#CMPTO Wrap-Up: Attention to Retail

Thanks to everyone who made it out to the last Code Meet Print Toronto of 2013! We had three fantastic presentations from engaging entrepreneurs who made time in their busy holiday schedules to tell us about their consumer-focused initiatives.

Kicking things off was Ben Zifkin, founder and CEO of Hubba, who stressed the importance of brand management and information control. Retailers and brands want consumers to discover their products, but need to avoid the “broken telephone” effect where messaging is changed or lost when it’s filtered through different retailers and marketing channels. This principle definitely applies to bookselling — keeping metadata up to date can help avoid headaches when it comes to sharing information about a title, series, or author. Just like a company selling boots doesn’t want to leave the job of leading the consumer down the path to purchase to a random Foot Locker employee, publishers shouldn’t rely solely on bookstore staff to move their titles. Basically, it’s important to put your best foot forward by making sure your carefully crafted messaging is making it through to your end users.

Story Planet program coordinator Joe Lasko had the CMPTO crowd wrapped up in all of the amazing projects that this community writing centre offers kids and teens. From homework help to creative writing classes, this storefront operation is getting children and youth excited about writing. And who knows — with a story-making community hub like this available at little to no cost, Story Planet might be grooming some of the bestselling authors of the future!

Wendy MacKinnon Keith, founder and CEO of Digital Retail Apps, finished off the night talking about SelfPay, a new app that lets consumers go into a store and browse and buy with as much or as little interaction with store staff as they desire. Using the SelfPay app on their smartphone, shoppers can control their own shopping experience. This sounded like a marriage between shopping online and in-store. Being able try something on AND avoid the line? How cool is that? If you missed the presentation, Wendy’s slides are attached at the bottom of this post.

It was great to see everyone who came out for our final CMPTO of 2013! We hope to see you all again at the next installment: our special Tech Forum edition on March 5, 2014.