INTRODUCTION

Digital commerce, enabled by digital analytics, has created and satisfied consumers’ insatiable desire for immediate gratification. “Consumers today want what they want when they want it and they don’t expect to pay a premium to get it fast,” Mark Mathews of the National Retail Federation told conference attendees in January (Shearman and Smith, 2018).

Amazon’s convenient and personalized shopping platform, offering hundreds of millions of products online, has driven that mind-set—not to mention the “smart” devices that make such shopping so easy. Beyond laptops, smartphones, and tablets, smart speakers have emerged as an important future purchase channel. That’s all great news for Amazon and other digital retailers and for the newer, fast-growing brands being offered directly to consumers. For many traditional marketers, however, the resulting pressure on sales channels, brands, and established ways of marketing is crushing.