...go to the store! Huh, what, go, as in actually go to a store?
It sounds cruel and disrespectful to our retail partners but everyone now has a pretty firm grip on the reality of the Digital Revolution. I remember that “dot com thing” in the beginning, way back in 90’s, “way back” meaning 20 or 30 years ago. We laughed at it and many ensuing generations of tech evolution, and the nerd population that came along with it.
Never in my dreams did I think I would be a part of the 91 million “Prime” US Amazon users and I never would have forecast my shamefully selfish shopping habits. Last week I bought a car gas cap for my Jeep online… $7.00. I may have hit the very bottom of the lazy shopper pit. My buddy Nick here, bought an awesome E-bike, same story. And we like retail.
But technology is moving forward, no matter what my thoughts are about it. And because we are immersed in the convenience and benefits of the Amazon generation, most of us have not looked forward. But we should, because we are barely 1 mm into the Digital Revolution.
As an example, Amazon is a retailer…their mantra is best prices and fastest, often free, shipping. But they mostly buy, hold and sell merchandise. There are over 100 million users here in the USA. They are driving new buying habits, empowering the consumer and forcing change on brick and mortar retailers. They are also forcing change on Brands. In those good old days Brands competed for customers with product. Today it seems like Brands are competing with Brands to get their share of the ecomm pie. Maybe that's why so many previously unique Brand offerings now look homogenized and the same?
But my point is that Amazon is a mega retailer, but in India and China ecomm is a PLATFORM, a universe of all things internet, and a flat out way of life. In China alone there are 600 Million (600,000,000) daily users on Alibaba alone. This world in some manifestation will come here sooner or later…might be the one thing that keeps Jeff Bezos awake at night.
For our industry I can now see the globalization of the marketplace… imagine a product designed here in California (make that San Diego), with a prototype built here on a 3D printer, with a manufacturer who makes it just-in-time somewhere else in the world, far away, and sending that same product direct to the consumer via FedEx, let’s say in Finland….all within a week. And just to round it out, with all transactions paid in crypto currency.
Welcome to 2020…2 years hence. Can’t wait!