How retail brands can survive the attack of the algorithm

February 07, 2019


The combination of algorithms and retail is irresistible. By matching supply and demand as closely as possible, they learn about our preferences and shopping behaviors, predict what we'd like, develop tailored recommendationsand increase the likelihood of a transaction. That's why there's an entire new industry emerging around shopping aggregators and wardrobe-curation services.

By turning products, services and content into commodities, algorithms, by default, are the opposite of brands. Some investors have even concluded that algorithms will replace the role of brands in conveying trust and guiding us through our choices. That's why the modern test of brand strength is its resistance to the algorithm.

The true challenge for retail, then, is not how to accelerate algorithm-induced product commoditization, but how to circumvent it.

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