Michelle Evans, Senior Head of Global Digital Consumer Research, Named a Top 100 Retail Influencer

Michelle Evans, Senior Head of Global Digital Consumer Research at Euromonitor International, was named a Top 100 Retail Influencer 2021 by Rethink Retail, recognizing her thought leadership within the retail industry. This annual list features the world’s most instrumental influencers in retail and is comprised of retail experts, consultants, analysts, academics, journalists and thought leaders who are making an impact in retail in 2021.

To better understand her leadership and influence within the retailing industry, Michelle provides insight into her role at Euromonitor and what it took to get to where she is today.

What does leadership mean to you?

Leadership is ultimately about people. Great leaders make connections, whether it’s people or ideas, for the benefit of the overall agenda. They also create opportunities in which others are able to contribute to a wider goal and shine during the execution. Great leaders show appreciation for the contributions of others as they realize they are at their service, not the other way around.

How did you become a thought leader in your industry?

Knowledge is the foundation of strong thought leadership. Building knowledge across the retail industry involved a lot of listening (and still does) to keep pace with the rapid changes that are afoot. Whether in the form of one-on-one conversations, conferences, news stories, company announcements or social media posts, I constantly absorb. When I want to contribute my own thoughts to the conversation, I leverage the stature of conference events, the reach of my column on Forbes.com and the power of social media to shape the wider industry dialogue.

What trends and innovations within the retail industry will you be watching closely this year?

The most important trend reshaping the retail industry is continued ascension of e-commerce. Euromonitor projects that half of the absolute value growth for the global retail sector over the 2020-2025 period will be digital. All this is leading to a permanent and radical shift in retail, creating new challenges as well as opportunities for retailers, consumer brands and others across the retail ecosystem.

More broadly, these shifts are driving structural change, too. In the past, consumers went to stores to truly shop. While e-commerce has been rising in popularity, it largely served a transactional role. The purpose of these two channels was evolving, but the crisis accelerated this shift and gave a draconian preview of a world where consumers only visit stores to transact and instead turn to digital channels to shop. The continued rise in e-commerce will call into question the fundamental purpose of a channel.

What is your advice for others?

Find something you are passionate about and strive to do it well. The journey will not always be easy or straightforward, but the passion will make the setbacks more bearable.