Digital retail: the gravedigger of new retail

New retail finally has new look-new concepts represented by digital retail have begun to appear.

On the surface, digital retail is a further evolution of new retail, because it embodies the originally abstract concept of new retail. In essence, the emergence of digital retail, in a sense, announced the end of new retail.

Some people may not agree with this view. They believe that the so-called digital retail should be included in the category of new retail. Digital retail is the redevelopment of new retail, not the end of new retail.

However, if we look at the development path of new retail, we will find that the development of new retail has always been accompanied by traffic and has always been flying with capital. Flow and capital are the "two carriages" that drive the development of the Internet era. When new retail is driven by them, one can imagine where they will lead the new retail.

What about digital retail? Although we can still see the shadow of flow and capital in it, flow and capital are no longer the fundamental kinetic energy that drives it. The empowerment and transformation of retail itself is the original kinetic energy that drives its development.

This is actually a shift in development focus. For the early new retail industry, players are revolving around flow and capital. They do not pay attention to how much new retail will bring about changes, as long as capital and flow buy it. For digital retail, players are revolving around the industry itself. They pay more attention to how much the industry has changed, how much value is created, and finally, what kind of response the value they create has in the market.

If we look at it from this perspective, we will find the fundamental difference between new retail and digital retail. To put it bluntly, new retail is still a product of the Internet era, while digital retail is a product of a new technology era.

Someone may jump out to express their disapproval, because the concept of new retail tried to cut off all the connections with the Internet from the first day it was born, and regarded new retail as the gravedigger of e-commerce.

Talking and doing things, although people verbally say that new retail and e-commerce are in the same situation, they have never broken the connection between new retail and e-commerce, and even e-commerce was once new retail. Blood transfusion.

This cannot be blamed on those who are chanting for new retail, because they only saw the problems that occurred in the development of e-commerce and saw that new retail is the future development direction. However, due to the new technologies and new models at that time, many other factors "New" elements are not mature, and the development of e-commerce is still in full swing. Therefore, new retail can only be regarded as a direction, and no breakthrough can be found. Therefore, some early new retail-related layouts have to be carried out.

The same is true for Internet giants represented by Amazon, Alibaba, Tencent, and Among these layouts, some are related to the layout of the scene, such as the cooperation between Ali, Tencent,, and large offline supermarkets; some are related to the ecological layout, such as the cooperation between Ali, Tencent,, and logistics companies; Some are related to the layout of the business, such as Ali's Hema Xiansheng, JD's unmanned restaurant and so on.

Although these layouts related to new retail make us shine, they are indeed very different from the experience of the Internet era, but we still cannot deny that these layouts are still based on the Internet technology as the underlying architecture. Up. In the final analysis, the early development of new retail still has not got rid of the shackles of the Internet. The so-called innovation is only limited to the innovation of the model and lacks the innovation in the true sense of the landing and application.

It is precisely because the early development of the new retail industry is based on the old and traditional infrastructure of Internet technology, so although many of the layout starting points are very high if the underlying infrastructure has not undergone essential changes, even if No matter how high the starting point is, everyone will be confused in the end. This is the fundamental reason why new retail has become less and less attention to.

The early development of new retail tells us that whether it is e-commerce or new retail, no matter how new our model is, no matter how strong our resources are, as long as we cannot make a breakthrough from the underlying technology, we will still be unable to jump out in the end. The traditional development vicious circle had to exit in the end.

Only by starting from the underlying technology and supporting the "body" of the new retail through the "skeleton" of the new technology can it truly make the new retail "new". Digital retail was born under such a background.

Unlike the early days of new retail, which still relied strongly on Internet technology, when digital retail began to appear, we saw the gradual maturity and gradual maturity of new technologies represented by big data, cloud computing, blockchain, and artificial intelligence. After landing, more and more new technologies are beginning to be applied to new retail-related fields. Taking the landing and application of new technologies in the new retail field as a breakthrough point, the digital retail era has begun to emerge.

Unlike the deep connection between new retail and Internet technology, digital retail is a brand new existence built on new technology. All its driving forces and presentation methods are displayed in the form of new technologies.

Whether it is based on the guidance of large-scale big data technology for production and design processes or based on artificial intelligence technology for the replacement of production elements, digital retail, and new retail have undergone essential changes. Therefore, rather than seeing digital retail as an evolution of new retail, it is better to see digital retail as a completely different species from new retail.

This is actually a testament to the point we put forward at the beginning that "the emergence of digital retail announces the end of new retail", and it is a counterattack to those who have never figured out the relationship between new retail and digital retail. Realizing digital retail as a completely different species from new retail, and linking digital retail with the digital economy that is sometimes in full swing is the key to ensuring its sustainable development.

Saying goodbye to the entanglement of Internet technology and looking at digital retail from the perspective of new technology, we can find the key points that truly determine its future development.

Digital retail is not a platform, but an "infrastructure"
Under the vision of Internet technology, the new retail business model is still a platform. To put it bluntly, the centralized large-scale platform in the e-commerce era uses another form to do new retail. In essence, the new retail era is still doing the platform. This is the fundamental reason why we saw many new retail players continue to deploy through channel sinking and traffic sinking in the early days. After all, new retail is still an era where platforms are the mainstay.

In essence, this development model of new retail is determined by its underlying technology is still Internet technology. Under the guidance of Internet technology, what we see is that the large-scale e-commerce platform in the Internet era has transformed into a large-scale new retail platform. A series of resources represented by traffic are more deeply and comprehensively concentrated on these large platforms. After all, new retail is still doing platforms.

Digital retail is different, which is closely related to the underlying technology of digital retail.

As mentioned above, new retail is a brand-new species built on new technologies. Unlike Internet technology, which is only used for matching and intermediary, the biggest function and effect of these new technologies is to reshape and recreate.

In other words, these new technologies must be deeply integrated with the traditional elements of the industry, and change, to play the maximum effect. At this time, if we build a platform again, it is obvious that we will not be able to achieve substantive results. We can only position ourselves as "infrastructure", strengthen the in-depth connection with the industry's processes and links, and then transform the internal elements of the industry. , To achieve real results.

Therefore, we cannot simply position digital retail as a "platform", but rather position it as an "infrastructure." By continuously strengthening the links between the industries, and by continuously sinking to the minutiae of the industry, covering the entire chain of industry development, and finally becoming a ubiquitous existence, new development can be truly obtained.

Therefore, we want to advise those who are still loyal to the platform, stop using the logic of the platform to do digital retail, and use the idea of infrastructure to practice digital retail. Perhaps this is the right way.

Digital retail is not a haven, but a "dragon door"
It is undeniable that in the Internet age, we have made great progress by migrating traffic from offline to online. For many traditional manufacturers and distributors, even if they do not change and innovate their products, they can still live well. Because the Internet has become a low-cost and high-efficiency channel, traditional manufacturers and distributors can escape the storm of product and service changes. Therefore, e-commerce has actually become a haven for traditional production and supply methods.

Even in the new retail era, this situation has not been fundamentally changed. We still see that many traditional players continue to dump outdated and unsellable products using new retail methods. This is the fundamental reason why people regard e-commerce as a dumping ground for inventory and unsalable products. If this problem is not changed, then even if the new retail model is new, no matter how much traffic there is, it will be ineffective.

Therefore, digital retail appeared at this time.

Unlike e-commerce and new retail, which are traditional methods of production and supply, digital retail is a deeply transformed industry.

In the digital retail era, it is no longer enough to keep the traditional production methods and supply methods unchanged, because the advent of the consumption upgrade era has made traditional products and services unmarketable. After all, new technologies have created an inseparable connection with them, so, There are only two paths before them, either to withdraw from the stage of history or to completely change. Therefore, digital retail is not a haven, but a "dragon door."

Digital retail is not for "traffic", but for "reserve"
I once wrote an article in which I specifically explained the importance of reserve in the age of the industrial Internet. As an important part of the industrial Internet, the target object of digital retail is not just "traffic", but "reserve".

What is the reserve? To put it bluntly, reservations are real users, they can repurchase, they can be the supplier, they can be multiple roles.

For digital retail, reserved volume is really effective, and to some extent, traffic is just a number and cannot be used by digital retail players.

Therefore, when the digital retail era comes, players should not only pay attention to the number of traffic, but should pay attention to the data of retention. When the number of traffic is transformed into the data of retention, these traffic is effective.

If you don’t realize this, the players are still immersed in the traffic cage. Mou is eager to absorb the traffic but ignores the reserve. Then, when even the capital market is not cold on the traffic, these so-called Not only cannot traffic become a kind of productivity, it will also become a burden for them. Therefore, instead of “traffic”, but “reserve” is the key to ensuring stability in the digital retail era.

When digital retail began to appear, more and more people included it in the scope of new retail. As everyone knows, it has nothing to do with new retail. In essence, this is fundamentally related to the underlying technology within them. Recognizing this difference and truly finding the key points of digital retail is the key to avoiding digital retail from falling into the Internet vicious circle again. Only in this way can digital retail get rid of the traditional development model, and no longer be the "emperor's new outfit" of new retail, but become its gravedigger. 

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