Technology will change retail shopping – but it’s not what you think | Taylor Romero | TEDxMileHigh

Technology will change retail shopping – but it’s not what you think | Taylor Romero | TEDxMileHigh

Translator: Rhonda Jacobs
Reviewer: Ellen Maloney In August of 2014, my wife Becca
decided she was going to quit her job and open a boutique. Her idea was to combine
a clothing store and a barber shop. It would empower men so they felt great
and looked great from head to toe. A totally cohesive,
transformative retail experience. And I said what any sane, rational,
business-minded husband says when their wife proposes
a completely insane idea: “Let’s do it.” (Laughter) So June 5th of 2015
at 44th and Tennyson, we opened. And right out of the gate, we decided we were going
to use technology to its fullest. We were going to blur the lines
between online and offline because, you see, in the future, the Internet’s going to be
all around you. You won’t be able to escape it. It’ll connect everyone and everything, and we’re going to lead the charge. And one day, we were vetting our vision
with our friend Drew, and he said, “Well, bro, like, you know,
I don’t know, I don’t really like-
I hate technology, man.” “Hold on, Drew. Firstly, you’re a millennial;
it’s illegal for you to hate technology. (Laughter) Secondly, you really
don’t hate technology. Everybody loves technology, and the only way I’ll accept the,
‘I hate technology claim’ is if the person making that claim came here today naked on a horse
without a saddle! (Laughter) And if you did, I’d tip my hat to you except I don’t want to risk
bringing manufacturing into this. (Laughter) It’s not that you hate technology; it’s just that most people just follow
the law of technological adoption. And I know this is a real thing
because I read it on the Internet. (Laughter) It goes like this: Everything invented before you were born:
it’s just how it’s always been. Everything invented
before you turned 30: innovation. (Laughter) Everything invented
after you turned 30: Satan.” (Laughter) This is science; you can Google it. Okay, alright, where were we
before Drew interrupted? Oh yeah, Internet of the future. It’s best illustrated
with a little story I heard. There was a period of time where you could count the things
that you owned that had a motor. Maybe it was an electric fan
or a washing machine, or, if you were an early adopter, a car. But, as motors became
easier to manufacture, they became more accessible. You lost count of the things
you owned that had one. Introduce: the microchip,
and for a period of time, you could count the things
that you owned that had a microchip. Maybe it was your brand new calculator,
or your digital alarm clock, or the family PC. You guys remember that;
it sat on the floor and was the size of a washing machine,
and came with, like, 20, 40 AOL discs? (Laughter) But, after enough time, you lost count of the things you owned
that had a microchip. I bet right now, every single one
of you in this room can count the things that you own
that connect to the Internet on one hand. You’ve got your laptop or your PC. You’ve got your smartphone-
it’s like the same thing, right? You’ve got Xbox or PlayStation,
or some entertainment device. Mark my words: In the next ten years,
you all are going to lose count of the things that you own
that connect to the Internet. No exaggeration:
Everything will be connected. (Laughter) It will be washing machines
and refrigerators and mattresses, or even things totally decoupled
from the things they control, like levers and switches,
or even just buttons. “Oh bro, like, buttons? Uh, you know, who needs
Internet-connected buttons, man?” “Are you going to do this,
Drew, the entire time? ‘Cause look, if you’re asking
that question, it tells me you don’t know
how innovation works. Because it’s not like someone’s
going to come up to you and say, ‘Hey, look, I have a button.
What do you want to do with it?'” (Laughter) “Hmm, we should
connect it to the Internet.” “That… that doesn’t make any sense.” No, you see, desperation
breeds innovation. (Laughter) My wife’s shop is very much
a reservation-based business. You can book with a barber
for a cut and a shave, or a clothing consultant
to help you pick out clothes, and, oh, oh I see, you totally thought
I dressed myself this morning. (Laughter) I get that a lot. But for cereal, we’re a startup, which means we can’t afford
to be turning away walk-ins because we’re understaffed. So what do we do? Got it. We’re going to take that button,
to connect it to the Internet. Then, every time we turn away a walk-in,
we’re going to press it. It’s going to generate a report
telling us the days of the week and the times of the day
we’re turning away the most business. It’s going to give us
intelligent scheduling. We’re going to gain insights,
and oh, my favorite part: It’s going to be real time. “Oh, bro, you know, like, real time?
Everybody’s got ADD these days.” “Oh my gosh, Drew, you’re still here! Look, it’s not that everybody has ADD. It’s that everybody loves
instant gratification.” (Laughter) “Phbbt, nuh uh, man, not me,
you know, I have patience.” “Oh yeah? Oh yeah? Tell me Drew,
how does this make you feel?!” (Laughter) You’ve been there. Buffering makes you want
to punch everything. (Laughter) But you’d be surprised how much you put up with buffering
every day without complaint. It’s true. For example, let’s say you’re on
your favorite shoe website, you’re browsing around,
you find a pair you like, you want to see
if they have it in your size, so you click it, and wait a full minute
for the page to load. Oh, it gets worse, it gets worse! Because once the page loads,
you see they don’t even have your size. (Laughter) You would never use that website again! So why is it when you go into a shoe store
and you find a pair that you like, you’ll wait up to five minutes
while an associate rummages in back to see if they have your size? I’ll tell you why. Because it’s the way it’s always been. For my generation,
buffering is unacceptable. So, we built this app
right into the shoe display. You browse, you find a pair
that you want, you tap it. Name, vendor, size, and quantity in stock. Buffering destroyed! (Laughter) Here’s something interesting: Each one of you brought in today
the ultimate buffer-destroying device. It helps you stay in touch, get breaking news, see if anybody else in the theater today
is single with just a swipe. (Laughter) It’s your smartphone. Smartphones: awesome. “Nah, bro, like, smartphones
are ruining society. They’re turning everybody
into zombies, man.” “Oh, I see, you think cell phones
are socially-isolating devices. You say that like it hasn’t been the case
since the beginning of portable media!” (Laughter) (Applause) (Cheers) “Nah, man, that’s different
because they’re reading local news so they’re still connected
with their neighborhood, man.” I’m watching what my best friend
is having for lunch. (Laughter) Doesn’t get much more connected than that! (Laughter) But ultimately, it comes down
to how you use it and a smartphone, used effectively, is the most empowering device
in human history. For example, you book
an appointment at my wife’s shop, and just before you arrive,
the team is sent this notification. It’s got your name, your email,
your phone number, number of visits, how much you like chit chat, because sometimes
you want to be left alone, right? The service, the time, your photo,
notes the team has left about you, and notes you’ve left for the team. And one day, a notification came through from a gentleman
who’d never booked before, and the note that he left the team, it said, “I’m deaf.” So Dee, his barber, she runs up to me
and says, “Did you see?” “Yeah.” “Well, what are you going to do?” Well, we offer everybody a drink
when they come in, so get him a bottle of water?” “You know what I’m going to do?” “What?” “I’m going to practice my sign language.” “Well, that’s brilliant! I guess I’ll get
that bottle of water ready.” (Laughter) A few minutes later,
a gentleman approaches, and because we have his photo,
we know it’s him. And he comes in
and he says, [mouths words]. And I say, [mouths words]. (Laughter) [Mouths words] But then he turns to Dee,
who says, (Gestures). (Laughter) To which he replies, (Signs). And naturally her response is,
“Whoa, whoa, whoa.” (Laughter) “I don’t really know sign language. I just memorized how to say ‘Hi,’
‘Welcome,’ ‘Thank you for coming.'” So she takes him back, sits him down. 30 minutes later, he’s a brand new man, and he’s smiling, and we’re smiling, and he thanks us, and we thank him, and he exits the shop, and he stops
right in front of our big sign, which is also connected to the Internet. (Laughter) He pulls out his smartphone, snaps a selfie. Later that evening,
I pull out my smartphone, and I go into Facebook and I look him up, and I’m humbled to see
that he has made that selfie his Facebook profile photo. (Aww) The future is coming,
and its not what you expect. You’re already used to your cell phone
being connected to the Internet. Get ready for the Internet of Things. Get ready for Internet-connected
buttons everywhere. Shoe displays, coffee tables,
even dressing rooms. I know, I know. It’s really scary now,
but you’ve done it already. “Oh, I always get such a crappy
Internet connection.” Get ready to feel the same way
about your couch. (Laughter) But you know how we’ll know
it’s a good thing, just between us here, just right here? Because when the couch of the future
goes down for a software update… (Laughter) And our kids or our grandkids
are sitting on it going, “Oh my god, this couch is useless! (Laughter) Aargh!” Because you know they’re going to. (Laughter) We can politely remind them
that it’s okay, the couch isn’t useless, it’s just temporarily
the way it’s always been. (Laughter) (Applause)

Danny Hutson

76 thoughts on “Technology will change retail shopping – but it’s not what you think | Taylor Romero | TEDxMileHigh

  1. It's a great talk, but it's trying to legitimize certain things that aren't needed.

    Why would anyone ever need an internet washing machine when it cannot load itself. Or an internet couch?

    I see things like this as the equivalent of me driving down the road to the shop, instead of walking to it. You go too far in this direction you end up as the people in Wall-E.

  2. He is been truetfull… is here , cars and semis that drive themselves… your cel is keeping track of most of our daily routine , factories run by computers… we are becoming … what would you call ?? is everywhere… just dare to look… we are programmed to be… to accept and not…of people and things… is best to get educated in a critical / analytical mind… nothing is just because… averything is in the cause and effect world… if we add the motherly love to this becomes even more passion… in a clear mind can be good…otherwise may spell trouble or worst… like look at peoples soul… not just the outside… life is much more… needs be…

  3. Haha dude we should connect. You are hilarious 🙂 I love where your heads at. Keep up the great speeches. Maybe I can stop by your business for a haircut.

  4. I'd love someone to do a pentest on his store and his IOTs. I bet there are loads of holes in it. Wait until they have a data breach.

    Still easier to just go down to my local barbers and just walk in. See how many people were in before me and then know when I'll be next. Simple.

  5. Yes.. trying too hard and so very rehearsed down to inflection and hand gestures etc….. couldn't get through first 2 minutes.. speak naturally..

  6. Polarizing chap (see how the reviews below are split) but i enjoyed it thoroughly and had a few light bulb moments as a result. Thanks!

  7. I really enjoyed the video. He's surely amazing and entertaining. However, pretty much everything he spoke about is quite known….there wasn't something very 'New'.

  8. Mera friend jo ki furniture mart run karta hai mujhe er4u suggest kiya tha aur maine bhi ise purchase kar liya hai. Main isse inventory, bills generate karta hoon aura b kisi aur software ke bare main soch bhi nahi sakta. Thanks er4u Er4u ko call karne ke liye number hai 9893544430

  9. the scary thing is he's right hundred percent like the night that day is coming and as that day comes you lose your freedom the government will know more about you I for one welcome the side I don't pay taxes on certain things that will change when they turn cash into cashless I love my cash because it keeps them at my business for now

  10. In my opinion, this talk did not meet the usual standard of educating us on new ideas. It appeared to me more of entertainment about an interesting topic, and using a lot of humor to help us understand it. At the midway point I had to stop the stream because I was not feeling educated enough. In my opinion, TED should not allow this format to become a trend. I listen to TED videos on automatic loop in YouTube and I prefer my TED videos to be fascinating rather than simply entertaining. Thanks.

  11. Make people laugh by rediculing the oppositions arguments and they will believe your arguments, oldest trick in the book.
    The internet of things will also make people jobless and poor so how will they pay for all these things? Benefits only get you so far and where will taxes and benefits come from when less people work? Last quarter -17 smartphone sales dropped 9%. Jobless growth already shows in the US and it's because of automation which is exponential and will cut off half of the american jobs by 2050 or even sooner depending on which expert you ask. Same is coming for the rest of the world.

  12. The internet is exactly what us millennials want – instant gratification. We have little patience since we have grown up with all this technology. I like when he talks about how inpatient we are online while shopping, but we are willing to wait in long lines for something in a store.

  13. Really funny and informative talk. He has great vision for the future and it'll help others to propel a lot of new ideas. And also the guy is crazy funny…xP

  14. Dude, love it! Refreshing to see something funny about the future, instead of something apocalyptic. "This couch is useless!" Awesome!

  15. Interesting POV, and many good insights. I just wonder about all those "the way it's always been" moments of the speech…that gives me the shivers LOL

  16. tedx is NWO agent
    govts and corporates are spreading misinformation and painting overly utopian future images through every means and destroying freedoms and choices of citizens…
    world should realize that ideas are never new or old…they r just good or bad.

  17. Just try to understand the concept of his talk…."Technology will change retail shopping"??????I got a couple of messages, but this guy is not efficient enough ! good luck

  18. So, the whole point which really shows that technology is worth giving away our privacy and loosing millions of Jobs is that in the event of a Deaf client coming in,our assistantwould lhave time to learn a couple of greetings in the sign language which would make the client happy enough to get a selfie which would contribute to the success of the Shop just cause prospective clients who happen to search for him on facebook will find a picture of a happy person after a haircut,but not because of the haircut, but for the fact that every body knew he was Deaf before hand. Amazing.

  19. We will wait in store without thought but a second of online shopping pages loading and we leave the site and never return….

    Mind blown.

    We blame smart phones for antisocial behaviours but don't even notice that before phones it was books and news papers…

    Blown Mind blown.


  20. I'm a retail analyst and I have to say this talk was brilliant. Personalization through technology is the future. Best of luck with your business, and hopefully you'll consider expanding into Canada at some point as you grow.

  21. Having employees enter data about a client’s general disposition or personality traits such as “frequently chatty” or “not chatty” ?? Wow really?! What else do beauty stylists share about their clients? No one in the salon should be describing
    a client’s personality and especially over the Internet.

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