We are excited to have Neil Redding, of Redding Futures, joining us as a Breakout Session Host during Retail Innovation Week. He will be joined by Neha Singh of Obsess, and Cosmo Kramer of Bitreel. Breakout Sessions are hour-long deep-dives, run by category experts. If you would like to join Neil's session, you can register here!
We asked Neil a couple of questions in the lead up to his Breakout Session…
1 – What will you be speaking about during Retail Innovation Week?
I’m leading a session with Obsess and Bitreel focused on bringing the multi-sensory immersive store experience to people on their personal devices, wherever they are. This past year has increased the physical distance between people and each other, as well as between people and the physical spaces we love to visit — including many stores. I’ve been thinking a lot about ways to make distance less relevant and impactful — for both people and businesses — and our session will be an exploration of several of these ways.
2 – What surprised you most about 2020, and the impacts the events of this year have had?
At a deeply human level, I've become poignantly aware of how important and nourishing physical presence is for all of us — and how essential it is that the ecosystems we build and live in relate to us as whole beings, holistically and individually. I’m much more aware of the ways brands and retailers attend to certain attributes of their customers and not others — from skin color and gender, to physical capability, to political orientation, to momentary intention and behavioral nuance. Perhaps most importantly, I’m vividly aware of how crucial it is for us to figure out how to get along with each other — and beyond mere tolerance, I’m driven to help us actively celebrate our differences, our diverse beauty and capabilities.
3 – What are some of your predictions for 2021?
Realtime 3D — especially mobile AR — will migrate from novelty to expected capability in the context of shopping for physical products. We will emerge from the pandemic with new apps and platforms that let us be co-present with the people, places and things we care most about. Algorithmically personalized and coherent interaction across all types of touchpoints — digital and physical — will become a conscious preference for customers and a critical differentiator for brands. And all of us will keep learning to expressively value each other in all our individual richness and diversity.