Amazon is starting to sell private label clothing. It’s no longer just a marketplace for brands. Now it’s competing even more with brands themselves. Brands must start figuring out how to respond.

Digiday: In 2018, Amazon Will Turn to Private Label Goods

On the one hand, it will be difficult for Amazon to tap into consumers’ desire for individuality and uniqueness. On the other, independent or stand-alone brands will struggle to compete on price and convenience. Brands will need to find creative ways to keep margins up and connect with consumers like custom-made clothing.

Wired: Fashion Brands are Tooling up to Create Custom Clothing in Minutes

E-commerce versus retail? Nope, according to Forbes, it’s all just commerce. Customers will walk into a retail store having researched the heck out of your stuff and your store. Recognizing where you interact directly with customers in their journey can help you connect in a more meaningful way.

Forbes: The End Of E-Commerce? These Days, It’s All Just Commerce

Forget Omnichannel. It’s too limiting and misses the point. Most companies who use the term ‘omnichannel’ are thinking about technology or data or devices. But today’s consumers don’t think this way. They’re not won over by technical utopias. Consumers exist in a flow of research, information and social interaction. They are moving quickly through a variety of networks including their own physical network of friends and family. Information and communication is available at their fingertips. Consumers have expanded well beyond the technological definition of omnichannel.

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

Looking further into the future … Scratch that! It’s happening now. These days, shoppers simply acquire stuff based on need or desire. Think of the most dreaded part of traditional shopping: the cash register line that terminates in the harsh reality of having to hand over your hard-earned money. Similarly, because taxi’s didn’t care about the customer’s journey and didn’t realize how painful the final transaction was, an opening was created for Uber. Uber removed the payment pain point. No consumer industry is immune to an Uber-like disruption.

Harvard Business Review:In the Future of Retail, We’re Never Not Shopping

Chances are consumers walking into a store will be more informed than in-store employees. The mobile “hello” reiterates the importance of having accurate and up-to-date product information online and a product content lifecycle strategy. As the role of in-store employees in the customer journey becomes less about being a repositories of information.

RetailDIVE: JD.com Planning Hundreds of Unmanned Stores

Lastly, product copy is more than just words we read. Soon, copy will be expressed in voice or in augmented reality. What Alexa says to you could be read straight from the product description page. How does your product copy sound reverberating through a living room sounding like a human?

Sportswear International: “The Question Is – Will Websites Be Redundant in the Future?”