Published on January 19, 2009
Presentation to the Board 1.15.2009 This is our winning presentation from PhizzPop Minneapolis. The client was a fictional new big box retailer that is looking to expand beyond 2 test markets. We were asked to make a presentation to the board of this company to show how technology can help them meet their business goals.
How can technology help Indigo establish itself in the U.S. market? Given competition from some of the most successful companies in the world, both online and offline.
We think you should start with a business model innovation before creating a technology solution.
Right now, shoppers are forced to make choices.
The instant gratiﬁcation of brick-and-mortar Along with in-person expertise. The convenience of online Along with social features.
The selection and price of superstores Great for buying specific items. The experiential nature of specialists Great for buying “solutions”
The ideal retailer would o er.... • Huge selection and complete solutions. • Expertise in every area and social features that help me find my own experts. • A store that allows customers to decide whether cost, convenience or expertise is most important for a given purchase.
This is obviously a steep climb for a relative newcomer. But what if we could build on what established brands have done rather than duplicate their efforts?
Re-imagine Indigo as a “retailer of retailers.” Provide a technology and customer-service platform that combines best-in-class retailers into a virtual superstore. Help them compete with the big boys without having to reduce their margins or change what makes them great.
The core of this proposition is Indigo Live. A web application built using Silverlight and Windows Live services that helps consumers keep track of products they want, and the WHAT WHERE and HOW of getting them
Dashboard View: Philip, Business Owner. • Philip is a small business owner with a complex life. • We see that reflected in his list - everything from everyday grocery items to office technology needs. • On the right we see that Indigo Live has searched Phillips social networks for any relevant mentions by his friends. Some are explicit posts or reviews, some are just offhanded mentions. Nevertheless the help Philip make decisions.
• We said we wanted to be able to offer complete solutions, so here we see Philip has created a “project” shopping list for his conference room remodel. The list includes basic office supplies - items where he is focused mostly on price and convenience, along with technology and furniture - things he wants some advice and integration help with. • Indigo Live has pulled all kinds of product recommendations, availability, reviews and friend comments to help him decide. • We also see that an employee of one of our partner retailers - in this case a nearby Best Buy - has been notified of Philip’s interest and has identified himself as an expert in AV solutions. Philip can now use any Windows Live method to communicate with this expert including email and IM, or schedule a meeting with him. • Indigo Live can now plan the most efficient shopping trip and show it to Philip on a map. Here we see he’ll stop at an Office Supply store for basics, an IKEA for cheap office furniture, and meet with his Best Buy expert to get a first-person look at AV equipment.
Purchasing Content: Sandra, Mom. • Digital content is treated slightly differently. Sandra is a mom who is not as tech-savvy as Philip, but uses basic online services. In this case she has created an event - 8 friends coming for dinner and movie - using Microsoft Live Events. Her shopping list includes food, wines and a movie. • Once her friends RSVP via Live Events, Indigo live begins searching their profiles to find a movie that might please everyone based on things like their Netflix cue, Amazon wishlist, Facebook movies, etc. Once a movie is found, the system shows Sandra all the different ways she can get it - rental, purchase, PPV on her cable, on-demand from Netflix. It’s up to her to weigh the cost/convenience benefits, as well as which formats she is most comfortable with, in making her decision.
Mobile Application: Manuel, college student. • Like many online services such as PageOnce and Evernote, Indigo Live includes a mobile application that is synced to web application. This is perfect for someone like Manuel who is very disorganized and doesn’t like to spend a lot time thinking about what he needs. • As long as Manuel keeps an updated list, the mobile app on his GPS-enabled phone will notify him when something he needs is available nearby. • And if he is at one of our partner retailers and a product catches his eye, a quick snapshot of a MS Tag will add the product to his list and automatically begin pulling data about it. • Finally, since many of these specialty retailers are in shopping malls, we can imagine setting up and Indigo kiosk that would read Manual’s data from his phone and notify him about places he can buy or experience things on his list.
Launch • There are tens of millions of LiveID users already in the United States. We would promote the service through Microsoft with a combination of paid media on MSN and co-branded announcements to users of Live services. • In-store and online via our retailer- partners. We would also automatically generate a LiveID account through any retailer that uses email receipts.
Extensions Mobile notifications could be integrated with in-car platforms like Ford’s Microsoft SYNC, allowing the car to help direct shopping trips.
Extensions Indigo can go beyond simply directing traffic. For a fee similar to overnight shipping, an Indigo Concierge could hand-pick items from each store and have them ready to be picked up in front.
Extensions Internet connected devices could be given permission to modify the shopping list - for example home automation systems could detect when new light bulbs are needed. Smart refrigerators could add grocery items, etc.
We believe in this solution. • For consumers, it means not having to make an explicit choice between convenience and expertise. • For partners, it means giving great specialist retailers a platform for competing with the giant superstores. • For Indigo, it means offering real expertise in many verticals and a huge physical footprint without a massive investment in either inventory or real estate. • Finally, the vast majority of this functionality is built on Microsoft Live technologies that already exist.
Creative Commons Compliance. Attribution for Photography used in this presentation: • http://flickr.com/photo.gne?id=377914105 • http://flickr.com/photo.gne?id=2766323635 • http://flickr.com/photo.gne?id=2898770164 • http://flickr.com/photo.gne?id=247986496 • http://flickr.com/photo.gne?id=447872968 • http://flickr.com/photo.gne?id=316387372 • http://flickr.com/photo.gne?id=1436365122 • http://flickr.com/photo.gne?id=2308950026 • http://flickr.com/photo.gne?id=3099108110 • http://flickr.com/photo.gne?id=35554938 • http://flickr.com/photo.gne?id=41916187
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