sales | August 07, 2013

Is The Sharing Economy Changing Retail? Doug Stephens & Amber Mac Explain

Every week, sales speakers Doug Stephens and Amber Mac share the latest and greatest innovations in the retail environment. In the second episode of The Future In Store, Stephens, founder of Retail Prophet, speaks to the rise of the "sharing economy." A desire to cut down on waste (both in terms of money and our carbon footprint) has made sharing items that we don't use on a daily basis highly appealing. It's a concept Stephens believes will dramatically transform our entire economy.

Take the power drill, for example. Stephens says the tool is used, on average, for about 15 minutes throughout its entire lifespan: We plug a hole into a wall here and there, then let the drill sit idly until another project comes along. As Alex Steffen discusses in his book Carbon Zero, we've created an economy with a surplus of capacity and a scarcity of need. "If every drill already manufactured was used with perfect efficiency, we might not need to make another one until the 22nd century," he writes. "Of course, I just don’t have thousands of hours of drilling to do." Instead of letting that drill collect dust, he suggests turning products into services and sharing that tool with your neighbors. And, as Stephens shows us, apps like NeighborGoods are making that easier than ever.

Amber Mac, who is a go-to source on the newest apps and digital technologies, says that the community mentality that's popular on the web is now coming to brick-and-mortar stores. We're becoming more connected to others thanks to social media. We also value the opinions of others when making purchases. Brands are starting to incorporate signage into their stores to tell consumers what items are popular on the pin-board site Pinterest, for example. Whether it's sharing your power tools, or, sharing your product reviews, it's clear that we're moving toward an economy where collaboration and community are playing major roles in our purchasing decisions.

The retail sector is changing rapidly every day, and it can be difficult to keep up. Keynote speakers like Amber Mac and Doug Stephens can help your team navigate today's hottest trends and capitalize on what will be popular in the future before your competitors do. Alex Steffen, on the other hand, can help you to understand where your organization fits into the cities of the future. He can show you how to reduce your environmental footprint, and, how to attract new business thanks to your efforts. To book these speakers for an event or conference, contact The Lavin Agency Speakers Bureau.

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digital and social media | August 06, 2013