Change has been a part of every aspect of the shopping experience. Faced with the explosion of products, the infusion of technology, a steadily growing list of shopping sources, and a still shaky economy where shopping decisions have become more important than ever, smart shoppers have only become smarter. With smartphone in hand, today’s shopping bears little resemblance to the impulsive shopping of the past. Today, it’s a group sport: people are banding together based on common shopping interests, renting instead of buying single items, and then sharing their results online.

It’s also a detective’s game. Brands have been placed under the spotlight thanks to social and mainstream media. And it’s not just speed, value and convenience. The ethical bar has been lifted as the era of conscious capitalism has steadily matured. Getting the product is not enough for today’s shoppers: they want the best product, at the best price, anytime, from a brand that fits best into their personal code of ethics. It’s the broader relationship that matters today, and how the shopper feels after the purchase has become more important than ever before. Are they happy? Are they regretting their purchase they made so thoughtfully? Are they going to share their experience with their friends?

Every aspect of the shopping experience has become more important and pivotal, from the planning, the in-store (or online) shopping experience, to the end result.


Basket build-up (n.)

The act of having multiple virtual shopping carts at different stores, brands and shopping sites with items that often end up going un-purchased.


Black Thursday (n.)

The name for the Thursday, specifically Thanksgiving, before Black Friday now that stores are starting their Black Friday sales earlier than ever.

For examples of stores that have Black Thursdays, check out Walmart, Sears, Kmart and Target.

Conscious capitalism (n.)

An organization’s effort to act not only in its own best interests, but also in those of all its stakeholders (customers, employees, suppliers, investors, society).


Couch commerce (n.)

Shopping online using smartphones or tablets from the comfort of one’s couch.

Enterprise efficiency (n.)

The trend of identifying best practices to improve an organization’s efficiency as it relates to products, production, time and energy use.


Format flexibility (n.)

Large-format retailers designing smaller stores to reach new markets and reduce costs.

For examples of format flexibility, check out CityTarget and Walmart Express

For more information on format flexibility, check out this article in The New York Times.

Groupoff (n.)

Feelings of frustration toward daily deal sites, experienced by consumers realizing they don’t use all their purchased coupons and business owners unsatisfied after offering a coupon or investors selling their shares in daily deal sites.

For more information about Groupoff, check out this article on

POC (n.)

Initialism for “point of convenience,” regarding the increase in automated or onsite solutions for in-the-moment needs and delivering the instant gratification people have come to expect from services.

For examples, check out this article on vending machine innovation.

Show-rooming (n.)

The practice of examining merchandise in a brick-and-mortar retail store without purchasing it there, then shopping online to find a lower price.


Subscription-service shopping (n.)

Using subscription-based services to purchase, rent or borrow items, from movies to fashion.

Examples: ShoeDazzle, BeachMint, Spotify, Rent the Runway, Fancy Box, Beauty by Mail, Birchbox