ENGAGE 2016: How Wayfair, Rogers, Raizlabs & the Red Sox are Changing the Future of Mobile

We always try to close out our ENGAGE conference with a star-studded panel discussion, and this year was no different.

We were honored to welcome Adam Grossman, Chief Marketing Officer for the Boston Red Sox, Gregory Raiz, CEO of Raizlabs, Corby Fine, VP at Rogers, and Bill Gianoukos, GM of Mobile at Wayfair, to our closing panel on “Changing the Future of Mobile.”

The panel, led by our CEO, Raj Aggarwal, focused on how mobile will evolve over the next 3 - 5 years, the challenges that organizations are facing now, how to tackle the seemingly never-ending battle of user churn and how to effectively use messaging to engage users before they churn.


Adam Grossman kicked the conversation off by talking about the challenges that professional sports teams face when it comes to mobile experiences, as most teams do not have full rights to their content. In the case of the Red Sox, Major League Baseball owns those rights and thus fans download the MLB app rather than a Fenway Park app. On the plus side, MLB has made great strides with its At Bat app, which lets fans live stream games from outside of the team’s home market. So if you’re a Red Sox fan in San Diego, you can still watch your favorite team take the field each night.

When asked where mobile is headed, Bill Gianoukos from Wayfair was quite enthusiastic about how Wayfair will continue to use mobile to improve the way people buy furniture and home goods online. Today, mobile represents 51% of all purchasing on Wayfair and Gianoukos expects that to continue to grow.

Bill also talked about how Wayfair is leveraging AR and VR to help users make better home buying purchases on their mobile device. Very soon, Wayfair app users will be able to use their app to pick an item and visualize that item into their own room at home in 3D. This capability is actually already available now in 2D, but it’s about to get even more awesome.

Corby Fine from Rogers offered great perspective on how mobile has positively impacted his 50+ year old company by encouraging cable subscribers to conduct more self serve transactions via the app.  However, the company still faces the challenge that many companies are facing - who should own mobile?

At Rogers, the Chief Customer Officer owns all of the digital channels, call centers, field support, tech service and credit opps, but another group owns retail. With different owners of different channels comes conflicting KPIs. This has made it difficult to understand the true impact of mobile on the organization, though the company has made a lot of progress in recent years of simplifying the KPIs and building more alignment across the different groups.

Greg Raiz also offered interesting perspective from the app development side. Greg predicts that mobile will follow the same trajectory of the web. The Web evolved and started to impact consumer behavior, but it took a while for consumers to want to make purchases on the web. Eventually, sales shifted away from catalogs and telephone sales and moved to the web. Greg sees the same trend in mobile now, from the early skepticism of whether consumers will actually download apps, to if they engage with apps, to now will they help drive commerce and conversions.


"Mobile apps are incredibly good for your most loyal customers." Gregory Raiz, CEO, Raizlabs 

While apps add a lot of value, Greg was quick to caution organizations against expecting their app to be effective with non-customers. It is crucial for app users to have a deep relationship with a brand or company. Once that relationship is established, app users tend to stay more engaged. 


Want to watch more sessions from ENGAGE 2016? We’ve got you covered.


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