Redefining Retail: Navigating the Digital-Physical Blend with Carl Boutet

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In this episode, host Eitan Koter interviews Carl Boutet, an expert in e-commerce and retail innovation. Carl shares his background in retail and e-commerce, including his experience launching Cantel with Price Club and working with

He discusses his passion for teaching and his involvement with the Retail Innovation Lab at McGill University. Carl also explores the e-commerce trends in Asia, including the rise of shoppable video and the integration of digital and physical experiences.

He highlights the importance of the transition to a cookieless world and the opportunities and challenges of retail media. In this conversation, Carl Boutet discusses the role of artificial intelligence in retail and the concept of the retail relevance index. He also shares insights from his book, The Great Acceleration, which explores the impact of the pandemic on the retail industry.

Additionally, Carl provides personal insights on finding balance and discusses his support for sustainability initiatives.


  • E-commerce is rapidly evolving, and it is important for businesses to keep up with the latest trends and technologies.
  • The blurring of digital and physical experiences is a key trend in retail, with the integration of shoppable video and the rise of immersive commerce.
  • Asia is leading the way in e-commerce adoption, with China being a major player in the market.
  • The transition to a cookieless world presents challenges and opportunities for advertisers and retailers, with a focus on first-party data and retail media. Artificial intelligence is a fundamental stage in the evolution of retail, similar to the introduction of websites or electricity.
  • The retail relevance index measures differentiation through attributes such as price, convenience, delight, and purpose.
  • The Great Acceleration explores the impact of the pandemic on the retail industry and the need for retail resilience.
  • Finding balance and considering sustainability are important aspects of navigating emerging technologies and new business models.


00:00 Introduction and Background

03:16 Passion for Teaching and Retail Innovation Lab

08:27 E-commerce Trends in Asia

14:21 Shoppable Video and the Transition to the Western World

19:35 Blurring of Digital and Physical in Retail

25:09 Integration of Shoppable Experiences in Big Screens

27:33 Transition to a Cookieless World and the Rise of Retail Media

33:52 The Role of Artificial Intelligence in Retail

34:29 The Retail Relevance Index

37:33 The Book: The Great Acceleration

41:43 Personal Insights and Balance

42:43 Where to Find Carl Boutet

Carl’s LinkedIn:

Download the white paper: Key Retail Innovation Learnings for SMEs, from the Bensadoun School of Retail Management

Looking to elevate your e-commerce game with shoppable videos and social commerce? visit Vimmi at

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