We are witnessing a tech-tonic shift in the way that goods and services are bought.
There is no doubt, we see the changes around us in retail. You can see the countless quarterly earnings from the mainstays in the business, coming in with lackluster results.
Some are fighting back the beast we know as amazon – whether it is Best Buy with experiential buying, or it is TJX (TJ Maxx et all) with the value-based offering.
But tech is changing all this – we are just beginning to see this happening. Of course, mobile devices are becoming a standard in actual purchases (not just browsing) whether it is Amazon Prime, Google Express or others.
But Google and Amazon are now being rivaled by Uber – making delivery of products locally easier. In cities such as New York, getting a bike delivery is a snap and much cheaper than what it used to be.
Then you see Amazon Echo, Apple’s rumored hardware device for Siri and the battle for the home front continues. Samsung fridges with intelligent screens, one-click replenishment orders…
Technology is enabling some amazing things and AI (artificial intelligence) with machine learning is evolving at a faster pace that you can imagine. I just got my first AI-admin assistant who schedules meetings.
Retail is certainly changing and the current players are struggling to identify ways to remain relevant and retain loyalty. But there is a bigger shift in the entire process of buying and selling. Amazon and Ali Baba are enabling small buyers and sellers to connect directly. Buying a product made in Indonesia is no longer challenging. In fact, setting up a business in another country – registering for tax and licenses, and conducting commerce is extremely frictionless.
As you shop, browse and buy goods – take a look around at how all this could look so different in just a few years.