The Drum's Day Before Tomorrow series of 30-minute films exploring technological disruption wrapped up tonight (12 November) with the screening of the sixth and final episode, looking at retail.
An audience including high street retailers, online stores and companies with both online and physical shops, plus retail property owners, analysts and retail consultants gathered to watch the programme, written and presented by The Drum’s head of TV Dave Birss. After the screening, The Drum editor and founder Gordon Young and Dave Birss threw the discussion open to the audience, inviting questions and comment from the floor.
A range of themes were aired, including the role of government in facilitating – or obstructing – digital innovation, how big retailers find it difficult to handle rapid change, how small innovative retailers find it equally difficult to scale up their successes, the power of the retailer brand and the retail experience and mobile’s impact on the future of the high street.
One key message from the audience was the fact that existing bricks-and-mortar retailers may not be able to switch to online retail easily and quickly because they have long leases on their physical outlets.
Another issue raised was how retailers – whether online, physical or both – can deliver a consistent experience, because, at the end of the day, as one audience members said, “if a retailer, whether online or on the high street, delivers on the brand promise and gives shoppers the experience they expect, those consumers will be loyal. If the brand breaks its promise, they will desert it.”
All these issues and more will discussed at The Drum's Disruption Day held on Thursday 27 November.
Watch The Day Before Tomorrow series on The Drum's YouTube channel.