbell:
Then we’ve got Chris Brandewie we have VP of Strategy and Design and Outform. He’s going to bring all of his great thoughts and ideas and what they’re doing at retail. So can’t wait to have him talk with us. Then also Jennifer Fisher-Finnegan, who is central to BDS and what we do. So we’re really excited to have her on board and discuss-

Andrew Catapano:
JFF! JFF in the house. She’s lovingly called the BDS. Love her. She’s got a great personality.

Kelly Campbell:
Yeah. We’re really excited.

Andrew Catapano:
I always love talking with her and spending time with her. Kelly, before we get buzzed right into it. Tell us a little about what The Hype Hour is about, what we are doing here and then I’ll tell people why the wonderful hats, not just because I love my Yankees. There is a story behind it, but tell us what The Hype Hour is all about.

Kelly Campbell:
Nice. Yeah. So this is our monthly live stream event where we discuss relevant topics, answer some interesting and sometimes difficult questions and brainstorm some really creative and digital first solutions for today’s biggest retail challenges. So remember, if you do have a question and you want to share it or ask it anytime throughout the stream, feel free to put it in the comments and we’ll bring it up as we go along. Then if you need to hop off at any time whatsoever, we’ll be following up with the recording afterwards. So you won’t miss anything.

Andrew Catapano:
Nobody’s leaving. It is too riveting and too exciting.

Kelly Campbell:
I’m excited, I’m-

Andrew Catapano:
You talked about Kelly, we’ve got some great topics today. Why the hats? Yes. I love my Yankees. Yes. Born and raised in Long Island, but we are born of COVID, so we keep the hats going. I still Kelly, I will take it off for a second. I still have not gotten a haircut. This is still Andrew and is still happening. So we’re still going to get the… I do have a two year old at home. So, we are on alerts to bringing anything at home. So it’s still not yet.

Andrew Catapano:
My wife said she was going to shoot a YouTube video of cutting your husband’s hair. I said, we are going to put a pause on that, but we’re going to keep doing the hats as we move forward as an homage and as a memory to where we started and I love the headband, it counts. That’s okay. It counts.

Kelly Campbell:
The headband, I kind of feel like I used to wear head bands back in the ’90s, loved them to death and kind of got a little over them. I thought, “You know what, what the heck?” There’s no better time to do it right now. So here it comes up-

Andrew Catapano:
Fantastic. I love it. Nice addition.

Kelly Campbell:
Yes.

Andrew Catapano:
Let’s buzz right into it. What the current state of the aisle looks like is what we’re going to get into.

Kelly Campbell:
Yeah.

Andrew Catapano:
Imagining how displays can be redesigned to provide an unassisted yet engaging experience and what brands can do now to revive displays and plan for the future of contactless shopping.

Kelly Campbell:
Yeah.

Andrew Catapano:
Kelly, as they reopened, retailers are going to have to balance the competing and possibly conflicting challenges of creating a compelling experience for their consumers, keeping consumers and employees safe, getting through the volume, that stores have to go through, in order to keep this the item stocked, the shelves stocked, it’s going to be a challenge, right? We know that.

Kelly Campbell:
Yeah.

Andrew Catapano:
We also know that an engaging experience, one that is memorable, one that inspires use, and one that inspires shopping is going to be as important today as it was when we knew experiential was going to be the key driver in 2020, that hasn’t gone away. Right?

Kelly Campbell:
Yeah.

Andrew Catapano:
So how are we going to adapt to that? How are we going to keep consumers engaged? How are we going to make this balance in between safety and experience? How are we going to create these memorable moments and how are we going to adapt to the future of what is the nuevo normal, right?

Kelly Campbell:
Yeah. Exactly. Very exciting.

Andrew Catapano:
And you had an experience, right?

Kelly Campbell:
I did.

Andrew Catapano:
We’re not going to talk about that experience now or we’re going to talk about it later?

Kelly Campbell:
Yeah. Well, we can talk about it now. Like I mentioned, I’ve been back shopping for a little bit, not only for my own sanity, but also just to see how the experience is now today. So I know that I’ve gone to Starbucks. I’m a big fan. I’m sure a lot of other people are big fans as well, but really it got me thinking there’s all this space now that we had in these stores.

Kelly Campbell:
Now this is the perfect opportunity to reimagine what that looks like. Even just waiting in line at a Starbucks. There really isn’t any need to stay there, right now. So how do these retail spaces get re-imagined for today’s consumer and even today’s needs? That has pivoted so very quickly. Of course, we got to catch up now with some of these things. So I think I’m personally really excited to talk through this topic today, especially even on the consumer side of things, I’m seeing it firsthand and seeing that there are so many great opportunities, to come-

Andrew Catapano:
Luckily, we have some fantastic subject matter experts to help through it. The first man up the Fauci to my Trump, the Sanjay Gupta to my Cooper and the Burt to my Ernie. The guy who gives me the facts, keeps us straight and level sets us all on what we should see nationally and globally and what the data is telling us. Bring in Mr. Sean Ludick.

Kelly Campbell:
Awesome. We’re so excited to have him on. There he is. Very excited.

Sean Ludick:
My connection-

Andrew Catapano:
Mr. Ludick, you are officially in a green room, apparently with the wall behind you.

Kelly Campbell:
There you are Sean.

Andrew Catapano:
It’s pretty as it comes.

Kelly Campbell:
That’s awesome.

Andrew Catapano:
We still have him. We still got Sean.

Kelly Campbell:
We might have lost him.

Andrew Catapano:
Did we lose Sean?

Kelly Campbell:
That always happens on live streaming.

Andrew Catapano:
That’s what happens. Authentic content on live streaming. That’s what happens. We may have to get back to Dr. Fauci, but that’s okay. We will boot him back up and we’re going to pivot because that’s what happens in live streaming and these things happen. So guess what we’re going to do. We’re going to go to the second man. Second person, sorry. In America, who is going to do a live streaming with shiplap.

Kelly Campbell:
Yeah.

Andrew Catapano:
Our first it’s Kelly. Our second is Chris Brandewie. Kelly tell us a little about Chris Brandewie. We’re going to get him out of order. We’re going to get Sean back. That’s all right, but we’re going to go right to Chris. Who do we got?

Kelly Campbell:
Yeah. Well, so Chris, we’re so excited to have him on board. He’s the VP of Strategy and Design at Outform. Even though he’s a recent newcomer to Outform, he’s actually a retail industry veteran with a career spanning nearly 30 years. Most recently he was the Head of Store Design for us retail giant Best Buy and he was responsible for the concept creation for 1400 stores. He recently, or he has held adjunct professor positions. So we’ve got a professor on board, the Ohio State University, and the University of Minnesota.

Andrew Catapano:
Go buckeyes!

Kelly Campbell:
You got it. He’s been a faculty member of the Path to Purchase Institute. So very excited to have him onboard, to talk with us.

Andrew Catapano:
Get him in here. John, bring him in. He’s out of order, all different kinds of wins, but here he is in our studio. Welcome Chris. Great to have you. I love the Outform brand. I know you’re new to the brand. How are you doing today?

Chris Brandewie:
Great. Thank you very much. Glad to be here.

Andrew Catapano:
Fantastic. Glad to have you. I got a comment on the shiplap behind you. It’s fantastic. Do you get your design ideas from Kelly or is that all on your own?

Chris Brandewie:
No, it was clearly… Kelly and I just met a few days ago and I immediately installed the shiplap in my office just because I was so inspired by it.

Andrew Catapano:
Chris, I got to ask-

Kelly Campbell:
I think he added a little bit of flair. He’s got the action figures, which I don’t have.

Andrew Catapano:
He did? I got to ask. I didn’t notice those in the live stream prep. What’s going on back there, Chris?

Chris Brandewie:
Well, I am probably one of the biggest nerds you’d ever meet. So I grew up reading comic books and actually comic books is what got me into art. Art got me into design, design got me into retail. So the only reason I’m actually here because of those superheroes.

Kelly Campbell:
Awesome.

Andrew Catapano:
That’s a fantastic story. Chris, let’s buzz right into it. How have you… How to adjust as a team and shift your thinking around display designs since COVID happened? By the way, I love the Outform brand. I love everything about it. So go ahead. Sorry.

Chris Brandewie:
Oh great, good. I do too. So we obviously just like everybody else, we’ve had to make a pretty substantial shift in mindset. So it really starts to address some of these concerns that we’re seeing from shoppers in general. From going… Obviously out form is all about the experience is in store. So how do we go from creating experiences that are tangible, interactable, tactile to creating experiences that eliminate that touch aspect.

Chris Brandewie:
So we’ve spent a lot of time in the past couple of months of really examining that and really looking at how can we leverage our knowledge and technology, leverage our knowledge in retail behaviors and come up with some really solid hands-free solutions, such as gesture control, voice control or things like QR codes. So we’re exploring all of those avenues right now.

Andrew Catapano:
Again, I don’t want you to share too much intellectual property of Outform, and I know there’s things that are protected and things that you can share, so share what you can, but what will the aisle look like six months from now? Then what will the future of displays, I think in your opinion, and again, you can share what you want, what you’re currently doing, or you can just share strategically what you’re thinking, but tell me a little bit about that. You got your finger on the pulse, man. So you’re going to be able to tell us, be my weatherman, predict the future, all right? Tell me what’s going to happen.

Chris Brandewie:
So it’s about as predictable as the weather at this point. Six months from now, quite frankly, we don’t know what the condition with COVID will be, but obviously there’s a lot of pent up desire to get back in the stores. I mean, we saw the results come out yesterday with regards to the uptick in retail for May almost 18% increase in retail sales. It’s fantastic.

Kelly Campbell:
That’s incredible.

Andrew Catapano:
That is incredible.

Chris Brandewie:
It shows us that people want to get back to the stores. Obviously that’s going to come with some conditions. From my standpoint, like I said, the whole idea of getting into more of the touch-free, more of the voice command, realistically, what’s happened over the last few months equaled roughly five years of retail evolution.

Kelly Campbell:
Wow.

Chris Brandewie:
We’ve pushed ourselves and in general, retail in general will have to push itself to really embrace these massive seismic shifts and embrace some of the things that we wouldn’t necessarily have gone after, before. I mean, a good example is when the SARS outbreak happened back in 2002, 2004, I believe it was, some of the most amazing retail innovation came out of that time. Through the diversity or through the conditions that we’re in now, we’ll see similar innovations happen.

Chris Brandewie:
These are the kinds of times that drive the biggest jumps forward from a retail standpoint. To that end, the handsy piece will [inaudible] look at manufacturing, we’re even looking at things like how do we actually incorporate anti-microbial materials into the materials we’re using to manufacture the displays? So as time progresses, we will see less and less reliance on tactile and faces and more moving towards the other ways of interacting.

Chris Brandewie:
Again, like I said, QR codes are something that we’re really actively looking at integrating into more and more of our displays. That was something that I… Honestly, I posted a thing on LinkedIn yesterday. One of our strategic, little snippets that we do on a weekly basis is talking about QR codes. Five years ago. If somebody would’ve told me that we’d be pushing QR codes now, I’d have laughed.

Kelly Campbell:
Yeah.

Chris Brandewie:
There’s no way. People wouldn’t accept it.

Kelly Campbell:
We thought they were-

Chris Brandewie:
Honestly now. Yeah, exactly. But having the ability to actually take control of displays, take control of content through your own personal device, that’s going to be the way to go.

Andrew Catapano:
I think that raises a good point on the QR code. The single, I mean, I don’t think this is secret, but the fact that the latest update, or maybe it was the one right before this, made the QR code scanner native to the iPhone. I mean, that really is what did, right? I mean, without that you got to download the app, you got to scan it. But just having it native to the camera app, that created the game changer and that brought the QR code back. Yes.

Chris Brandewie:
Very much so. I mean, that facilitated everything that’s happening right now as a result of the necessity that we’re seeing from COVID.

Kelly Campbell:
Yeah.

Andrew Catapano:
I know we’re going to touch on this at the end, because it’s kind of some of our wrap up stuff, but you’ve already brought up the mobile device and you’ve already brought the interaction in which we’re holding basically one of the most innovative pieces of technology we may ever see in my lifetime. We have the ability to connect with that and use that as part of our shopping experience, more so than ever before.

Andrew Catapano:
I believe QR codes are just the tip of that iceberg, but as you’re going and developing stuff from an Outform perspective, and from a design and a manufacturing and an infrastructure, are you doing more speech recognition? Are you doing more hand gesture recognition? Are you doing more… What do you expect the future of display? More of a gesture, more of a speaking a hybrid or is there a leaning, one way or another?

Chris Brandewie:
I think it’s way more of a hybrid. Because one of the things that we’re really trying to think about as we’re developing these parts and pieces is really thinking about the logical progression of a shopper’s journey. Historically when you go into a store and you interact the display, we’ve been forced to add in a relatively unnatural gesture. So if I want to learn more about this mouse, I want to pick the mouse up. I want to look at it. I want to deal with it, right? Or do we have to go in and actually press a button to understand what this thing is doing?

Chris Brandewie:
Well, we’re not going to be necessarily picking it up as much. The whole idea of getting away from pressing buttons and actually physically adding another gesture into the entire shopping process is something that we have a lot of passion around, to really figure out how is that going to work. So looking at both gesture and voice, I mean, honestly, these are ways we communicate face-to-face. These are ways we communicate on video, like this. Why shouldn’t we be communicating with our in store displays in a similar way?

Andrew Catapano:
Yeah.

Kelly Campbell:
Yeah.

Andrew Catapano:
I was actually… And it’s it appropriate somewhere in the hat and because I was born and raised there, but I was able to look at a little bit more of the innovations that Walmart is doing in Levittown, Long Island. I want to go visit it, but there is a particular Walmart in Levittown that is doing tremendous things with AI. It has cameras everywhere. It has displays everywhere. I mean, it’s supposed to be one of the most innovative shopping experiences, at least from that perspective and I want to go experience it myself.

Andrew Catapano:
I’ve not been back home, in order to do that, but I know we know AI is going to take over, for some perspective of understanding the shopping experience. We know that we’re going to have to innovate on some of the display side from a gesture, speak standpoint and customer, but I can’t let you off the hook. You’re going to have to give me really what is Outform doing. Give us a peek behind the curtain, a little bit of a look, see, sir. All right? Give me some of the cool stuff that you can tell me that you guys are working on.

Chris Brandewie:
So we did… It’s a number of things that we’re dealing with right now. We have a launch coming up the next few weeks of an entire infrastructure system, that becomes a basis for creating larger and more engaging displays. We call it the interactive collection. So it’s focusing on, as we were saying, the whole idea of combining voice gesture, QR, as well as lift and learn and place and learn scenarios, all through one system.

Chris Brandewie:
So it allows our shoppers, our vendors, our customers to actually create… Using these things almost as the Lego blocks to create their own experiences from there. So we’re launching that within the next few weeks, as a matter of fact.

Kelly Campbell:
Awesome.

Chris Brandewie:
From the standpoint of shopper reassurance, we launched a product called the eye display thermometer, about a month ago, which is a freestanding thermal scanner, which basically can integrate into stores, existing doors systems, or security systems and eliminates the need for stores that actually have an employee standing out front with a thermometer gun and taking people’s temperatures.

Chris Brandewie:
This product will actually allow people to walk up to it and within two seconds you get a temperature read to say whether or not they have symptoms of COVID or not. So again, it’s a multilayer thing where we’re trying to make sure… We’re reassuring customers on every possible touch point in every level.

Andrew Catapano:
Well, I saw that. Kelly, have you seen that?

Chris Brandewie:
I have. Yeah.

Andrew Catapano:
Because I saw the email [crosstalk] Outform on that. It’s funny you say that Chris, because when we started the conversation, you said, listen, sometimes some of these things, you referenced the SARS outbreak and then we’re into the COVID outbreak. That innovation happens in times where we really test our culture and our commerce and our way of life. We really truly innovate. When I saw that email come out and I saw that email blast and had the video behind it, where the people were stepping up to the thermal scanner, it opened the door or didn’t… Then I immediately thought too, why don’t we check people in this way, right? Why does it… Just walk in and it scans you, it checks you in, it says you have an appointment or you can book an appointment.

Andrew Catapano:
So I feel like it starts to… Now I’m the guy that the door is never going to open for. I thought myself, I was talking to my wife, I was showing her. I was like, “I’ll just stand on that weight. I’ll play a finger, I’ll do a Tommy boy right into the back of the taxi cab window. And that’ll be the end of that.” But do you feel like some of this stuff you’re working on is not just going to be for today? It’s going to be… You already anticipate that the innovation you’re putting out there is going to find other purposes and we’re just going to change the way, even when we don’t have to check, check temperature, the display is going to do something else?

Chris Brandewie:
That is absolutely correct. And again, that’s one of those things where whenever we’re developing any new products, we look at the longevity of it and make sure that we build in the opportunity to evolve the product as well. So you’re absolutely right. I think that as we move forward, even if you look at behaviors in Asia versus behaviors here, in Asia, again, the SARS epidemic happened there really, really had a lot of impact and the whole temperature scanning thing has been something that’s been accepted there. This wearing of masks has been accepted there.

Chris Brandewie:
I feel that as we move forward again, we don’t know how long we’re going to have COVID with us. I’ve heard everything from six months to six years. We don’t know, but we need to make sure that everything that we’re developing is adaptable and evolvable, but also we know that customer behaviors are going to change and remain changed as we move forward. Again, the adoption of a byline pickup in store, by groups who historically have not wanted to do that has been tremendous. And we’re going to see the same thing with a number of any of the innovations that we’re looking at implementing now.

Kelly Campbell:
Yeah.

Andrew Catapano:
Before we let him go, Kelly, anything you’ve got to ask, I want to ask Chris before we bring him back, but you did say something at the end. Do you know, I’m a little embarrassed Kelly. I didn’t know the acronym, I had seen it in print for the first time tonight. BOPUS.

Chris Brandewie:
BOPUS.

Kelly Campbell:
Yeah.

Andrew Catapano:
I am totally embarrassed.

Kelly Campbell:
As a toddler mom, I can totally attest to it. I mean, it was a great thing before all of this went down and now it’s an amazing thing afterwards. I think obviously it saves time, but I do think it’s part of the whole experience. And so it’s, how do you then take the outside back to the inside now? There’s definitely a lot of opportunity there. So yeah.

Chris Brandewie:
It’s a whole new realm of retail experience.

Andrew Catapano:
To your point, what we’re doing to train our people and Chris, I’m going to let you go cause I want to bring JFF in, but hold on a second. Join us at the end, because I want to touch on this mobile piece one more time. All right? Because I do think at the end of the day, I want to… No wild cards, no surprise questions. I won’t let you expose anything, but I do want to understand little bit more, how I’m going to be able to use my phone more effectively while I shop. Is that going to be a thing that is here to stay and what your thoughts are? So noodle with that, I’m going to bring you back on the end. Chris Outform is lucky to have you, and I anticipate you’re going to do some great things and thank you so much for jumping on our show and having some fun with us and we’ll see you in a little bit.

Chris Brandewie:
Great. Thanks.

Andrew Catapano:
Thanks. All right.

Kelly Campbell:
That was awesome.

Andrew Catapano:
Quick question, Kelly. I’m just going to have a quick question back to our green room here. Are we bringing Shawn back, John or not?

Kelly Campbell:
Yeah, I think we got a little, some connectivity issues for Sean, so we might have to save his part for next time. I know we’ve got some good stuff to come there, but a lot of this-

Andrew Catapano:
Unacceptable. Christmas is canceled this year, Kelly. Christmas is canceled as a penalty. That is okay because you know, who’s up next, don’t you?

Kelly Campbell:
I know. our famous JFF. I’m so excited to have her on board.

Andrew Catapano:
She’s fun. I have not told her how great the hair looks with the cut hair now. I haven’t had a chance to tell her that. So I think it looks fantastic. Tell us a little bit about who JFF is before we bring her up, Kelly and we’re going to shoot her out here.

Kelly Campbell:
Well, Jennifer Fisher-Finnegan is, I mean, almost synonymous with BDS marketing. We all love her. She has the longest name at BDS. So we mock up all of our business cards with our name on it. Just doing fun facts.

Andrew Catapano:
It’s funny.

Kelly Campbell:
She’s our VP of Client Services at BDS and she oversees the break fix team, which is really on the other side of the display conversation. So once we built these amazing displays, how do you get them into the store? So, we love her leadership, her guidance. She really tries to ensure overall success for clients and for every project-

Andrew Catapano:
Well I think that from a consumer standpoint, I mean, people forget, I mean, everyone on this call and on this live stream knows exactly what JFF does, but from a consumer standpoint, I don’t think you realize when you shift, when Chris comes up with this, this great design, when Chris comes up with this forward technology, here enters JFF and her team and goes, “Well, crap. When it breaks, how do we fix it? For this specialized install, how does it go in?”

Andrew Catapano:
Chris gets to leave with his cool design and just go, “There you go, world. Mic drop.” And JFF behind the scenes has to now figure out how to manage this damn thing.

Kelly Campbell:
Yeah.

Andrew Catapano:
Let’s bring her in here and get her insight. Welcome Ms. JFF.

Kelly Campbell:
Yeah. So excited.

Jennifer Fisher-Finnegan:
Hello?

Kelly Campbell:
Hello. Welcome.

Andrew Catapano:
Hi, Jennifer. Great to see you. And I was commenting, I love the new haircut.

Jennifer Fisher-Finnegan:
Oh, thank you. I appreciate that, Andrew.

Andrew Catapano:
The COVID cut. Right? We did it at home.

Jennifer Fisher-Finnegan:
It’s the COVID cut, actually it is. Yes.

Andrew Catapano:
Fantastic. That’s better than would have happened with me. I will show you a picture maybe on the next live stream of where I’d attempted to do my son’s haircut and looked a little like Mr. Christmas from Dumb and Dumber at the end of that haircut and it was trouble.

Kelly Campbell:
I’m pretty sure I did the same thing to my own child, so I’m not a hair stylist.

Andrew Catapano:
Welcome and it’s so good to see you. And thank you for having here. Let’s buzz right into it. What has your team been seeing on the ground? Are they noticing consumer behaviors changing? And if so, how? Talk to us.

Jennifer Fisher-Finnegan:
As Chris mentioned, there’s been an uptick recently in sales, but really we saw during the whole pandemic that there was an upline or an uptake on online sales and the curbside pickup, right? What we’ve seen though is that over the last few weeks as Sydney’s County States have opened up, retailers have seen that traffic pick up as well and even some retailers are posting and reporting that they’re seeing the same foot traffic in store that they were seeing pre-COVID conditions, which is pretty impressive. Right?

Jennifer Fisher-Finnegan:
I know, can you believe it? I actually was at a store on Sunday where I experienced it myself. It was pretty insane. The traffic was, I mean, obviously there’s some precautionary measures that consumers are taking, differently than they were say three, four months ago. But for the most part, that store traffic is back up to where it was, which is pretty amazing. I think the biggest thing is consumers are really… They want to make sure that they’re feeling that the stores are super enticing and clean as they’re having that experience.

Kelly Campbell:
Yeah.

Jennifer Fisher-Finnegan:
Often that also means that on the flip side, they’re not really talking to those store associates, those sales associates that really help with the sale. So more than ever, it’s very important that the displays are present and functional. As Chris was mentioning, figuring out that way to have that contact list, really interaction is going to be the most important thing for really brands and fabricators to figure out over the next month.

Kelly Campbell:
Yeah.

Andrew Catapano:
That’s interesting you say that because just the light bulb went off in my head. I had to go to a major home improvement warehouse last week and the apprehension, where I would normally just walk right up to somebody and say, “Hey, where’s this?” Right? It’s like, all right. Am I ready to do that yet? Maybe I’ll just try to find it myself and when I get there, I’ll figure it out. So God, that is… A light bulb just went off. It says, man, it’s going to take me a minute to get back to that, which makes the displays. It’s more important than ever from a phone call standpoint and a content standpoint. So very interesting.

Andrew Catapano:
Training. So we know from a standpoint of being able to be face-to-face and the typical ways which we used to train. We know that events are being canceled and face-to-faces. We even know we had our leadership meeting just the other day and some of us could come, some of us couldn’t come and we had to make those tough decisions. How are you dealing training now, with your associates and what changes have you had to make and how are you adapting to training in this new normal?

Jennifer Fisher-Finnegan:
Yeah. I mean, we have over 800 highly technical trained field reps out there. We’ve always had a component that was virtual and digital, to be honest. However, as you mentioned that in person training, it’s hard to replace, right? It’s that on the job, reps and managers were able to work to take them through the display, the functionality process, in store check-in, all of those important aspects of the job. So we’ve really kind of put a specific focus on changing our training tactics over the last month or two. We really heightened visibility to the need that we need to have them be more virtual and digital as well as use an AR and AI experience type model, to make sure that those reps are still able to get that on the job training. It’s just going to be in a virtual environment.

Andrew Catapano:
Yeah. And I would say, I know you personally JFF, so I’m sure if you are one of the better communicators I have come across in my experience. So I’m sure-

Jennifer Fisher-Finnegan:
I didn’t know that.

Andrew Catapano:
In person or on digital, you will get the point across. I know that.

Kelly Campbell:
It’s interesting going… Before we jump forward, we did get an audience question that I do want to bring back too, which is… And it goes along the lines of this in-person concept, in-person versus the interactivity and sort of this contactless version. So the question was, “Well, will interactive displays ever truly replace personal customer service and going back to the associate experience, I think, I want to put that question out there. I think it’s very relevant for this conversation.

Chris Brandewie:
I agree. I mean, I don’t think it’s ever going to truly replace it. People as Andrew, you mentioned individuals want that human contact, right? When you have it, it just makes the experience even better. However, as we’re going through this and looking at the new normal, which unfortunately no one really knows what that new normal is going to be. I think we’re going to see a shift in the amount of store associates out there, the sales associates just based on budgets and brands and companies be a little bit… They’re going to be a little bit more budget conscious, right? Now that they’ve experienced this.

Chris Brandewie:
So I don’t see that it’s going to necessarily replace that customer or that one on one interaction with the human being. But I think it’s imperative that if you have an interactive display out there that it’s functioning and it’s present, and it’s delivering the message that you want to each of those consumers that come in contact with it.

Kelly Campbell:
Yeah. And it might even change the way that… The role that the in-person experience plays as part of the entire conversation and entire experience, right? Maybe the role just shifts into something different too. So yeah, I totally agree with that.

Andrew Catapano:
Exactly. Kelly and I hope I don’t get this wrong, but I read something or saw something the other day. And I thought it was so impactful. They said that artificial intelligence or robotics, they can simulate emotion, they cannot create emotion. So I was like, that was okay. That went off for me, of just saying, that I thought was a very interesting way to say it, that it just can’t be a replacement because as humans, we can create emotions, robotics can only simulate them.

Andrew Catapano:
And again, when you’re looking for authentic engaging experiences, honest engaging experiences, I don’t know how you get that out of something. Now, could it support? 100. Could it help expand on? Sure, 100%. Could it replace? I think absolutely not and I think that would be too far of a stretch as JFF has obviously told us as well. So, the display lifecycle, I’ve got a question here from the panel, which says, with the displays becoming even more complex than they are even now, do you envision changing how the team approaches the display lifecycle.

Jennifer Fisher-Finnegan:
I don’t know if we’re going to change the approach. I just think it’s going to shift a little bit and there actually might be another component we add to that life cycle process. Right now, BDS, we focus on really the survey, the installation, updating, break fix, the installation and even the cycle part of it. We’ve already had a lot of consultative conversations. So I feel like that should be added to the process, pre-survey. Because we’re having a lot of those conversations now about how are we going to make these displays comfortable for the consumer to be able to interact? I know that Chris already kind of hit on a lot of this, but it’s going to be that contactless option that they need to create, whether it’s through a button that now is motion-sensored, or if it’s something else, we need to make sure that we’re working with brands and getting that solution out there as soon as possible, really.

Kelly Campbell:
Yeah.

Andrew Catapano:
So I promised all my guests, I don’t go off script, but you said something and I have to ask, so I don’t want to put you… I said, I even tell those guys. I said, “I promise I won’t go off.” But so they can be prepared. Do you get time with designers like Chris? I mean, do you get time, so you could help them engineer displays in a way that will be easier to repair? Or are you ahead of the curve or working with display manufacturers. I know admittedly, I’m on the marketing side of the business as Kelly and I are. We understand the concepts, all that BDS does. As a big company as we are, we’re not intimately aware obviously of your day-to-day. So it’s interesting to me, as you adapt to this kind of stuff, are those the relationships you make? So you could say, “Hey guys, if you did it this way, we could fix it differently or we could ship a different part or we could do something.” Are you part of that engineering process?

Jennifer Fisher-Finnegan:
We absolutely are. I mean, we’ve become really, I want to say the expert when it comes to break-fix in the industry. With that, it’s based on our experience. I mean, we are the category manager for one of the largest retailers in the US. We’re in all those stores on a weekly basis and we hit over it’s about on average, 80 to 90 displays per store. So on top of that, with our other work, we hit close to 200,000 displays a week, which is crazy, right? Now, this is obviously pre-COVID. We’ve had some changes now, just recently, as we’re getting back into retail and we’ll get back up to that number very quickly. But because of that experience and our highly trained in our integrated support team that we have, the brands that we work with and fabricators have really relied on us for some of that expert knowledge.

Jennifer Fisher-Finnegan:
We work with brands and a lot of display manufacturers that are very innovative and they already have that information, but a lot of times they’ll bring us in because we’re able to just say, “Hey, if you tweak something here, it’s going to save you on some break-fix work, because you’re not going to need two people to move that display off the shelf.” Instead, it’s going to be one and that’s a lot more cost effective.

Andrew Catapano:
That’s right.

Kelly Campbell:
Yeah, definitely.

Andrew Catapano:
Okay. To me, that makes sense. Because I was thinking from a standpoint, because as I live in the world of digital, right? We have design and development. We’re consistently talking to our developers of, “This would look cool, but can we build it? And what’s going to be the cost of building it?” Sometimes we leave them with this design. They can’t even build. And if the two had talked, so you’re on it, you don’t need me. Anyway.

Jennifer Fisher-Finnegan:
Well, we appreciate it.

Kelly Campbell:
I’m sure also Jen, it, it makes it a lot easier to provide that feedback, even if you’re going in and doing an audit on that display and things like that, that you can do to get that feedback to the display manufacturer. Right? And in terms of the design, what works, what doesn’t work?

Jennifer Fisher-Finnegan:
Exactly.

Andrew Catapano:
Quick question too, again, off script JFF. I may know the answer to this, so I don’t want to share too much about what we’re doing as a company either, but we’ve got to be working on ways in which we could communicate with that display to understand from a break-fix perspective, whether it’s working or it’s not. I mean, if we’re rebuilding these things with all these new technology and all this new hardware, there’s obviously… I could see you smiling, so maybe you can’t give me the thing that we’re working on, but if you want to know the answer, maybe you contact JFF at BDS-

Jennifer Fisher-Finnegan:
It is in the works, Andrew. It is in the works. Yeah.

Andrew Catapano:
Okay, good. Again, you don’t need me. I’m useless. Doing this live streaming thing. All right. Last thing, a new display, as we know, and I think Chris can probably help us with, when he joins back too, but I’d like to hear your response. They take time, right? That’s great. As innovative as we can be as forward thinking as we can be, we need time. We need time to design it. We need time to source materials. We need time to fabricate it. We need time to get it. Well, what can we do to adapt today? I mean, what’s the answer today until I can do all of it?

Jennifer Fisher-Finnegan:
Yeah. And the other thing you’re missing is the cost, the cost effect that is affected with a completely different design of a display. So as I kind of mentioned a little bit earlier, I think the brands and the fabricators are going to have to be a little bit more creative. We are going to see, like I said, a little bit of an uptick, I think in that merchandising compliance piece, in the next month or two, because brands are going to be scrambling to really try to get it. So their display, whether it’s a firmware update to make it so it’s motionless automation, or if it’s just updating some POP or it’s maybe even deactivating the button for a few months until they come up with another solution.

Jennifer Fisher-Finnegan:
I mean, some of the brands we’re working with, they’re actually just creating POP to put over the interactive piece for a temporary solution. So, there’s a various amount of ways that we can help. As Chris mentioned that the antimicrobial piece is huge as well. We’re talking to brands that they may just put a shield over a display and it’s something that we go in and replace every 30 to 60 days. But I mean, it really comes back to making sure that tuner feels comfortable in retail environment. We want to make sure that our reps are fully trained and have a good understanding of everything that they need to do prior to going into the stores as well, to ensure their health and safety too.

Kelly Campbell:
Yeah.

Andrew Catapano:
Fantastic. Tell you what-

Kelly Campbell:
Before we move on, we do have a question from the audience again. So this does go back to associate training and customer engagement. So how does this new normal affect your store, associate training and customer engagement offering? I know we touched on that a little bit earlier with how we’re training, but I know for associates and then engaging with customers, I know we’re planning to talk about that even… That could be its own episode, right?

Andrew Catapano:
Can I add something to that Kelly, as well?

Kelly Campbell:
Yeah.

Andrew Catapano:
Are we training our store associates to interact with our customers differently? Stay six feet away from them or do different things. When you have the customer engagement piece of it from not only from a break-fix standpoint of dealing with the district managers or dealing with the store managers, or is there some sort of sense of spacial sensitivity training that we’re also giving to our field people?

Jennifer Fisher-Finnegan:
Yeah. That’s all incorporated into the training that we’re providing them. Yeah. Because we want to make sure that they are going in with just all the knowledge that they possibly need to have, but also being courteous and cautious. We are, I guess, in these inter-locations and we want to make sure that we’re not just making sure that our reps are safe, but also the employees at that retail location are safe too.

Andrew Catapano:
It makes total sense. Tell you what, can we go for up right now and bring Chris back in here?

Kelly Campbell:
Yeah.

Andrew Catapano:
Because I didn’t want to ask Chris some questions and I want to bring him back in here because… And JFF, can you stay with us? You got a little more time? Okay.

Jennifer Fisher-Finnegan:
I guess for you, Andrew. I do. And Kelly.

Kelly Campbell:
Poor me. Just kidding. That’s awesome.

Jennifer Fisher-Finnegan:
Poor Kelly. No, I’m just kidding.

Andrew Catapano:
Welcome back, Chris. How are you? Chris, we’ve been talking a little bit here and I want to go back to a question, real quick. Because I think you can help us answer this well. I ended the segment, one question earlier with JFF that talked about, because the displays take a little while to get manufactured, because of the design, because the fabrication, there’s some different things that have to happen in order to get them inside the retailer as we know, and there’s a life cycle to that. Is there anything you can recommend now that can bridge that gap between that time to market and allowing a retailer or a brand to get a little bit ahead of this?

Kelly Campbell:
Chris might be having some connectivity issues as well, might be a little delayed.

Andrew Catapano:
Frozen there. Yeah. All right. Well, that’s the beauty of being live and we’ll see if we can’t get Chris back in a sec. Wait, Kelly, we’ve had like two, three of these episodes already. This is the first. Is it Friday the 13th?

Kelly Campbell:
No.

Andrew Catapano:
It is the 13th? Is it?

Kelly Campbell:
It’s Wednesday, first of all.

Andrew Catapano:
Oh no, it’s 17th. Oh, I’m losing days. I’m losing days.

Kelly Campbell:
I know. You just never know with internet.

Andrew Catapano:
We never know. As we try to get Chris situated there, JFF, I do want to… One of my big closing topics was back to the mobile phone and mobile device. John, as soon as you get Chris situated, if he can, let’s just go ahead and bring him back in and I can see John can see me. John great guy, by the way, behind the scenes. Then we’ve got Rachel behind the scenes as well. Shout out to Rachel. I don’t think Rachel has left that apartment though. Every time I see her, same look, same spot and I think the alcohol gets a little lower in the back. The bottles, the levels are just, it’s a sliding scale of emotion. I can test it by the bar in the back.

Andrew Catapano:
So let’s talk a little bit about the mobile device. If you don’t mind JFF. Can you give me any insight to how you feel that the mobile device will continue or start to take a different look and feel from the consumer journey at retail? We all know the mobile apps. I’m bored of digital. I’ve been around mobile apps since mobile apps started to get developed. Right? I’ve been ordering my smoothies off the mobile app. I’ve been doing my Uber Eats before COVID right. Probably a little bit too much, but yeah, it is what it is. My mother still loves me. What will the cell phone in this new normal look like, do you think? Do you think it’s going to take on a different piece? What’s your thoughts?

Jennifer Fisher-Finnegan:
I think, as Chris mentioned earlier, the QR codes, I think are going to come back. I think that they’re going to be… I think the brands are going to be more dependent on them more than ever now. Just because of the amount of sales associates and the really kind of the change within the interactive displays for the next few months. I think that there’s options, right? We can have a QR code on a display that actually takes them to a [inaudible 00:45:24]. Right? Yeah. You never know, you can use that option for not just information, but also being an additional sales kind of tactic for that brand and for that display.

Andrew Catapano:
Oh, I think I see Chris back there. Chris, can you hear us?

Kelly Campbell:
Almost.

Andrew Catapano:
Oh no. Almost.

Kelly Campbell:
We almost got there.

Andrew Catapano:
So close. I do think as Chris gets situated-

Chris Brandewie:
Yes, I can. I froze-

Kelly Campbell:
There he is.

Andrew Catapano:
Chris, what are you doing there? Paying your Time Warner bill. What’s happening.

Jennifer Fisher-Finnegan:
Or maybe he hasn’t.

Andrew Catapano:
I see the hand on the mouse. Maybe he’s paying the Time Warner. So I think at the end of the day, when we look at how the extension of the mobile device is going to impact in store, I mean, if you want to think about contactless, if you want to think about contactless pay options, contactless shopping options, contactless endless aisles, information. I mean, we have it, right? So I would have… If we had gotten Chris to be able to give us an understanding of how maybe those are going to be integrated, but my question, and maybe we could pose this or Chris can help us post an article after the fact, because I just want to know as Outform or JFF, do you have an opinion of our display manufacturers consciously integrating those right now? Are they thinking about throwing information when you walk into a store into a phone. That you could throw a phone information back to the display, [inaudible 00:47:03]. I don’t know. Have you heard anything like that? Or am I too far down the road? Am I into 2030, already?

Jennifer Fisher-Finnegan:
I don’t think that any ideas out the window at this point. Right? When it comes to retail and displays, to be honest and getting that information into a consumer’s hand. We know research is really a big, hot topic, right? They want to know what is going through those consumers’ minds. So I would say everything you mentioned, I don’t think any of it is an idea that is too crazy, not to even start thinking about or talking about, because I’m sure those conversations are already being had.

Andrew Catapano:
I derail us a little bit here, but when I remember when I went to… I think it was Disney world, right? So then I was it was years ago, but-

Kelly Campbell:
We think it was Disney World, do you?

Andrew Catapano:
Well, no, I think I was going out with me with my nephew. I went to maybe it was Pleasure Island or something. Then I had a hologram and a guy was standing there. He was talking to you on the hologram. I thought, as the years went on, I don’t think we’re that far from in, and then we’re picking our hologram in order to go on our phone and take us around the store. How can I help you today? Now again, we’ve talked about artificial intelligence or how we can’t replicate that human emotion, but I have a feeling we are moving into a world of AI and contactless and with the mobile phone and different things at our disposal, this is just tip of the iceberg stuff. I think that we are just starting this journey and it’s going to be an exciting one.

Kelly Campbell:
Yeah.

Andrew Catapano:
But JFF, good luck fixing all the technology that it’s creating.

Kelly Campbell:
I’m going to need your team’s expertise. That’s for sure.

Andrew Catapano:
That’s the funny thing too, because what we had said was what is the one thing… If I had now, if I wanted a different career, Kelly, let me tell you something. You want the million dollar idea, JFF, how hard is it to find the text in order to do it? Right? You can never replace that, right?

Jennifer Fisher-Finnegan:
Mm-mm (negative). Yeah.

Andrew Catapano:
You want to talk about a labor pool or an industry, those people who want to get in there and fix those displays and have the technical ability to do that. Whew. Now you want to talk about a market that’s going to blow up. Good luck, HR.

Kelly Campbell:
It’s very exciting though. I think we could talk all day about this. Right? Very exciting stuff.

Andrew Catapano:
Absolutely. JFF, thank you so much for your time. You’re absolutely a pleasant person to be around, a fantastic guest and I wish you and your family, nothing but health and safety. All right.

Jennifer Fisher-Finnegan:
Thank you.

Kelly Campbell:
Awesome. Well, I know we had some technical difficulties with a couple of our guests today. That darn internet. Right?

Andrew Catapano:
I see Chris back down there though. Do we have… Is Chris back online?

Kelly Campbell:
He is.

Andrew Catapano:
Can I ask him the mobile question, before we go.

Kelly Campbell:
Yeah-

Andrew Catapano:
He is, great. Bring him back in.

Kelly Campbell:
Yeah, I know he jumped out-

Andrew Catapano:
Oh, I see him moving. He’s got that time Warner bill paid. He upped the megabits per second. There he is.

Kelly Campbell:
Very excited.

Chris Brandewie:
I am back, sorry.

Andrew Catapano:
Chris, do you have children? Are they just streaming Elmo’s World? What’s happening?

Chris Brandewie:
I got a 16 year old son who might be on his gaming PC right now.

Andrew Catapano:
Oh, well, Chris, I’m so glad right at the end. We were just about to close it. But I think that it’s worth the question to ask. I think you could at least hear us talking about the extension of the mobile device, but I’ve got two questions as we wrap up. Thankfully. I mean, not thankfully that Sean couldn’t make it. That’s a miss. I love that guy. He always level sets, but that gives us a little more time with you, Chris. So I love it.

Chris Brandewie:
Great.

Andrew Catapano:
Two questions. Take them in whatever order. Number one, how knowing there is a time to market to get the new displays into retail and in front of consumers, on behalf of brands, design, manufacturing, money, logistics, shipping, installation, how can brands and retailers get ahead of the curve? What can they do today while they wait for all these great new Outform, innovative displays that are coming to us near them?

Chris Brandewie:
I think a lot of retailers are already taking good steps towards that. Again, limiting access into the store, limiting the number of folks in his store at any given time. But again, cleaning is the most simple thing. Back at Best Buy, we always said, if you can lean, you can clean. And honestly that is the key. Just making sure that displays are clean and functional. The other thing that we’re doing a lot of looking into right now is the use of a UV light as a sterilization method.

Chris Brandewie:
There’s been some pretty amazing advances really rapidly, with creating a far safer version of UVC light, which is actually what’s been proven… That’s the wavelength that they’ve proven is the most effective at dealing with COVID virus. But unfortunately UVC is also extremely harmful to humans. It’s very harmful to your eyes into your skin, but they’ve actually just done a lot of innovation and recreation of a safe UV light system, which could easily be used to actually sterilize the store on a very rapid basis.

Andrew Catapano:
Yeah. I’m going to check that science because last time I checked… Now I have ADD and opposites attract. So my wife is OCD and exact opposite. She is the most effective thing at cleaning the COVID virus. I will tell you that right now. She’s on top of it. She’ll take care of it. We should send her in-

Chris Brandewie:
We have a lots of jobs right now, so that’s great.

Andrew Catapano:
But that’s a great tip from a guy who is probably as innovative as they come. Just clean. Clean and get on top of it. Right? That’s crazy. Great answer. I did not expect that one, but a great answer. Talk to me about cell phones. Talk to me about mobile devices and we know the world of apps. We all have them, DoorDash and this and that. We were getting addicted to them. I’ve limited a little bit because now we’re going to web-base technologies, which may be apps where it’s so important because these websites become more responsive and user-friendly. But as far as a mobile app is concerned from a customer retail perspective, tell me a little bit of how you see that device being utilized even more than it is today and what do you think is on the forefront? What can we expect?

Chris Brandewie:
Well, like I was mentioning the use of the QR codes is really the tip of the iceberg as far as what we can actually do with our phones.I’m a huge, again, huge advocate for the idea of taking over control of displays through the use of your own device. But the other thing that we haven’t even really scratched the surface on too much, is the use of augmented reality, AR will allow us to actually add in an additional layer of experience in the store that really starts to bridge the gap between online and brick and mortar experiences. The whole AR piece of it, I think, everybody knew what Pokemon go was. He chased around a little Pokemons, mapped them into reality.

Chris Brandewie:
We need to start leveraging in the store environments as well, to start to actually tailor some of our offerings specifically to the customers, like we you were talking about AI before to actually identify and get to know our shoppers a little bit more. You can use that AI learning to actually start to tailor offers to the shopper on their own phone in the store, actually increasing the utilization of the store app, but also creating that virtual experience where somebody walks into a store, holds up their phone and items pop out, gives you a map to where you’re going in the store. It gives you tailored offers based off of your purchase behavior in the past and like where you are in a reward system. So I think there’s a ton of really exciting things coming, in the very near future with regards to how we better integrate the mobile device into the overarching shopping journey.

Andrew Catapano:
When you, when you need a VR personality for Outform for your next device, do you think I could get it?

Chris Brandewie:
You got it man.

Kelly Campbell:
We already have a meme from our last episode, so we could throw that right in.

Chris Brandewie:
You’ve always been [inaudible] man, I think it’s fine.

Kelly Campbell:
I think it’s fantastic.

Chris Brandewie:
Yeah.

Andrew Catapano:
Kelly, you have something.

Kelly Campbell:
I remember you brought the AR element up because that will ultimately probably bring that surprise and delight moment back to retail again, that I think a lot of us, even as consumers are probably feeling like we’re missing right now. That again goes back to how do we humanize the experience again? How do we make it exciting? How do we make the aisle exciting again, even if we have to keep things clean and keep it going, right? How do you still make it new and fresh and fun for the consumers?

Chris Brandewie:
Well, and the really fun thing when you start to think about it in those terms, and I agree 100%, it becomes an entirely new avenue for in-store experiences, tailored towards the gen Z folks. I mean, they already represent over $140 billion worth of potential spend for retail. But they also are the ones who are native to that environment. So if we can start to integrate some of that technology and those experiences that they’ve been really been on the forefront of adopting for a number of years, then I think we have a real winner.

Andrew Catapano:
100%. Chris, pleasure to have on. I know, and I want to tell all of our guests, Chris jumped in here, he’s easy just getting his feet wet with Outform, not even a hesitation. He said, “I will help. I will join you and be part of this conversation.” And so I am so glad you did, sir. You are a welcome guest and a wealth of knowledge. So thank you. I wish you the most success at your brand and I look forward to see some exciting things out of Outform.

Chris Brandewie:
Thanks a lot. Appreciate it.

Andrew Catapano:
Thank you.

Kelly Campbell:
Awesome. Well, we have just a few minutes left. We’re running out of time. So, any final questions, if you want to throw them in there, we’ll get to them. We can answer them over our emails, happy to even chat in person. Bring that personal element a little bit. Yeah, really exciting stuff, I think. Amazing, amazing conversation.

Andrew Catapano:
Well, I think those guys… Kelly, I love talking about this stuff and I love getting out of the wheelhouse a little bit and I get the ability. We get the ability to sit here and just moderate it. But these guys live, breathe, eat it every day. They’re the subject matter experts. I’ve known JFF for a while. She’s a rock star at what she does. Chris sounds amazing. I love the Outform brand. You want to talk about two people and two innovators and two brands that really know what’s happening, this was the place to see it. So this is what The Hype Hour is all about.

Kelly Campbell:
Yeah.

Andrew Catapano:
We’re glad that everyone could be here. We are out of time, Ms. Campbell. You want to say anything about the next episode? Are we teeing anything up for the next episode or we’re leaving that alone, right now?

Kelly Campbell:
No, just stay tuned for the next one. Keep signing up, get your friends, your family, your coworkers. We’d love to have more on here. So send them the link. We’re planning our next one as we speak. So if there is something that you do want to learn more about in a Hype Hour, feel free to send us a note @bdsmarketing.com. We’d love to hear from you, even ping us on social. Always looking for great ideas. So yeah, that’s it. That’s it for me.

Andrew Catapano:
It has been my absolute pleasure to be your host for today. We loved having you here at The Hype Hour and remember everybody spread hummus, not hate.

Kelly Campbell:
Love hummus.

Andrew Catapano:
Love hummus.

Kelly Campbell:
All right.