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Our expert voices conversation about the death of retail.

Much of discretionary spending is influenced by fun factors such as community-driven engagement, inspiring moments, memorable experiences, personalized attention, emotional connection, and more. The truth is there's little of this with Amazon, and this is where brands and retailers can have the most impact to win customers, especially millennials. Technology is enabling richer and more dynamic customer engagement across channels: stores, websites, mobile apps, social media; all of this stands to further connections with consumers and raises the importance of brand as a means to stand out in a vast ecosystem.

Also, with brands moving off the pages of magazines and beyond the boundaries of store walls, they're free to engage with consumers in real time through the context of content (think Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, and blogs).

Bottom line: These trends most often direct transactions straight to brands and specialty retailers, and will only continue in popularity.

Other voices in the conversation:

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director defends agency's response to pandemic — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden readies massive shifts in policy for his first days in office.
  3. Vaccine: Fauci: 100 million doses in 100 days is "absolutely" doable.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode again.
  5. Tech: Kids' screen time sees a big increase.
  6. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.
Dave Lawler, author of World
3 hours ago - World

Alexey Navalny detained after landing back in Moscow

Navalny and his wife shortly before he was detained. Photo: Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP via Getty

Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny was detained upon his return to Moscow on Sunday, which came five months after he was poisoned with the nerve agent Novichok. He returned despite being warned that he would be arrested.

The latest: Navalny was stopped at a customs checkpoint and led away alone by officers. He appeared to hug his wife goodbye, and his spokesman reports that his lawyer was not allowed to accompany him.

Mike Allen, author of AM
5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden's "overwhelming force" doctrine

President-elect Biden arrives to introduce his science team in Wilmington yesterday. Photo: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

President-elect Biden has ordered up a shock-and-awe campaign for his first days in office to signal, as dramatically as possible, the radical shift coming to America and global affairs, his advisers tell us. 

The plan, Part 1 ... Biden, as detailed in a "First Ten Days" memo from incoming chief of staff Ron Klain, plans to unleash executive orders, federal powers and speeches to shift to a stark, national plan for "100 million shots" in three months.

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