Jeff Jordan of Andreessen Horowitz has written in a compelling piece that we are in the midst of a profound structural shift from physical to digital retail.
Having written about the need for the retail industry to undergo a reboot myself, he's preaching to the choir.
What the above graphic (from the article) illustrates are the segments of the market getting most disrupted by online.
Between 2007-2011, in these segments online gained $35B in sales, while bricks and mortar lost $30B in sales.
In the big picture, there are four trends that are transforming everthing in retail:
- Ecommerce: Push button purchasing, payment and physical delivery is alive and real;
- Mobile Cloud: Post PC is mobile, social, client, cloud and context. It's growing to 10 billion devices. The field of play has changed dramatically.
- Generational Shift: The generation that read the paper, used the yellow pages and eagerly checked the mail is fading. That irrevocably changes how merchants connect with consumers. How could it not?
- Big Data: The data 'firehose'' from back office to market facing is wide and deep. The ability to visualize the flow of a business and tune its mechanics will yield many new and interesting personalization, marketing and marketplace experiences.
Not to long ago, Marc Andreessen astutely observed that "Software Is Eating The World."
What's playing out in retail is emblematic of this truth.