The Future of Retail (Oct 14): Working Topic Outline

(Updated 9/26/14)

We invite registered Think Tank attendees to share the topics they’d like to see addressed during the interactive session. Here’s a suggestive working list of possible topics for the Future of Retail, taking place on Tuesday, October 14, 2014, reflecting input from our lead participants.  The event page and signup form are at

Feel free to comment with your own topics and themes or highlight the ones you find particularly compelling. Please email to with the subject “Think Tank Topics: Retail.

Key Issues and Challenges:

  • Digital consumers:  Web, Mobile, Wearables
  • Digical (Digital+Physical), Omni-channel blends vs. pure-play
  • Smart stores/in-store devices
  • Process changes: showrooms, purchasing, logistics, after-sale support
  • Tracking, targeting and location: online and in stores
  • Foot traffic and eyeballs: online, to stores, in stores
  • Changes in behavior: online and in stores, “zero moment of truth”
  • Speed to Market: fast fashion and inventory control
  • Differing strengths of physical and digital — delivery, inventory, personalization, luxury, staffing, …

Promising Solutions

  • Drones! (really?)
  • Integrating Bricks & Clicks
  • Targeting, Big Data
  • Activity and location tracking (real/virtual)
  • Checkout everywhere
  • Mass Customization – manufacturing,  packaging, offers, shops
  • Beacons, augmented reality, virtual reality, custom fitting
  • Mobile devices as shopping assistants
  • Payment innovations
  • The Subscription Economy / The Sharing Economy
  • Relationship/membership/loyalty programs
  • Dynamic bricks (pop-ups, trucks, etc.)

Change Resistance

  • Vendor view vs. customer view
  • Silos:  Bricks vs. clicks
  • Privacy and intrusiveness


Some links to background of interest are here:


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