We recently returned from the winter Outdoor Retailer show in Denver. At the show, in just two days, we managed to walk 14 miles and spoke with more people than I can recall. Our product manager, Derwyn Harris gave a presentation on “How digital natives are winning in a post-Amazonian world.”

Despite doom and gloom about retail store closings, the presentation drew upon some persuasive evidence to show that savvy D2C retailers can survive and even thrive by understanding customers and the online shopping experience.

Here are 8 articles used to research the presentation. 

1. The big concern in the retail world is the so-called “Retail Apocalypse”. Everyone is concerned about the large number of stores that closed in 2017. And 2018 looks to be just as bad or worse.

Atlas: 2017 Is On Pace to See More Stores Shutter Than the 2008 Recession

2. Big-box chain stores in particular have taken a consistent considerable hit.

Visual Capitalist: The Extraordinary Size of Amazon in One Chart

2. However, for every chain that closed a store, 2.7 companies showed a net increase. This indicates that small-to-medium sized retailers are actually doing better.

Retail TouchPoints: Report: Store Closures to Reach 12,000 in 2018

4. Digitally savvy companies are surviving and many are thriving by becoming customer obsessed. We hear a lot about “omnichannel retail” but a digital strategy should not be about the channel. It should be about the customer. Forget omnichannel retail, focus like a laser on the omnichannel customer.

Harvard Business Review: A Study of 46,000 Shoppers Shows That Omnichannel Retailing Works

5. A great example of a savvy digitally-driven company, Glossier, shows how D2C pure e-commerce is done: know your story and be true.  

BuzzFeed: Inside Glossier, The Beauty Startup That Just Happens To Sell Makeup

6. Ultimately success comes from understanding how shopping and experience align. Seth Godin’s  blog points out how shopping is by nature entertainment, which is distinct from buying.

Seth Godin’s Blog: Shopping

7. To turn strategy into actionable tactics, having a nice list of best practices for a digital (D2C) strategy might help.

Harvard Business Report: How Consumer Brands Can Connect With Customers in a Changing Retail Landscape

8. Lastly, Jeff Bezos’ annual 2017 letter to shareholders has insights for anyone, friend or foe, looking to thrive in his world.

GeekWire: Full text: In Annual Shareholder Letter, Jeff Bezos Explains Why It Will Never Be Day 2 at Amazon