We didn’t know it at the time, but when the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, it triggered a movement toward democratization and free enterprise that spread—and is still spreading—around the world, freeing up once-closed societies. In its own way, the transformation of the global economy wrought by e-commerce is as momentous a phenomenon when it comes to dissolving barriers—in this case, to an entirely new retail economy. Like the Wall separating East and West, there existed many barriers in traditional retailing, confining retailers and consumers alike—barriers that made entry to established markets difficult and prevented retailer-consumer interaction on a mass-market level. These barriers also inhibited merchants from offering more personalized services and highly targeted marketing. Lastly, such barriers discouraged retailing on a global scale, forcing shoppers to travel to regional malls and tailor their shopping preferences to meet the merchant’s requirements on everything from store hours to store inventories.