This post is part of our new Future of Retail series which interviews the leading founders and executives who are on the front lines of the industry to get a better understanding of what problems the industry is facing, what trends are taking place, and what the future looks like.
1. What’s the history of The Jason & Scot Show? Where and how did you begin?
SW: Jason and I were on the board of shop.org together and got to know each other there. We would go to events after and sit down with other industry folks to discuss all the crazy trends rocking the retail and e-commerce industries. I'm an e-commerce marketplace-focused person (Amazon, eBay, Walmart, etc.) and Jason is an omnni-channel, payments, webstore person, so I always felt like I learned a ton from him (and vice-versa).
In late 2016, I was looking for an e-commerce podcast and realized that there wasn't really one out there, so at the October 2016 meeting, we were hanging out and I said to Jason “you know, we should start a podcast.” The next week, Jason called to say he had gotten all the equipment and we were off to the races. Our first episode came out November 14th, 2016 and we talked about Alibaba's singles day.
This week we just published episode 125, so we're keeping our weekly pace up pretty well.
2. What specific niche does The Jason & Scot Show fill? How do you go about filling it?
SW: We try to cast the widest net possible within the world of retail and e-commerce, so our show focuses on being both wide (covering a variety of topics we believe are of interest to folks in the industry) and deep (going deep on some topics). We accomplish this by mixing up three ‘flavors' of show:
#1: News and Commentary
Here, we go over the current news in the industry. Sometimes we do this with a hot take if it's big news (e.g. Amazon acquiring Whole Foods) and other times we summarize the news and provide an analysis for what it means to the listener's businesses.
#2: Deep dives
We frequently find a topic that is of particular interest to listeners and do an entire show dedicated to the topic. For example, Personalization, Amazon's marketplace, etc.
We enjoy having a variety of retailers and brands on the show to share their perspectives on what they are seeing in the industry. We've had senior execs from Kohls, eBags, Sur La Table, Under Armour, Johnson & Johnson and more on the show.
Finally, we have a very involved set of listeners and like to sprinkle in listener question shows once a quarter.
3. What’s the future of Retail?
SW: We actually do an annual prediction show, here are three of the most future-looking predictions:
Prediction #1: Drugstores get totally disrupted by e-commerce.
Prediction #2: Amazon doesn't buy another offline retailer, but instead explodes the selection of private label.
Prediction #3: Voice (e.g. Alexa) is going to be huge, but not a big driver of e-commerce.
4. What are the top 3 technological trends you’re seeing in Retail?
Trend #1: AI is being promoted by all vendors, but there's a gap in what they are delivering.
Trend #2: Everyone (brands especially) are struggling to figure out their Amazon strategy; friend, foe, or frenemy?
Trend #3: We are finally getting to the omni-channel promised land of unified experiences between physical and digital.
5. Why is the Retail industry ripe for disruption?
You have this perfect storm of three trends:
Trend #1: a greater than 200 year-old industry that has been slow to innovate and change.
Trend #2: The US is ‘overstored'.
Trend #3: Amazon and e-commerce are delivering a different, more convenient experience and many stores are trapped in the innovator's dilemma. They have internal structures that can't change, debt structures that can't survive change and business models that can't pivot to digital.
Put those three together and you have a recipe for disruption!
About Scot Wingo
Scot Wingo is a four-time entrepreneur from the Research Triangle Park region. Scot is an industry thought leader in the e-commerce and on-demand economy realms. Scot has appeared on CNBC, The Today Show and contributed thought leadership to the WSJ, New York Times, Washington Post, Bloomberg/Business Week, LA Times, AP, Reuters and many other publications. Scot regularly speaks about e-commerce and on-demand topics at IRCE (Internet Retailer Conference and Exhibition), NRF’s/shop.org Digital Summit, NRF’s Big Show, Shoptalk, NPD Idea, Bronto Summit, ChannelAdvisor Catalyst and many e-commerce/retail oriented Wall St. conferences.
Scot previously founded Stingray Software (95-98) which was sold to Rogue Wave Software, AuctionRover (2000-2001) which was sold to Goto/Overture and ChannelAdvisor (01-present) which went public (NYSE:ECOM) in 2013. Scot still serves as Executive Chairman of ChannelAdvisor and is working on a new company in the on-demand services space, Get Spiffy.