Category Archives: Retail

Vinod Khosla on Retail & Emerging Payments

It was Vinod Khosla’s Cliff notes on “What makes entrepreneurs entrepreneurial” that turned me on to Dr. Saras Sarasvathy’s brilliant paper and other works on effectual reasoning vs causal reasoning. Likewise, he is prescient in his post on Techcrunch about the areas in mobile and internet today that are silent performers. And alongside the well known areas and ideas such as Big Data, Data Reduction, Internet of things, I found the following section(s) that I have reproduced below: Continue reading

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iPhone 5, NFC & iWallet – Pick Any Two

Apple

Being on Week 3 of a self imposed Google Wallet embargo, I had instead been writing about the ongoing turf wars between Platform providers and Carriers, which is starting to sound like an episode of ‘Mob Wives’. Though the bulk of it was to be focused on Android, it became impossible to ignore rumors around iPhone 5 and NFC. Now that iPhone 5 is a mere couple of quarters away, the rumor-mill has started to churn yet again on the possible inclusion of NFC along with iWallet – Apple’s own mobile wallet initiative. Most of these indicate that an Apple mobile wallet initiative equipped with NFC is a sure bet. I on the other hand (and ever the doubting Thomas) – am not so sure. For the rest of this post I shall lay out reasons why I believe NFC and iWallet are far from a sure bet to be included in iPhone 5. Along with it comes the caveat that my Crystal Palantir that helps me see in to Infinite Loop, Cupertino has malfunctioned, which has left me equally in the dark as to what Apple may choose to do in Q4 2012. Whatever happens, I have attempted to paint the broad outlines of an Apple mobile wallet strategy, regardless of it being proximity or cloud based. Continue reading

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Google Wallet, Meet me at Camera 3

I really didn’t intend this to be my next post on the DROP Labs blog. I was not planning to write about Google Wallet – again. I have an unhealthy obsession towards it, evidence of which can be found here, here, and here. After the last one, which chronicled my On the road experiences, I pretty much decided not to write about it for a while. There were other things I wanted to write about – Issuer strategy on mobile wallets, Ongoing turf battles between Platform providers/Manufacturers vs Carriers, and then it happened again. Continue reading

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Retailers – Wake up and smell the napalm

Amazon seems unstoppable. The online juggernaut is poised to grab additional market share from local retailers this holiday season by equipping its smartphone app with a $15 incentive (or call it what it is – a bribe) for customers. It is available to anyone who while perusing the aisles of a local retailer in search of their object of desire, instead of adding it their cart, scans the barcode, finds it on Amazon and buys it outright from the online retailer. Something equivalent to being enticed to use your wife’s cellphone to call your love interest. This surely has infuriated the ranks of retailers (even those with an online presence but have a bone to pick with Amazon) and has led to cries of unfair practices. The fact that Amazon does not have to worry about paying sales tax (outside of California at least) adds more fuel to the fire. Continue reading

Apple’s disruption of the Point-Of-Sale

Apparently, rumors are abound that Apple may be planning to launch an update to its retail store iOS app that will allow consumers to utilize self-checkout for purchases of accessories and other shelf-stocked items at the company’s retail stores. I believe that with this move, Apple is taking the first step to disrupting the POS, starting with its own stores. This may be Apple’s first volley in to the emerging payments space, at the same time drawing a clear distinction between itself and other stakeholders who has invested in mobile commerce. Continue reading

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