Last week I wrote a piece entitled, Amazon Go Means No More Status Quo. The piece not only heaped praise on Amazon but also highlighted how Amazon Go, over the long-run, is about far more than the mere buzzwords of “checkout-free shopping” — the thesis being that, if one studies Amazon Go closely, he or she will see that it already hints at the next great innovation in retail history, the personalized physical store.
While I expected and even predicted the news back in February that Amazon would roll out more stores this year, I did not expect, in less than one week from publishing this most recent Go piece, that new activities would emerge that would validate this thesis even further.
The news this week comes from Alibaba and Nike.
Alibaba will in July debut its new FashionAI concept store, a store in which Alibaba plans to supercharge smart mirror technology with RFID, machine learning, and computer vision to bring mix-and-match styling options to its consumers anywhere they shop, and, in this case especially, in store.
Similarly, Nike has created Nike Live, a new concept store in Los Angeles that leverages digital data from the surrounding user community to tailor in-store omnichannel experiences to their needs, like try-on and order pick-up, as well as to determine the product assortment the store carries.
Nike says the product assortment in the store will even rotate every two weeks!
Like the objects in a car’s review mirror then, retail’s next great innovation — the first fully personalized physical commercial experience – is now even closer than it may appear.
Retail is a creature of habit. Take a look at the below timeline for some 30,000 feet in the air perspective:
- Old As Dirt: General Stores, Mom & Pop Shops, Local Markets
- 1950s/1960s: The First Shopping Mall and Walmart and Kmart Arrive on the Scene
Every 30 to 40 years something big happens in retail. It is only a matter of time then before the next wave of innovation crystallizes. Something important is likely to emerge between 2020 and 2030, and companies like Amazon, Alibaba, and now even Nike are doing their damnedest to ensure that they are leading what is to come rather than risking being left out in the cold,…