How to Keep Brick & Mortar Stores Competitive

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Jan. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Index Co-Founder and CEO Marc Freed-Finnegan discusses retail investment in tech on Bloomberg Television's "In The Loop." (Source: Bloomberg)

A whole architecture of other companies that want to be online?

Thank you so much.

One of the unique things about amazon if they have one of the top engineering teams in the world.

They almost happen to be in retail to the dismay of almost anyone else, but i think what other retailer seed to do it they need to catch up.

They need to invest in technology, they need to wring some of that measurement and personalization that amazon is so good at into the physical world, and that is what we are working to help them do at index.

So you think amazon smart -- model, you think everyone will jump on board here, mark?

They are investing in understanding every customer.

Every customer is logged into a browser, so start, click, they understand your preferences.

We have for that amazon generates 35% of their revenue from product recommendations, the sidebar, bottom bar, e-mails they send you.

Really are where you are as a customer.

Big about walking into a store.

It is pretty lonely, pretty anonymous, but i think it is -- i think if brick-and-mortar retailers can personalize in the same way there is a really exciting future for them.

The problem with the brick- and-mortar retail, mark, is is reset to be voluntarily given their information whereas on amazon, that process is bury frictionless.

You do not even think about the fact that you were giving amazon all of this information.

When you go into a store, they have to ask you for your e-mail address and you have to agree to get perhaps maybe in exchange for a discount but you are giving up information.


I think customers are willing to share their data and their preferences in exchange for good service.

I think amazon is a great model -- way, with all the data, don't you think we're all going to get away point where i do not want to share anything?

I don't share anything i do not have to.

I have a problem with your model and thesis here.

I think the data breaches be too bad technology.

We have retailers running windows xp, using outdated technology, so customers they do have trust cultivated to opt in, but when they share their preferences, if retailers remember the preferences, there is something great to really help everyone remember how much fun it is to shop.

Mark, i feel that there is a fundamental change going on with the giants of e-commerce right now.

Both amazon and ebay moving distribution and warehouse is, amazon with newer warehouses and places they did not used to go for fear of taxes.

They could really disrupt the ability of small businesses to succeed online because amazon is going to be there quickly.

How are you guys dealing with that at index?

We're focused on helping the largest retailers to compete with someone like amazon by having the same kind of techno oh -- of technical advantages.

Someone like amazon may be the company that come to the rescue of smaller retailers.

They are already helping them with e-commerce commerce.

There are certainly a lot of discussion about what they might do in the physical world.

Could kindle become another point-of-sale in-store?

Are they going to be able to help smaller stores with distribution?

I think it is unlikely that large resellers are going to rely on or trust amazon for those kind of services, but small retailers may become another part of amazon.

Martin, thank you so much.

Mark freed-finnegan, cofounder and ceo of index.

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