Why the Modern Commerce Academy is the ultimate online retail course

Our brand-new online retail course – the Modern Commerce Academy – is here!

Delivering over 12 years of strategic retail learnings in just 3 weeks, it might just be the best thing we’ve ever done.

The Modern Commerce Academy has been conceived and will be delivered by our expert retail consultant Cate Trotter, named one of the world’s top retail experts.

If you’re wondering just what Modern Commerce is or why you need to take this course, we got the lowdown on all things Modern Commerce Academy from Cate herself.


What is the Modern Commerce Academy?

The Modern Commerce Academy brings together 12+ years of expertise from the Insider Trends and Avensia teams in a 3 week course.

The world of retail is more interconnected than ever before. It’s vital for departments and staff to break out of silos and work together in more holistic ways.

This course can help anyone working in retail understand how the whole business can work together better and move towards Modern Commerce.

A lot of retail businesses were founded in the 20th century and still think like 20th century businesses. However, it is easier than ever for anyone to set up a retail business and go from zero to serious competitor in a very short period of time by embracing a 21st century mentality.

The Modern Commerce Academy course can help those from the 20th century mentally shift to this 21st century approach and unlock the same sort of speedy growth.

In the course we share strategies of 21st century businesses including some things you might not expect to hear. We also provide you with the Modern Commerce Academy framework which shows you how to bring that strategy to life.

This framework is useful today but has been specifically designed to still be useful in the future so participants can rely on it whatever happens and wherever they go.

The course also includes a final project where you can systematically assess your retail business against competitors using the framework and spot things that you didn’t before including new ways to get ahead.

What is Modern Commerce?

Modern Commerce isn’t a fixed concept. It represents retail that is always at the forefront.

It’s also not another retail industry buzzword.

Modern Commerce accepts that retail is always changing and evolving. It is a more open-minded, flexible view of what retail can be.

This is one of the key differences between 20th and 21st century retail.

Twentieth century retail is more focused on fixed elements such as stores, roles and hierarchy, whereas 21st century is much more fluid and adaptable in terms of technology, information, concepts and relationships.

Modern Commerce is channel and tool agnostic. It is defined by management and processes rather than any tools, technologies or channels it uses. The tools Modern Commerce uses today may be different to the ones it used tomorrow.

Modern Commerce businesses are not committed to specific channels. They think retail can take place anywhere and try to put retail wherever the customer is.

This approach requires a shift in culture to set principles for people to engage in a more agile way. The Modern Commerce Academy equips them to do this.


Can you give us an example of a Modern Commerce business?

Modern Commerce is always changing so there is no one retailer who embodies everything about it.

In the course we look at some examples of different businesses that highlight great examples of Modern Commerce elements in action.

As William Gibson is often quoted as saying, “The future is already here – it’s just not very evenly distributed”.

The clues about holistic Modern Commerce are out there but we need to put them together to get a complete Modern Commerce business.

One great example of a business brilliantly moving from the 20th to the 21st century mindset is Nike.

They have totally rethought what their business can be and are increasingly vertically integrating what they are doing. They see the need for a direct relationship with the customer. The relationship is the most important thing, the channel where it happens is secondary.

Goop is an example of a business that has people’s attention. They started out focused on content and added in retail. Glossier did the same thing but took it further by adding in understanding and dialogue with the customer by asking them what they want.

If you have people listening to you, you know what they want, and you respond to that, then you can always be successful in a way that is unrelated to channel.

Who is teaching the course?

I am!

As a retail consultant I’ve worked all over the world with the CEOs of many of the biggest brands and retailers.

The Modern Commerce Academy sees me sharing over a decade of our best insights at Insider Trends and the insights of Avensia’s strategy advisors in a brand-new way.

Alongside the video lessons which share strategies and Modern Commerce concepts, you’ll also get two live Q&As with me and a member of Avensia’s strategy team where you can ask anything you want.

The key thing about the Modern Commerce Academy is that the framework we provide is instantly applicable. We prove this with a final project where you apply everything that you’ve learnt to crystallise your thinking and generate really useful insights that you can apply immediately to your retail business.

If you complete the course and take part in the final project you will get a printed qualification and a digital badge to display on your LinkedIn profile and other digital accounts.


Why should people sign up for the Modern Commerce Academy?

There is no other retail course out there that takes a birds-eye view across the whole business and pulls it together in a holistic and coherent way.

The Modern Commerce Academy crystallises what Modern Commerce is into a strategic framework that is useful today and tomorrow.

It’s a really great view of the whole industry and how it can work together better.

As such, we’ve developed the course to be useful to anyone working in any part of the retail industry to get insight into the role that your department plays in helping your company get ahead, and how departments can work better together.

It’s also a great introduction for those looking to enter the retail industry or change from another industry.

We hope you’ll join us!

The first cohort of the Modern Commerce Academy starts on February 16th – we hope you can join us!

For a limited time, we’re offering the whole course for just $175 (normally $400) with the code ‘earlyadopter’. Sign up now to take advantage of this special limited offer!

If you’d like your whole team or company to take part, we also have group passes available at a discounted rate. Get in touch to discuss your needs.

And if you have any other questions about the Modern Commerce Academy do drop us an email at or call +44 207 183 3785 for a chat.