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Editor’s letter: Retail, the canary in the coal mine and why you need to attend SAP Hybris LIVE: Digital Summit 2017

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I was in the car on my way to work this week when I heard the news that Warren Buffet has now jettisoned 90 percent of his Wal-Mart shares. In the past, Buffet has made noise about his concern over the future of “traditional” retailers. Just last year he said Amazon “is a big, big force and it has already disrupted plenty of people and it will disrupt more.”

The reporter covering the news opined that Buffet was divesting because “e-commerce is the future.” That really struck me. We’ve been hearing that for almost a decade, but it’s fair to say the future is now. Take a dive into our archives here on The Future of Customer Engagement & Commerce and you’ll find thousands of words about just how pervasive the digital world is, and has been for years.

What’s especially interesting about Buffet and Wal-Mart isn’t that a brilliant investor and bellwether of business trends is stepping back from one of America’s most emblematic big-box brands—it’s that not too long ago, Wal-Mart aquired Jet.com, a digital-only brand, to boost its e-commerce capabilities.

Wal-Mart is looking to the future, but the digital transformation is moving so fast that it might not be able to catch up. Another U.S.-based retailer, The Limited, abruptly closed all of its physical stores in January in favor of online-only sales. In the last 20 years, retail has been a kind of canary in the coal mine when it comes to the digital world—and now it’s looking like a big shift, one that will trickle down to every industry, is once again on its way.

That’s why I’d like to personally invite you to join us at the upcoming SAP Hybris LIVE: Digital Summit 2017. We’re planning a 24-hour, unprecedented global event that will live-stream the most up-to-the-minute thought leadership, panels with top industry experts and innovative brand stories for FREE to the device of your choice, from the comfort of your own location. On March 8, 2017, you can log on to learn how to go beyond the near-constant disruption of the digital marketplace and harness the power of innovation to move your brand into the future.

SAP Hybris has never hosted an event quite like this one. From Singapore, Munich and New York City, we will live-stream the ideas and knowledge of an array of presenters who not only understand what it is like to be in your shoes, they’ve stood inside them and learned how to thrive. And, we also pulled together a comprehensive library of on-demand content you can access on your own schedule, when you need it most.

Here at The Future of Customer Engagement & Commerce, we are dedicated to sharing the kind of future-forward thought leadership and how-to stories you’ve come to expect from us. With SAP Hybris LIVE: Digital Summit 2017, we’re taking a big leap forward by giving you access to the knowledge that can help you and your brand make sense of what coming next.

So read more about SAP Hybris: LIVE Digital Summit 2017 and register for the can’t-miss event of the year—all without leaving your desk. Now is your time to be the agent of change.

Amy Hatch is a senior director at SAP Hybris and is the editor-in-chief of The Future of Customer Engagement & Commerce and hybris.com.

Amy Hatch
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February 17, 2017
Amy Hatch

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