Holodeck Shopping in Malls is the Future

Posted by Matt Sartor at 8:16 am in Adaptive Commerce, Personalization

Buying presents for people is not always one of my favorite activities. When discovering a gift for someone is inspired, and heartfelt, I actually experience a certain amount of joy when making the purchase. That special someone in my life will most undoubtedly understand my fondness for them, especially now that said fondness is partially represented in a tangible form.

I typically happen upon such gifts by chance. I usually start by having someone in mind that I genuinely want to express my feelings to, knowing off hand what the best gift would be for that person. These are indeed the most gratifying gifts to give, but they are not easily found. You commit to the hunt, though, envisioning the affection and gratitude you will assuredly receive once you have handed them over to the person you deem worthy.

A long time ago, in a suburb far, far away, I would travel to the mall — a large building or series of connected buildings containing a variety of retail stores and typically also restaurants — days before Christmas. With cash in my pockets and the silly hope that the best possible gifts would make themselves apparent to me, I trekked from store to store over the course of a full day. By the end of my shopping trip, my spirit of generosity had waned. The greatest gifts often remained hidden from me and after determining that something was better than nothing, I settled for lesser gifts trusting that ultimately it’s the thought that counts.

Decades later, I find myself reverting to that kid in the mall with money to spend and no idea where to spend it. I am disheartened that I often still face the same challenge when looking for gifts for family and friends. I know these people. I know their likes and dislikes. I even know where they like to shop. Yet finding that special gift still proves challenging. While eCommerce has definitely simplified many aspects of shopping for me, I feel as though it has only increased the size and scale of my problem. The “mall” has expanded. So many stores. So many products. Where are you, rare and wonderful gifts?

I would love this to be the part of the story where Edgecase comes in and fixes everything. 🙂 Wouldn’t that be something? While we certainly haven’t fixed online shopping just yet, this challenge is why I joined this incredible company, and why we are growing. This year, Edgecase helped hundreds of thousands of online shoppers discover the products they were actively looking for (or didn’t yet know they needed). Every day, we continue to take steps toward making online product discovery easier and more intuitive for people like you and me.

When I use our product, I imagine myself walking into one of my favorite stores and having a designated room off to the side, with my name in lights above the door, just for me. This room would be lined with empty shelves, until I spoke, communicating the what I know about what I want to better narrow the items I would like to peruse. “Show me everything under $50.” Incredibly, all the all the items in the store that fit that criteria would be right there for me to look at in my very own room. “Whoa. That’s a lot of stuff. Okay, show me just the bar tools and wine accessories under $50. Nice. Show me more like this one item. Very cool. Now books. I’d like to see books. Ooh. Three books on beer, all well under $50. My wife’s brother is a home brewer and has been known to read from time to time. I actually think he would love this book on craft beers. I’ll take it.”

Sounds amazing, right? Well unfortunately, in-store Holodecks aren’t currently on our roadmap, but we can get pretty darn close to that experience with our platform today. And finding books on craft beer, that actually happened. Easy and inspired, the way shopping for gifts is supposed to be.

As this gift giving season comes to a close, we look forward to all that this next new year will bring. We hope you will consider being a part of our story. If you are interested in learning more about all that we do today and what we are planning to do next, please give us a call, or request a demo. Until then, happy shopping, and Happy New Year!

Matt Sartor

Matt has spent the past decade working extensively with account management, sales, product, and engineering teams to deliver exceptional client experiences for Fortune 500, and IR 500 clients. As the VP of Client Services, Matt ensures that our clients are set up to experience the full benefit and value of our platform. His teams work to integrate, analyze, and iterate on our solutions to continually improve the ROI we deliver to our clients.

Follow Matt Sartor on Twitter @mattsartor

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