Digital retail—key trends and developments

Lina Zhang, Mikko Hänninen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedingBook Chapterpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Digital technologies are reconfiguring and reshaping the retail value chain fundamentally, affecting the modes of customer engagement with retailers, the fulfillment and delivery options offered, as well as back-end operations and manufacturing. These developments have accelerated strongly with the COVID-19 pandemic and the shift from traditional to online retail channels worldwide. The retail sector continues to undergo a major digital transformation. We examine the current state of digital retail and highlight the key trends and capabilities shaping today's retail business models. We discuss the evolution of delivery and fulfillment formats over three decades from traditional e-commerce to today's Quick commerce, which offers multiple modes of engagement and interaction for customers who are increasingly channel-agnostic and seek convenience and a personalized retail experience. Our narrative is illustrated through two brief case examples from innovative pioneers in platform-based retailing in Western and Asian markets - Alibaba and Amazon. We describe how these platforms are powerful mediators in ever more complex retailing ecosystems that combine digital and physical assets. We discuss the implications of digital disruption for retail strategy, front-end retailing operations, and back-end logistics and manufacturing. The discussion helps scholars and practitioners to understand the changing digital retail landscape that is emerging worldwide.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Digital Supply Chain
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9780323916141
ISBN (Print)9780323916158
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2022


  • Alibaba
  • Amazon
  • Data analytics
  • Digital transformation
  • Omni-channel retail
  • Personalized marketing
  • Supply chain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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