William Hogben

CEO, FutureProof Retail

William Hogben is cofounder and CEO of FutureProof Retail. Prior to FutureProof William designed, developed and produced mobile apps. His first app was one of the 500 that launched the App Store. His apps have been featured in the New York Times, #1 in Entertainment, Best in Category at CES, and tweeted by Zuckerberg.

FutureProof Retail, started in 2013 by an experienced team of app developers (and impatient shoppers), brings a unique focus on ease of use to self-service systems.

The whole FutureProof team has deep experience in creating mobile & enterprise software applications. Our prior work experience includes the creation of branded mobile applications for Fortune 500 companies and sophisticated enterprise-class SAAS applications.

FutureProof Retail is a privately funded company with offices in New York. Our operations team is able to deploy locally to help your IT staff integrate your system.

  • Posted on: 08/02/2018

    Who in retailing’s c-suites should drive customer experience?

    The biggest problem isn't what department owns CX, it's whether they can get the required inter-departmental cooperation to achieve it. CX can't be silo'd because it happens online, in-app, in-store and at home with the packaging. It's multidisciplinary, and it's about empathy - two traits retailers need to prioritize if they care about customer experience.
  • Posted on: 07/27/2018

    Can store associates do anything about rude customers?

    To quote Marcus Aurelius: "Tell yourself: The people I deal with today will be meddling, arrogant, dishonest, jealous, and surly. They are like this because they can’t tell good from evil. But I have seen the beauty of good, and the ugliness of evil, and have recognized that the wrongdoer has a nature related to my own -- not of the same blood or birth, but the same mind, and possessing a share of the divine. And so none of them can hurt me. No one can implicate me in ugliness."
  • Posted on: 07/26/2018

    7-Eleven franchisees have to pay up to stay in business

    Raising franchise prices makes sense if they re-invest that in capabilities that help all franchisees. If 7-Eleven does a good job of communicating the specific benefits they will use these funds to bring to owners, I believe they can be seen more positively. Retailers need to invest in transformation now, and that costs money. If they don't raise the fees, but see their relevance decline over the next 5 years, that wouldn't be an improvement.
  • Posted on: 07/02/2018

    Will California’s new privacy law set the standard for data protection?

    There's no harm in these laws -- they simply require you to get customer opt-in, which is an ethical requirement whether it's legal or not. The retailers who complain the most about this make me uneasy joining their loyalty programs -- sounds like they're selling my data to lists, etc. These privacy protections don't even go as far as GDPR, which are excellent protections, and many tech companies today that need to support GDPR in EU are supporting it wholesale in the US as well. Retailers who are concerned about this should channel that concern into writing nice, clear value propositions to their customers: this is what you will get if you grant access to your data. Ultimately, this will improve consumer trust and relationships -- at least among those companies that decide the customer's right to control their data is part of putting their customers first.
  • Posted on: 06/25/2018

    Dollar General pilots scan & go tech

    Hi Steve, As a provider of mobile self scanning solutions, I can speak to whether shoppers are more likely to use it for small purchases. The surprising answer is: No. In all of our stores, grocery, micro market, stadium and fashion verticals, the average shopping basket in dollars and items is the same or greater than without mobile self scanning. In fact, we often see people on very large shopping trips preferring mobile self scanning because they get to track their total before the checkout: useful when you're buying $400 worth of groceries for the week!
  • Posted on: 06/25/2018

    Dollar General pilots scan & go tech

    Brandon I agree with you in the short term, that mobile checkout is not a game changer. However, I think it will become a game changer -- because it encourages shoppers to adopt the retailer's app -- bringing the retailer into their pocket wherever they go. This is key to improving marketing, ecommerce, communications and customer service, you name it. Without a good reason to engage shoppers on their phones, brick and mortar retailers will struggle to gain their shoppers' attention!
  • Posted on: 06/25/2018

    Dollar General pilots scan & go tech

    Hi David, as a provider of mobile self scanning solutions I have some expertise on the shopper profiles that adopt it: It's not what you might expect (younger, wealthier) -- in fact it's equally distributed among older shoppers, across genders and across income levels. 90+% of shoppers now have compatible mobile phones, and when you're shopping on a budget being able to see the total before the checkout is a bigger value than you'd expect!
  • Posted on: 06/25/2018

    Dollar General pilots scan & go tech

    Hi Mark, As a provider of mobile scan and go technology (FutureProof Retail) I have some expertise on why shoppers have had lukewarm reactions to many previous programs: They've been implemented more like POS software for associates than consumer-grade easy experiences. For example, most retailers who build their own systems have more than 12 taps in the signup process, and average over 7 fields of information to fill in. Kroger, Stop & Shop and others who tried even required customers to fill out a paper questionnaire and hand it to customer service for data entry, before they could use the program. We recently launched another of our Scan & Go solutions for SPAR Belgium, and we've seen high adoption and retention there right off the bat by minimizing the up-front efforts for consumers to get in. I believe that the adoption of scan and go technology will only increase, as retailers start to build more polished and streamlined experiences as compared to their early attempts today.
  • Posted on: 05/01/2018

    Can retailers appeal to both ‘fast’ and ‘slow’ shoppers?

    Give the shoppers tools that put them in charge of the pace -- like mobile self scanning. Shoppers who are in a hurry will be grateful and the more traditional shoppers benefit too, from shorter lines at legacy checkouts.
  • Posted on: 04/20/2018

    What are retailers missing about building a workplace culture?

    One "bad" employee has more impact than 10 good ones, so focus on identifying and fixing those problems before you worry about the rest. You can't screen new hires perfectly, and people change as their lives change, so you're always going to have some team-members that do more harm than good. If you have petty tyrants in manager positions, or people who are consistently negative, or folks who deliberately bring down the people around them (whether they can help it or not) you need to intervene, and if they don't turn around, you need to isolate or remove them. The phrase "a few bad apples" ends with "spoils the bunch" after all, and it's absolutely true in the workplace.
  • Posted on: 04/16/2018

    Can food halls become retail’s new anchors?

    Everyone's gotta eat, and that includes shoppers too. The high turnover in booths at food halls is a feature, not a design flaw -- it keeps the place feeling fresh and ensures some new interest on subsequent visits. While food halls may not be "the" anchor, the concept of a single anchor is perhaps outdated. Adding food halls to public and/or retail spaces broadens their utility and makes them extra appealing for meeting a friend, a quick lunch break, etc. FYI the quotes about saturation and rents is based on New York City real estate and density, and are of limited value outside similar environments. In NYC, most people walk or use public transit -- and more people spend their days away from home, more people eat out, and it's more driven by proximity than planning.
  • Posted on: 04/02/2018

    Walgreens focuses on healthcare services in new store format

    The path to success is to be an indispensable stop for shoppers. Pharmacy guarantees a certain amount of traffic, and adding additional health services guarantees more.
  • Posted on: 03/26/2018

    Customers want to be left alone while shopping

    The amount of human attention shoppers want is based on the type of shopping. It takes real work -- mental overhead -- to interact with an associate no matter how helpful they are. It should come as no surprise that most people, most of the time, find it easier to be on their own. Sure, it might take a moment longer to find something or make a decision -- but you're doing it at your own pace without the social overhead of having a human helper.
  • Posted on: 03/20/2018

    Macy’s CEO discusses mobile checkouts and other planned changes

    Macy's is miles ahead of its competitors in digital and it may be the only department store to really survive this retail transition. Offering scan pay go is a major step forward and will help make their store attractive to the people who prefer shopping online because of the convenience. It's especially interesting that Macy's chose to build this capability in-house, rather than working with a company like ours. I hope they will see a lot of success with their solution and that maintaining a competitive mobile experience won't turn out to be a drain on their resources. Other retailers who are looking to compete with Macy's on mobile will find it's expensive -- a quick search of LinkedIn shows more than 50 employees at Macy's with "mobile" in their title.
  • Posted on: 03/16/2018

    Amazon/Whole Foods planning store pickup service from third-party retailers

    Broadly speaking, Amazon's experience with their online grocery business convinced them that many shoppers will be going to physical grocery stores for a long time to come. Since they can't bring grocery shoppers to online ordering, they're going to bring online ordering to grocery shopped. The stores will be distribution hubs and cut down on shipping costs, as people pick up their non-grocery purchases in the same trip they pick out their lettuce.

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