Future of retail

Macy's just announced that it would be closing 100 retail stores, and this is indicative of a broader trend in the retail industry with many companies struggling in the brick-and-mortar business. Other major retailers closing stores include Kohl's and Sears. But this is interesting: Macy's said it would now be focusing on its online business.

When you look at the industry as a whole, e-commerce goes beyond simple online shopping. Now more than ever, it's about mobile shopping. In fact, research has found that people are shopping on their phones more than on their computers. Our phones really are an extension of who we are, and retailers really are looking to tap into that and develop relationships with us through our phones.  

One company doing that very well is Nordstrom. Its app has been getting rave reviews because it maintains the level of customer service that Nordstrom is known for. The company sees mobile as a way to engage with the consumer, track their preferences, and open a dialogue to complete the customer service experience.

We are also starting to see a hybrid brick and mortar and e-commerce experience. One company doing that well is Bonobos. It has real stores where you can look at the clothing, but you can't actually go home with any of it right there and then. Instead, you try on the items, choose your favorites, and then order it all online.  

A big business opportunity is here. Mobile sales reportedly more than doubled between 2013 and 2015, and there is still a lot of room for expansion as we transition into the next era of retail.