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William Hogben

CEO, FutureProof Retail

William Hogben is cofounder and CEO of FutureProof Retail. Prior to FutureProof William designed, developed and produced mobile apps. His first app was one of the 500 that launched the App Store. His apps have been featured in the New York Times, #1 in Entertainment, Best in Category at CES, and tweeted by Zuckerberg.

FutureProof Retail, started in 2013 by an experienced team of app developers (and impatient shoppers), brings a unique focus on ease of use to self-service systems.

The whole FutureProof team has deep experience in creating mobile & enterprise software applications. Our prior work experience includes the creation of branded mobile applications for Fortune 500 companies and sophisticated enterprise-class SAAS applications.

FutureProof Retail is a privately funded company with offices in New York. Our operations team is able to deploy locally to help your IT staff integrate your system.

  • Posted on: 06/22/2020

    Is Apple being too cautious?

    The Apple Store (and many other electronics stores) are worst case scenarios: Fixed products on display that customer after customer comes in to handle. They try the feel of the small phone, then they try the feel of the large one, then they pick up the different colors -- then they tap around on the demos, etc. The number of hands on these products is way, way more than a typical store setting. Retailers need to be focussing on no-touch shopping, and these are literally "touch" screen products.
  • Posted on: 04/06/2020

    How can stores get social distancing right?

    Fairway Market in New York is using mobile self-scanning to reduce merchandise handling and get shoppers out of lines - they've seen 30 percent adoption at their peak location.
  • Posted on: 03/09/2020

    Can retailers ensure stores are coronavirus-safe?

    Hand sanitizer is a good start and all retailers should be offering this. Less talked about is paid sick time for employees - if retailers don't offer that then their staff WILL get customers sick with anything that's highly contagious like 2019-nCoV. Retailers who do offer paid sick time should advertise it now, they'll get my shopping preference for sure.
  • Posted on: 10/29/2019

    AI needs to be more than just a bright, shiny object

    Just measure it. It's that easy. Run a side by side comparison vs your current algorithms and make the vendor prove the difference. Anything else is irrelevant. Boil the AI's performance down to a few basic variables, like conversion rate and unsubscribe rate. Then benchmark as many vendors against it as you like.
  • Posted on: 10/22/2019

    What should retailers do when brands post fake reviews?

    Retailers can avoid backlash over fake reviews by positioning themselves as a platform and not a publisher -- as the agent of the customer and not the brand. The reviews section is a free for all, as long as the retailer is not amplifying fake reviews or otherwise tilting the scales, bad behavior by other reviewers isn't going to come back to them. Particularly concerned retailers can add a "report this review" option to make it really clear to the consumer that they're not endorsing the content or engaging in deceptive practices.
  • Posted on: 06/28/2019

    Digital brands find inclusivity is the ‘right thing’ to do for business results

    Is the idea to identify consumers by their race/ethnicity so we can stereotype them in our messaging? Of course, only stereotypes we think they'll like right? In my mind, ethical marketing segments consumers by activities like browsing/buying behavior, not by attributes like age/race.
  • Posted on: 06/24/2019

    How do consumers define cleanliness in grocery stores?

    Lighting is key -- fluorescent lights, any kind of flicker, or a blue/cold hue spoils the feeling of cleanliness. Consistency of signage is important, too -- signs may be dirt and dust free, but if they look cluttered that will signal mess and dirt subconsciously. Pick 1-2 colors and fonts and stick to them. The worst offender in most grocery stores is old tape and signage attached to surfaces -- places where a sign was put up that has begun to fray/fall apart, a piece of paper that has gotten wet and begun warping and yellowing, etc. If cashiers are relying on handwritten notes behind the counter, the handwriting quality counts too.
  • Posted on: 06/18/2019

    Are Shark Tank-like competitions a path to retail innovation?

    These competitions will grow because of their PR value but they're a dead end for actual innovation. Like hackathons, the format promotes style over substance and concept over execution -- absolutely the opposite of what delivers real results in retail. However, for a company looking to bump their stock price, it can be a worthwhile investment -- just don't start driving tech decisions from a judges panel.
  • Posted on: 05/15/2019

    Is Apple’s App Store a monopoly?

    I have been an app developer on the App Store since the day it launched, and now more than 30 apps later I haven't spotted any signs of them trying to influence app prices higher. They've always charged the same 30% to everyone since the beginning. I also publish on the Play Store and see no noticeable difference between the two in regards to pricing.
  • Posted on: 05/09/2019

    Are machine learning and AI the path to enhanced personalization?

    Machine learning and crowdsourcing/community building are the only scalable paths to personalization and both take considerable startup investment.
  • Posted on: 03/28/2019

    Is Dick’s making the right move by bringing its software development in-house?

    Dicks' current software vendors should take this as a wakeup call - Dick's would rather reinvent the wheel than use yours!
  • Posted on: 02/17/2019

    Will Google’s modular tech change how consumers buy smartphones?

    Did computers go modular? Do you cobble together your laptop from a bunch of parts? No, it's an inefficient way to design a nice system -- each part now needs to be adjusted to fit a more specific form factor, the system can't be as optimized or efficient as a whole when the components are swappable.
  • Posted on: 02/08/2019

    Are ‘spiritual’ brands more marketable than ever?

    The word "spiritual" is an empty vessel in practice - it conveys no specific meaning instead each consumer imagines their own interpretation. It's like salt, sprinkle it on any product name to add some flavor.
  • Posted on: 01/31/2019

    Social media responsiveness builds Millennial loyalty

    I think this is a subset of “responsiveness builds loyalty” or the inverse, ignoring people makes them not like you. Retailers shouldn’t worry about responsiveness to Millennials or on social media specifically, they need to be responding to customers wherever and however the customer reaches out.
  • Posted on: 08/29/2018

    Amazon’s warehouse workers become social cheerleaders

    It's not a fair game, but with so many players trying to shape the conversation online, it's not unexpected either. We can't control what makes it online, so the best bet is to make sure you, your friends and your kids understand the way online conversation shaping works and can apply critical thinking and skepticism.
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