INSIGHTS AND PERSPECTIVES

Podcast hosts highlight different avenues for disruption

BY Sandra Levy

Entrepreneur Jason Goldberg and ChannelAdvisor co-founder Scot Wingo, hosts of the popular “The Jason & Scot Show – E-Commerce And Retail News,” believe that we’re living in one of the rare disruptions of commerce. Historically, the companies that dominated before the disruption are not the companies that dominate after the disruption, they said, speaking at the Omnichannel and Digital Merchandising Summit.

To help attendees understand what digital disruption means today, Goldberg and Wingo suggested comparing the world in 2006 — when Facebook was exclusive to college students, Amazon just sold books and people were wary of talking to strangers on the Internet — to the world today.

“Now, I get back in the time machine, bring you to the current day and we’re all using the Internet to call strangers and get in their car,” Goldberg said. “That is what disruption is all about: fundamentally different behaviors — that would be unimaginable to that 2006 version of us — that we now take for granted.”

The pair said there are three kinds of innovation that retailers need to think about: incremental innovation in the form of improvements to existing processes, entirely new innovation, and something between the two concepts they dubbed “the concept car” — a learning opportunity where we try new kinds of innovation.

Amazon’s expansion from two-day delivery to one-day delivery is an example of incremental innovation, while its new product category with virtual assistant Alexa on its Echo devices is entirely new innovation.

Sam’s Club’s Now, a new 20,000-sq.-ft. format in Dallas, is a concept car.

“There are no cashiers in this store. It’s entirely self-checkout. You have to use your mobile phone to get in and your camera on your phone to identify product,” Goldberg said, noting that it offers a way for consumers to learn more about what they’re buying. “You get all kinds of rich information about all the products in the store.”

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