Where is the Retail Revolution Heading Next?

Adam Bryant: Help us see the future a little bit, the future of online retailing. Part of your job is to sort of peer over the horizon. So what do you see? What are some big ideas there?

Susan Lyne: I’d say, one, they’re about curating, right? They’re about taking all the noise out there and saying we’re not going to bring you everything, we’re going to bring you some things that we think are really good. And that’s hugely valuable. I think one of the things that truly paralyzes people right now is too much choice. If you can bring a point of view and you can give people enough choices but not too many, I think it really helps them.

I think another thing is that there’s clearly a convergence of editorial and commerce, and I think you’re going to see more and more of that. We’ve always had magazines that were great at inspiring people and giving people ideas, but they could never allow you to make that last piece of it happen, which was the commerce part.  I think there’s growing frustration for magazine editors that they can’t participate in that, and I think that there are more and more commerce companies that are realizing the content in the commerce flow can actually help people to make a decision.

And I think Game Dynamics is another one.  And you see that everyplace, you know, whether it’s appointment shopping, limited cart times so you have to make a decision fast.  You’ve got Groupons--the deal’s not on until 250 people say yes--all these things that drive a person to move to the next level.  What good gamers do is to design a flow that takes you from Point A to Point B and then from Point B to Point C, and it’s all about levels and more and more of that is coming into the commerce world as well.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

What's the future of online retailing? Adam Bryant of The New York Times interviews Susan Lyne, CEO of Gilt Groupe, which offers insider access to top luxury brands at discounted prices.

Related Articles

A controversial theory claims past, present, and future exist at the same time

Our experience of time may be blinding us to its true nature, say scientists.

Back to the Future.
Surprising Science
  • Time may not be passing at all, says the Block Universe Theory.
  • Time travel may be possible.
  • Your perception of time is likely relative to you and limited.
Keep reading Show less

Six disastrous encounters with the world’s most hostile uncontacted tribe

From questionable shipwrecks to outright attacks, they clearly don't want to be bothered.

Culture & Religion
  • Many have tried to contact the Sentinelese, to write about them, or otherwise.
  • But the inhabitants of the 23 square mile island in the Bay of Bengal don't want anything to do with the outside world.
  • Their numbers are unknown, but either 40 or 500 remain.
Keep reading Show less