One of the most remarkable disruption because of internet, data & analytics has happened in media industry is the way we consume content. Any media company's role is to create, host, curate, distribute and monetize content. Old bundles & aggregation systems (read newspapers, 杂志s and television channels) have been disrupted by platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube. But, for creation of content these platforms are doing all the other tasks disrupting these media companies many of them struggling with reduced traffic / falling 订阅s. A similar un-bundling is about to happen in 零售, where not only will lines between online vs. offline blur but also become Destination-less & Discovery led.
那里已经有很多激烈的争论关在后期对未来零售的这个节日印度。将网上零售商GMV超过十亿美元？将线下零售终于看到了脚步排灯节？我觉得这是无聊的争论因为消费者并不关心，因为她是做既有“显示，母婴同室”（检查和研究产品下线，但网上购买;对于典型等类别的小玩意，服装等）和“网络母婴同室” (Re搜索ing online but buying offline specially for categories like automobiles, furniture & 主页s). Both channels of commerce have their strengths. Online commerce has inherent advantage of know your customer, analytics and personalization whereas 离线零售 has advantages of curation, advisory, entertainment and experience. Hence the future of 零售 is hybrid of online and offline (omni-channel). Such hybrid models not only increase the market by serving both internet savvy & dark customers and also help business create multiple touch-point for superior consumer insights to mak购物 experience much more engaging, hyper personalized and price / time convenient.
Five years ago when e-commerce started in India consumers used to distinguish between ‘high-touch’ & ‘low-touch’ products. Hence low-touch stuff like books, mobile phones, consumer durables was the first to be bought online. With improvement in trust, same day delivery and easy returns now even high-touch products like 服饰, shoes, furniture, grocery, cosmetics have started to be bought online. The real barrier now is not touch but NOT knowing about it. eCommerce companies (亚马逊, Flipkart, BigBasket etc.) are ‘Google’ for products. It's good at giving you the best-seller (head) you've heard of or one copy of a really obscure title (long tail). It's not so good at selling the mid-list - things that you didn't know existed, or didn't know you wanted, before you saw them. So, someone needs to do the demand generation - to tell you there's something you might want. Shopping needs a ‘Facebook’ for 制品. Like the machine driven algorithm of Facebook that curates today what I read online, I need an artificial Intelligence-like personal assistant that will guide me through the maze of product choices and options to curate product and services for me. While limited shelf space of a physical 零售 did the same in offline world, in the 数字 world this can happen at scale powered by social recommendations, curation and discovery. However, algorithms alone can’t do an emotional task. You will also need a human touch to make the experience of shopping engaging & rewarding.
Shopping till now has been driven by ‘intent’ and ‘destination led’. You always go to particular destination anchored around 制品/ brands/ category whether on the aisles of a physical store or even a virtual store (desktop or mobile) to buy something. The next wave of shopping will be anchored around ‘User Interests & Persona’ & will be ‘Destination-Less’. Products & services of any category (physical / virtual) will align itself to a particular persona it can appeal. Say If I am lazy and postpone my decisions to last minute, my recommendations / product catalogue will change to my situation. Perhaps at that moment, any product or service that requires minimum effort shall appeal to me. For example, instant food or ready-to-eat meals, a food delivery app, a recommendation for a quick weekend getaway or even tax saving mutual funds in case I am lazily pondering over my future. Alternatively, my wife who loves ethnic and rustic stuff will not only like ethnic wear but also antique furniture, Ayurveda, Shiva Trilogy of Amish Tripathi or 数字 folk music. Of course we are an amalgamation of several interests & persona nuanced by culture, age and context etc. adding layers of multi -dimensional complexity with irrational behaviour. However, intersection of ‘social, mobility & big data’ will be able to gradually solve this complexity.
Also consumers will NOT go with a particular intention to shop. ‘Serendipity Shopping’ can happen on any destination (a movie theatre, a music/news app, an office setup etc.) In the 数字 world this can happen at scale powered by social recommendations, curation and discovery. Say you are reading a fitness article you discover not only similar articles (as the case today) but also a fitness app like Run Keeper, a health band like Fitbit or Goqii or a Nike shoe & a gym membership. In an action thriller movie you watching you may discover the a hard core game like 'Game of War', an article on history of the Cold War or the place to buy the leather jacket the protagonist is wearing. The line between the point of inspiration and transaction will be blurred in the destination less world.