Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Technology in Mobile Commerce

The Seattle chapter of Women in Wireless had their second successful meeting on June 14th with the theme of Technology in Mobile commerce. It was a full house of around 80 women that turned out to actively network and participate.

The panelists were a high powered, diverse group, including Julie Averill, Vice President of Selling Technologies at Nordstrom, Sarah Kuberry, Director of Research and Development at Concur, and Matt Gamboa, Co-Founder and Director, Product Development at QThru. The event was moderated by Eve Stacey, Chief of Staff, Operator Channels, Microsoft.

Julie Averill of Nordstrom went first, and since she opened up her presentation with questions the engaged audience took the initiative to learn from her and was soon directing the discussion.
She emphasized that Nordstrom was committed to “meeting customers where they are digitally” and that the multi-channel customer’s spend is always higher. She alluded to a future where Nordstrom’s clients would tell them what brands and stores they liked and that once they had opted in then the app could push an alert about a store, brand, or event that they might find interesting. In addition, she said that Nordstrom was doing some testing in terms of personalization and that we might see some things around loyalty in the future. Sarah Kuberry went next and also gave a very entertaining and animated discussion about Concur mobile and how they help with travel expenses. She also talked about Concur’s strategic acquisition of Tripit, the #1 app in the paid travel category. As a bonus, she had multiple free Tripit trials for the audience, and many appreciative women went up to her at the end to thank her for her presentation and snag one of her free trial cards.

Next up was Matt Gamboa who presented Qthru’s mobile self check-out solution, originally built for Costco. When the audience saw his short film and demo, they began to give him a lot of feedback on what things Qthru might be interested in pursuing. He finished his session by saying that Qthru was going to become a platform, groceries were only the first step as he anticipated leveraging the app for retail in the future.

In addition to the presentations, there was an incredible buzz from the amount of networking going on throughout the evening, and many participants said they were impressed both with the high caliber of the questions and attendees. The event was hosted at MakerHaus, a new coworking space in Belltown that has a true Seattle vibe since it is a wide open, plant filled space with a variety of sophisticated and stylish hipster style furniture as well as an open kitchen centered around a free standing bar. There was a beautifully prepared spread of hors d’oeuvres, including bruschetta, tiny mozzarella, pesto, and basil sandwiches, brie cheese, and a selection of beer and wine.

The event was only possible with the generous support and charismatic presence of Teresa Bordenet, Director of Sales at Telmetrics, Inc. Apptentive was the community support partner, whose two representatives Red Russak and Ezra Siegal, graciously agreed to help publicize and participate at the event. The event was captained by the Seattle chapter’s leadership team, which includes Lauren Brown, Lisa Sali, Charl Lee Pearce, Susan Richwagen, Ellyce Shulman, Eve Stacy, Sheryl Tullis, Annette Barnes Promes, Cecily Robyn Lough, Christine Lehrer, Taiba Choudhary, Almut Sidow, Sonia Wharton, and Lori Sheldon.