20 Nov 2020

Webinar Summary: The Future of Retail and E-Commerce in a Post COVID-19 World


With holiday retail season right around the corner, many brands and consumers are wondering what the holiday shopping season is going to look like this year—and going forward. Recently, as part of the Arthur Rock Center for Entrepreneurship programming, Professor Rajiv Lal chatted with panelists and entrepreneurs Anthony Soohoo (MBA 1999), Sarah Kauss (MBA 2003), and Scott Friend (MBA 1995) about how the retail and e-Commerce industry is changing in this COVID/post-COVID world.

Here are some predictions and insights for the holidays and beyond:

1. This holiday season, companies and brands that help customers find joy at home will see a surge, while clothing, brands may not. (10:21)

2. Retailers will need to continue to meet customers where they are (and consumers will continue to shop online)—this means focusing on digital first. (5:20) (18:32)

3. Contactless payment will continue—and become more popular! (9:18) (21:10)

4. Post-COVID, the travel industry (and all things surrounding it) will see a massive spike. (11:00)

5. Sustainability and brands with a cause will be more important than ever. (13:35)

6. It will be challenging for retailers to keep up with consumers' expectations for delivery speed—two-day shipping may feel slow post-pandemic. (21:18)

7. Post-COVID, consumers will want a more visual retail experience. This may mean involving more AR/VR in online experiences or converting brick and mortar retail space into showrooms for an experiential shopping experience. (20:33)

8. Companies will rethink physical retail space to make it more dynamic. Flexible retail space would allow brands to be in certain locations at certain times. (23:10) (24:37)

9. More companies will look to invest in AI/machine learning to run their supply chain. (32:38)

10. There is lots of room for entrepreneurs to innovate around supply chains to make things faster and smoother for companies and consumers. (37:44)

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