PROFILE

Di Di Chan

President of FutureProof Retail

Di Di Chan is the President and Co-Founder of FutureProof Retail, a New York-based company with the mission of bringing touch-free frictionless shopping technologies into physical retail stores. FutureProof leads in providing simple, quality, and customizable Mobile Checkout and Mobile Order Ahead solutions for retailers.

Di Di is a global entrepreneur who is passionate about technology, education, and sustainability. Her experience and network in over 15 different countries directly shape FutureProof Retail’s global vision, bringing their solutions to three continents and five different types of retail to date. She holds an M.A. in Economics from New York University and a B.A. in Global Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles.

To learn more visit: futureproofretail.com

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  • Posted on: 01/18/2021

    Does a Staples/Office Depot merger now make more sense?

    Makes sense if they are trying to IPO again. It's the fastest way to acquire a bigger market share and boost valuation.
  • Posted on: 01/14/2021

    Is Amazon on its way to becoming America’s favorite grocer?

    Pandemic grocery winners are those that are most innovative and quick to adapt. The most popular technology used to address the pandemic is touch-free scan and go mobile checkout. Reaching over 30 percent shopper adoption at some of their stores, Fairway Market in New York City set the industry standard with their mobile checkout platform. New York's Westside Market is also the first to incorporate indoor location search and navigation (using SIRL's technology) and AI digital scale (using Tittler's technology) in their mobile checkout application. Sam's Club and Sainsbury are top tier grocery retailers that are leading scan and go with record growth and adoptions. Other grocery retailers offering touch-free scan and go technology as a competitive advantage include McKeever Price Chopper, Big Y, Spar, Okay, Co-Opportunity, Mother's Market, HyVee, Walmart, Kroger, Wegmans, H-E-B, AHOLD, Tesco, Waitrose.
  • Posted on: 01/14/2021

    Which emerging tech will transform marketing this year?

    Currently, the most significant technological impact on marketing strategies is personalized marketing capabilities. Using shopping data and other relevant inputs to make real-time personalized recommendations gave e-commerce a substantial competitive advantage. For example, Amazon's recommendations engine has boosted sales by up to 35 percent. Halla's food recommendation engine uses AI to offers similar capabilities for other retailers. The technology platform that will unlock the next level of marketing capabilities is scan and go mobile checkout. Like e-commerce is used as a platform for online personalized marketing, mobile checkout is the platform that enables personalize marketing offline. Mobile technology in stores is already unlocking real-time marketing, smart analytics, AI capabilities, mobile payment, touch-free checkout, location navigation, and more.
  • Posted on: 01/08/2021

    Should your DNA data be used to sell products?

    No! I don't see consumers being OK sharing their genetic data for marketing purposes and I don't see companies significantly benefiting from additional DNA data either. There are plenty of effective personalized recommendation engines that are way less intrusive.
  • Posted on: 01/06/2021

    Have retailers solved their long line problems?

    Even before the pandemic, waiting in long checkout lines was the number one customer complaint. The pandemic makes waiting in line not only annoying but also potentially dangerous. The fastest-growing solution to help retailers manage lines is scan and go mobile checkout because it can solve lines and offer many more digital capabilities into physical stores. A good mobile checkout platform is easy to install, easy to promote, affordable, and extremely scalable. For example, New York's Westside Market incorporates SIRL's indoor item search and location navigation and Tiliter's computer vision digital scale as part of their mobile checkout platform. Halla's personalized recommendations engine is also being tested in stores and seeing promising base boosting results. Top retailers that have already adopted scan and go include Fairway Market, Westside Market, McKeever Price Chopper, Mother's Market, Big Y, Hyvee, Mother's Market, Spar, Okay, Walmart, Sam's Club, Kroger, Wegmans, H-E-B, AHOLD, Dollar General, Macy's, 7-Eleven, Disney, Dick's Sporting Goods, Saintsbury, Asda, M&S, Tesco, Waitrose, Co-op, Londis, and Budgens. Fairway Market and Sainsbury's are leading the industry with over 30 percent shopper adoption already.
  • Posted on: 01/05/2021

    Are local retailers ready to flex their omnichannel muscles?

    Independents have the advantage of upgrading much faster because most are not contemplating if they should reinvent the technology wheels and build their own in-house solutions or beta test on their own customers. When they are ready, they will collaborate with trusted technology partners with proven industry results to bring the right solutions to their stores.
  • Posted on: 12/29/2020

    Are retailers set up to scale the value of AI investments?

    Often, when there is a new technology solution in the market, there's a lot of media attention centered around the theory of technology instead of its practical use. AI can do many things, but it's only helpful to retailers when used to solve an existing priority business problem faster, better, and cheaper. For example, AI is great for personalized product recommendations. Amazon generates 35 percent of its sales through its recommendations engine. Similarly, Halla's AI engine is trained using recipe data and natural languages to easily plug into a retailer's e-commerce and/or scan and go platforms.
  • Posted on: 12/23/2020

    Will online delivery go more eco-friendly post-pandemic?

    Absolutely! Sustainability is only going to become more important with more time. As more people become aware of the environmental impacts, more people will choose and demand a sustainable option. When there's enough demand the supply will follow too.
  • Posted on: 12/22/2020

    Is free at-home pick-up of online returns practicable?

    A home return pickup service is very convenient for customers. If retailers offer this service to their shoppers directly, this strategy is only affordable with economies of scale. Walmart, Amazon, and the largest retailers will have a significant competitive advantage, and smaller retailers will have a significant competitive disadvantage. It might be a better idea for delivery companies to partner with a lot more retailers and offer this service to shoppers directly. I'm sure many shoppers will be happy to pay a small delivery fee to be able to shop at a lot more places.
  • Posted on: 12/18/2020

    Does David’s Bridal need a loyalty program?

    The wedding industry's loyalty program feels unromantic, but the statistics are there to make the business case. According to U.S. Census data from 2013, over 9 million Americans have been married three times or more. That works out to roughly 5.3 percent of the total married population. Add in referrals to their friends, and there are enough potential referrals to be a win-win. Personal referrals are the cheapest and most effective marketing schemes.
  • Posted on: 12/16/2020

    It’s time for innovation or stagnation

    Don't think about innovation as the destination. The business is always the destination. Innovations are simply the method or tool that solves existing problems better. Ask: how to solve a specific pain point? How to improve on the current process? How to enable shoppers and staff to feel safer and more welcomed in stores? How to better retain and engage with customers? How to better attract new customers? Lead with essential business questions and be open to innovative solutions.
  • Posted on: 12/15/2020

    What if Barnes & Noble had produced ‘The Queen’s Gambit’?

    Absolutely! The opportunity is there, it can be quite rewarding, but it is risky and not easy to pull off. Retail has always been more than just selling products. Retail is a human business, and there are many exciting lives involved in the final productions. Content for retail is often carefully managed into tailored advertisement campaigns. It is vulnerable and risky to dive too much more in-depth. The risk is rejection. Many stories are not polite, proper, or politically smart. With cancel culture trending, a wrong move today will be extra costly. The opportunity is also significant. Product placement in popular shows already proves another level of marketing capabilities. Jumping from product placement into direct storytelling is the next frontier to explore. Like chess, there are so many moves that can go wrong. It takes talent, intuition, investment, and a lot of practice to pull off the Queen's Gambit.
  • Posted on: 12/11/2020

    Are stores going to turn into ghost towns?

    Massive traffic in stores should not be the target experience. Pandemic or not, no one likes waiting in long lines. The ideal situation for retailers and shoppers is to spread out the foot traffic, so people are spending more time stress-free shopping. The pandemic changed shoppers' behavior: people are shopping less frequently with bigger baskets. People are avoiding rush hour shopping even more now. Instead of everyone crowding and rushing for one day to get Black Friday shopping done, many retailers spread Black Friday deals to an entire week -- and it's working pretty well given there's a global pandemic going on. The holiday shopping season will be more spread out, and that's not a bad thing. Having more shopping days with fewer crowds could become a very nice shopping experience upgrade.
  • Posted on: 12/10/2020

    What will it take to get shoppers back into stores in 2021?

    Most shoppers want to go out and enjoy the full in-store shopping experience again—retailers with a system that enables both shoppers and staff to feel safe enough to do so will have a significant advantage. Reaching over 30 percent shopper adoption, the fastest-growing in-store technology solution to address the pandemic is touch-free scan and go mobile checkouts. Top retailers incorporating scan and go as an option in stores thus far includes Walmart (as part of their Walmart+ benefits), Sam's Club, Kroger, Wegmans, H-E-B, Ahold, 7-Eleven, Dollar General, Macy's, Disney, Saintsbury, Asda, M&S, Tesco, Waitrose, Co-op, Londis, Budgens, Spar, Okay, McKeever Price Chopper, Westside Market, Fairway Market, Mother's Market, and Big Y.
  • Posted on: 12/09/2020

    Are humans biased against AI-driven recommendations?

    Humans input databases that train AI. The quality of the AI recommendations will depend on the quality of their input. Likewise, AI will also learn whatever biases they are taught to mimic. Not all AI systems will perform the same because they are not getting the same input. Amazon generates 35 percent in sales through its recommendations engine. To compete with that, you either have to have a big database to train or smarter inputs. For example, Halla's specializes in AI recommendation for the grocery space. Their AI recommendations engine is unique because they use natural language and recipe input to generate much better recommendations results than average. Marketers should test different approaches and pick based on performance and results.

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