Di Di Chan

President of FutureProof Retail

Di Di Chan is the President and Co-Founder of FutureProof Retail, a New York-based company with the mission of bringing touch-free frictionless shopping technologies into physical retail stores. FutureProof leads in providing simple, quality, and customizable Mobile Checkout and Mobile Order Ahead solutions for retailers.

Di Di is a global entrepreneur who is passionate about technology, education, and sustainability. Her experience and network in over 15 different countries directly shape FutureProof Retail’s global vision, bringing their solutions to three continents and five different types of retail to date. She holds an M.A. in Economics from New York University and a B.A. in Global Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles.

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  • Posted on: 04/13/2021

    Will Bed Bath & Beyond’s new ad help change how consumers see the retailer?

    Once people have enough things, the next level of purchasing power unlocks a profound desire to connect with and support a better mission. Changing the message is the first step, in the beginning, to articulate a value position that shoppers can buy into.
  • Posted on: 04/07/2021

    Can the luxury industry be inclusive and exclusive at the same time?

    No oxymoron here. The exclusivity of luxury is maintained by its price tag. Anyone that can afford it is welcomed.
  • Posted on: 04/02/2021

    Kroger CEO says no one has the ‘data and insights’ that it has

    Kroger is one of the innovative leaders in the grocery space. What Kroger has built internally is indeed very impressive. Simultaneously, those technology and insights are also available for many retailers with the right technology partners. When Amazon and Alibaba started to plan their offline presence, an entire ecosystem of retail technology solutions came into the market that specializes in helping retailers identify and apply relevant data to improve their businesses. Amazon is still leading in online personalization results. Their personalized engine has gained up to a 30 percent basket boost. New York startup Halla specializes in food recommendations using natural language, and menu data input helps their clients achieve similar results with a simple plugin. Other retailers leading in the offline personalization space include Sam's Club, Sainsbury's, and Fairway Market. They are the first grocery stores to achieve double-digit scan and go the adoption - opening up the capability to deliver personalized recommendations to shoppers inside their stores too. Taking it one step further, Westside Market is the first in the nation to apply both scan and go and location navigation (powered by SIRL) inside their stores. Innovation does not happen in a vacuum. No single retailer, however impressive, will have exclusive access to the best data in transforming their stores.
  • Posted on: 03/31/2021

    Where will ‘disruptive innovation’ take the retail business?

    The magic of retail is experiential. The products sold are part of a greater story that enables social bonding and individual expression. The most disruptive technological innovations are solutions that can enhance the shopping experience without dominating the shopping experience. Ironically, the most disruptive technology will not be as noticeable to shoppers or retailers. It will just work in the background enabling a more effortless shopping experience. Scan and go is the fastest-growing frictionless checkout solution because it is cheap to scale, it does not compete with retailer's existing brands, and it places the power of checkout in the shopper's hands. A really disruptive technology is a platform that can easily connect with other innovative solutions to offer retailers an easy way to create the best in-store experience for their shoppers. For example, Westside Market in New York City is the first retailer to integrate its scan-and-go platform with SIRL's location search and navigation features. Their shoppers are the first ones who will be able to seamlessly check out with their mobile checkout app and search for items in the store.
  • Posted on: 03/30/2021

    Nike says goodbye to more longtime wholesale partners

    Nike came to fame by focusing on making the best shoes, and later attire, for athletes. Nike outcompeted first on performance. Their running shoes were unmatched for a while. They were part of the athletic community and participated in all of the relevant competitive sporting events. Then their marketing efforts popularized their brand and products for mass commercial consumption too. In the process of becoming one of the top global athletic brands, the quality of their product for the best athletic performances has gone down. It did not impact their bottom line because more and more people wanted Nike's inspiring stories. Eventually, the past excellence stories will run out as a new generation of athletes bring their own stories to light. The most important strategic move that Nike can make is to renew its reputation in being the top quality athletic performance brand with a new generation of athletes.
  • Posted on: 03/25/2021

    Are you feeling loyal?

    We are in the era of personalization; even loyalty is expected to be more convenient. The point of a loyalty program is to get customers coming back. Referrals and rewards are all nice. The winning loyalty platform will be personalized recommendations given at the right time- the moment of decision. More and more don't want to constantly think about any retail store, even with extra coupon incentives. They want to get the right offer to appear when they are in the mood to shop.
  • Posted on: 03/17/2021

    Schnucks’ new concept store is a fresh take on the grocer’s business

    Absolutely! The future of grocery (and other retail) stores will offer a lot more unique lifestyle experiences for customers to enjoy. In China, Alibaba's Hema grocery store is one of the fastest-growing stores and has gotten there by using their scan and go mobile checkout app and instant delivery services to create enough efficiencies in transforming the in-store experience. One of their main attractions is a fresh seafood bar. Goodwin's Organic Grocery store in Riverside, California, has a health and wellness lounge area and one of the most delicious homemade smoothie bars, featuring their fresh produce, inside the grocery store. Many shoppers crave more than just transactional consumption when going shopping; there is a lot of desire and opportunity for retailers to offer a complete experience that highlights a beautiful lifestyle.
  • Posted on: 03/12/2021

    The importance of strategic and tactical balance in uncertain times

    Investing in the right retail technology will help with both the short-term and long-term strategies. For example, during COVID-19 lockdowns, an easy and proven technology solution that has immediately helped grocery retailers offer a fast and touch-free shopping experience is scanning and going mobile checkout. Mobile checkout solves short-term pandemic related issues such as how to implement social distancing for grocery retailers. Simultaneously, an excellent mobile checkout platform can be customized and quickly upgraded to offer new features and better services in the future. Westside Market in New York City is a good example of a retailer that recently connected their mobile checkout app with SIRL's location navigation capabilities so their shoppers can now search for an item in stores too.
  • Posted on: 03/11/2021

    The Chipotle/e.l.f. collab has made guac eye shadow a thing

    It's about the story. Chipotle's sustainability-friendly practices combined with e.l.f.'s commitment to cruelty-free beauty with vegan products to release a beautiful limited edition collection is flipping the script on traditional retail. Instead of using traditional marketing to push as many products as possible, this collaboration uses a set of limited products to promote both companies' mission, values, and stories. Yes the eyeshadows are beautiful but more important is how it got here and why. The good vibes and fun of getting one of the fajita-colored eyeshadows becomes a story-sharing moment about sustainability and cruelty-free consumption practices.
  • Posted on: 03/09/2021

    What will the post-pandemic growth slowdown do to grocers?

    The return to everyday spending is expected after the pandemic. It is not a loss to stop operating in high-stress stockpile emergency mode. Many grocery retailers have invested in innovative technology solutions during the pandemic that will continue to improve their in-store shopping experiences long past the pandemic. For example, reaching over 30 percent adoption, the most popular grocery technology investment during the pandemic is scan and go touch-free mobile checkout. Leading grocery retailers that have invested in scan-and-go mobile checkout include Fairway Market, Westside Market, McKeever Price Chopper, Big Y, Co-Opportunity, Mother's Market, Hy-Vee, Walmart, Sam's Club, Kroger, Wegman, H-E-B, AHOLD, Tesco, Waitrose. Making their in-store experience mobile-friendly is the best way to connect with their shoppers and help make the shopping experience stress-free and fun.
  • Posted on: 03/05/2021

    Regional retail chains have the highest rated loyalty programs

    The most successful loyalty programs are those that listen and respond to the feedback and needs of the store's actual shoppers. Smaller regional chains have fewer decision-makers and one group of local shoppers to listen and respond to, so they can test, adapt, and adjust faster to create a loyalty system that works best for them.
  • Posted on: 03/02/2021

    Is off-mall where it’s at?

    It depends on location, location, location. If the off-mall places are next to cute restaurants and exciting theatre experiences, then it's a brilliant move that would generate enough success to keep that strategy. If the off-mall locations have nothing else exciting or fun nearby, then the plan will likely not generate a huge success.
  • Posted on: 03/01/2021

    Automated checkout ‘will be everywhere’ sooner rather than later

    Amazon and Alibaba validated the new frictionless checkout industry when they both came offline in 2017. The pandemic brought a lot more attention to the new frictionless checkout industry as part of retail stores' future. Overall, the pandemic accelerated many different pilot projects and investment deals into this new industry. However the actual technology rollouts accelerated to help retailers respond to the pandemic are scan and go mobile checkout solutions. Reaching over 30 percent shopper adoption at top locations, scan and go mobile checkout has established proven results and attracted a lot more retailer adoption during the pandemic. Examples of top U.S. grocers accelerating their scan-and-go programs during this time include Fairway, Westside Market, Big Y, Mckeever Price Chopper, Mother's Market, Co-Opportunity, Hy-Vee, Walmart, Sam's Club, H-E-B, Kroger, Wegmans, Dollar General, Ahold and more.
  • Posted on: 02/25/2021

    Marketers are going online more and in-person less to gather research data

    It's a myth that digital will remain only online. Investing in digital is not wrong. Investing in only online digitization analysis is already falling behind. When Amazon and Alibaba came offline in 2017, they validated a new online-to-offline direction for the future of retail. For example, the fastest-growing retail technology during pandemic times is scan and go mobile checkout, which reached over 30 percent shopper adoption at top grocery locations after only a few years of rolling out. With more than two decades of market adoption, the pandemic only boosted e-commerce adoption in the grocery space in the high 20 percent.
  • Posted on: 02/23/2021

    What’s so funny about authenticity, integrity and transparency?

    Farmgirl Flowers' is successful because Christina Stembel is in charge and represents her business story. Farmgirl Flowers is a direct reflection of Christina Stembel's vision and values. She is the critical leadership and can grow the company in alignment with what she prioritizes most. For many large retailers and brands, the founder is no longer a significant part of its story or culture. They've gotten so big that it's a group of shareholders running a collection of stores and brands. When there are many different shareholders, there are likely many different values represented. It will first require an agreement and alignment of leadership and shareholder value before a company could transparently lead with those values.

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