Exploring The Past, Present, And Future Of Holiday Shopping:
The Top 5 Takeaways

12.17.2020 Articles , Blog , Trending Topics
By Briagenn Adams, Content Manager

2020… BAH HUMBUG, right? We can all agree that this year has been less than ideal, but challenging times often give way to creative innovations, and the retail industry has been no exception – especially during the holiday shopping season. Now that we near 2021, we’re taking a step back to reflect on the crazy year that we’ve had and discuss some trends that have taken over including e-commerce, BOPUS, click-and-collect, and social selling… just to name a few. And, as always, we have some really cool people on board to tell the story.

HypeHour #7 took place on Wednesday, December 9, and our team of on-the-ground, in-the-store experts explored where the retail industry has been, where it’s currently at, and where it’s going as we (finally!) enter a new year. As you may already know, the HypeHour is a livestream event that covers relevant topics and brainstorms creative ideas. Meet our panel of experts who joined us for HypeHour #7: “A 2020 Carol: Exploring The Past, Present, And Future Of Holiday Shopping.” Oh, and they did it all in true holiday fashion!

  • Andrew Catapano – SVP of Digital Strategy & Marketing at BDSmktg
  • Kelly Campbell – Sr. Marketing Manager at BDSmktg
  • Eric Wartman – VP of Client Services at BDSmktg
  • Jonathan Fields – Retail Store Manager at BDSmktg
  • Tony Dodd – Market Development Manager at BDSmktg
  • Joann Emale – Community Manger at BDSmktg

You can watch the livestream video above, or you can read the detailed transcription below! Or – if you just want the highlights – here are our top takeaways from HypeHour #7:

1) Mobile, BOPUS, Click & Collect, And Social Selling Are The Winners

In 2007 – just 13 years ago – only 50% of adult Americans had access to high-speed internet, and social media platforms were just emerging. Flash forward to 2020, and omnichannel experiences have eclipsed traditional retail, allowing consumers to buy from a smart phone, computer, brick-and-mortar store, and sometimes a combination of all three. As we look at the past year, four key pillars that have emerged as clear powerhouses: 1) Mobile, 2) BOPUS, 3) Click & Collect, and 4) Social Selling. According to the numbers, 40% of online purchases in 2020 came from a mobile device, buy-online-pickup-in-store increased 29% year over year, 30% of online shoppers opted to use curbside pickup over delivery, and an average of 130 million Instagram accounts tapped on a shopping post every month. Moving forward, the trend is obvious: brands and retailers will need to meet shoppers where they are, on the platform(s) they prefer – no matter what that journey may look like.

2) Consumer Experience Is Key, And Consists Of Five Distinct Pillars

86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a better consumer experience – and “experience” doesn’t only refer to a physical one. In fact, there are 5 distinct pillars to be aware of: 1) discovery, 2) education, 3) purchase, 4) engagement, and 5) advocacy. The discovery phase typically begins online, either on social media or Amazon’s “recommended for you” page. Next is education, when consumers might do a Google search or read reviews to better understand a brand’s unique benefits. Next is the purchase, and regardless of where it takes place – online or in-store – it should always be seamless and stress-free. After the purchase, brands need to keep the engagement going with personalized follow-ups and product review prompts. Finally, is advocacy. Advocacy happens if and when a consumer is willing to post reviews, promotion posts, and public recommendations. Because the full consumer experience encompasses so many touch points, there is a lot of opportunity for brands to influence perception and ultimately come out on top.

3) Black Friday & Cyber Monday Were More Successful Than Ever

Despite stay-at-home orders, store closures, and inventory constraints, Black Friday was extremely successful in 2020. Total spending hit $90 billion, a 22% increase from 2019, and online shoppers spent about $6.3 million every minute. Despite pandemic-related financial worries, 90% of U.S. consumers are planning to spend the same or more this holiday season compared to years past. Outside of consumer electronics, other categories that boomed during Black Friday were groceries, clothing, and personal care products, all of which skyrocketed over 500%. Many stores decided to close completely on Black Friday this year to give employees a much-needed break, but they continued the sales bonanza online, which seems to be what consumers want, anyways. Over 60% of shoppers decided to click-and-collect vs. shop in store, and retailers who remained open on Thanksgiving Day saw a 95% drop in foot traffic. As for Cyber Monday, shoppers spent a record $10.8 billion, beating last year by 15%. Interestingly, over 25% of that figure was purchased during the “golden hours” of e-commerce, 7-11pm PT.

4) Technology Can Make E-Commerce Feel Like The “Real Deal” Retail Experience

2020 has changed the way people shop, but it’s also changed the way people sell. Retail teams have had to shift dramatically since Covid-19, and they’re responding to that change by launching more virtual and video-first solutions like Tap-A-Tech, a new customer service technology from BDS. People like to have the option to choose when and where they shop, but they still crave connection with customer service reps who can help them make informed purchase decisions and feel more confident doing so. Although Covid-19 has made face-to-face interactions feel unsafe and even unnecessary, technology like Tap-A-Tech allows retail reps to video chat with online shoppers, showcase products in action, give real-time insights and advice, and appease choice paralysis to enhance the experience and make e-commerce feel like the “real deal.” QR codes have also resurged during the pandemic – a technology that many people thought obsolete prior to the virus. Now, QR codes are everywhere, and they’re made even more convenient by the fact that our iPhones are pre-programed to access them with a simple point of the camera.

5) Social Media Lets Brands Personally Connect With Modern Shoppers

Social selling is skyrocketing in popularity, and apps like Instagram and TikTok in particular have taken off. If customer experience is king, then social selling is queen, and it can bring a product to life and help create a brand/consumer connection in a different, more authentic way. Social media is an important part of the education phase of the buyer’s journey, especially with the influx of influencer accounts and sponsored ads. Brands can take advantage of that trend by implementing a seamless social media buying experience, encouraging shoppers to follow them for exclusive promos and giveaways, and also by regularly interacting with followers and posting fresh, engaging content. Some brands have gone so far as to promote social media-specific sales events on their apps, playfully coined as “Appy Hours.” In 2020, authenticity became even more important as humans tried to grasp at anything that helped them feel more connected in a socially distant world, and social media played a huge role in that equation. As brands attempt to build awareness and loyalty in 2021, social media as a selling tool will help to amplify that goal.

So, Scrooge – are you feeling better about 2021 yet?! In the wise words of Andrew Catapano, Covid-19 has been the most ambitious CTO ever – even if you didn’t want to hire them, you had to. As 2020 comes to a glorious end, it’s obvious that consumer shopping behavior has changed. It will only take time to discover whether that change is temporary or something more permanent. Until then, we’ll keep our ears to the ground and our eyes on the retail floor, no matter what that space might look like in the months ahead. Did you learn anything new in our HypeHour #7 virtual event? Let us know in the comments below or on our social media channels! And – of course – HAPPY HOLIDAYS to you and yours this cozy season.

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Exploring The Past, Present, And Future Of Holiday Shopping: Video Transcription

Speaker 1:
BDS presents a special holiday HypeHour, with your hosts, Andrew Catapano and Kelly Campbell. Featuring special guests, Eric Wartman, Jonathan Fields, Tony Dodd, Joann Emale and Melissa Burke. Today’s topic is all about the past, present and future of holiday shopping. Let’s get started. Here are your hosts.

Kelly Campbell:
Hello?

Andrew Catapano:
Merry Christmas. How are you doing, Kelly?

Kelly Campbell:
I look like an all of the above Christmas holiday greeting there. [inaudible 00:01:05] are not you over there Andrew.

Andrew Catapano:
Christmas. Past, present and future. Welcome to the HypeHour. Kelly, always good to see you.

Kelly Campbell:
Thank you.

Andrew Catapano:
How are you?

Kelly Campbell:
I’m in the holiday snow globe here, I guess you could call it. We’re getting into the holiday spirit, regardless of everything that’s going on right now, we are here and you are definitely in a holiday wonderland over there, Andrew.

Andrew Catapano:
I am in a holiday wonderland. I’ve got my essentials for holiday. I’ve got my balls, of course, I’ve got my emergency. I’ve got my lip balm, my Advil, because I can’t spend time with family, I would have it either way. And then I’ve got my TV mug, with nothing in it. Like Luco, delicious.

Kelly Campbell:
Awesome. Well, we’re so excited to be here. Do you want to walk us through why we’re here and what we’re talking about today?

Andrew Catapano:
Of course, exciting topic for the HypeHour today, Kelly. Listen, 2020 bah humbug. Been a tough year. Holiday season is upon us, but we’re not alone of how tough 2020 has been. But the ghost of 2020 is knocking at your door. Although the year has been challenging to say the least, challenging times often lead to creative innovations. What are we seeing this year? What have we seen? We’ve seen BOPUS buy online pickup in store going up and up the chimney. E-commerce is through the roof. Curbside pickups through the roof. Social selling is through the roof. Virtual assisting is on the cusp of being everywhere, all these innovations. And today, we’re going to explore where we’ve been, where we’re going and examine this year shopping plans at a pivoted from years of the past. We’ll also be hearing special today. We’re going to be hearing from the word on the street, real people in the field, what they’re experiencing, what they’re seeing, and we’re going to see what’s happening right now during peak holiday season. But most of all, seeing where the trends are going in 2021. Very excited.

Kelly Campbell:
Very excited for this lineup today. I mean, obviously, the holidays is such a fun topic in general, and there’s so much that goes on in this timeframe of the year, but to have everything thrown on top of it from 2020 and just going into it, I think we’ve got a lot of exciting things to talk about today.

Andrew Catapano:
Who is our first guest here today and do you need a reminder of the rules of what’s going to happen here for the HypeHour for the first of us who have not tuned in yet?

Kelly Campbell:
Absolutely. We’ve got quite the lineup. We’ve got Eric Wartman who is VP of client services here at BDS. We’ve got Melissa Burke, who’s the director of marketing at BDS as well. And then we’ve got our field team members from across the different types of businesses here that we have and the different groups. We’ve got Jonathan Fields, he’s the retail manager here at BDS. We’ve Tony Dodd, who’s one of our market development managers at BDS. And then we’ve got Joann Emale, who’s community manager at BDS as well. And they’re hearing everything as in so many different parts of the business and engaging with customers so we’re really excited to get their feedback on everything.

Andrew Catapano:
Yeah. And this is a first, because a lot of the viewers can’t see the screen that we see. We can see everybody at once and it is a panel we’ve got covered. And they’re on their festive gear and I love it. All right. I am excited, Kelly. Tell us a little about Eric. Eric is our first guest in here and I’m excited to bring him in, but tell us a little bit about what we got going on with Mr. Eric Wartman.

Kelly Campbell:
Well, Eric is really the ultimate boomerang in our book. We, at BDS, call anybody who has started out at BDS and then left and then come back to BDS as a boomerang. We actually started out at BDS as a brand advocate years ago, working with BDS on one of those field programs that we know and love, so exciting. And then he left to go to competitors, of course, but then he came back and we’re so excited to have him. He has been such a huge, I guess you could say, pivotal piece of the business and he has pivoted his team time and time again to do new and creative things. And just so excited to have him. He’s a dynamic leader across the business. And he really thinks ahead with his unique blends of in-store and high-level experiences for not only consumers, but for his own teams too. So we’re going to bring him on.

Andrew Catapano:
The nicest man I’ve ever met.

Kelly Campbell:
Yeah.

Andrew Catapano:
Mr. Wartman is on the nice guy list, that is free. He’s on nice one, I think. I got maybe some naughties in this group, but Mr. Wartman, he’s on the nice list I’m telling you, sweetheart of a guy.

Kelly Campbell:
Yeah. Well, he’s going to come on in and he’s going to talk about the really exciting stuff that’s going on leading up to where we are today. He’s our past, our ghost of holiday shopping past and he’s coming in and then he’s going to talk with you Andrew, a little bit more about how we got here and what has been happening up until this very moment.

Andrew Catapano:
And that’s awesome, Kelly, and a great reminder, you’ve got a schedule. You’ve reminded us of the theme. Past, present future. Let’s start with the past. Come on here, Mr. Eric Wartman.

Kelly Campbell:
All right.

Andrew Catapano:
Mr. Wartman. What do we have? The snow globe. I love it. It got a shake and everything. How are you doing, sir?

Eric Wartman:
Very good. How are you doing Andrew?

Andrew Catapano:
I am doing fantastic. I love the ambient lighting and it is great to see you very festive. I love it. Does the lights dance to music? Do we got it scheduled with our stereo system? What happens? Or is it just lights?

Eric Wartman:
That’s round two. That’s coming next episode.

Andrew Catapano:
All right. Mr. Wartman, we got a lot to discuss, so let’s jump right into it. You are our ghost of Christmas past. Clearly, before we can understand how shoppers will act this holiday season, let’s talk about the past five years or so. Shopping and how it’s led us to where we are today. You’ve been doing this a long time. Give us a little history lesson, get us down memory lane and tell us how we’ve got to where we are today.

Eric Wartman:
Sure thing, Andrew. That’s a great question. I appreciate that. I think many of us know that retail has a very long evolution, but just looking back a few years, it’s really changed a lot and is impacting the way that holiday shopping happens. It was only, 2007, when about half of adult Americans had high-speed internet and social platforms were still emerging and empowering direct consumer reach. And as we start to flash forward and get into 2015, social and e-commerce has just started to take over and omni-channel had become just such a big focus. And when I say omni-channel, what I mean is, the integration of different shopping methods for consumers making it available for them to purchase from phone to online and also in a physical store. We evolve all the way to today where the complex levels of the buying journey continued to stack. And when we look at the holiday shopping era in the last few years, especially in 2020, there’s really four key pillars that have emerged as powerhouses of how people are buying.

Eric Wartman:
Those powerhouses are really what you mentioned already, Andrew. So we’ve got BOPUS, which if anyone hasn’t heard yet, is buy online, pickup in store. With pandemic pushing through, customers still want instant gratification, but they start their journey online and they finish it somewhere where they can pick up today. Click and collect has also been huge. This refers to, buying online and either having curbside pickup or delivery booming right now, as we hit 2020 and beyond. And then who can forget mobile and social shopping. Where in both those categories, we’re seeing explosive growth of how people are purchasing. The path has come a long way, and now we’re seeing it meet in the middle. And it’s really hovering around digital and brands are offering consumers places to purchase wherever they want to. And that’s what’s most important.

Andrew Catapano:
And I think you’ve just hit the nail on the head before we get into 2020. Hit the customer wherever they are. Personalizing that experience is so important in that behavior and meeting the customer on the journey they are on, not the journey we want them to be on. And I think that’s perfectly said and well said. And I think you’ve mentioned social shopping there too. I know we’ve had Tap-a-Tech in past high pipes, but this whole idea of virtual selling is just infiltrating social media and people using this device we’re using right here, I think it’s going to be an amazing trend as we move forward and we all can see that happening.

Andrew Catapano:
I don’t want to speak, I want you to speak and tell me, now that we’re at the end of 2020, we’ve had this, Mr. and Mrs. COVID, our most ambitious CTO ever, even if we didn’t want to hire them, we had to hire them. What do we know for sure, as 2020 comes to an end, where the shopping behavior has evolved, leading into this holiday shopping season? I mean, what do we know? Shake the magic eight ball Mr. Wartman. What do we know for sure?

Eric Wartman:
Great question, Andrew. I mean, we know for sure that shopper behavior is shifting and it’s been shifting for many years, but the pandemic has accelerated that shift. And there’s a few things that have emerged from that. But first and foremost is that, experience is everything. And consumer experiences came. We know that 86% of buyers are willing to pay for a better consumer experience. And that is what people are buying besides the products that they see on the shelves. Now, when we talk about experience, people kind of default to what they see in store, but it’s really important that we think about the consumer experience all the way through the journey. That experience actually starts online or with social during the discovery phase. And this is where someone’s on their mobile phone doing a quick Amazon search, or just trying to look and compare, read some reviews. That consumer experience has already begun when that research begins.

Eric Wartman:
Education is the next phase. How does that offering differentiate from other brands? What type of simple research can consumers do to educate themselves as they start to formulate their decision and their purchasing preference. And then that third phase is the purchase. What is the experience like in store online when they decide to actually make that purchase? What is the easiest way for that customer to purchase that product that day? The fourth phase is engagement. And this is proactive engagement on satisfaction after purchase. Brands want to know, how did the consumer feel about their purchase? Are they willing to recommend this product to their family and friends.

Eric Wartman:
And then bringing us all the way around to that fifth level of consumer experience is advocacy. This is where a consumer has decided that they’re the expert and they’re willing to post reviews and social posts about their lifestyle use of that product. And they ultimately recommend it to their family and friends. To answer your question, Andrew, one thing we know for sure, is that experiences came. Consumers are willing to pay for a better experience. And we’re seeing different sets of demographics of consumers being willing to try new things this year, because of COVID and because of shopping on the couch. Things are evolving quickly, but those are a few things we can take away for sure.

Andrew Catapano:
It’s funny. We also experienced in 2020. But we know now, experience in real life, we’ve heard that, it was a jeopardy in 2020 and continues to be augmented today. You’ve brought up before. Experience is still king. We can’t get away from that. We just have to understand how to shift from maybe some of these in real life experiences we’re used to, to being virtual experiences, being digital experiences, being advocacy experiences, and social. I think, if I’m hearing you correctly, that’s what I’m taking away from it, that the trends aren’t necessarily different from an experiential and a personalization standpoint, it’s how we use different medias and digital medias in order to continue that promise to our customers to inhabit that.

Andrew Catapano:
I think, if I can digest that, that’s what I’m taking away from that. Well said. And I think I got a little bit ahead of myself when I went into the end. Can we take a back step to black Friday for a second? Set the scene for us going into black Friday? What were the expectations?

Eric Wartman:
Well, I mean, obviously, this is a black Friday like no other. But in general, when we look at the fourth quarter, 35 to 40% of consumer electronic revenue is happening during that quarter of the year. A lot of brands, a lot of retailers are banking on that Q4 number. Now we all know that shopping patterns are changing. We’re facing pandemic, quarantine, store closures, inventory constraints. And what we also know is that over the last few years, the holiday time has grown. What used to be a very, very heavy sales day of black Friday, turn into a week of activity, which turned into a month of activity. And now we’re seeing retailers launch their promotions earlier and earlier every year to try to stay ahead of trends and stay ahead of online retailers. That’s a little bit about the scene.

Eric Wartman:
When we think about what customers are planning to purchase this year, a lot of the data is showing that the purchasing is still going to happen. How it happens might be different. Customers who normally went in store might choose to do buy online, pickup in store, or might choose to do an online purchase. 90% of US consumers are planning to spend the same or more this holiday season compared to last. The appetite for purchase is absolutely there. And people are planning to do more online and mobile shopping. That is a definite fact we have to consider, not just this holiday season, but always going forward in retail.

Andrew Catapano:
Well, did it happen? Give me the obvious answer as you rounded out. And I don’t want to take any more of your time, Eric. I know you’re super busy, but I got to ask, then what happens? Tell me, so when we go into black Friday, what happened? We know what we expected, what were the results?

Eric Wartman:
Well, first of all, Andrew, you can have as much of my time as you’ve ever need. Just know you can count on me for that. To kind of break down what happened, we have to look at it in a few different segments. So when we think about just online, online results for black Friday, the pandemic has pushed more people to shop from the couch. Consumers have decided perhaps to avoid crowded stores or don’t want to wait in the line because there’s lower capacity or their malls are closed. But the numbers are compelling for online and we’ve seen a lot of growth here. Total online spending for black Friday this year was 90 billion. And that represents a 22% growth year over year. Huge growth overlying. If you think about the volume of those types of sales, that means that there’s about 6.3 million being spent every minute online during black Friday.

Eric Wartman:
We saw a little bit of movement in the categories too. We think of black Friday and we think consumer electronics and we think appliance, we think those things, but other categories are booming right now. Groceries, clothing, personal care products skyrocket over 500% during this time. We’re seeing a lot of change in the way people are buying. We’re seeing a lot of changes in the categories that they’re choosing to purchase that during this time of year. And we’re also seeing a lot of products being featured online only. You’ve got retailers like Walmart and others offering black Friday sales, but making them online only and restricting that to those close customers.

Andrew Catapano:
Which is crazy because last year it was can only get in store. Guys can only get in-store. That’s crazy. All right. Sorry. I didn’t mean to cut you off. That’s so interesting. Go ahead.

Eric Wartman:
No, you’re good. You’re good. And then a good segue for it because when you think about in-store, this year, we know that over 60% decided to click the button online and not go in store. Most numbers are showing fewer lines emptier parking lots. We’re seeing about a 52% decline in in-store shopping year, over year on black Friday. And when you think about some of the strategies retailers have been using over the last few years, specifically Thanksgiving day, there was a 95% drop on Thanksgiving day. As this year, most stores remain closed or decided to give their employees the time off. You had mentioned earlier, we had talked about curbside pickup being huge. And we definitely saw an increase in curbside pickup during black Friday. It’s 50% from previous year.

Eric Wartman:
And a lot of the retailers, specifically Target and Walmart are encouraging us. They’re encouraging this behavior. They’re offering them unique promotions and deals to do curbside pickup. It’s a lower cost for them to push their product out that way and for you to come through the traditional channel. Lastly, I just wanted to mention, we can’t talk about holiday without talking about Cyber Monday. I’m sure almost everyone that’s listening, made some sort of purchase during Cyber Monday. And we have to talk about these together. It’s really one key selling season.

Eric Wartman:
So for Cyber Monday, shoppers spent a record $10.8 billion, and that’s beating last year by 15%. Cyber Monday continues to grow this year even more than analysts had expected, potentially due to the pandemic. And when we think about when customers are choosing to purchase online, it’s very different hours than when they’re purchasing in store. Over 25% of that 10, $11 billion, was purchased during what we call the golden hours of retail online. So 7:00 PM to 11:00 PM Pacific time being the key hour where most sales are happening during Cyber Monday. Wanted to share some insights with you, Andrew, and always glad to answer any other questions that you have today.

Andrew Catapano:
Well, I think what’s interesting and I don’t want to put you on the spot, Eric and maybe it’s a conversation. It’s such good data. And now I want to spend the next couple hours because you and I could go back and forth, but we’re not going, you’re saying, okay, let’s explore that data. All these different people who set up all these accounts that didn’t do it before for buy online, pickup in store and for curbside pickup, how now used to, even when we go back to a state of normal, are they going to be, so the legacy just continues. And we’ve gotten used to it. We’ve gotten accustomed to it. We now have accounts set up with these online merchants and all these trends and patterns. Not to put you on the spot, but as you close, just personal, no notes or whatever, you’re an online shopper. How many of your behaviors do you think you’re just going to continue. One takeaway, you’ve just gotten personally say, “Man, I’m never going back the other way.”

Eric Wartman:
Yeah. It’s a matter of convenience. I think people who never purchased online have in the last six months. Due to the forces at be, they’ve had to make an online purchase. And it’s very hard to go back, once you find the convenience factor there. For me, personally, one of the things that’s really rung true during this time, is not just purchasing online, but it’s purchasing online in a subscription way. Where online services aren’t asking me, “Do you just want to buy this now?” They’re defaulting my selection to, “You probably need this once a month. Based on your history, you need this once a month.” For me, that’s one thing that I’ve found is a convenient factor. And I’m using it and I’m seeing it save me time and energy. I think more and more retailers are going to continue to push that auto fulfillment type of model.

Andrew Catapano:
Yeah. I don’t think there’s a selection for the wine though, Eric. We need this every hour. I don’t think that’s a subscription model through the holidays, but I will tell you, Eric, I’m never setting, I’m sorry, but I’m never setting foot in a grocery store again, that coming out to my trunk, I’m done. It’s over, keep doing it. Eric, thank you for your time. It’s been an absolute pleasure. I will go on the record again saying you’re one of the nicest gentlemen I’ve ever met, nicest people I’ve ever met. Love talking to you and have a wonderful holiday season if I don’t see you, my friend.

Eric Wartman:
Thanks Andrew. Thanks everyone. Happy holidays.

Andrew Catapano:
There’s the snow globe. Kelly, fantastic, lived up to expectations, and great information for us.

Kelly Campbell:
As always. I think just seeing the growth year over year, and this was such an interesting year to follow. It was like a football game that just was in the very end, the whole time. It was like a nail biter trying to figure out what’s going to happen next. And that’s what it felt like to me. And I’m sure to many other people as well. This was sort of the fourth quarter over time, I guess you could say. And it’s very interesting to see how everything played out. I think we predicted some of it, of course. But now we’re rolling with the punches once again.

Andrew Catapano:
And now, Kelly, you get the privilege of bringing on a panel and talking about what’s happening right now with people in the field, getting the beat on the street. My ear will be glued. My eyes will be glued. How fun with our next panel, Kelly. And I’m sure it’d be plenty of good information.

Kelly Campbell:
Yeah. I’m really excited about this group that we have coming on board. We’ve got Jonathan Fields. He is actually on one side of our business running our break shop in here. It’s one of our newer solutions, very excited to have him on to tell us and give us the scoop of what’s happening in his world. And he actually has a very long retail background. He comes from over 22 years in both public and private sectors and he is just a wealth of knowledge. We’re excited to have him on and tell us a little bit about what he’s seeing and the difference this year in his experience. And then we’ve got Tony who’s coming on. He’s from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, but now he resides in Houston, Texas. So excited to have him on board. He has been a proud member of BDS for over five years now and has served as a market development manager on one of our key accounts.

Kelly Campbell:
And we’re really excited to have him onboard because he has seen how holiday has changed year after year after year. And now going into this year, what is he seeing on that sales floor straight from there. And then we’ve got Joann and she’s coming on as a community manager out of Dallas, Texas. So excited to have her onboard. She’s got five years of experiential retail experience and she specializes in knowing and loving this brand that she works for and sales training. And we’re excited to get her take on it all because she’s seeing something a little bit different than the other two. Why don’t we bring you guys all on. I can’t wait to start chatting away with everybody.

Kelly Campbell:
Hi, welcome on. We’re so excited to have you.

Joann Emale:
Hello. Thanks for having us.

Jonathan Fields:
Super excited to be here.

Kelly Campbell:
Everybody looks very in their element, in their holiday spirit. This is one definitely for the book. So we’re excited to have you all on.

Joann Emale:
Thank you.

Jonathan Fields:
Excited to be here.

Kelly Campbell:
I want to jump right into it, because this is where a lot of, I’m personally excited. Clearly so many different insights from you all, because you’re all seeing different things at BDS. And so we’ve really completed, I guess you could say the first official week of the actual holiday season coming off of black Friday, and now we’re in our present stage of holiday shopping. I want to know from you, and maybe we can start with you, Jonathan. I really want to know how have you seen this pandemic affect how people have interacted with brands that you’re working with compared to some of the previous years that you’ve been in the business. Can you share a little bit more about that?

Jonathan Fields:
Yeah, definitely. I mean, well, my team supports retail and retail is virtually and my team has been busier than ever. So yes, I think there’s been a shift, I think more cautiousness sense of how consumers spend their money, what appeals to them and how e-commerce has increased from previous years with a wide range of ways to purchase outside of physical retail.

Kelly Campbell:
Yeah. I mean, I think that’s amazing, obviously brands and retailers have had to pivot very quickly into the virtual space, and I know you guys are seeing it on your team. But then Tony, for you, what are you seeing when your side of things. You’re going into and engaging with retailers. Can you tell us a little bit about what you’re seeing and how that’s changed?

Tony Dodd:
Yeah. Previously, going into retailers, it wasn’t as cognizant as you will have to be today. Before, if you will have to wipe off a device. Customer would probably be like, “Why are you doing that?” They’ll feel a little disrespected. But now, when you wipe of the advice out there, if you usage today because of the pandemic and they’re like, “Well, thank you. I appreciate that.” Looking at things from last year to this year with retailers, if you’ve noticed, keep the customers from being enclosed and not breaking that social distancing method. I’ve saw a lot of retailers during their black Friday sales throughout the whole entire month to make sure that they keep that flow of consumers coming in and making sure that they’re at capacity or they’re staying within those guidelines. It’s been a pretty big difference, but a lot of people have been adjusting quite fast during this pandemic and for holidays.

Kelly Campbell:
Yeah. That’s really interesting. You mentioned it obviously. Cleanliness and keeping things clean is a huge theme of this shopping team. And so it seems like that’s obviously shifted from what it used to be, which is why are you cleaning to oh my gosh, thank you so much for wiping this down for me before I use it. It’s really interesting to hear that. Are you seeing that on your side Joann at all?

Joann Emale:
Yeah. When we’re talking about just really how we’re interacting and engaging with these consumers now in stores, we have seen a huge shift, but a positive shift in the right direction for our brand. One thing that I’ve noticed is of course, we have those consumers that want that face-to-face interaction to still take place. And seeing that we’ve been able to adapt our presence in-store and how we provide solutions and information around our product lines in a safe manner has really spun our productivity in a positive way.

Joann Emale:
Another shift, of course, as you spoken before in the past, Tap-a-Tech has been huge and allowing us to really bridge that gap and engaging with our consumer face to face. And for those that want more comfortability and access to gaining that knowledge, we’ve really just honed our brand to allow ourselves to be a further extension of knowledge for them with the resources we’ve created. I think we’ve seen a lot of growth in a positive way, and I know that we’ll continue to see more productivity coming from us in our stores when we continue to build upon it in the days to come.

Kelly Campbell:
I think that’s so interesting. You kind of touched on where I wanted to take the conversation next, which is really what has been the biggest way you’ve had to adapt your selling strategies? Obviously, our teams have had to shift, and that we’re launching more virtual solutions and video first solutions. But now, I know you and I were talking a little bit earlier about this Joann, where you’re also seeing the connection between what you’re doing in the store and then also outside of the business too. What has that been like for you to kind of work with both sides of that team?

Joann Emale:
It’s been incredible to work with both sides of the team. I always call our RSAs and store our teammates because they’re really our brand advocates when we’re not there. But really the best opportunity that we’ve had with creating that Tap-a-Tech technology is really just giving consumers more options. As we know, our consumer base likes to have an option of where they buy when they buy what they’re going to buy. So when we’re giving them even more avenues to really gain the tools that they need to not only make those purchase decisions and stick with those purchase decisions, we’re also seeing that our in store advocates, our brand influencers are really making sure that they’re not only enthusiastic about the brand, but also understanding that the strategies that they have to implement when engaging face to face with these consumers has to be open and understanding of what they’re looking to do and what they’re looking to achieve.

Joann Emale:
It’s been really great to see the shift and how our influencers have been able to transition their knowledge base and their selling strategies to be inclusive of multiple ways of purchasing.

Kelly Campbell:
Awesome. I think, maybe think Jonathan, I know your team is really in the thick of it and engaging with consumers in this new sort of platform. How has that been for your team and how have they sort of had to shift the way that they interact and sort of sell and handle the product? Can you share any tidbits on that?

Jonathan Fields:
Yeah, definitely. I mean, I think for us, it’s seeing that virtual assistance evolve, and making it as close to the in-person shopping experience as possible. I think there really isn’t a choice, but to change those behaviors and quickly pivot to expand upon the in-store experience. I mean, meeting those consumer expectations. One thing that we bring is peace of mind sort of online shopping the frustration.

Kelly Campbell:
Yeah. I mean, so many options out there too. We talk a lot about choice paralysis and people like that that are really barriers to completing that purchase in Tap-a-Tech and what your team is doing is something that helps overcome that. Right?

Jonathan Fields:
Yeah. No, definitely. I mean, I truly believe it’s something special.

Kelly Campbell:
That’s awesome. Let’s move on. I mean, Tony, let’s go to you actually, because I think this is really relevant to you. What kinds of questions are you getting you from RSAs and associates and the people that you’ve engaged with over time. Are you getting new types of questions? What have you been able to help them overcome when it comes to the holiday shopping season?

Tony Dodd:
Yeah. And to piggyback off of Jonathan, he made a great point is that consumers as well as the associates are looking for more web-based assistance like webinars and bringing that experience together just so people can have that safe feeling, especially during the pandemic, will still get the service that they absolutely need and what. Some of the things that I’ve seen is QR codes are a big thing that we’ve been utilizing in the field. QR codes and give an augmented reality experience. I think that’s something that I’ve seen in the field that has grown rapidly. I used those as my tools in the field to show consumers, hey, this is what this product will look like in your hand. This is what the product will look like on the floor, on the desk. And they’re really gravitating to that. The RSAs, the sellers, same thing. They’re like man, Tony, you’ve come up with these cool ideas and then your companies, they’re bringing these cool little things that makes these experiences engaging and always say, hey, you got to thank that marketing team they’ve been at work 24/7.

Kelly Campbell:
That’s awesome. Cool. Interesting. I mean, we all thought the QR code was extinct. I think we all moved away from that and put it in the back of our mind, thought it wasn’t going to be a thing. And then lo and behold, it was the one thing that kept us going along, of course, a couple of others. But one of the biggest things that we brought back to life essentially this year. But it’s interesting for you to talk about it from a training perspective too, that that’s an easy way for associates to tap into new content and new training and learning. I think we’re all having to learn really fast too, but providing everybody with that immediate touch point is really huge. That’s awesome. I do want to talk a little bit about social media. Obviously, it’s near and dear to my heart being one of the marketing side of thing. How have you seen the world of social and the power of social really infiltrating a shopper’s decision for the holidays?

Kelly Campbell:
We’ve seen a lot of things like Instagram watching the top of the post. And we actually have a question from our audience members. I have it right here and TikTok topple. There’s this old phenomenon happening. Are you guys seeing that in your day to day with people coming in with more knowledgeable or for certain things because they saw it somewhere else. What are you guys experiencing? Let’s start with Joann. Maybe you can fill us in on what you’re thinking.

Joann Emale:
Well, the power of social media is always, and forever will be king, especially as we continue to shift into even more virtual and social aspects of our business. Statistics show that 67% of people who actually see an ad on social media are more likely to go make that purchase decision and purchase more products. What I’ve seen of course, with the usage of TikTok, Instagram, and even more apps that are coming into play, is that consumers not only want to share the experience of them getting their products and using the products, they want to let people know exactly how to get it as well. As we continue to build our social media presence and really just communicating with these consumers about, hey, you can check us out online, you can check this on social media and then them getting in their car.

Joann Emale:
Of course, I always say, big brothers in my head, how come there’s an ad popping up? And I was just thinking about getting this product. I think seeing how we’ve really grown and really integrated in social media with our products has been huge. And I think that’ll continue to be just an awesome extension of what we’re doing in our in-field and in store.

Kelly Campbell:
I love that. I mean, Jonathan, have you guys seen that on the virtual side of things too, where people are coming in with preconceived ideas of what they’re needing and you’re sort of talking through that with them, or what are you seeing?

Jonathan Fields:
Yeah. No, definitely. I mean, we’re really starting to see online ads playing in to people actually with the world of social media platforms and how social media influencers are taking part in some of those ads, but also the wide age range and demographic of some of the consumers out there looking at these ads.

Kelly Campbell:
Yeah, absolutely. And then Tony, I mean, you’ve been in the field for a while. Are you seeing that and have you been seeing that pop up when you’re engaging with a customer, even associate for that matter. Are they looking to social media for those recommendations too?

Tony Dodd:
Oh, you got to bring up TikTok. I still don’t have TikTok. That’s one of the social media I don’t have. But seeing, as Joann was saying, the social media has really taken over and what I’ve been noticing about a lot of the companies that are engaging with the consumers is that, for example, if there’s a hot item, you have consumers that say, we will have this product that’s such and such time, be ready with click on or be ready to order. And then also you have a lot of companies who will give you additional coupons to come in and do a store pickup or additional coupons for just boarding online and having it shipped to you.

Tony Dodd:
It’s one of those things that I can’t grasp my head around. It’s like a phenomenon when it comes down to social media. You just never know the outcome and one of it is going to always be successful because it’s never going to leave us. You’re just going to see those consumers in those RSAs, especially just really grasping on social media. That’d be the first thing they look at first, is what coupons or deals can I say first before I come to the store or the infamous phrase, can you price match this?

Kelly Campbell:
Interesting.

Joann Emale:
Right. And to add to what Tony had just said as well, when we’re talking about continuing to build brand awareness and brand loyalty, social media has definitely amplified that. I actually spoke to our team the other day in regards to how one of the top rappers in the music industry right now actually was posting on her social media about her and her friends using one of our product lines. Just to see how we’re able to not only see people engage with our products, but the excitement that they have to speak on it, without it necessarily having to be a big brand partnership is amazing. And it really truly speaks to how we’re not only pushing these brands online, but pushing them again in the field.

Kelly Campbell:
Yeah, absolutely. I think that sort of leads us into one of our final questions here. I really want to hear from all of you. In your experience and what you’ve been seeing and hearing, not only this year, but also during this holiday shopping season and what are some ways that brands can connect better? Obviously, Joann, you just shared a really great example with how social media can really bring to life a product and create that connection in a different way and then you guys can take that and spread it through a different channel. How can brands really look to connect better with their customers, even this holiday season and going into the new year and what are you seeing and hearing that really customers are looking for when they’re looking for a brand to connect with. Gosh, I don’t even know who to start with because you guys all have such great answers. Okay, Tony, you have an answer, go for it.

Tony Dodd:
You stumped me right there. I talked to a lot of consumers on what they look for and what they’re looking for in the future, to be quite frank, because of this pandemic everyone has … A lot of people actually have compassion with everybody. From companies to consumers and for each other and for businesses to really jump on board to make sure that everybody is… I just got stopped.

Kelly Campbell:
No, you’re good. Live streaming, we always run into audio issues, but I see what you’re saying though. And I think with consumers, it’s really interesting how things have pivoted. And maybe Jonathan, you can sort of jump in on that too.

Jonathan Fields:
Yeah. I mean, I think all brands have to find other ways to engage with consumers. I mean, a service that doesn’t require capacity limits or have to be in store, but still be able to connect with the customer and their individual needs. I mean, for instance, I mean, customers going to start ask questions, get guidance and interact with the product. Having a virtual assistant can give you that one-on-one interaction, having a sense of comfortability when buying the products.

Kelly Campbell:
Yeah, absolutely. What about you, Joann? What are some ways that you would recommend brands or in your experience, they can connect better with those customers? Oh no. We’ve got her muted.

Joann Emale:
Oh, I’m back. So the number one way we can really connect with these consumers, is to really hold those conversations to heart. Really understand their why, and really what’s in it for them when they’re getting the products now. As you know, with a lot of the product lines we represent, the clients want to know that they cannot just get the main feature of it. They want to know what more can I do? How can I integrate it into my lifestyle? How can I integrate it into my home? And when we have those conversations and have our teams and feel knowledgeable and trained about exactly what they need, we really give them opportunities to really make even greater purchase decisions and be, like I said, be comfortable with them. Because given the current climate that we’re in, everyone kind of has that bit of apprehension when making those big purchases and buying certain types of products.

Joann Emale:
But when we show the value of our products and show the value in what we provide them when it comes to gaining knowledge and resources through Tap-a-Tech and systems at that sort, we’re really just curating and creating loyalty and brand awareness and also just the comradery around what we can do for them and continue to do for them in the field.

Kelly Campbell:
Awesome. Oh my God, so many great insights. I really appreciate you guys coming on. I know we have one more section, which is the future. We’ve already talked about the past. We just talked about the present with you all, and we’re going to jump on into the future. Thank you all for joining us today and we’ll have Andrew come on back.

Joann Emale:
Thank you.

Andrew Catapano:
That was fantastic. Every one of those guests made my nice list.

Kelly Campbell:
There you go. You got the right one there.

Andrew Catapano:
I’ve got to give the credit to my new best friend. T money. I’m calling him T money from here on. My Tony Dodd. All right. Three cool things he said that I took away. Okay. One, the wipe effect. Did you catch that? I loved when he said that. That before, when you wiped something down, people got a little put off, but now they’re saying thank you. It’s amazing what things will do to create different emotions in people. Personalized experiences he said. He said we got to stay with personalized experience and we just got to figure out different ways to do it. And then I love the fact he brought that QR code up.

Andrew Catapano:
He brought that QR code up and he said it’s innovative. I’m not going to lie, and I’m going to give an honorable mention to my girl at the top Joann fabrics. I’m calling her Joann fabrics because that was a lovely shirt she had on. That was some lovely fabric she had on. You brought up the customization, the personalization at the end, too. Fantastic. I’m going to be honest with you. I enjoyed my time with Eric. Very good and strategic, but that was rockstar. That was rockstar and I’m glad we brought those three guests on and I don’t want to leave Jonathan Fields out, but I got to give it to T money and my girl Joann fabrics, I have to. Fantastic.

Kelly Campbell:
As our next guest would say, don’t take him personally. Well, we’re so excited to bring our final guest.

Andrew Catapano:
Who is she?

Kelly Campbell:
Melissa Burke, director of marketing at BDS. We are so excited to have her on. Maybe because I have personally worked with her for 10 years and she is the leader of our marketing team here. I can’t imagine a better person to wrap this up with. Every year, she puts together her list of trends to look forward to, and the next year. And this year is no different. We’re going to have her do it live this time. Usually, it’s an article. It’s something that shows up on LinkedIn, but this time it’s live. We’re going to bring her on and I don’t even know what else to say. Welcome Melissa.

Andrew Catapano:
Melissa Burke, how the heck are you? I’m pointing to my naughty pillow because you know the more… the more I love you.

Kelly Campbell:
Oh, no. Unmute yourself Melissa. We’ve got a lot things going on today, but it’s okay.

Andrew Catapano:
I will tell you though, while Melissa’s getting off mute, Kelly, I know you spoke that you have worked. A great person to end the holiday show with. You’ve worked with her for 10 years. I work with her on the client side before coming to BDS. And I was the marketing part, the digital partner for BDS before our division was acquired by BDS in 2017. I’ve been working with Melissa almost as long as you have in different capacities, but one of my favorite people on the planet. Is she off mute now?

Kelly Campbell:
I think so. We got her.

Andrew Catapano:
No.

Kelly Campbell:
But it’s okay.

Andrew Catapano:
It’s okay.

Kelly Campbell:
This is what happens when we go live.

Andrew Catapano:
Because we can get back to the part on T money if you want me to. That was fantastic point.

Kelly Campbell:
That’s awesome. Well, while she gets her audio set up, let me just give you a little bit more background on Melissa because her background is just so interesting, I think, and she’s going to talk a little bit more about it when she comes on, but she has definitely spanned across the business. She started out in a completely different role at BDS, which I know she’s going to go and talk about that. But she has worked on a variety of campaigns ranging from all different types of clients and programs that we’ve had. She actually started off with her marketing experience in real estate, which is really interesting and with a nonprofit, super fascinating. She’s been with BDS for over 16 years. So definitely one of our long-term employees here. She’s seen it all. She’s been through it all. And I think she got back on. I see her in the green room. We’re excited to have her on for sure.

Andrew Catapano:
She’s the creator as well. I mean, Melissa is one of the best wordsmiths I’ve ever met, but again, I think that we could talk miles and miles about Melissa and I hope she gets on this show soon. I do want to mention something though, while we’re waiting for Melissa to join. Because I do want to get back to this. We’ll use this time effectively on this QR code. When we’re talking about the QR code and we’re talking about in holiday, I don’t believe there’s a better way to get an immersive connective, and Tony said it great, when he said a virtual experience for your brand in aisle. I think often missed, and we brought it up with Eric and we brought it up with the field experts. The publishing of a QR code in aisle at store on product, native now to the iPhone app as we know, native now to the Android camera app as we know, all you have to do is point and click. And I’m going to tell you, as we get Melissa, we’ll do a little activity. I think I might have one here. Under.

Andrew Catapano:
This is a great QR code here. So if you got to make this one scan that one, right there with your phone, I’ll hold it steady so everybody can get an nice shot of it.

Kelly Campbell:
We got it there. We’ve got it.

Andrew Catapano:
That’s the only QR code you’re ever going to have to scan in order to get some great help for your brand manufacturer retailer. But I will tell you, go ahead, Kelly. Sorry.

Kelly Campbell:
No, the QR code, I have to say.

Andrew Catapano:
I printed that right here. All I did was get on. I was on a QR generator when Tony brought it up, I built a QR code in two seconds, pointed at a camera and now you have an immersive experience. I mean, I don’t think people understand how easy this is to get a new … And then you want to talk about real data. Real things you could get at retail. So now we can talk about how many scans did I get. Who’s in my aisle, who is digesting my content? And I think Melissa was the one that said to me, and she was brilliant when she said it. She said, there’s no other way that we could get real-time feedback to the brand that day. Normally you’d have to wait for a month of analytics or a dashboard. I could have Jonathan in aisle scans, a QR code, downloads content, clicks don’t like it. And within seconds, I have feedback from my customer at before point of sale in aisle through QR code and I’ve opened it up to an immersive experience.

Andrew Catapano:
I sound passionate about it because I am, and I believe that a well-integrated QR code digital strategy can generate exactly what Tony and Joann and Jonathan were talking about, is that personalized experience. That immersive experience that we are craving. We can create that connection right in aisle and right on the product. If there’s a silver lining to Melissa and I don’t think there could be, because we should be greatly missed in this episode, spending a little more time on QR code, is it. And Kelly, as we continue, I think I see you’re joining.

Kelly Campbell:
Yeah.

Andrew Catapano:
I know your affinity, a brand influencer of social media sharing, you’ve brought it up.

Kelly Campbell:
Absolutely.

Andrew Catapano:
Tell us why.

Kelly Campbell:
Absolutely. Well, I mean, brand influencer. I know we talked about this in one of our previous episodes, and we talked about it here again too, the power of social media and the ability to talk about a brand and share that advocacy through a channel like social media, is just so powerful you can’t really replicate it. It’s amazing. One of the things about brand influencers that we do, is we harness that brand advocacy and sort of take it and put it on social media, everything that we’ve learned and done in store over the past 30, 35 years, and all those instants we’re taking and we basically putting it on media, creating this sort of halo effect of brand advocacy. I really [inaudible 00:52:33] getting Melissa on board. And I can see her in the green room and we can’t get her on the stream.

Kelly Campbell:
That’s really unfortunate, but I do. I know we only have a few minutes left. Andrew, what I want to do to wrap it up, because there’s so many good pieces that I do want Melissa to share. Maybe we will do a special live stream with her and her trends going into 2021. But I do want to wrap it up with new Andrew with something fun. And this is for you.

Andrew Catapano:
Let’s do this for Melissa though. We will tell our audience, what we’ll do is we will video Melissa doing it, not live, and we’ll just attach it to this stream or at the end of it so you still get her.

Kelly Campbell:
Fantastic. I love that. All right. So this is our bonus round. At the very end of it all looking towards the future, are you ready?

Andrew Catapano:
I’m ready. I got to stretch.

Kelly Campbell:
Exactly. You might need to, you might need to stretch for this. 2021, I mean, when we look back at 2020, we were like, yes, it’s the roaring twenties. This is going to be amazing of the year. Everybody was celebrating so hard with these buzzwords. I’m going to go through them, rapid fire. And I want you to say if they’re going to stay or if they’re going to go. So the first one up, in 2021, personalization, what do you think?

Andrew Catapano:
Stay.

Kelly Campbell:
Experience, what do you think?

Andrew Catapano:
Experience, stay.

Kelly Campbell:
Data-Driven, buzzword.

Andrew Catapano:
I don’t know. I think it’s going to be omni-channel. I think it’s going to omni-channel. I think it’ll stay, it’ll have a different name. Omni-channel is going to be direct to commerce and data-driven is going to be real-time customer feedback.

Kelly Campbell:
There you go. That will evolve. And then one of the hot buttons at the beginning of the year and even last year in 2019 was privacy. What do you think? Does privacy go out the window? Does it stay? Is it going to be big?

Andrew Catapano:
Here’s why it will. Because you have to give up privacy for personalization. If you want a personalized shopping experience, you have to be willing to give up some of your privacy so they know who you are. I think privacy will take a back seat to better personalization on the online experience, which is dangerous, I know, but I’m telling you, you heard it here first.

Kelly Campbell:
All right. One of the other buzzwords at the beginning of the year was voice search. What do you think?

Andrew Catapano:
Stay, but watch out. Here’s what I’m going to tell you to watch out for, Amazon Alexa being integrated with a virtual assistant or Google, Google home, being integrated with a virtual assistant. You’ll speak it and someone will come on visually.

Kelly Campbell:
There you go. Awesome. Okay. So the next one, conversational. Conversational marketing was a very big term going into this year. And what do you think? Is it staying or going? Is it evolving?

Andrew Catapano:
Evolving. Evolving from in real life experience to digital experience, being calm, making your digital experience more conversational. That’s what it’s going to be. Conversations here, but it’s digital conversation. It’s two-way digital conversation, which before it was one way.

Kelly Campbell:
Two-way digital conversation. I love that. And then micro moments. This was a big term last year talking about boiling down all of these things into little mini micro moments. What do you think? Are those going to evolve? Are those going to stay, go play a role next year?

Andrew Catapano:
No, I think it’s being replaced by immersive. I would rather not the micro moment. I would rather be more immersed in the moment.

Kelly Campbell:
All right.

Andrew Catapano:
And that’s why I think TikTok is…

Kelly Campbell:
TikTok, no.

Andrew Catapano:
I’m a Tony don’t open the account just yet.

Kelly Campbell:
I have seen. And today, even when one of the biggest terms that came about was short form video content, I think-

Andrew Catapano:
Sure. Yes. I mean, we’re probably experiencing it right now. We’ll take this video and we’ll put it into short form video content so people can digest it because the attention span is not going to be that long. They’re not going to want to watch the whole thing. I get it. Yes. Stay.

Kelly Campbell:
All right. Now, automation, what do you think? Stay, go, evolve?

Andrew Catapano:
Stay. But I think it’s blended into a connected commerce world. It’s automatic rather than automation. I need to be able to flow through channels and I need to be able to create a cohesive buying journey, not an omni-channel, that’s different, a cohesive buying journey from my digital to in-store from at home on the go, it’s got to flow properly for me. And I think that’s going to what’s replaced. It is connected commerce.

Kelly Campbell:
All right. And our last one, you already alluded to it, but omni-channel.

Andrew Catapano:
Again, same thing. First of all, I don’t even figured out how to spell it before it was out. Hyphen, no hyphen capital O, no capital O capital C, no capital C. We didn’t figure it out. And I think it’s already gone, but now we’re into connected commerce, which I don’t know if that needs a hyphen either. I’m going hyphen on connected commerce.

Kelly Campbell:
Yeah. All right. Well, I know we just have a couple minutes left and unfortunately we are having tech technical difficulties. It’s one of those days. Can’t even say a word, it’s even coming out right. But next time stay tuned for that follow up with Melissa. It is awesome. And our content is amazing and we’re definitely going to be sending that out afterwards. Stay tuned for that.

Andrew Catapano:
Kelly, it’s been an absolute pleasure as always. Past, present and future and a lovely group of guests. I am so sorry we did not get to Melissa, but that is the end of our Christmas show for today. I’m going to play out. John, let the music go for a second. My mom would be proud and to my good friend, Jonathan Margolis up in New York, my friend, happy Hanukkah and let me get this QR code.

Kelly Campbell:
That’s awesome. Well, remember to follow us on social media at BDSmktg.

Andrew Catapano:
Can you get it? We’ll still get it. Here we’ll come around. Goodbye everybody Merry Christmas. Oh, it came down. All right. Technical difficulties.

Kelly Campbell:
And we’re out. Thanks everybody.

Andrew Catapano:
Merry Christmas everybody.

Kelly Campbell:
Happy holidays!