The Physical-to-Digital Transition

Out of about 300 headlines in my RSS Reader yesterday, a few really caught my eye and got me thinking – one in particular: Business Insider’s article The Brick-And-Mortar Retail Store Is Headed For Extinction (The Evolution of the Retail Store).

Stories like that one really catch my attention, since most of my time in my day-to-day consulting gig is spent with retail & travel companies – typically the big, legacy, brick & mortar establishments.

This morning, another, similar story passed through my reader: Now Selling More Kindle Books Than Print Books.

It was really interesting to catch those two articles on each others’ heels. Sure, there are dozens more stories every day just like them, but out of the whole stream, I thought that those two, together, summed up the current state of affairs in the Physical to Digital Transition quite nicely.

I don’t agree fully with Business Insider in the somewhat sensational headline that the “retail store is headed for extinction.” I do agree that it’s changing, and will continue to change. Data shows that at every turn. I agree with some of their ideas for how it changes (that it becomes smaller, becomes a marketing footprint, etc.) That begs further questions, though – if “marketing” owns the store footprint, what’s the trade off? What other legacy marketing channels lose funding as a result?

[Full disclosure: I don’t work with Amazon as a client, but I work with other retailers, and Amazon is a client of ours… I have peers who work with them.]

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