Across the month of November, we produced and published a four-part series for Inside Intercom, which explored the past, present, and future of retail and e-commerce.
We wanted to explore the retail landscape through various distinct themes – offering a range of perspectives and experiences. So we started by delving into the physical history of the store, followed by how our habits have changed, then we looked at who and what is fuelling the shift online, and finally we considered how the events of 2020 might inform how we shop, plan, and build in the future. Across the series, we heard from a wide variety of guests about what an extraordinary year it has been in the e-commerce arena. Many retailers have seen an acceleration of existing trends, while for others, it has felt like a complete transformation of how they do business.
While the speed of these changes can make it feel revolutionary, a core theme we’ve heard from guests across the series is that new technologies are actually bringing us back to a more traditional way of shopping where customer experience, personalization, and even localization are at the forefront. Could the revolution actually be a renaissance?
If you’re curious to find out the answer, we’ve brought the entire series together in one place, so you can listen below or click through to read more detailed accompanying articles by my colleague Anna Murphy.
We spoke to writer Deborah Fallows about seeing the retail landscape of small-town America from the sky; Director of City Design at the City of Melbourne Prof Rob Adams about urban regeneration for the retail space and the 20-minute city; and Intercom’s SVP of Product Paul Adams about the development and future of e-commerce.
Listen below, or read Anna’s post detailing what might be in store for the store.
We looked at how consumers’ shopping Habits have changed. To learn more about this side of things, we spoke to Loren Padelford (Shopify Plus), Michelle Curtin (Head of Personal Shopping at Brown Thomas), and Colin Harmon (founder of 3fe Coffee) about the social changes that are driving new trends across the sector.
Listen below, or read Anna’s post examining how we’re forming new habits around personalization, experiences, and subscriptions.
In our penultimate episode, we looked at the tools and infrastructure needed to facilitate the move Online. We learned more by chatting with Vend founder Vaughan Fergusson, sustainable lifestyle retailer Sheelin Conlon (The Kind), and Mixtiles‘s Ori Singer.
Listen below, or read more about how retailers are blending “bricks and mortar” with online marketplaces.
In our final episode, we looked at how this year’s holiday Present shopping could change retail forever. There had been some emerging trends across the series around a return to traditional retail values, so we chatted to Forbes contributor and retail expert Sandy Stein, and also heard from the people tasked with getting our shopping from the screen to the front door – DPD Ireland CEO Des Travers and An Post’s Eibhin Eviston.
Listen below, or read Anna’s article examining how this year’s holiday shopping period could be the gift that keeps on giving.
Original artwork for this series was created by self-taught artist/illustrator Elijah Anderson. You can find out more about his work here.