Doug Stephens
Retail futurist, Doug Stephens is an in-demand speaker for private and public sector audiences across North America on the mega-trends shaping a new era of retailing and consumerism. His thinking has influenced many of North America's best-known brands. Doug is a regular guest expert on the CTV television series App Central TV and media contact on trends in the retail landscape. wwwView Doug Stephens's profile on LinkedIn

If our data is currency, who is the bank?

If our data is currency, who is the bank?

If our data is currency, who's the bank? It's a question that every brand and retailer should be giving serious thought to. Those who don't may soon find themselves on the outside looking in at a data-centric economy that has moved on without them. But before we get to that, I should back up for a minute. Everyone wants our consumer data.

The future of retail: Death of a salesman

The future of retail: Death of a salesman

Like most people, at least a half-dozen times a day I consult Google for answers. Some of what I search for is trivial, "bet-settling" sort of stuff but there are also times I need more comprehensive, substantive or complex pieces of information for research.

Ten trends to watch for in 2014

Ten trends to watch for in 2014

2013 was another year of incredible change in the retail industry. From economics and demographics to media and technology, disruption came at retailers from all directions.

Why Amazon is droning on about new delivery methods

Why Amazon is droning on about new delivery methods

Analysts and consumers alike are becoming increasingly accustomed to Amazon's announcements of bold and daring new projects. Most recently it was the Jeff Bezos' 60 Minutes bombshell in which he announced his intentions of setting aloft a fleet of flying...

Shared interests: The rise of collaborative consumption

Shared interests: The rise of collaborative consumption

Believe it or not, the average power drill is used for a total of 15 minutes over the course of its lifetime. And that’s not unusual.

The end of the beginning of e-commerce

The end of the beginning of e-commerce

Global e-commerce is set to top 1.2 trillion dollars this year. And if that doesn’t seem astonishing, then consider that the figure represents a 19 percent increase over 2012 levels.

The loyalty lie

The loyalty lie

Loyalty is an increasingly fleeting thing. In fact, the average Gen Y mother now defines "brand loyalty" as a window of allegiance lasting 6-12 months before she moves on to explore alternatives.

The problem with mobile advertising isn't mobile. It's advertising.

The problem with mobile advertising isn't mobile. It's advertising.

In a recent article for Adweek David Gianatasio asked the question, “Why Does Mobile Advertising Stink?” And it’s a great question, because it really does. And one can’t help but wonder why, if everything is truly going mobile, advertising on...

The future of the retail store

The future of the retail store

Retail is dead! At least, that’s how Marc Andreessen sees it. The entrepreneur and tech investor was recently quoted saying that all physical retail stores will die, succumbing eventually to the vast sea of online competition.

What if Best Buy charged admission?

What if Best Buy charged admission?

O.K., suspend your disbelief just for a moment and hear me out… In 1999, Joe Pine and James Gilmore, authors of "The Experience Economy" predicted that we were entering an era where intense commoditization of goods left retailers with only...

The Retail Revival has begun!

The Retail Revival has begun!

I’m happy to let you know that my new book, "The Retail Revival: Reimagining Business For The New Age of Consumerism," is now available for pre-order. You can get it here: Wiley Amazon Barnes & Noble Synopsis: The Retail Revival...

Cookies and the key to success in retail

Cookies and the key to success in retail

For the holidays I took my friends, clients and business colleagues cookies. I bought them from a small coffee house and bakery in Toronto called Le Gourmand — who are (as I learned) renowned for making the best cookies in the city.

Is this the end of marketing?

Is this the end of marketing?

Imagine a world without marketing. No really… imagine a world where no one tries to sell you anything.

There's no room for revolutionaries on Wall Street

There's no room for revolutionaries on Wall Street

Several months ago, JC Penney CEO Ron Johnson and his newly formed executive team made some significant changes to the pricing and promotional structure for the chain. These changes almost immediately met with speculation from investors, anger from customers and second guessing by the market.

Understanding retail's 'third shelf'

Understanding retail's 'third shelf'

There have always been two "shelves" in retail. The first can be found in the retail store and is where the product is most often evaluated and ultimately purchased.

What Amazon's move into luxury apparel really means

What Amazon's move into luxury apparel really means

Internet retail behemoth Amazon has turned a dangerous eye toward the luxury apparel market. Long regarded as more of a clearinghouse for commodity items, Bezos and company have announced their intent to conquer (or at least take a sizeable chunk out of) high-end fashion.

Why 'Tweets for Treats' must die

Why 'Tweets for Treats' must die

It was only a matter of time before marketers developed a work-around to avoid the heavy lifting of great social media. Companies like Amex and now retailers such as Express are now incentivizing consumers to tweet about their brands or...

Why consumer confidence deserves much less attention

Why consumer confidence deserves much less attention

To say things have changed since 1967 is an understatement. Much of the technology we take for granted today was merely science fiction then.

Is Klout the new credit score?

Is Klout the new credit score?

Celebrities have long been known to receive special treatment. The best seats in the house, front of the line access to the hippest clubs and healthy discounts on the things they buy. Now, social networks have given rise to a new breed of celebrity – the Influencer.

Marketing in a post-text world

Marketing in a post-text world

As you read this post, you are digesting a form of content that represents a quickly diminishing proportion of the total web content you consume each day. The written web is steadily becoming a thing of the past. By 2013 Cisco estimates that 90 percent of all consumer IP traffic will be video.

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