Backword: Engaging with Joaquin Ruiz

Catalog Spree CEO Joaquin Ruiz talks about digital shopping and tablet adoption with the editors of Multichannel Merchant.

What are your favorite digital catalogs to shop from?
Patagonia. It has gorgeous photography, nice video, great product and good editorial. I also like Goorin Bros.; it’s a very nice look book.

What’s the most surprising thing that you’ve learned about tablet catalog shoppers?
People spend a very long time in one sitting looking at catalogs. The average session is 20 to 30 minutes. The next interesting thing that I learned is that city browsing versus suburban browsing is significantly different. In New York City, the average session is 17 to 21 minutes, but in Fairfield, CT, it’s 26 to 32 minutes.

Give us your thoughts on tablet adoption by retailers.
When we started recruiting retailers a year and a half ago, six months before we went live, many retailers did not think the iPad—or even the iPhone or Android phones—were serious shopping devices. Now, we are seeing mandates being pushed from the highest levels within retailers that dictate they have an app presence on these devices. Within the U.S., I think that between 20% and 30% of high-end brands will be participating and developing mobile-app-based presences before the year is over. Next year, that number may be closer to 45%.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
Someone that made an impact in the world of technology products – REALLY! I was into computers from a really young age. My first computer was an Apple II. It inspired me to study engineering (Computer and Electrical). I am living the dream.

If you could have one super-hero power, what would it be?
Teleportation or magical curing powers… it’s a tough call.

What social media do you personally use (not for business use)?
Facebook. It helps me keep current with my family in Spain.

What’s on your Pinterest board?
On my Catalog Spree shared favorites, I have a hovercraft.

Other than your own, what apps do you most use on your iPad or iPhone?
TuneIn, iBooks & Kindle, Facebook, Words with Friends, The Economist

iTunes, or radio apps?
I use both extensively. Radio apps like Radio Exterior de España (RNE Radio), BBC News, NPR, CBC Radio and TuneIn are in heavy use.

What’s your favorite U.S. destination, for business, pleasure or both?
San Francisco is my favorite and it is so close. I am a lucky man.

Would your high school teachers be surprised by your career choice?
Slightly. They would guess I would be in technology or applied science but they would have guessed physicist before mobile app developer.

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