The Future of Retail—It Starts Now

When contemplating retail’s near future, it’s easy to get wrapped up in visions of drones dropping parcels on doorsteps and staff-free storefronts resembling giant vending machines. But preparing your shop for tomorrow’s retail landscape doesn’t require an advanced degree in robotics—simply a good grasp of how consumer demands and behaviors are changing and evolving. A number of major factors are reshaping the way ­modern consumers shop. The rise of mobile shopping, the ramping up of e-comm–friendly social media platforms, and the uptick of consumer options at checkout (like Amazon’s deal with the U.S. Postal Service for Sunday home delivery) are among the invisible forces rendering many traditional ways of doing business obsolete. For every retail practice that becomes outmoded, however, a new, dynamic (and often tech-based) solution ascends from the ashes. Of c

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