Byte Breakfast - Digital business models in Retail

Article by

Jacob Dutton
Commercial Director

Jacob Dutton

Jacob Dutton

Commercial Director

Byte is our regular meetup of people from across different sectors and organisations to talk product, innovation and changing customer behaviour.

For February’s event, we took a look at the evolution of digital business models in the Retail sector. More specifically, my talk explored the ways that traditional bricks and mortar retail models are being disrupted and looked at some practical ways that today's retailers can act to future proof their revenue streams as a result.

For example, what Borders failed to understand is that their goal wasn’t to simply sell more books, it was to enable people to read.

Retailers have for the most part established smooth ecommerce platforms and mobile experiences, but many have neglected to innovate around the model underpinning these. Organisations adopting business models such as subscriptions, marketplaces and access over ownership have a head start when it comes to attracting and retaining consumers with ever-increasing expectations.

You can see my slides and recap my talk in full below:

Making the subscription model work

My talk was followed by Oliver Bridge, Founder and CEO at Cornerstone - an increasingly popular shaving subscription startup. Oliver gave us some valuable insights into how his small, lean organisation put strong emphasis on experimentation and superior UX right from the beginning - a mindset that’s clearly paying off, considering Cornerstone’s growth from launch to 5,000 subscribers within 12 months.

Overall, his message was that digital savviness and sharp focus on an underserved niche can really work - but subscription is unlikely to take over the world as a model for all retailers to adopt.

Catch up on Oliver’s talk below:

As always with Byte, we try to share some practical ways that people can get started with applying some of these concepts to their own work.

  1. Digital Transformation - an excellent book by Jo Caudron and Dado Van Peteghem, to help understand and act upon disruption.
  2. Business Model Canvas - a practical tool to design, test, implement, and manage new business models.

Our next Byte is taking place on the 28th April, when we’ll be looking at how organisations in the Travel & Hospitality sectors can maximise their customer experience. If you’d like to find out more, drop us an email.