It is no secret that the rise of the online marketplace has been a game-changer for businesses of all kinds, in every industry. Major shippers like Amazon not only bring an unparalleled array of products to customers around the world, but have also spurred a major demand for hundreds of new logistics centers that are cropping up all over the country, many of which we at ZUM3D have had a chance to lend our talents on.
However, what financial analysts are finding is that all of these new developments come at a cost—specifically, increased vacancy rates in retail and office spaces since the 2008 financial crisis. Since virtual storefronts are less expensive for businesses, and are especially attractive to emerging entrepreneurs for their low overhead, the necessity of keeping up a brick and mortar space becomes not only less appealing, but in some cases unfeasible.
It is worse for real-estate investors than it is for business owners, as many retailers are already finding new ways to adapt. Online virtual catalogs like the one we produced for Zephyr Kitchen Design allow shoppers to browse to their heart’s content, while allowing our client to get their product to the masses online. Similarly, our work with the Nokia Lumia 900 imagined a completely new way to let mobile shippers explore a new product from a variety of angles, wherever and whenever they want.
Whether we are ready for it or not, our world is changing rapidly, and it is up to forward-thinking companies to imagine new solutions that can take advantage of the new terrain. Zephyr, Nokia, and ZUM3D are just a few examples.