Street Fight’s August Theme: The Next Normal

This post is the latest in our “The Next Normal” series. It will be an editorial focus for the month of July, and you can see the rest of the series here


As we roll into August, it’s time to establish Street Fight’s monthly editorial focus. After our standard ritual (no animals harmed), we’ve settled on “The Next Normal.” Forced to adopt new technologies just to survive, some local businesses have experienced a decade of evolution in just a few months.

So the question is, how will newly elevated local businesses transform the local commerce landscape? If a large share of the local business universe has raised its game, what will be the new “bar” in local media, advertising, and commerce? How should tech providers adjust to new demand signals?

As one example, e-commerce has teetered on the edge of 10% of U.S. consumer spending for the last decade. In the last few months alone, it’s shot up to almost 15% according to eMarketer. How has this transformed local commerce, and how has it fire-tested local businesses for a post-Covid world?

We’re talking digital transformation like curbside pickup. Though forcing some local businesses out of their comfort zone, this technique could end up being a good thing for some lucky businesses, which are surviving and discovering new operational efficiencies. The same could apply to order-ahead capabilities for QSRs and other technologies we’ve examined.

The forced-adoption principle also applies to SEO and reputation management. How are brands getting an instilled sense of value from the fire-drill exercise of keeping up with dynamic business details (operating hours, mask requirements, etc.)? Many got a crash course they’ll never forget.

The other thing we like about this theme is how it looks forward. While scrambling to cover the dynamic state of local commerce over the past few months, we were forced to think in the (constantly shifting) present. Though the future is still uncertain, we’re seeing confidence signals in local’s resilence.

So look out for the tag “The Next Normal.” This follows last month’s “Targeting Location” and May’s “retail recovery” as part of our monthly exercise to define the times.

We’ll label posts on this topic so you can look out for them on a daily basis or see them all at once in our filtered taxonomy. Coverage will include our own daily reporting, deeper analytical dives from our columnists, and a steady flow of contributions from business leaders developing first-hand insights.

Speaking of which, we’ll take this chance to remind you about our editorial contributor program. If you have unique perspective and insights, we’d love to hear from you. We’re currently prioritizing and fast-tracking any submissions that fall under our Future Finders column for concrete market projections.

Reach out to us with suggestions for monthly themes, opportunities to contribute, and to amplify your brand messaging alongside this thematic coverage. On that note, we’re excited to also announce that we’ve launched the latest version of our media kit. Check it out, and come be part of the narrative.

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Mike Boland has been a tech & media analyst for the past two decades, specifically covering mobile, local and emerging technologies. He has written for Street Fight since 2011. More can be seen at www.mikebo.land