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Digital Transformation of Businesses
A selection of documents, articles, papers, videos and other content for those interested in the transformation that is required when going 100% digital in an organization. I also try to highlight the impacts, both positives and negatives of that transformation. Like it? Please click "Recommend".
Curated by Farid Mheir
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'Reverse Showrooming': Bricks-And-Mortar Retailers Are Fighting Back Against Amazon And Others

'Reverse Showrooming': Bricks-And-Mortar Retailers Are Fighting Back Against Amazon And Others | Digital Transformation of Businesses | Scoop.it
Retailers are catching on to the 'reverse showrooming' trend.
Farid Mheir's insight:

a new buzzword, reverse showrooming....

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Special report urging Quebec business to get #eCommerce going via @LesAffaires @RCEQ on their new website

Special report urging Quebec business to get #eCommerce going via @LesAffaires @RCEQ on their new website | Digital Transformation of Businesses | Scoop.it
Farid Mheir's insight:

(in french) eCommerce is picking up speed in Quebec. Les Affaires journal has just released a special issue on the topic, urging retailers to get going with eCommerce. And if you look closely you may find a few quotes from yours truly in some of the articles... ;-)


Direct link to the PDF : http://bit.ly/1tyT78z 

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Walmart Grocery Pickup Test Opens in Northwest Arkansas #video

Walmart Grocery Pickup Test Opens in Northwest Arkansas #video | Digital Transformation of Businesses | Scoop.it
Walmart began testing Walmart Pickup – Grocery, a new same-day pick up concept, September 29. The retailer continues to explore new ways to make shopping faster and more convenient by integrating its digital and physical assets.
Farid Mheir's insight:

The 2min video shows how the pickup service works. Very popular in France already with 2500+ locations, the jury is still out to see whether this will work in North America...


http://sco.lt/7u16nJ

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eyewear and prescription glasses: another industry to fall off the digital cliff?

eyewear and prescription glasses: another industry to fall off the digital cliff? | Digital Transformation of Businesses | Scoop.it
L’entreprise montréalaise BonLook se targue d’être la première à vendre des lunettes de prescription en ligne de façon légale au Québec. Or, le syndic de l’Ordre des optométristes du Québec (OOQ) est en train d’enquêter sur ses activités afin de déterminer si cette prétention est exacte, a a&hel
Farid Mheir's insight:

In french. Very good article to demonstrate how industries blind themselves to digital transformation. In this case the professional board of optometrists prevents the sale of prescription glasses online, stating that certain measurements are very specific and must be done by an optometrist. And the regulation was perfect in the age of physical stores, where competitors were across the street or across town.


With Internet, this rule does not apply anymore. Competitors may be anywhere, in the US, Europe or India. And they are not subject to the same rules. This makes the regulation that was once created to protect the public and level the competitive playing field, is now hurting the local optometrists. And the same is true with other professional boards, pharmacists for example (it is not easy to sell prescription drugs online in Quebec, but very easy to buy prescriptions online from US or elsewhere).


We need the professional boards to adapt their regulations to the new reality or face falling off the digital cliff.

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3 strategies for developing the data-driven store brings amazing examples of omni-channel via @gigaom @sanguit

3 strategies for developing the data-driven store brings amazing examples of omni-channel via @gigaom @sanguit | Digital Transformation of Businesses | Scoop.it
Tracking customers through today’s data-driven shopping journey provides retailers a fresh take on doing business and the chance to deliver the best customer experience and build loyalty.
Farid Mheir's insight:

Most overused these days, omni-channel is often a concept that is difficult to understand. This paper sheds some lights onto the concept as well as provides very useful concrete examples that describe how companies put omni-channel through its paces. 


Moreover, the paper delivers the concept with a focus on data, which indeed appears to be the glue that ties omni-channel together very well. Even though the focus is on retail, I believe this may also apply to banks and other physical locations where customers interact with businesses.

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Amazon + U.S. mail are testing grocery deliveries around San Francisco via @reuters

Amazon + U.S. mail are testing grocery deliveries around San Francisco via @reuters | Digital Transformation of Businesses | Scoop.it

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept 4 (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc has begun using the U.S. Postal Service to deliver groceries ona trial basis in the San Francisco area, in a potential boostfor

Farid Mheir's insight:

This article confirms 2 things:


1- delivery is an essential component of eCommerce success but it is very difficult to execute. It requires expertise, is capital intensive and takes time to build out. Leveraging an existing service that is looking for ways to improve its balance sheet means USPS may be more flexible to accommodate Amazon than it was a few years ago.. 


2- Amazon for now favours improving its delivery service - lower cost, faster turnaround - over opening physical stores. Makes perfect sense for Amazon: cracking the low-cost same-day delivery code is much more effective than opening stores (that requires real estate, employees, inventory, etc.) because it fits with Amazon online retailer pure play model. However, we can expect to see Amazon showrooms open in the future.


Also see

- Wall Street Journal article

- other blog posts I've written about Amazon Fresh

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Taxi firm Uber to deliver groceries- brings crowdsourcing to delivery?

Taxi firm Uber to deliver groceries- brings crowdsourcing to delivery? | Digital Transformation of Businesses | Scoop.it

Taxi and private car hire service Uber has launched a grocery delivery service in the US.

The Corner Store facility is available as an option via its main smartphone app and covers more than 100 items.

The products are competitively priced against high street stores, and there is no delivery fee.

The service is an "experiment" limited to Washington DC at this time, but it makes them the latest in a series of tech firms to move into the sector.

Farid Mheir's insight:

Weird concept (see my other posts on same day delivery). But with the right kind of SKUs and proper relationship with retailers (they prepare the orders and the Uber driver delivers during slow periods of the day), it may make sense. The trial may help figure this out. But is grocery the right SKU to target first? Shouldn't pharmacy, HABA, alcohol, make more sense?


See also:

- A review of same-day delivery by Google, Amazon, Instacart fails to show how it makes money via @delray http://sco.lt/7Z6OLx

- Amazon’s now shipping on Sundays - will rescue US Postal Service + disrupt shipping industry? via @washingtonpost http://sco.lt/8g1601

- Same-Day Delivery not important, next-day delivery/pickup may be traditional retailer edge via @stratandbiz http://sco.lt/4wpmQT

and others on same-day delivery

http://www.scoop.it/t/digital-transformation-of-businesses?q=same+day+delivery 

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Amazon Prime Members Heavily Outspend Non-Prime Customers via @statista

Amazon Prime Members Heavily Outspend Non-Prime Customers via @statista | Digital Transformation of Businesses | Scoop.it
This chart shows how much Amazon Prime members spend on Amazon.com compared to regular customers.
Farid Mheir's insight:

When Amazon goes into grocery eCommerce and charges 299$ per year for Prime, what will be the impact on traditional retailers - Walmart, Target, Loblaws?

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Canadian Tire ups digital ante, offers 90 per cent of products online and cuts back on print ads

Canadian Tire ups digital ante, offers 90 per cent of products online and cuts back on print ads | Digital Transformation of Businesses | Scoop.it
Using Sport Chek as a pilot, marketing successes are not only helping the parent retailer catch up to competitors, but set the pace
Farid Mheir's insight:

Must read short article with great insights on how Canadian Tire bets digital using and internal team and 10 "secret" digital projects. Looking forward to the next few months to see what they are about.

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Retail 2.0: the convergence of wearables, #iBeacons and big data via @kaulout @Gigaom

The winners in the ecosystem for retail 2.0 will blend expertise in hardware and software platforms, system integration and consulting, and analytics providing an all-in-one offering.
Farid Mheir's insight:

Very detailed review of the potential for iBeacons for brands, technology providers and retailers. A must read if you are wondering how iBeacons could be used in your stores.

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Wal-Mart to build online grocery pick-up center in Bentonville

Wal-Mart to build online grocery pick-up center in Bentonville | Digital Transformation of Businesses | Scoop.it
Wal-Mart is wasting no time in deploying its latest grocery format — a stand alone pick-up center where shoppers can drive up and retrieve their online orders and never leave their car. It’s a new format concept for Walmart U.S. who continues to up the ante for convenience in the highly competitive grocery sector.
The retailer reviewed plans for the first concept depot with Bentonville city officials on Tuesday (April 29.) The proposed development goes to the city planning commission on May 6.
Farid Mheir's insight:

One more sign that retail store transformation is under way and will move from anecdotal to full scale in the next months. With Walmart scale and size of its stores it is not difficult to see them convert part of their existing facilities to host drive-thru area in the back. This way you can order staples (or even benefit from automatic replenishment), then go in store to top-off what you may have missed or want to pick yourself (essential in grocery).

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Amazon Is Testing Its Own Delivery Service in San Francisco- this will threaten UPS & FedEx via @bi @wsj

Amazon Is Testing Its Own Delivery Service in San Francisco- this will threaten UPS & FedEx via @bi @wsj | Digital Transformation of Businesses | Scoop.it

Amazon also recently published the following job posting on its site:

Amazon is growing at a faster speed than UPS and FedEx, who are responsible for shipping the majority of our packages. At this rate Amazon cannot continue to rely solely on the solutions provided through traditional logistics providers. To do so will limit our growth, increase costs and impede innovation in delivery capabilities. Last Mile is the solution to this. It is a program which is going to revolutionize how shipments are delivered to millions of customers.



Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/amazing-is-testing-its-own-delivery-service-2014-4#ixzz307sW3WDL

Farid Mheir's insight:

It was clear when amazon started rolling out Amazon Fresh.


See this post from Jan 2013:

AmazonFresh set to expand? http://sco.lt/59o9Td


and others on same-day delivery

http://www.scoop.it/t/digital-transformation-of-businesses?q=same+day+delivery


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#Wal-Mart’s in-store shoppers prefer #Amazon.com — not Walmart.com via @marketwatch

#Wal-Mart’s in-store shoppers prefer #Amazon.com — not Walmart.com via @marketwatch | Digital Transformation of Businesses | Scoop.it
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has been vocal about its intention to aggressively build its online business, but there's one thing it needs to change first: Getting its own in-store shoppers to shop at Walmart.com.


Just 19% of Walmart in-store shoppers shop at Walmart.com, compared to 53% of those who also buy at Amazon.com, according to a UBS report, citing Kantar Retail data.

Farid Mheir's insight:

Read the stats and ask yourself the same question in your business: how many of your customers shop online on Amazon.com? Is that percentage higher or lower than those using your own eCommerce site?


If the answer is lower, then you are loosing money.


If you do not have an ecommerce website, the answer is even easier to get.

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André Bélanger's curator insight, April 16, 2014 8:54 AM

Walmart n'a pas encore réussi à offrir une grande valeur ajoutée à ses clients pour sa boutique en ligne. Amazon, qui n'a pas de présence physique, reste le leader incontesté du magasin en ligne des clients de Walmart.

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How technology is taking retail back to the future via @brickmeetsclick

How technology is taking retail back to the future via @brickmeetsclick | Digital Transformation of Businesses | Scoop.it
Stuart Armstrong is pushing the boundaries of using digital screens to communicate with shoppers inside stores at ComQi. I think he has important things to say about where we’re going with the technology-enhanced shopping experience, which changes in the retail environment are most transformative, and how retailers and brands are using interactive screens to build customer relationships.
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Digital enables Variable Pricing Models to maximize profit via @Spinnakr

Digital enables Variable Pricing Models to maximize profit via @Spinnakr | Digital Transformation of Businesses | Scoop.it

Most people are familiar with the way that hotel and airline pricing models work, in that during times of higher travel the costs increase due to demand. This is one type of variable payment model, known as time-based pricing, which has been successfully used for years. But with so much success in the travel industry, why hasn’t this variable pricing model been applied to other industries like technology? The answer is that is has, but you may have not even noticed it because it is used in a number of different ways. Dropbox is known for their leading edge pricing models that have propelled their success, but are these variable pricing models the new norm for technology companies?

Farid Mheir's insight:

We know what variable pricing is when we fill our car with gasoline: the price is never the same and varies hour by hour. What triggers that change? Often we don't know. This article gives a good overview of the variable pricing with a striking example for a GE microwave where it tracks the price across amazon, best buy, and sears during a single day, and observes as many as 9 price changes.


Variable pricing is difficult to implement manually but with digital the opportunities are endless. It requires your costs to be well understood and advance algorithms that make decisions automatically based on parameters you determine (time of day, interest for a product, inventory or prices are competitor's site, etc.). The transformation it requires may be profound, but can deliver amazing results.

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Jean-Marie Grange's comment, October 20, 2014 9:56 AM
Dynamic pricing will also follow the personalization trend... In the digital world, when you know your customer, what usage he is doing of your service (like the Dropbox example) what he has bought in the past, and at what price, you can tailor a personalized offer and price that will be appealing.
Jean-Marie Grange's curator insight, October 20, 2014 10:06 AM

Dynamic pricing will also follow the personalization trend... In the digital world, when you know your customer, what usage he is doing of your service (like the Dropbox example) what he has bought in the past, and at what price, you can tailor a personalized offer and price that will be appealing.

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#xmas 2014 eCommerce sales to be 100B$ in sales & 16% YoY growth

#xmas 2014 eCommerce sales to be 100B$ in sales & 16% YoY growth | Digital Transformation of Businesses | Scoop.it
It's the most wonderful time of the year — for consumers and tech companies alike.
Farid Mheir's insight:

The trend is clear and the growth appears stable at about 16% YoY means sales will double to 200B$ by 2019.

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C-suite must switch over and start being data driven instead of intuition driven to stay relevant via @McKinsey

C-suite must switch over and start being data driven instead of intuition driven to stay relevant via @McKinsey | Digital Transformation of Businesses | Scoop.it
Technology is getting smarter, faster. Are you? Experts including the authors of The Second Machine Age, Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, examine the impact that “thinking” machines may have on top-management roles. A McKinsey Quarterly article.
Farid Mheir's insight:

A bit long winded for those that follow the topic, this article nevertheless brings forward essential strategic thinking the C-suite executives should ask themselves today. Most important thinking comes at the end, so stick through it.


Think of banking, which essentially a data-driven business, and ask yourself if their leaders have read papers like this one... Or retailers, which often sit on millions of transaction data from their POS and websites without using it to drive their business decisions. 

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Enterprise Wearables will Avoid BYOD Pitfalls - will it really? via @InformationWeek

Enterprise Wearables will Avoid BYOD Pitfalls - will it really? via @InformationWeek | Digital Transformation of Businesses | Scoop.it
Wearable devices made for the enterprise will offer more immediate value than BYOD programs. Here's why.

Via TechinBiz
Farid Mheir's insight:

Finally the media seems to have shifted their attention from personal wearables to business-led applications of those wearables - except for yesterday's coverage of Apple iWatch. 


This article raises a good question : will you bring you wearable to work - your NFC smartphone can replace you company badge (or badges in case of consultant like me) - or will corporation issue you a company approved Google Glass or some other device? Anyone considering the introduction of wearable technology should consider this point carefully.


Say you want to introduce Google Glasses for all your field service employees so that they have access to the repair manuals and seamless hands-free communication to head-office experts for on-site support. Or you want to introduce an in-store order picking Glass solution to improve your eCommerce efficiency. Or maybe you have a use case for employee heart rate monitoring that drives a business case to reduce your insurance premiums. Short-term benefits will require you provide company issued devices - no one will buy a 1500$ Google glass today.


But in the mid-term, 2 or 3 years down the road, similar or competing devices may start to appear on the consumer market. Will you design your original solution to support BYOD or mandate the use of company devices, at the risk of alienating your employees with sub-par devices or multiple devices that are incompatible with one another?


Think about it, define a strategy and set a clear path towards it.

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PSFK Future Of Retail 2014 Report

In this year’s Future of Retail Report, PSFK Labs’ fourth annual production of the report, we’ve brought together two interconnected themes that provide a foun…
Farid Mheir's insight:

Very strong overview of digital retail innovations. The presentation is peppered with youTube videos of presentations that are, for the most part, informative and easy to listen to.

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Return of the milkman makes food e-grocery business model viable? via @canadianGrocer @MarcWulfraat

Return of the milkman makes food e-grocery business model viable? via @canadianGrocer @MarcWulfraat | Digital Transformation of Businesses | Scoop.it
Peapod, FreshDirect and Winder Farms examples of companies who’ve found the right formula for online grocery
Farid Mheir's insight:

This article has some interesting data about the size of some e-grocers (Peapod = 550M$, FreshDirect = 25000 orders per week). It claims that the return of the milkman routes, delivering pre-defined orders weekly to its customers, will provide a business model that makes the e-grocery business realistic and profitable. I mostly agree.


Grocery is a regular (weekly, bi-weekly) shopping experience for most households, with repeatable products, brands and quantities. It is not an impulse buying experience, at least not for the staple products that fill our pantries and most of our fridge. For the rest, go to the store and hand-pick your vegetables, fruits, meat and bakery for that special Saturday night meal.


At some point, one retailer will figure it out and make replenishment of staple products its core e-grocery offering, blowing all its competitors out of the market. Winder farms does bring an interesting spin to the e-grocery experience but Amazon Fresh appears to be the only company to have truly cracked the model at scale (ie. with many thousands of SKUs delivered on a membership with price cuts on replenishment orders).

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Olivier Laborne's comment, July 30, 2014 3:29 AM
I have always been surprised that even with the digital and the web, each continues to look only what happens on the continent. And you know that too. ;-)
So much going on in Europe and Australia for a long time on food online with different modes of operation and testing.
The online food is necessarily specific to each country because of what we eat and our way of life but it is also just a commonality between all peoples.
I do not agree on some points like : make impulse purchases is also possible on the online food and already working.
I have many other things to say but what is written is interesting,
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Nordstrom web sales are +33%- invests 4.8B$ CAPEX in e-commerce via @markbrohan @InternetRetailer

Nordstrom web sales are +33%- invests 4.8B$ CAPEX in e-commerce via @markbrohan @InternetRetailer | Digital Transformation of Businesses | Scoop.it
Internet Retailer - E-Retailers/Top 500 U.S. E-Retailers - Nordstrom invests heavily in e-commerce
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Amazon's Wholesale Slaughter: Jeff Bezos' $8 Trillion B2B Bet

Amazon's Wholesale Slaughter: Jeff Bezos' $8 Trillion B2B Bet | Digital Transformation of Businesses | Scoop.it
Forget the delivery drones and TV deals. Jeff Bezos' stealthy foray into the unsexy world of B2B distribution is likely his most disruptive move yet -- and it has an $8 trillion swath of the economy running scared.
Farid Mheir's insight:

Yes, makes perfect sense: is there a difference between B2C and B2B? I guess the answer is "not so much".

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Loblaw competitors are now Amazon & Wal-Mart due to click-n-collect via @globeandmail

Loblaw competitors are now Amazon & Wal-Mart due to click-n-collect via @globeandmail | Digital Transformation of Businesses | Scoop.it
‘Click and collect’ system will allow consumers to order groceries from its website, have employees pack them and then pick the goods up at the stores
Farid Mheir's insight:

No surprise in this announce by Loblaws


2 things worth highlighting, which represent clear result of the digital transformation of Loblaws:

  • “We think that represents a very significant potential strategic advantage for us ultimately.”. Turning eCommerce into a digital advantage means other grocers - IGA, metro - are not there and will not be there
  • “I’d like to encourage you to imagine a world where fresh fruits and vegetables outsell packaged groceries in our stores,” he told shareholders. I've been saying that for years now: the middle of grocery stores (where canned goods are sold) will disappear in favor of online ordering. People thus will go to the store to hand pick perishables. So of course they will outsell packaged goods. Prediction: I also envision that stores will sell training (think recipes, tastings, etc.) and support (personalized help to managed your weight or deal with some intolerance (nuts, gluten, etc.)


Am I completely out here? Then why are IGA and metro not following Loblaws here?

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Amazon Launches Prime Pantry: great deal for a max 45lbs for 5.99$ fee via @ninaZipkin

Amazon Launches Prime Pantry: great deal for a max 45lbs for 5.99$ fee via @ninaZipkin | Digital Transformation of Businesses | Scoop.it
Amazon Prime members can now have big boxes filled with regular-sized household items delivered at a flat rate.


As the big-box retailer of the online world, it's no surprise that Amazon sees a future in big boxes.

This week, Amazon launched Prime Pantry, a delivery service that allows customers to fill up a single box of non-perishable household goods and have it shipped to them at a flat rate.


In a dig at stores like Costco and Walmart, where customers save by buying in bulk, Pantry users will be able to purchase items like cereal, canned soup, pet food, paper towels and detergent in "everyday sizes," but save by having them shipped in bulk.


Customers can order up to 45 pounds of items, but each box, no matter the size of the shipment (it shows the percentage being filled in the shopping cart), will be delivered for $5.99.  

The service is only available to Amazon Prime subscribers, but the flat rate comes on top of the annual $99 membership fee (up from $79 as of April 17).

While Pantry delivers to customers in the contiguous U.S. (not Hawaii or Alaska), the company's other offering in the grocery space, same day service AmazonFresh is currently accessible in three West Coast markets – Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle. 

Farid Mheir's insight:

More signs that Amazon is targeting established retailers where it hurst: repeat business of staple products. you know, the stuff in the middle of the store, on shelves, where there is little value in picking the product yourself - a can is a can.


Amazon will suck the air out of retailers for these products as its cost structure is much less than that of a retailer - no staff, low cost warehouses, high automation, no need to ship/unwrap/stock shelves. Of course there are the shipping cost and the returns but Amazon is addressing those as well.


Related article: Amazon Is Now Accepting Returns Through its Lockers

What can established retailers do? Roll over and let Amazon do what it wants. So far, that looks pretty much like it...


Also read:

  1. Amazon Pantry to take on Costco- makes perfect sense in the big picture for Amazon via @usatoday http://sco.lt/6tuRY9
  2. Online Sales is transforming the supermarket store design: center of store will slowly disappear via @nrf @booz http://sco.lt/9AWJeb 
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Back to the future: 12B printed catalogs in 2013 and in-store showrooming via @EHolmesWSJ @wsj

Back to the future: 12B printed catalogs in 2013 and in-store showrooming via @EHolmesWSJ @wsj | Digital Transformation of Businesses | Scoop.it
Shoppers spend more online after browsing through lavish print spreads.
Farid Mheir's insight:

That is why "Marketers mailed 11.9 billion catalogs in 2013". Amazing read and reminder: most people still use printed catalogs - even I do and enjoy them - and go in store to shop and view products. What's important is to make online experience seamless.

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