Digital Disruption and How It’s Effecting Retail

Unless you’ve been hibernating for the last decade and haven’t noticed that digital disruption has caused a major C change in many industries, let’s start with the obvious newspapers. The newspaper industry has been under siege barely staying alive through drastic cuts, mergers, or the worst case going out of business. I get first hand evidence every morning at my local coffee shop. There a few of us that still read newspapers but the majority of people get their news on their mobile devices. The obvious line of demarcation is age, hardly anyone under thirty reads newspapers. The next domino to fall in the “digital disruption” cycle was books.

When Jeff Bezos started Amazon their primary business was selling hard cover and paper- back books. He quickly discovered the power on internet marketing through Amazon’s collaborative marketing program which simply leveraged the power of collecting customer’s purchase data. When you logged on you were presented with recommendations based on “people who these books also liked these books”. What followed was the digital disruption of book stores. Only the strongest of the independents have survived and the major chains that still exist are on life support. How does a book store compete with the concept on buying a book and downloading the book all within three or four minutes?

Even the National Football League had to recognize that in order to keep younger fans engaged with their brand that had to offer a strong digital offering. Stadiums are installing robust digital networks to allow fans to watch replays on demand, watch any other game while in the stadium and most importantly follow their fantasy league. The lesson is simple if you don’t offer the digitally connected consumer a way to interact with your brand on their mobile devices you’ve lost them as a customer.

So how is digital disruption affecting retailers? Retailers today live in a three dimensional world, their brick and mortar store, their e-commerce presence and their digital presence. Successful retailers have successfully blended the three into cohesive branding approach which allows a customer to interact with them any way they choose. Digital has presented the greatest challenge since it’s still emerging and defining itself. Some of the elements of digital allow a retailer to interact with customer almost any time and any place including while they’re in the store.

If you need to have an example of effective digital marketing and communication think Starbucks. They are constantly communicating with their customer with offers, updates on new products and capturing all the transaction data with their mobile wallet. The new buzzword is “Mobile Interactivity”. It is predicted that by 2015 the mobile commerce is market will be $341 billion dollars. The world is going SoLoMo, consumers are shopping socially, searching locally and using mobile devices to do it.

Dinosaurs die and become relegated to museums, don’t become one. Start small and make your website mobile friendly and begin a mobile based marketing campaign. There are inexpensive programs that offer a complete solution.

If you need any help in determining how to effectively communicate with the digital consumer please feel to email me any questions at