Austin Carr, writing for US business journal Fast Company, has put together an interesting article on the evolution of retail and how high street retailers in the US are reinventing themselves in the face of the online shopping revolution.
The shifts underway in retail are just as seismic as those of 120 years ago when the advent of the department store fundamentally changed shopping and how customers interacted with the shopkeepers and purchased merchandise.
According to Carr, “more than 90 per cent of retail sales still happen in the real world, and as relentless as [Amazon owner Jeff] Bezos is, it’s not likely he’ll swallow up all of brick-and-mortar on his own”.
“The truth is that the bigger Amazon gets, the more opportunity it creates for fresh, local alternatives,” Carr writes.
“The more Amazon pushes robot-powered efficiency, the more space there is for warm and individualised service. The more that people interact with Amazon through its AI-based assistant Alexa, the more they will crave the insight and personal connection of fellow humans.”
E-commerce founder Brian Spaly, quoted in the article, refutes the idea that everybody needs to be terrified of Amazon, and instead urges retailers to “figure out what makes them special and use those weapons to compete”.