The retail industry is experiencing its biggest shakeup since the advent of mass-merchandising. Amazon’s success has pushed traditional retailers to find new ways to differentiate their offerings in order to stay relevant. In this article, USA Today talks about Target’s efforts to jump into voice-activated shopping via a partnership with Google. This is in response to Amazon’s introduction of the Alexa-powered Echo device that allows consumers the opportunity to order items by voice (along with playing music and many other features). The article also talks about an additional aspect of the partnership related to a Google Express delivery program.
The concept of retail differentiation can be an interesting class discussion. How do you differentiate when you’re selling exactly the same products that another store sells? Can traditional brick-and-mortar retail survive in the digital age?