To say that we've been loggins some serious air miles this week, would be an understatement.
At Branch, we've been on the move. From our snowy HQ in Minneapolis, we've hit the road to a number of conferences and events this week.
🎰Las Vegas --> 🌴Los Angeles --> 🌵Austin
Earlier in the week, our team visited Shoptalk, the annual retail convention:
Then, we headed for much warmer temperatures in Los Angeles for the annual Montgomery Summit:
Branch Heading To SXSW
But today, our team is headed to Austin, Texas for the 2019 installment of South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive, the annual arts, music, and tech festival that places Austin squarely in the center of the technology world during mid-March.
This will be our first major visit to the tech conference, and under uniquely exciting circumstances.
This year, we've been nominated as a finalist for the 22nd SXSW Interactive Innovation Awards in the "New Economy" category.
Together with our fellow nominees, we've been selected for our work in helping to redefine some aspect of the sharing economy, exchange of goods and services, virtual currency, micro-finance, and mobile-device-payment systems.
Our nomination is connected to Pay, our effort to help hourly employees forecast and access their pay. Pay unlocks much-needed financial liquidity and insight for hourly workers and gives large enterprises a long-awaited solution to increase employee retention.
SXSW: Retail An Important Part Of The Story
Traditionally, SXSW has hosted the hottest startups and tech companies. Big announcements are made and flashy products are unveiled to much anticipation.
This year, we're excited to see -- and be part of, a number of retail companies that will be part of the annual convention. It's not a suprising development as the worlds of digital are influencing much of the retail one.
Big players like Amazon constantly are influencing what happens in a world predicated on 'gotta have it now, next-day delivery.
At the same time, there's been a number of digital-only retailers who are helping to carve out their niche in the retail echelon. And, a number of legacy retailers like Walmart, Kohls and Target have seen dividends in the last year as they've spent time and money exploring how AI, technology, and other digital innovations can help their customers have a better, more engaging buying experience.
Here's just a sampling of the retail conversations that will be happening this weekend down in Austin:
Nike + Lululemon - talking about why athleisure and streetwear apparel are outperforming other fashion categories.
Walmart's CTO, Jeremy King, will discuss the store's role in advancing their e-commerce strategies.
Kohl's manager of AI will chat about how it's helped boost in-store sales.
Macy's will talk about how technology has helped improve customer friction points.
As the media and naysayers continue to advance the narrative of a dying retail landscape, it will be interesting to be around so many people who are excited for the industry's future. There's an inherent need and excitement for those who are using new technology and products to reshape the consumer shopping experience -- especially things impacting consumer's in-store experience. We're really happy to be part of that dialogue with everything we're building for retailer's hourly, frontline workers.
Come Say Hello
If you're down at SXSW this weekend, stop by and say hello. We'll have the following Branch team members happy to talk about our product or demo Pay for you. Follow them on Twitter, and give us a shout-out if you'd like to meet or have any questions about where we'll be.
Here's the location and timeline you'll be able to see Branch:
SXSW Interactive Innovation Awards - Finalist Showcase
Austin Convention Center - Exhibit Hall 1
Saturday, March 9: 12 - 6pm
SXSW Interactive Innovation Awards - Ceremony
Austin Convention Center - Ballroom D
Monday, March 11: 6-9pm
- Both events are accessible by SXSW attendees holding a music, platinum, interactive, or film badge.
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