Marketing strategist and entrepreneur, Sri Sharma, will address retail’s changing technology landscape at CJU17 in the session, “Technologies that will Transform Marketing and Ecommerce.”
Sri is the co-founder of Increasingly, a technology solution that increases basket size through product bundles, and a technology enthusiast who closely studies market-changing innovations. Sri recently received a NASA exponential technology fellowship.
Amid preparations for CJU17, we asked Sri to give us a taste of what to expect in his session.
CJ: As a technology trends watcher, what, in your view, is one of the most exciting things going on in digital marketing right now?
Sri: By far the most exciting for me is AI. Today we have narrow artificial intelligence. In 10 years we will have AI as smart as one human. Some futurists predict that within 27 years, we will have AI that far exceeds what we are capable of, which is known as super intelligence. Thinking of a world where every problem can be solved is incredible, and how we perceive the world will radically change.
CJ: For those unaware of your background, tell us a bit about your career within the digital marketing industry.
Sri: I first worked in internet strategy at Accenture. I observed the exponential rise of Google very early and from this launched the performance marketing specialist Net Media Planet. I then launched the digital agency NMPi. Both businesses became market-leading and won awards including, Highly Commended Entrepreneur of the Year, Deloitte Tech Fast 50, plus 30 digital innovation prizes including Econsultancy's Innovation Prize.
CJ: How did you come to start Increasingly? Were you influenced in any way by your technology fellowship in the US?
Sri: I'm massively influenced by my technology scholarship at NASA. I was surrounded by leading minds in AI and wider futuristic technology. They helped shape the thinking and the approach we took [at Increasingly] in using neural networking and natural language processing.
Increasingly was born because we saw a huge disconnect between the ability for retailers to drive cross-sell in-store versus how retailers drive cross-sell online. In-store retailers can encourage product placement and store reps help customers buy. Online the greatest evolution in cross-selling is product recommendations. For example, “people who buy that also buy this.” We wanted to evolve what currently exists in the market, having seen Amazon use product recommendations and dynamic product bundling that enables 'one-click' purchasing of multiple items. We built Increasingly to help retailers to do what Amazon does in dynamic product bundling.
CJ: What is the most important technology trend that every affiliate manager should be paying more attention to right now?
Sri: I think the next biggest game changer will be voice-enabled internet. Gartner predicts that by 2020, 20-30% of internet queries will be voice-driven. In that world we will see voice shopping take off. That is a true game changer for ecommerce. I'll talk more about this and some opportunities in this world in my session at CJU.