The Future of Retail Has Never Been Brighter (Thoughts from eTail West 2017)


As February came to a close and March began, some of the smartest people in retail converged on Palm Springs, California like it was some sort of e-commerce Coachella festival. As they do every year around this time, these leaders in retail got together to share a combination of insights and recommendations as to the current state of digital commerce, while thousands more of their peers listened in to hear the latest in what’s happening in this world.

Still, as anyone who’s been in “e-commerce” knows, eTail is about more than just selling things online. It has to be. As e-commerce has evolved over the past two decades its grown from an outlier and change agent to become a key component of how we shop and interact with brands. It’s past mobile commerce, multichannel and even omnichannel. Instead, now with its big brother, Brick and Mortar, it’s become just part of how we consumers buy stuff.

But is it even more than that? If this year’s eTail West conference was any indication, the answer is an absolute YES.
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2016 Is the “Year of Promotions” for Retail, with 52% Increase in Offers This Holiday Season | Business Wire


My Thoughts: What a mess. Selling commodities and competing with Amazon on the basis of price just seems like a nightmare. It’s a cheap way to compete … but is it profitable?

I’ll talk more about this on the podcast next week. So much to digest here.

 

“From BOGO offers to 40% off everything, Amazon began this process of training consumers to expect a sale, but nearly every major retailer has now joined in this costly race to the bottom,” said Sarah Engel, SVP of Global Marketing for DynamicAction

Source: 2016 Is the “Year of Promotions” for Retail, with 52% Increase in Offers This Holiday Season | Business Wire

Hey Retailers: Get Your “In-Store Pickup” Act Together


If shopping this holiday season has taught me one thing, it’s this: Omnichannel is still a complete mess.

Let’s not even get into the headaches I continue to encounter where retail stores and their online counterparts run completely separate and non-interchangeable promotions. (Yes, I’m looking at you Banana Republic.)

I’m talking the parts where multichannel retailers are actually promoting their supposed ability to make online and offline work together in a flawless symbiotic relationship: In-Store Pickup (aka buy online, pick up in-store).

Over the past few weeks I’ve utilized in-store pickup three times, and every one of those times was pretty much a disaster. Yes, I should have learned by now … but I try to be hopeful.

One of those experiences was at a Best Buy store. The other two were at Target … but the issues have been similar at most places I’ve shopped.
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