Toward civilization

If war has an opposite, it’s not peace, it’s civilization.

(inspired by Ursula LeGuin writing in 1969)



Civilization is the foundation of every successful culture. It permits us to live in safety, without being crippled by fear. It’s the willingness to discuss our differences, not to fight over them. Civilization is efficient, in that it permits every member of society to contribute at her highest level of utility. And it’s at the heart of morality, because civilization is based on fairness.

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Customer Experience Versus Just Experience: Why The Difference Is Key To Brand Relevance



Customer experience aka CX is one of the most important trends changing business today. And, experts believe that it represents the next big competitive advantage for companies that invest in it. But what is customer experience exactly? It’s one of those terms (and movements) that is defined and interpreted differently depending on who’s talking about it within the organization. But without a common appreciation for customer experience and what it represents to customers, not just our view of them, our CX efforts may not be as effective as we think.

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Time to Move from E-Commerce to E-Commpetition!

Since the advent of the consumer internet in the mid-1990s we’ve heard and seen the word e-commerce some several billion times as it has blended into the smoothie that is today’s societal lexicon.

Funnily enough, it’s only now that the last laggards are finally beginning to spin up e-commerce sites as they realize they’re slowly sinking deeper into their single channel swamp.

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What have we become? (And what are we becoming?)


Every day, we change. We move (slowly) toward the person we’ll end up being.

Not just us, but our organizations. Our political systems. Our culture.

Are you more generous than the you of five or ten years ago? More confident? More willing to explore?

Have you become more brittle? Selfish? Afraid?

Grumpy and bitter isn’t a place we begin. It’s a place we end up.

Do we intentionally choose the optimistic path? Are we eagerly more open to change and possibility?

Every day we make the hard decisions that build a culture, an organization, a life.

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Videos and Visions: Of Omni-Channel and Airports

VIDEOS & Vision

So… what does the future of retail look like and what might an airport have to do with this?

Well first off, Omni-Channel’s a great buzzword, but how best to define the term and how can retailers (and even airport authorities) get from where they are today to the promised land?

This week’s share ‘Videos and Visions: Of Omni-Channel and Airports’ seeks to shed more light on both the definition and growing manifestation of future state omni-channel retailing.

To get started you should check out part of Jim Tompkins video ‘The Titans’ specifically focusing on his third game changing strategy ‘Omni-Channel Retail’

The entire video is 34 minutes long (well worth a look) but for today’s purpose have only selected the last 15 minutes in which Jim puts forward one of the most condensed, compelling and complete definitions of omni-channel retail I’ve seen to date!

Sure hope you enjoyed Jim Tompkins expanded views on omni-channel retail and how mastering same will truly be a game changing strategy for those retailers who successfully cross the chasm.

Evolution to omni-channel retail is all about transforming the customer journey and what better place to begin talking about journeys than the airport!

Omni-channel evolution is all about taking the ordinary, re-imagining what could be and then recreating the traditional customer experience into the extraordinary.

This is what has been done at the Frankfurt Airport through their omni-channel e-commerce transformation as highlighted in this video!

How are 160,000 daily travellers contributing to making the Frankfurt Airport the largest shopping mall in Germany?

The answer is e-commerce integration leveraging space and time to uncover opportunities for travellers to take better advantage of time during delays, stores in other terminals of airport and keep up with gate changes to ensure packages get to passengers before departure.

These opportunities also extend to arriving/returning passengers who can have their groceries ready for pick up upon their arrival/return to conveniently take home with them regardless of the time of day.

All of this was developed for Kai Schmidhuber of Frankfurt Airport courtesy of Kian Gould and the team at AOE, along with Magento, representing just one more example of how omni-channel continues to transform how we’ll all shop in the future!

Let’s now re-imagine all of the ordinary in a digital lens to see where space and dead time can be leveraged; the waiting room, concert venues, commuter trains/stations, sports stadiums, the gas station and even the shopping mall are all places ripe for re-invention.

Time to digitally rethink the ordinary to discover and create the truly exceptional.


Jeff Ashcroft

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Future of Retail as an Omni-Channel ‘Internet of Things’




Future of Retail as an Omni-Channel ‘Internet of Things’ | Jeff Ashcroft | LinkedIn

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Seven Signs Your Retail Business Needs an Omni-channel Makeover

Are your retail customers finding you less attractive lately? Consider your position on the seven signs shared below, and you may decide your retail business needs an omni-channel makeover!

This is not just an idle suggestion we’re making, as the omni-channel retail buzz is quickly becoming a roar and with good reason.

Not since the advent of price tags, cash registers and the ubiquitous apparel hanger has there been a retail industry innovation poised to create such major change.

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Disruptive Technology is Disrupting Behavior

I study disruptive technology, specifically innovative technology that gains so much momentum that it disrupts markets and ultimately businesses. In the past several years, disruptive technology has become so pervasive that I’ve had to further focus my work on studying only disruptive technologies that are impacting customer and employee behavior, expectations and values and affecting customer and employee experiences. I can hardly keep up with today let alone consider the potential disruption that looms ahead in every sector imaginable including new areas that will emerge and displace laggard perspectives, models and processes.

The image above represents the focal point of my work in 2009 – 2012. I called it the “Wheel of Disruption” (WoD) and it was meant to document and convey that the “Golden Triangle” of real-time, mobile and social, surrounded by the cloud, was inspiring incredible innovation and thus producing new and disruptive new apps, tools and services.

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IBM Delivers Online Merchants New Cognitive Capabilities That Turn Commerce Insights into More Powerful Customer Experiences

CommerceInsights_Social Tile

Watson Analytics Allows Brands to Use Everyday Language to Identify Hidden Data Connections and Drive Better Business Performance

IBM (NYSE: IBM) today (Dec 3rd) announced new commerce capabilities that help online merchants easily gain the insights needed to evaluate category and product performance and make quick and effective merchandising decisions. Leveraging cognitive capabilities from Watson Analytics, IBM Commerce Insights allows practitioners to gain a real-time view into customer behavior and market factors that are impacting their business, proactively identify opportunities and roadblocks and take informed actions to increase sales and business performance.

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Tracking Our Next Digital Steps

Screenshot 2015-10-25 19.18.17

It’s been a bit of a whirlwind since the launch of X. In the last two weeks, I’ve hosted conversations about the promise of experience design in London, Düsseldorf, Oslo, Sydney and Geelong.

Somewhere along the Atlantic, I was asked to answer a few questions ahead of my arrival in Geelong for the Pivot Summit by Courtney Crane of the Geelong Advertiser. Thanks to the magic (or curse) of inflight wifi, I was able to make her deadline. But it was more than a Q&A, it was the purpose of the conversation that stopped time to reflect on how this once bustling city is proactively investigating how to build upon its history to adapt for the future.

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