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After looking at the e-commerce picture quite a bit, I’ve come to a conclusion: any attempts to simplify the situation should be treated as suspect. Yes it’s true that e-commerce is disrupting retail and is a real threat to brick-and-mortar. But it’s also true that plenty of people still want to go to stores. If anything, the future is omnichannel, and if anyone is going to beat out giants like Amazon, Alibaba, and Walmart, they’ll do it locally, in niche markets, as part of a group of local businesses that thrive by differentiating themselves from the big guys.

If the little guys are to survive, they’ll harness e-commerce and data too, and they’ll get a boost from on-demand delivery services. What are the chances this will happen? What are the chances that enterprises with sophisticated algorithms and millions of dollars to throw at research and development won’t annihilate the majority of small businesses? That’s exactly what I’m here to discuss.

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