Special report: Data, AI, IoT: The future of retail (free PDF)

Retail shopping has entered the era of digital transformation, forcing traditional brick-and-mortar businesses to adapt to new e-commerce and mobile-commerce models to stay competitive. This ebook, based on the most recent ZDNet/TechRepublic special feature, looks at the latest tech-driven trends in the retail industry and explores what lies ahead.

From the ebook:

Digital transformation is affecting all aspects of our lives, but the retail sector is experiencing particularly severe turbulence at the moment.

On both sides of the Atlantic, there are regular news stories about store closures and job losses on the high street, and the underlying dynamic isn’t hard to identify: an accelerating shift away from in-store shopping towards e-commerce, particularly via mobile devices (a.k.a. m-commerce), with Amazon the keystone species in the new ecosystem.

This trend doesn’t necessarily mean that the high street is heading the way of the dinosaurs. However, the selection pressure on retail businesses is changing, and those that fail to adapt certainly face decline and even extinction.

Today you can research a product, compare prices, order and pay for it, and often have it delivered to your door the same day—all from an internet-connected computer or smartphone (and increasingly, simply by instructing your smart speaker to make the purchase). That’s why traditional retail businesses based on brick-and-mortar stores urgently need to update their business models for the Amazon age.

There’s a wealth of analysis and survey material available to elucidate these trends, with suggestions as to how retailers should adapt to them. This introduction explores some of these studies and extracts the key messages. Check out the rest of ZDNet’s ‘Future of Retail’ special report, including specially commissioned research, for more detail on the companies, vendors and technologies that are leading the digital transformation of the high street.

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