Editor's Note: Key Retail Trends From eTail West
I’m writing this Editor’s Note from the eTail West conference in sunny Palm Desert, Calif., and I’m dizzy with excitement over all of the new and fun things I’m hearing about in the cross-channel retail industry. Here are two key themes I’ve heard while at eTail that I think you should be aware of:
Digital Disruption: A key trend for cross-channel retailers to keep their eyes on is the growth of direct-to-consumer selling. “Big brands are building online more quickly than ever before,” said Dana Settle, founding partner of Greycroft Partners, a venture capital firm that focuses on companies in the digital media space. “All of the pieces are in place in terms of infrastructure for them to do so. They can source product very easily with very little capital, for example.”
Settle, who was speaking on a keynote panel discussion about emerging and current customer retail trends, said that while it’s easy for big brands to have an online presence, it’s not easy for them to sustain their growth.
“Anyone can easily go online today, so when we look at a company before deciding if we should fund it, we make sure it has the relationships in and an understanding of its target market in a way way that nobody else does. Finding those companies is the mystery, science and art of venture investing.”
Technology and Big Data: As more business is transacted by consumers via multiple channels, more retail marketers are focusing their attention on data and the technologies to analyze it. “With so much business happening on the web, on mobile devices, on tablets, offline and online, the sheer amount of data available to marketers is vast,” said Ajay Agarwal, managing director of Bain Capital Ventures, who also spoke on the same keynote panel with Settle.
Melissa Campanelli is Editor-in-Chief of Total Retail. She is an industry veteran, having covered all aspects of retail, tech, digital, e-commerce, and marketing over the past 20 years. Melissa is also the co-founder of the Women in Retail Leadership Circle.