Indix was one of three stops on the Washington Technology Industry Association’s Tech Crawl on April 28, 2016. What’s a tech crawl you ask? It’s like a pub crawl but for tech, a fun and informal way of getting familiar with the tech community as people go from one tech office to the next. It’s a great opportunity to share perspectives on technology and hear what others have to say about the future of our industry.
Since we love everything about the Seattle tech community (including just how fast we’re growing and the great diversity in companies), we were incredibly excited about the opportunity to be one of the stops along the way. We put a lot of time into planning the event; there were going to be close to 100 people attending and we didn’t want anyone to be thirsty or hungry!
By the time everyone showed up, there was plenty of beer, wine, cheese, fruit, crackers, and other goodies to go around. Our Indix branded cozies came in handy, helping guests keep their beverages cool.
Once folks grabbed their drinks and settled in, our Founder and CEO Sanjay Parthasarathy kicked off the event with an introduction on our vision and mission. It was fantastic to see so many people engaged in what we do in one room! Once Sanjay was done, some people turned back to mingling and their refreshments while others wandered into our conference rooms where we had two questions set up on whiteboards. They were encouraged to leave answers, which you can check out below.
Do you prefer to shop online or in-store?
The answers to the first question, do you prefer to shop online or in-store, surprised us. With so many people in the tech community present, we assumed that they’d be more reliant on technology and would therefore do more online shopping. Granted this wasn’t a scientific survey, but it was remarkable to see that results weren’t skewed either way. If anything is to make the case for Pervasive Commerce, it’s this!
What do we mean? As we explain in our whitepaper, Pervasive Commerce is “where shopping is pervasive and you are at the center. Every interaction with a consumer in the physical world or online will be an opportunity to sell goods and services.” The results of this informal survey indicate that people are split as to where they shop, and that it might depend on the type of item that they’re buying. For example, they might buy their shampoo online but not their clothing. Businesses need to better understand their customers and make sure to personalize their offerings for the specific type of consumer in a specific setting.
What’s also interesting is how many people prefer in-store but qualified that it was for clothing and shoes. We’ll have to see how retail stores try to combat this. When virtual reality is more widespread, we might see these people move from the in-store column to online.
What are your favorite places to shop online?
The other question asked was about preferred places to shop online. Notice the overwhelming majority for Amazon.com? We did too. In asking attendees if they thought that Amazon would someday have a competitor or if its popularity would wane most had a similar reply. They said that most companies have their heyday, but eventually die down; they don’t think that this will happen for Amazon anytime soon. We’ll have to keep a close eye on Jet and Alibaba to see if their predictions come true.
Before we knew it, the hour was up, the food was gone, and people started filing out to the next stop, Buddy. We really enjoyed meeting new people, sharing Indix with them, and learning about different perspectives on commerce and where it’s going. We hope to be a WTIA Tech Crawl host again in the future. Until next time though, we’ll have this video and these pictures to relive the memories of that night. Enjoy!