Skip navigation
1 2 3 Previous Next

Tom Brouillette Thoughts at Large

726 posts
tbrouill

Retailer Adaptation

Posted by tbrouill Sep 24, 2016


Consumers are changing the retail marketplace through their embrace of mobile technology and their adaptation and mash-up of that technology to support their shopping and purchasing demands.  Retailers have been slow in meeting these challenges and this has impacted their sales growth and retention of customers.  Many large department store retailers have been focused on strategies allowing consumers to shop any time and pick up or ship any where.  These are what I refer to as the purchasing side of the transaction and while this is important, I see consumers focused more on the shopping side of the transaction.  In other words, consumers are focused on the social network practices to collaborate with friends and third party service provides to shop for prices, products and services and only engaging with the retailer when they are ready to complete the purchase side of the transaction.

 

Retailers must embrace a strategy of adaptation both that incorporates both tools and technologies to meet the changing demands of consumers.  I see this as the key factor to the future success of retailers and also one of the most difficult challenges to meet.  This adaptation starts with a framework that will support the ability to easily add and drop tools.  Just as important though is the strategic direction and commitment to collaborate with the consumer to support the changing demands of the consumer shopping practices. 

 

The purchase side of the transaction is probably 10% of the consumer interaction.  Retailers must focus on the social shopping side of the equation and change the interaction with the consumer from one of purchase at the lowest price to one of collaboration and social interaction.  Consumer retention depends on engaging the consumer in these new social network shopping interactions.  Mobile technology allows the consumer to purchase any time and the key to retention is engaging the consumer in the shopping and interaction to increase the likelihood that the consumer will purchase. 

 

Retailers must adapt to the consumer shopping and networking demands in order to maintain sales and success.  The large department store retailers have come to realize that a focus on price, or purchase any time any place, will not deliver long term success and is not sustainable for a variety of reasons.  Retailers must now expand their focus into the shopping side of the transaction and adapt their tools including their eCommerce site and brick and mortar store experience to focus on shopping and consumer networking.  This shift in focus will require a continuous adaptive approach to maintaining and growing the consumer relationship.  This will in turn encourage the consumer to return and when they return, whether virtually or physically they will stay longer.  This strategy requires an investment in both technology and capabilities for the retailer to maintain and grow the relationship.

 

And now for the audience participation portion of the show…

ECommerce will have wide ranging impacts on both the retail and manufacturing sectors.  How can you focus these abilities to improve the consumer's experience?  Improving the consumer’s experience will require a re-evaluation of the sales channels, the manufacturing channels and practices and the supply chain channels and practices from the raw materials to the consumers’ homes.  In order to ensure and maintain success in this new reality you must harness the tools and capabilities in many new areas.  How can you support these continuously changing requirements?

tbrouill

Consumer Adaptation

Posted by tbrouill Sep 23, 2016


Consumers are using mobile and social technology to adapt their retail shopping and purchasing habits to fit into their lifestyles and their evolving desires.  These changing demands and practices are the result of consumers adapting the technology and social networking capabilities through experimentation with the new tools and capabilities and mashing these tools and technologies to form new capabilities.  These adaptive practices are increasing and expanding now to change the face of retail into a blend of the virtual and physical being continuously changed as consumers continue to experiment and expand their technology capabilities.  Retail is truly becoming a consumer driven market and large retailers no longer have the ability to drive the market practices in the same way they could in the past.

 

Consumers are using mobile technology and tools to adapt their shopping and purchasing habits as their lifestyles and resullting availability for shopping and purchasing is changing.  Millennials are at the forefront of these adaptive changes because of their comfort with the technology and tools in addition to their desire to utilize their time and money more effectively.  This adaptation is promoted by third party shopping apps and changing retail services and capabilities.  These changes are crossing over all aspects of retail and not just large department stores.  You can see retailers across the market, from grocers to department stores, to home improvement offering new eCommerce services to entice consumers to purchase. 

 

Consumers are quick to learn and adapt to new technology and new services to improve their lifestyle and allow for more efficient purchasing.  This allows the consumers to spend more time on activities that bring value and enjoyment to them.  Retailers are now only beginning to realize and understand the changes driven by this consumer adaptation and retailers are adding new features based on perceived market direction rather than direct feedback and interaction from the consumers.  Retailers, for the most part, seem to be following a ‘herd’ mentality, if another retailer offers a service such as order online and pick up in the store, then soon every retailer follows whether it really adds value to the consumer experience or not.

 

I think that retailers have a great opportunity now to develop and strengthen their relationship with their customers by incorporating what I have been referring to as social shopping, where the consumer utilizes social networking tools to shop virtually with their friends and family.  This will allow retailers to interact directly and collect a vast amount of shopping related data to use in developing services that will attract and and retain customers, rather than following the herd of other retailers.  Consumers are using technology to adapt their shopping and purchasing to fit their lifestyle needs and they will jump to any retailer that supports their demands.  Social network shopping capabilities helps the retailer to develop a relationship with consumers and support their demands through a continuous improvement approach.

 

And now for the audience participation portion of the show…

ECommerce will have wide ranging impacts on both the retail and manufacturing sectors.  How can you focus these abilities to improve the consumer's experience?  Improving the consumer’s experience will require a re-evaluation of the sales channels, the manufacturing channels and practices and the supply chain channels and practices from the raw materials to the consumers’ homes.  In order to ensure and maintain success in this new reality you must harness the tools and capabilities in many new areas.  How can you support these continuously changing requirements?

tbrouill

Consumer Collaboration

Posted by tbrouill Sep 21, 2016


It recently dawned on me that keywords for retail collaboration are not popular and and not part of the general list of keywords and phrases popular in Twitter.  There are also many more examples of collaboration keywords and phrases than there are examples of retail keywords and phrases.  I do not know if this has any importance, or where the importance lies, of collaboration with consumers although I do think that it is a sign of the lack of focus and importance of this practice in most retailer strategy.  Collaboration is a key factor with the consumer and they are embracing a wide variety of tools with which to collaborate every day.  Consumers have embraced this practice and technology in big way and it is time for retailers to also embrace this practice.

 

For a very long time retailers have been able to survive and thrive by providing consumers with the capabilities products and shopping methods that the consumers felt were needed by the consumer.  The large retailers utilized surveys and focus groups to convince themselves they were listening to the customer and they incorporated organizations focused on customer relationships and customer satisfaction to promote their idea of a strong consumer relationship.  All of these organizations focused on their customer relationship with one very important caveat; this customer relationship must focus on sales first and the customer relationship second.  The retailer was something of a benevolent benefactor in their relationship with the consumer; the retailer provided what they felt the consumer needed and desired, as long as it didn’t impact the sales for any channel.

 

This retail practice worked for a very long time and most retailers truly felt they were promoting the consumer relationship through their practices.  When eCommerce came into the picture the beliefs, relationships and sales methods began to unravel for retailers.  Consumers were given a choice in the method and channel to make a purchase and consumers made the choice to shop at their own time and place.  Bookstores were the first casualty of the rise of eCommerce and retailers have overlooked a key factor in their relationship with consumers which is - consumers are interested in a social shopping experience that blends channels.  In hindsight, the consumer ‘window shopping’ practice where they would try out products in a store and then purchase online was an indication of the consumer demands.  Many retailers fought this consumer practice with only limited success but it still did not stop the consumer.

 

With the explosion of mobile technology and tools on the market consumers are taking the next logical step in their goal of the virtual shopping and purchasing practice across channels.  Consumers are using mobile apps and technology that is provided by third party companies to build this capability themselves and this is already impacting retailers.  Retailers must recognize the consumer demands and begin to incorporate them into a multichannel offering that supports the consumer demands of a virtual shopping and purchasing platform across channels.  The first retailers to embrace and offer this platforms will be the game changers and success stories in the coming next chapter of retail.

 

And now for the audience participation portion of the show…

ECommerce will have wide ranging impacts on both the retail and manufacturing sectors.  How can you focus these abilities to improve the consumer's experience?  Improving the consumer’s experience will require a re-evaluation of the sales channels, the manufacturing channels and practices and the supply chain channels and practices from the raw materials to the consumers’ homes.  In order to ensure and maintain success in this new reality you must harness the tools and capabilities in many new areas.  How can you support these continuously changing requirements?


Consumers have embraced collaborative shopping through a variety of devices, times and places to help them to find products, stores and price comparisons.  Smart phones and tablets allow consumers to utilize these collaborative tools any time and any place to support their shopping and purchasing requirements.  It is time now for retailers to embrace collaborative shopping and purchasing in their interactions with consumers to ensure their success going forward.  Mobile technology and apps combined with social networks have been embraced by consumers to expand their collaborative shopping and purchasing capabilities in a manner that does not require retailers to participate and this must be addressed by retailers to be successful in the future.

 

Retailers have traditionally attempted to maintain control of their shopping and purchasing environments through eCommerce tools, brick and mortar stores and shopping malls.  This has traditionally allowed retailers to control the technology and maintain a separation of channels in purchasing.  Recently retailers have recognized the desires of consumers to purchase any time and any place and these capabilities are beginning to be provided in a consistent manner by many retailers now.  Retailers are now combining inventory across all channels to support the cross channel fulfillment capabilities in an attempt to allow purchasing any time and place. 

 

Retailers have yet to recognize the desire of consumers to shop collaboratively across channels and these retailers are allowing this niche to be filled by third party mobile apps.  This allows these third party mobile app providers to develop a strong relationship with consumers as a portal, or starting point, to their shopping and support the ability to search and shop based on the smartphone location and mobile network capabilities.  These capabilities combined with location based searches and special price offerings make this a powerful draw for consumers and also a risk to the retailers in regards to purchases.  Consumers have been consistent in their actions related to eCommerce and many times these actions do not align with the retailer objectives to protect their sales.

 

In order to continue their success in the future retailers must embrace the consumer practices, rather than fight, and support the combination of collaborative shopping and purchasing.  Consumers have changed their methods in both shopping and purchasing as a result of mobile technology capabilities and most of the large retailers have fallen behind in their ability and desire to support these consumer capabilities.  It is a mistake for retailers to overlook these consumer demands because consumers have shown that they will find a way to meet their demands whether supported or not by the major retailers.  Now we have reached the point in the retail market where control has shifted to the consumer and retailers must now accept and incorporate these demands into their structure.

 

And now for the audience participation portion of the show…

ECommerce will have wide ranging impacts on both the retail and manufacturing sectors.  How can you focus these abilities to improve the consumer's experience?  Improving the consumer’s experience will require a re-evaluation of the sales channels, the manufacturing channels and practices and the supply chain channels and practices from the raw materials to the consumers’ homes.  In order to ensure and maintain success in this new reality you must harness the tools and capabilities in many new areas.  How can you support these continuously changing requirements?


Until retailers embrace collaboration and the change demanded by consumers there are no tools or software that can help the retailer to cope.  Consumers have embraced collaboration and are now utilizing mobile technology to incorporate and enhance collaboration across their shopping and purchasing practices.  The omni channel control tower provides a framework for the retailer to support and collaborate with the consumer and all other partners in the retail supply chain.  First though, the retailer must embrace collaboration with the partners across the supply chain, including consumers, suppliers, logistics and delivery and product design.  This collaborative integration across the retail market must be the driving objective for retailers and then they can incorporate the tools to support this objective.

 

Tools and the omni channel control tower only provide the means to support the collaborative objectives of the retailer’s market, these tools do not ensure success.  The critical ingredient to the retailer success is the collaborative integration across their marketplace.  The control tower reduces the effort required by all partners in the retail market to collaborate and develop a successful collaborative relationship.  In other words, success will come from collaboration and not from the tools.  The tools provide the methods to achieve the objective and the tools are not the objective. Consumers understand this and that is the reason there is such upheaval in mobile technology and apps.

 

I saw an interesting mobile app statistic that only about 40% of apps installed are used by the consumer after installing on their mobile device.  The interesting point about this statistic is that it highlights the fickle nature of consumers.  Consumers are willing to try any app that peaks their interest and then the trick for consumer acceptance is how the app meets the consumer needs or demands.  This suggests to me that retailers must understand and accept that only 40%, or less, of their consumer offers will attract the interest of consumers.  This changes the retailer focus from a long evaluation and implementation process to a process that supports quick trial and then just as quickly discard tools that are not accepted by the consumer.

 

This is where the control tower concept brings value because it provides the consumer with the framework that supports a quick trial framework along with a capability to just as quickly measure results of the trials.  This allows the retailer to quickly and effectively modify their offerings based on the demands of the consumer.  It is important though for the retailer leadership to understand that the control tower is not bringing success, it is the flexibility supported by the control tower that allows the retailer to adapt to changes in consumer demand that is bringing the success. 

 

And now for the audience participation portion of the show…

ECommerce will have wide ranging impacts on both the retail and manufacturing sectors.  How can you focus these abilities to improve the consumer's experience?  Improving the consumer’s experience will require a re-evaluation of the sales channels, the manufacturing channels and practices and the supply chain channels and practices from the raw materials to the consumers’ homes.  In order to ensure and maintain success in this new reality you must harness the tools and capabilities in many new areas.  How can you support these continuously changing requirements?


Mobile technology and smartphones will continue to push the limits of change in retail and a quickening pace and retailers must develop and improve their ability to adapt to the changes.  Consumers will no longer wait for retailers to respond nor will they accept push back from retailers to support their shopping and purchasing method changes.  There are too many options now for consumers and in addition to the available options consumers are able to develop their own capabilities through mobile apps and social networks.  The time has long passed when retailers can control the methods and manner in which consumers shop and the sooner retailers embrace this realization, the sooner they will realize the benefits of sales and consumer retention.

 

Consumers have already embraced the mobile technology that provides the means to support their demands and there are many apps available (and more every day) that support the demands of consumer social shopping and purchasing.  Retailers must realize and embrace these changes in order to develop a personal relationship with the consumer.  The personal relationship with consumers is probably the single greatest tool, or action, a retailer can embrace to ensure the retention of the consumer.  The control tower framework provides the ability for retailers to efficiently and effectively adapt to the changing demands and capabilities of the consumer.

 

The retailer must incorporate and embrace a method to quickly adapt and incorporate new capabilities into their multi channel retail capabilities.  Consumers are no longer bound by offerings from any retailer, they are able now to add new mobile capabilities to support their shopping needs via mobile apps.  This allows the consumer to shop at any time, virtually or brick and mortar, so they are no longer tied to the availability of any one retailer.  Using the control tower framework allows the retailer to easily adapt to the changing demands and capabilities from consumers, this ability to adapt is critically important to retailers so they can maintain their relationship retain consumers.

 

Current features and functionality is no longer critical to the long term viability of any retailer, the key now is the ability to adapt to the changing demands of the consumer.  This ability to adapt supports a collaborative relationship between consumer and retailer which is essential to the long term retention of the consumer.  The retailer must incorporate this ability to to adapt and collaborate with the consumer and the control tower framework provides the means for the retailer to implement the ability to adapt without wholesale change to their legacy systems and functionality. 

 

And now for the audience participation portion of the show…

ECommerce will have wide ranging impacts on both the retail and manufacturing sectors.  How can you focus these abilities to improve the consumer's experience?  Improving the consumer’s experience will require a re-evaluation of the sales channels, the manufacturing channels and practices and the supply chain channels and practices from the raw materials to the consumers’ homes.  In order to ensure and maintain success in this new reality you must harness the tools and capabilities in many new areas.  How can you support these continuously changing requirements?


The retailer cannot hope to maintain success in the changing marketplace without data collection and analysis capabilities.  The control tower concept provides the framework to capture and store data for analysis that can then be used in the future by the retailer and also their supply chain partners.  This is important to identify the success of trends and new tools along with trends and new tools run their course and are replaced by new trends and tools.  The importance of collecting data for analysis is nothing new and this omni channel control tower framework simply provides the foundation for quickly and efficiently collecting data for analysis across the consumer multi channel shopping and purchasing without being impacted by changes in tools and functionality.

 

Data collection is becoming more and more critical to the success of retailers and for this reason it is important to provide a standard framework that will not be greatly impacted by the discontinuous change experienced in the retail marketplace.  Unfortunately, it is easy to overlook the data collection needs when in the middle of upheaval and this is why it is so important to build the data collection framework into the omni channel control tower.  The amount of change that is being driven into the retail market with no sign of the volume of change slowing in the future retailers must develop this standard framework to collect data so that they can both support the volume and velocity of change while maintaining the ability to measure outcome.

 

It is more important than ever that retailers have the ability to monitor both activities by consumers across the retail shopping and purchasing practices along with monitoring the impact and results of tools and features across the multi channel market.  These measurements must be analyzed across the entire multi channel consumer interaction with the retailer due to the changes in shopping and purchasing capabilities that are being embraced by the consumer.  Consumers are no longer segmenting there shopping and purchasing by channel and retailers must also view the relationship along with shopping and purchasing across all channels.

 

Retailers must recognize the importance and the impact that mobile technology will continue to have on the marketplace and their challenge is to embrace these changes to retain and grow their customer base and sales.  This will require a two pronged approach to support; first the integration of the technology and the new demands of the consumer, and second the integration of data collection and analysis tools that will allow them to analyze trends and the consumer demands related to these trends.   The omni channel control tower provides the concept and the structure necessary to efficiently and cost effectively support this two pronged approach in a manner that allows the change to be integrated into the consumer shopping and purchasing capabilities without impacting the retailer legacy business systems.



And now for the audience participation portion of the show…

ECommerce will have wide ranging impacts on both the retail and manufacturing sectors.  How can you focus these abilities to improve the consumer's experience?  Improving the consumer’s experience will require a re-evaluation of the sales channels, the manufacturing channels and practices and the supply chain channels and practices from the raw materials to the consumers’ homes.  In order to ensure and maintain success in this new reality you must harness the tools and capabilities in many new areas.  How can you support these continuously changing requirements?


The omni channel framework very simply must provide the means to easily integrate new technology and partners into the retailer shopping and purchasing systems while also providing a platform to collect data for analysis and action.  This framework provides a means to plug new functionality into the consumer facing systems while using a standard integration framework for these new systems and functionality to quickly integrate into the retailer’s legacy business applications.  This control tower framework allows the retailer to easily swap and add technology capabilities to customer facing shopping and purchasing capabilities without impacting and changing the legacy business applications. 

 

This concept and framework of the control tower for omni channel retailers provides a robust and flexible means for the large multi channel retailer to change the consumer facing systems and capabilities based on the consumer demands without the risk of change to their legacy business systems.  This frees the retailer to focus on meeting the consumer demands without the concerns of impacting their legacy business applications.  This is critical to the retailer to meeting the increasing speed of change demanded by consumers and encouraged by mobile technology and mobile apps.  Without this control tower framework the retailer would continuously be challenged with each new consumer demand and with the framework the retailer can quickly add to their capabilities without risk.

 

Another important aspect to the control tower framework is the data collection and analysis capabilities that can be supported.  With the change demanded by consumers changing frequently there must be some method to standardize the data collected for analysis.  The control tower framework allows for functionality to be added to the consumer facing systems and capabilities while not impacting the collection of data for  analysis and research of new trends in shopping, purchasing, product manufacturing, product life cycle and utilization of the consumer tools and functionality. 

 

It is important for the retailer to provide support for changing consumer demands and it is equally, if not more important for retailers to collect information resulting from the consumer usage in order to both understand and take advantage of the ways that consumer utilize the features and functionality.  The retailer will not be able to maintain their focus on features and functionality without the means to measure the usage and acceptance of these features.  The control tower provides the means not only efficiently integrate new functionality but it must also provide the means to efficiently analyze the usage of these new capabilities in order to maintain success and also understand when to drop features that are no longer effective.

 

And now for the audience participation portion of the show…

ECommerce will have wide ranging impacts on both the retail and manufacturing sectors.  How can you focus these abilities to improve the consumer's experience?  Improving the consumer’s experience will require a re-evaluation of the sales channels, the manufacturing channels and practices and the supply chain channels and practices from the raw materials to the consumers’ homes.  In order to ensure and maintain success in this new reality you must harness the tools and capabilities in many new areas.  How can you support these continuously changing requirements?

tbrouill

Omni Channel Control Tower

Posted by tbrouill Sep 10, 2016


The control tower concept that is provides a framework for collaboration and integration is the perfect design strategy to allow the omni channel to support the change demands of the consumer.  This concept and the practices supporting the concept provide the perfect framework for the retail marketplace to efficiently and effectively support the discontinuous change and disruption to the market driven by consumers and their use of mobile technology.  Retailers require a method to manage and implement changes in their processes and tools to support consumer shopping across all channels and the control tower concept provides the framework for retailers to successfully navigate and quickly understand the results of new tools and processes.   

 

The control tower concept and tools have already helped the extended supply chain in managing the integration and collaboration across the extended supply chain and these same concepts will help retailers integrate and manage the collaboration and integration across the consumer social shopping and purchasing practices.  Conceptually the control tower provides a centralized means to integration tools and processes across a wide range of partners, tools and processes that is a perfect fit to help retailers with the changing demands of the consumer.  The control tower provides the framework to easily plug and plan new tools and integrate to new partners and processes in manner that can support the discontinuous change that consumers are implementing in their shopping and purchasing practices.

 

Retailers cannot hope to manage the types and velocity of change that consumers are implementing into their shopping purchasing methods without a robust and flexible framework.  This framework requires a centralized process that will allow for new tools to be easily added and then integrate into the retailers legacy back office systems and procedures without wholesale change and worse changing the integration each time a new tool or procedure is added.  This type framework provides the means to quickly and cost effectively implement new capabilities without impacting the back office legacy applications.  This is critical for the retailer in this changing market and without this type of framework the risk and capability of the retailer to meet these demands would be overwhelming. 

 

One of the key strengths of eCommerce retailers like Amazon or Google is their ability to integrate and offer new services as the consumer demands change.  They are able to do this because of a framework that easily supports a plug and play integration.  This same framework must be embraced by large multi channel retailers now in order for them to survive, let alone thrive, in this new retail marketplace.  The control tower concept supports this requirement in a manner that allows the retailer to change their face to the consumer without wholesale change in their back office.

 

And now for the audience participation portion of the show…

ECommerce will have wide ranging impacts on both the retail and manufacturing sectors.  How can you focus these abilities to improve the consumer's experience?  Improving the consumer’s experience will require a re-evaluation of the sales channels, the manufacturing channels and practices and the supply chain channels and practices from the raw materials to the consumers’ homes.  In order to ensure and maintain success in this new reality you must harness the tools and capabilities in many new areas.  How can you support these continuously changing requirements?


The consumer is utilizing mobile and social networking technology to change and improve their shopping and purchasing capabilities to better meet their needs and desires.  The consumer usage of these capabilities along with the discontinuous change resulting from the speed of delivery for new tools along with the wholehearted embrace of these tools by the consumer is disrupting the retail market and causing upheaval in the marketplace.  Retailers have lost the control they previously enjoyed in types of services and the manner in which the consumer shops and purchases.  Mobile technology coupled with social networking capabilities has changed the control from the retailer to the consumer and now retailers are in a position where they must embrace these demands in order to remain successful.

 

These demands will require an investment from the retailer in both technology, capabilities and strategy in order to react to the disruption in the market.  This is especially difficult for the large retail chains because these demands require foundational changes in technology and strategy to accept and embrace new technology.  The reason for this is the mobile marketplace and mobile apps are now catering to the demands of consumers and in many cases creating new consumer demands.  Consumers have reached a place in their shopping and purchasing capabilities where they do not have to wait on the retailer to support these capabilities and they have embraced this new availability with abandon.  For example, omni channel retailers not too long ago fought the consumer practice of ‘window shopping’ in the store and now consumers are able to use mobile apps and their social network to support a hyper window shopping that ignores and overcomes the retailer hesitation.

 

The combination of the explosion of mobile technology and the expansion of social networks in combination with the reduction in consumer free time and the drop in mall shopping have permanently disrupted the retail marketplace.  These changes to the marketplace now require the retailer to react quickly to incorporate the capability to support the discontinuous change in the market.  This capability to support the change requires the retailer to implement a foundation framework that allows rapid change to be delivered while also supporting integration to legacy back office and financial software packages.  A large retailer will never be able to consumer a complete change out of all legacy business applications while also changing the face of their consumer shopping and purchasing experience.  They can however implement a framework that supports rapid integration of new capabilities required from mobile apps and social networking while supporting the integration of legacy business applications.

 

And now for the audience participation portion of the show…

ECommerce will have wide ranging impacts on both the retail and manufacturing sectors.  How can you focus these abilities to improve the consumer's experience?  Improving the consumer’s experience will require a re-evaluation of the sales channels, the manufacturing channels and practices and the supply chain channels and practices from the raw materials to the consumers’ homes.  In order to ensure and maintain success in this new reality you must harness the tools and capabilities in many new areas.  How can you support these continuously changing requirements?


We are beginning to see the results of the disruption in the retail marketplace based on the mobile technology and capabilities that have been embraced by consumers.  This seems to have caught retailers by surprise and must be embraced now by retailers in order to remain successful.  This disruption is being driven by consumers as the consumer really takes control of their shopping and purchasing practices by using technology and their social network to knock down the barriers between channels.  This is causing large retailers to struggle with the changes because the simply do not have either the platform or the skills to easily change to support these new consumer demands.

 

As a result many retailers are struggling with determining how to address these new demands while at the same time, and even more important to them, they are also struggling to remain profitable in this changing market.  This should not be viewed as two different challenges though, instead they should be viewed as two sides to the same challenge.  Consumers have not necessarily changed in their demands, however they have changed in the manner in which they are they are projecting these demands.  Retailers must realize that they must collaborate with consumers to meet their demands rather than struggling to direct consumers into the retailer’s existing methods, the retailer must become open and flexible to the changes demanded by consumers.

 

I think this disruption was a long time coming and large retailers have been fooling themselves into thinking that they understand and even had an option as to how they met consumer demands.  What they are realizing is that they have not really understood consumer demands or the strength of those demands and with the explosion of mobile technology on the market the consumers are building their own capabilities to meet their own demands.  Consumers have provided retailers with information on their demands and desires and retailers have ignored them to a certain extent.  Retailers have met some of the consumer demands that either are beneficial to the retailer, or fit into the retailer fulfillment strategy.  Consumers now are able to utilize mobile and social networking technology to implement their demands and this is the disruption that retailers must address in order to remain viable.

 

This is exactly the positive disruption although it does not feel positive to retailers at this point.  It is positive because retailers are finally forced into meeting consumer demands and changing shopping habits.  It will be difficult for retailers to accept and implement, however retailers have no choice.  In fact, retailers must quickly accept and embrace these changes in order to remain viable into the future.

 

And now for the audience participation portion of the show…

ECommerce will have wide ranging impacts on both the retail and manufacturing sectors.  How can you focus these abilities to improve the consumer's experience?  Improving the consumer’s experience will require a re-evaluation of the sales channels, the manufacturing channels and practices and the supply chain channels and practices from the raw materials to the consumers’ homes.  In order to ensure and maintain success in this new reality you must harness the tools and capabilities in many new areas.  How can you support these continuously changing requirements?


Consumers have embraced mobile technology and capabilities in their shopping and purchasing practices and it is important for retailers and their suppliers to embrace these new and changing consumer practices.  The mobile technology and capabilities are creating a positive disruption in the retail marketplace that will change the way that consumers, retailers and suppliers interact with each other to encourage increased collaboration in the retail experience.  This positive disruption is coming in the form of wiping away the boundaries between ecommerce and brick and mortar to create a blended shopping and purchasing experience across all current market channels.  Retailers must embrace this disruption in order to maintain their success in the future. 

 

Consumers are using mobile technology to build their own shopping experience through collaboration with and across their social network and their social networking tools and technology.  This is disrupting the retail marketplace by expanding the tools and capabilities into virtual shopping and purchasing practices.  This is changing the relationship between consumer and retailer in a manner that is may not be comfortable to the retailer because consumers are demanding open collaboration with the retailer and knocking down the boundaries between channels.  Retailers are currently viewing this as a disruption in a negative manner because it requires a dramatic shift in their practices and most importantly their market foundational framework.  In order to succeed, however, retailers must view this as positive and embrace the disruption in the marketplace in order to remain successful.

 

The requirements for collaboration across the retail market and the extended supply chain have dramatically increased and they will continue to increase in order to meet the changing demands of the market.  Retailers must change their viewpoint and their strategy to incorporate a collaborative shopping and purchasing framework that combines platform, social networks and suppliers in order to hope to meet the changing demands of consumers.  Suppliers can play a significant role in this new strategy to support the retailer in meeting these new demands through inclusion in the shopping experience to both shorten the delivery timeframe and to increase the velocity of product development. 

 

Retailers no longer have the luxury of controlling the conversation and the product development plans exclusively with their suppliers.  Retailers must now include suppliers in their consumer interaction and support of shopping and purchasing because of the reductions in time-to-market and also supply to the consumer.  The interaction between consumer, retailer and suppliers must be direct now in a social network framework in order to support the market and most importantly the discontinuous change driven into the market by consumer demands and technology capabilities.

 

And now for the audience participation portion of the show…

ECommerce will have wide ranging impacts on both the retail and manufacturing sectors.  How can you focus these abilities to improve the consumer's experience?  Improving the consumer’s experience will require a re-evaluation of the sales channels, the manufacturing channels and practices and the supply chain channels and practices from the raw materials to the consumers’ homes.  In order to ensure and maintain success in this new reality you must harness the tools and capabilities in many new areas.  How can you support these continuously changing requirements?

tbrouill

Omni Channel Supplier Value

Posted by tbrouill Sep 3, 2016


Product suppliers can gain a great deal of benefit from omni channel collaborative partnerships in the way of product life cycle and demand forecasts that will promote more efficient supply and reductions in overstock.  This is the new logical phase in the development and expansion of the omni channel into social shopping and purchasing capabilities.  Retail suppliers must engage and participate in the omni channel expanded practices in order to reduce the line of communications and by extension develop direct consumer communication channels.  The omni channel social shopping practices and framework provide the means and the encouragement to develop these communication channels.

 

Retailers and suppliers have already realized a great deal of benefits from the consolidation of inventory tracking and consumption across all retail channels.  There is still a great deal of room for improvements in both product life cycle management and by extension reduction in stock outs and over stock conditions.  Sales forecasts are based on complicated algorithms that take into account, seasonality, consumer demand and other factors include product life cycle.  The challenge is in the timing of the forecast demands as it relates to product life cycle and also spikes in demand and these challenges are exacerbated due to the time frame and delays in calculations.  The omni channel social shopping practices can add additional dimension of data to improve the forecast and demand calculations dramatically and in a more timely manner.

 

The data that can be collected from the social shopping framework can be used in combination with the actual sales data to improve the product mix along with the product pairing and site display and offering to increase the sales potential.  In addition, this social shopping data can also provide the means to develop new product offerings and also improvements to products based on consumer feedback, shopping and purchasing habits.  Consumer feedback can be collected from the shopping site based on many factors such as their shopping and search habits, their shopping cart and responses to quick surveys and questions from consumers.  All of this information when combined with the sales data can provide highly valuable background for product decision making.

 

Consumers are open and willing to participate in the shopping experience with other consumers, the retailer and suppliers to improve the shopping experience and the product selection and availability.  The social shopping site can provide the platform that supports the activities across all partners to provide a shopping experience that will attract new customers while retaining the existing customer base.  This social shopping framework provides a much more sustainable method to attract and retain customers than a low cost marketing method.

 

And now for the audience participation portion of the show…

ECommerce will have wide ranging impacts on both the retail and manufacturing sectors.  How can you focus these abilities to improve the consumer's experience?  Improving the consumer’s experience will require a re-evaluation of the sales channels, the manufacturing channels and practices and the supply chain channels and practices from the raw materials to the consumers’ homes.  In order to ensure and maintain success in this new reality you must harness the tools and capabilities in many new areas.  How can you support these continuously changing requirements?


The omni channel framework provides a tremendous platform for collaboration from the supplier all the way to the end consumer.  The retailer will be missing a great opportunity to connect all of the partners across the extended supply chain if they do not also take advantage of these social networking capabilities that will drive the omni channel framework.  The collaboration across the extended supply chain will provide improved responsiveness along with improved retention of all of the extended partners.  Consumers are anxious to collaborate and participate in the retail experience and the explosion of mobile technology capabilities along with the consumer embrace and expansion of these technologies will allow the retailer to achieve great value along with consumer retention through the growth and expansion of the omni channel framework.

 

The beauty of this potential is that the retailer only needs to open the channels and engage the consumer through the omni channel framework of social networking tools.  Many consumers will jump at the chance to engage and interact with the retailers and other consumers through the omni channel framework if given the chance.  You only have to look around at the success of social networking sites such as FourSquare or Swarm to see that consumers will respond with advice, suggestions and even requests for additional information when given the opportunity.  When I travel for either business or pleasure I use these social networking tools to find good places to eat and places to visit.  These social networking tools provide the opportunity for people to gain advice and recommendations from locals and other travels to enhance your experience and avoid spots that would not provide value.  The advice from others on these sites extends from local neighborhoods to airports and it's amazing how helpful the advice can be.

 

The value from the improved omni channel social network does not just materialize overnight, it requires a lot of work and attention in order to achieve the ‘overnight success’.  This site requires continuous monitoring and maintenance of the tools and most importantly timely, and appropriate, response to consumer questions and suggestions.  It requires stringent monitoring and policing of the site to quickly and efficiently identify and bar the trolls and direct marketers from ruining the ‘neighborhood’.  The site can quickly be overrun with trolls and direct marketing without continuous and stringent policing, the objective is to provide a safe site that supports and provides value to the consumer.

 

In order to maintain the success of the site for all of your extended partners the retailer must continuously monitor and maintain the site for value added capabilities that will encourage partners to return.  This requires encouragement and participation from all of the retailer’s extended partners in order to maintain the freshness and interest of the partners.  This maintenance is a full time expectation that requires the investment and encouragement from all of the extended partners in order to maintain the long term success.

 

And now for the audience participation portion of the show…

ECommerce will have wide ranging impacts on both the retail and manufacturing sectors.  How can you focus these abilities to improve the consumer's experience?  Improving the consumer’s experience will require a re-evaluation of the sales channels, the manufacturing channels and practices and the supply chain channels and practices from the raw materials to the consumers’ homes.  In order to ensure and maintain success in this new reality you must harness the tools and capabilities in many new areas.  How can you support these continuously changing requirements?

tbrouill

Omni Channel Consumer Trends

Posted by tbrouill Aug 30, 2016


Identification and support of developing new consumer trends in the retail marketplace now requires dedicated focus and expertise because of the speed in which these trends change.  Technology and especially mobile technology is driving this change at a quickening rate that can overwhelm the retailer and leave them behind and losing both customers and market share.  The focus and direction of retailers must be identification and embrace of trends in social and mobile technology through with a leadership charter that encourages leading edge capabilities with the leadership acceptance of increased risk of failure.  This is a dramatic change for retailers and they must embrace this strategic change immediately in order to survive. 

 

The retailer longer has the time to perform an in-depth analysis of options and tools to support consumer demands.  Mobile technology and consumer demands for a quick turn around in delivering on new demands precludes a lengthy analysis period.  This is the reason for developing the in-house capabilities to track early trends to identify quickly a strategy and capability to meet the consumer demands.  With consumer mobile and social apps made available and dropping every day there is a critical requirement for the retailer to develop the capabilities to quickly analyze and implement new capabilities.  As an example on a weekly basis I download about a half dozen new apps for use just because I read an article, or someone recommended, and by the same token I am also dropping apps on a weekly basis that I no longer use.

 

This new requirement for speed of delivery also means that retailers must be prepared to implement and drop social networking and purchasing tools in days to weeks, instead of weeks to months. This is the most critical aspect of the true omni channel social shopping and commerce framework.  This is also the most difficult aspect for most retailers and especially large national retailers.  Retail has always practiced a strategy of following the leader where they wait for another retailer, a smaller retailer in many cases, to blaze the trail for new practices and technologies.  This practice must change in order for the large national retailers to remain successful. 

 

Bottom line for retailers going forward they must focus on the consumer demands and they must implement a technology platform that allows for quick and continuous change.  Mobile and social networking technologies have been embraced by consumers in support of their shopping and these technologies are driving a new level of discontinuous change in the consumer demands of the retailers.  Consumers are interested in the social side of shopping and purchasing and retailers must embrace this interest which means that retailers must embrace and drive change themselves.  

 

And now for the audience participation portion of the show…

ECommerce will have wide ranging impacts on both the retail and manufacturing sectors.  How can you focus these abilities to improve the consumer's experience?  Improving the consumer’s experience will require a re-evaluation of the sales channels, the manufacturing channels and practices and the supply chain channels and practices from the raw materials to the consumers’ homes.  In order to ensure and maintain success in this new reality you must harness the tools and capabilities in many new areas.  How can you support these continuously changing requirements?

Filter Blog

By date:
By tag: