Behavior & Business is a series that explores the behaviors of customers and how businesses are meeting their needs in innovative ways that drive growth.

This issue of Behavior & Business is focused on helping brands design better cross-platform retail experiences—better for customers in ways that support their shopping needs and better for the company’s bottom line.

Designing the Next Cross-Platform Retail Experience


We spent the last few months speaking with avid shoppers, observing shopping behavior, immersing ourselves in physical and digital retail experiences, shopping for products in our own lives (yes, we’re customers, too), and connecting with leaders of some our favorite retail brands.

With inspiration and insights in hand, we turned our attention towards developing a behavioral basis and business focus for three key opportunity areas that we see in cross-platform retail now and in the future.


We believe that these opportunity areas are critical for retail brands to consider as they work to design better cross-platform retail experiences. By ‘better,’ we mean better for customers in ways that support their needs and behaviors, and better for the company’s bottom line. We’ve grounded each opportunity area in foundational anthropological studies and business strategy, as well as included some of our favorite retail examples that are actively pushing on our thinking.


To be concrete and helpful, each opportunity area has 3 directives for retailers to explore that exist on a spectrum of innovation. That basically means the first directive might feel more familiar and closer in than the third one. We then cap each section with a set of actionable questions to bring back to your teams.


Anthony D’Avella is the Founder of Runyon. He designs growth products and experiences with great brands like American Express, Target, and the Harvard Innovation Lab, as well as well-funded and growing startups. Prior to Runyon, he designed, built, and launched cross-platform businesses at IMG and for Fortune 500 clients at IDEO in their New York studio. He holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and, when he’s not spending time with his wife and daughter in Brooklyn, he teaches venture design in the graduate MFA program at the School of Visual Arts in New York City.
Dr. Nicholas D’Avella is an ethnographer with research interests in markets, expert knowledge, and urban ecologies. His work connects Science and Technology Studies with anthropological themes related to money, exchange, and value. He completed his PhD at the University of California, Davis prior to holding postdoctoral fellowships at the Center for Science, Technology, Medicine & Society at UC Berkeley and at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science & Art. He is currently a Hunt Postdoctoral Fellow and Visiting Scholar at the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics at NYU.

A special thanks to Radhika Maheshwari, who helped research and design this first issue of Behavior & Business.