Shannon Williams

Video: Digital retailing students embrace data as retail’s future

I recently visited the University of North Texas in Denton to get a sense of how the next generation of retailers (next generation as in like any minute) viewed the digital transformation that has been under way in the industry for some time.

Two seniors, Lindsay Norwick and Shannon Williams took the time to sit down with me and share their thoughts about where all this is headed.

Williams sees a world in which retailers will finally have that complete picture of customers, across devices and channels. Finally, the lines between online and offline will fade completely.

Norwick and Williams’ enthusiasm and keen insights were typical of what I heard on campus. In general, I found a group of forward-thinking and engaged digital retail students who are anxious to push the new models of data-driven merchandising forward and who see the rapid change as an opportunity to redefine how consumers shop and retailers sell.

For her part, Norwick also sees a data-rich world that merges physical stores with digital outlets to a degree that will leave consumers thinking not of online or offline, but just shopping.

As I said in my longer post, if the work going on at UNT is any indication, the future of retail is in good hands.

Mike Cassidy is BloomReach’s storyteller. Contact him at; follow him on Twitter at @mikecassidy.