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Tom Brouillette Thoughts at Large

979 posts


In this retail market relevance is an important focus and goal of the retailer and crosses over product offering, pricing, shopping and purchasing aspects as an important ingredient to the customer experience and most importantly the customer return to shop again.  Relevance is one of the keys to success in retail and especially in the omni market experience with consumers.  With so many choices in this omni market environment retailers must continuously focus on their currency and in order to maintain their relevance in the market.  Consumers are continuously drawn to the new and changing interactions and shopping opportunities and especially the new products and prices.  As the omni market services and capabilities expand the retailer relevance becomes more and more important.   

 

One aspect of relevance is related to customer communication and collaboration to increase the interaction and improve customer exchanges with the retailer.  This focus has been changing as the consumer interactions with retailers have been changing.  One factor to the changing interaction is the change in the brick and mortar retail store from a focus on sales channel to more of a focus on a shopping channel.  The reduction in consumer ‘facetime’ with the retail sales clerks means that the electronic interaction of online shopping and purchasing takes on greater importance.  This increase in electronic interaction has been a challenge for retailers because of the number of electronic interaction outlets and also the requirement to continuously reach out to consumers in all electronic outlets. 

 

Retailers have been chasing the shifts and changes from Amazon as a means to identify and meet consumer demands and I think that retailers are beginning to understand the need for personalized interaction and a variety of outlets for these demands.  The objective is developing and strengthening the relationship with consumers through the electronic outlets.  Amazon recognized this challenge a long time ago and because their only outlet was eCommerce they worked hard to develop the tools and capabilities to meet the demands in an effort to remain relevant. Amazon is stretching and expanding its offerings in an effort to remain relevant.  Now retailers born in the brick and mortar market must change their culture and their capabilties to also expand their interaction and relationship with consumers through electronic outlets in order to remain relevant. 

 

Legacy retail giants such as Sears, for example, have lost their prominence in large part because they are no longer relevant.  They spent too much time focusing inward and not enough time focused outward to realize the market changes and the leadership woke up one day and they were just too far behind the curve and were no longer relevant.  One reason for this shift is the growth of millennials in the market and another is the embrace of technology by all generations.

 

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?

 


In this retail market relevance is an important focus and goal of the retailer and crosses over product offering, pricing, shopping and purchasing aspects as an important ingredient to the customer experience and most importantly the customer return to shop again.  Relevance is one of the keys to success in retail and especially in the omni market experience with consumers.  With so many choices in this omni market environment retailers must continuously focus on their currency and in order to maintain their relevance in the market.  Consumers are continuously drawn to the new and changing interactions and shopping opportunities and especially the new products and prices.  As the omni market services and capabilities expand the retailer relevance becomes more and more important.   

 

One aspect of relevance is related to customer communication and collaboration to increase the interaction and improve customer exchanges with the retailer.  This focus has been changing as the consumer interactions with retailers have been changing.  One factor to the changing interaction is the change in the brick and mortar retail store from a focus on sales channel to more of a focus on a shopping channel.  The reduction in consumer ‘facetime’ with the retail sales clerks means that the electronic interaction of online shopping and purchasing takes on greater importance.  This increase in electronic interaction has been a challenge for retailers because of the number of electronic interaction outlets and also the requirement to continuously reach out to consumers in all electronic outlets. 

 

Retailers have been chasing the shifts and changes from Amazon as a means to identify and meet consumer demands and I think that retailers are beginning to understand the need for personalized interaction and a variety of outlets for these demands.  The objective is developing and strengthening the relationship with consumers through the electronic outlets.  Amazon recognized this challenge a long time ago and because their only outlet was eCommerce they worked hard to develop the tools and capabilities to meet the demands in an effort to remain relevant. Amazon is stretching and expanding its offerings in an effort to remain relevant.  Now retailers born in the brick and mortar market must change their culture and their capabilties to also expand their interaction and relationship with consumers through electronic outlets in order to remain relevant. 

 

Legacy retail giants such as Sears, for example, have lost their prominence in large part because they are no longer relevant.  They spent too much time focusing inward and not enough time focused outward to realize the market changes and the leadership woke up one day and they were just too far behind the curve and were no longer relevant.  One reason for this shift is the growth of millennials in the market and another is the embrace of technology by all generations.

 

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?

 


Retailers have a tremendous opportunity now to incorporate more and more consumer feedback into the product development and life span management cycle through an increase in collaboration and increase in consumer shopping data available from the eCommerce channel.  In my opinion one of the greatest opportunities for retailers in this omni market environment is the increase in collaboration and communication opportunities along with the increase in shopping and and purchasing data available.  On the other hand one of the greatest challenges for these retailers is developing methods to encourage the collaboration and understand the huge amount of data presented from the ecommerce challenge. 

 

Retailers must remain focused on the opportunities and the methods to encourage and incorporate these new opportunities in the product development and especially the product life span management.  I do not really see the product development process dramatically changing in the near term mainly because this change requires a change in the culture of both the retailer and the product development.  This is a huge change to bite off in addition to the need to react to market disruption.  Just because the product design may struggle with the change to incorporate consumer collaboration though does not mean that he retailer should also delay the change to encourage collaboration. 

 

These changes are not a ‘once and done’ change, they are rather an change, and growth, in process development and process management.  These changes to increase collaboration also requires a change in retailer attitudes and culture to develop the means to support the collaboration changes along with the process and tools to incorporate the results in the collaboration.  This is where the retailers must focus and start with a flexible and robust framework to allow for starting with the basics and then supporting continuous and short cycle improvements.  Consumers still demand interaction with retailers and the omni market and especially the increase in eCommerce shopping is reducing the traditional feedback loop for large retailers.  It is critical for these retailers to develop new channels of communication and collaboration with consumers and this critical need should be driving the urgency in development.

 

Retailers will struggle with the change and incorporating the means to increase collaboration and they must at the same time remember that this is a critical piece to replacing direct consumer communications that is being lost with the increase in eCommerce.  This allows retailers to manage and focus the change on the direct consumer feedback, rather than chasing market developments after implemented by other retailers.  I do not think that the large national and regional retailers have a choice in this matter, without the increase in consumer interaction and collaboration retailers run a real risk of losing relevance in the market. 



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?

 


It may sound contrite, however, it is probably more true today and ever that the only constant in the retail market is change and retailers are buffeted with changing demand on an almost daily basis.  Retailers must first be open and accepting of the change and this requires a framework and culture that encourages collaboration and interaction with both partners and customers.  Retailers must second must implement a technology framework that is both flexible and robust to support the collaboration and also the functionality changes in an efficient and stable manner.  Retailers must third, and this is probably the most difficult, change their culture to eliminate silos and barriers to the increased communication and collaboration between internal and external partners and most importantly to open communication and collaboration channels with consumers.

 

I think that by this point it is obvious that the large legacy retailers are open and accepting change.  These retailers are speeding change through acquisition to help them redefine their capabilities to meet consumer and market demands.  This is a great method to leap ahead in capabilities and deliver on current consumer demands and really is required at this point for these retailers to remain viable in light of the disruptive changes in the omni market.  This allowed retailers to catch up quickly in reaction to the disruption and the juggernaut Amazon. 

 

These same large legacy retailers now must incorporate the technology to both support their acquisitions and then continue with the technology changes demanded by consumers.  This is a difficult endeavor though because these large legacy retailers must also account for their legacy ERP and financial systems that run the business.  This can be a significant challenge for the large retailers and cannot be addressed simply through replacement due to the cost and the business impact.  Retailers cannot though ignore the need to continue to develop and acquire technologies to support the continued changing demands of the market and also the consumer.  This requires implementation of a robust and flexible technology framework that can support the requirement for speed in delivery.

 

The most difficult challenge though is changing the culture of these large retailers to eliminate the silos and barriers that slow the communication and collaboration.  This is the most important and also the most difficult to embrace and internalize.  This is important because Amazon and other online based retailers have already embraced the capabilities and are already way ahead of the curve on achieving a return.  This is also important to provide an outlet and communication link with consumers to analyze their online shopping patterns to enhance forecasting and planning.  The last critical driving factor to changing the culture is the need for retailers to develop a relationship with consumers and this flexible communication and collaboration practice provides the means to deliver.

 

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?

 


Retailers must now focus on integration control and coordination now to remain successful and more importantly to survive.  Over the past couple fo years we have seen that retailers have been forced to  incorporate new capabilities more through acquisition than organic development and this will not change going forward, in fact this practice will only increase and expand. This means that retailers must focus their internal efforts on building an integration control tower framework to allow them to quickly and efficiently integrate new capabilities and features.  This control tower can also provide the framework to support collaboration requirements across partners and functional operations to break down silos and improve the collaboration capabilities.  I see these two aspects as critical for the ongoing success of retailers and must be viewed as a cost of entry for retailers to grow in this omni market.

 

The control tower integration framework must provide a rules based engine that allows many different actions based on messages and rules defined for processing the messages.  This framework will allow and encourage the quick and efficient integration of partners, processes, functionality and new technology while controlling the impact of the changes across the enterprise.  This is a critical aspect of this integration framework and will require a great deal of thought in analysis and design to define the framework to support the variety of demands.  This is no small task and will require a continuous process of review, validation and redesign to add new features and flexibility.  The lack of a control tower integration framework would drive an unreasonable level of analysis and development to continuously redesign functionality for each change in partners or addition of tools.  Focus the development in one area to speed the delivery and reduce the overall complexity of the environment.

 

As with most tools that are highly functional and simple to use this tool will also be highly complex in order to provide the ability to support a wide variety of integration in a straightforward manner.  The point of this tool is to focus the complexity into one tool in order to eliminate the complexity across the environment as a whole.  A focus on configuration is the key to success for this tool, remember to always view features and functionality from a viewpoint of supporting change and revisions in the future.  In other words the mantra should focus on reusability and configurability!  This will increase the level of complexity in the tool, however it will dramatically reduce the complexity of adding new partners, features and functionality. 

 

Retailers must view their environment and develop a strategy that is focused on transient functionality and capabilities; just because a feature or function is a core requirement today does not mean it will be a core requirement a year from now.  Retailers must develop a framework that supports and encourages obsolescence in technology and functionality to succeed and this requires a robust control tower integration framework.

 

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?

 


Retailers have developed collaboration silos over the years, just as operational and functional silos have developed over the years.  This is a natural occurrence due to the relationships that collaboration is based and has grown over the years.  In fact, retailers sales clerks have been developing collaborative relationships with their customers for as long as retailers have been in business and these silos have strengthened in their relationship and used available technologies such as email as a means on notification and communication.  There are other silos as well between consumer and manufacturer and also retailer to manufacturer and also other partners in the extended retail ecostructure.  The consumer collaboration silo has suffered recently due to the growth of electronic commerce and the increase in millennials in the omni market.

 

Since there has been no formal structure in these collaboration silos the disruption caused by the changes related to electronic commerce have also been a disrupting factor in the collaboration silos as well.  Operational collaboration was not impacted nearly as much as the customer collaboration silo was though and this customer collaboration is causing the greatest disruption in the omni market.  Customers still view shopping as a social experience and they are using social networking tools to support their demands for interaction in the electronic marketplace.  Retailers have been so focused on supporting consumer functional demands that they have overlooked the relationships demands of consumers.  This has been one of the retailer major blind spots in the omni market and this will also drive another wave of disruption into the marketplace.

 

Retailers have been analyzing and focused on the lifetime value of the customer for quite some time and understand that the omni channel customer is the most valuable customer and should be courted.  These same retailers though are really only focused on one aspect of the customer relationship and in my opinion have overlooked customer collaboration as a key opportunity to retain customers and increase the lifetime value.  This is not surprising to me because retailers have never really focused on the collaborative customer relationship and especially the personal relationship that the really good sales clerks develop with their customers.  

 

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 surface objective of retailers for a predictive analysis program is the identification, understanding and early reaction to market and consumer trends.  I see the secondary and probably more important objective for this predictive analysis is the development of collaborative relationships with consumers and the extended market partners.  This collaboration objective will support the retailers’ success and longevity in the omni market in a sustainable manner that eliminates the ‘me too’ practices that are currently prevalent in the market.  These ‘me too’ practices are practiced in place of the creative and collaborative practices and capabilities that are required for retailers to succeed in the future.  It is important though for sustained success to develop a personal relationship with consumers and retail partners that is built on collaboration.

 

Data is only valuable when it is used as a basis for analysis and confirmation of the analysis.  To this point data values volume in order to improve the analysis and the confirmation of hypothesis.  The challenge of the collection and analysis is that you really do not know where the analysis and the confirmation is going to take you and so you must collect a great deal of data. This is the basis of big data analysis and this is the types of activities at which big data collection and analytics excels and these are the activities that big data encourages.  The value produced from the analysis increases with the volume of data and also the analysis skills, in other words, there is a level of experimentation in this analysis that continuously drives the investigation for validation. 

 

Fortunately for retailers the omni market retail environment provides a treasure trove of shopping and purchasing data that was not previously available to retailers.  It is important for retailers to collect this information as a matter of course during the operational activities related to completing sales and filling delivery to consumers that can be added to other operational data related to receiving, transportation and forecast data that can be utilized in support of the retail operations.  There is a tremendous amount of additional data available to retailers as a result of the online shopping and purchasing operation which also should be added to the collection of data to provide additional data points for analysis.  This collection during the operational activities would best be supported via a control tower framework that would allow the data to efficiently flow to and from the appropriate containers and processes.

 

This change necessary now is to recognize both the availability of data and the value of this data in extending and growing collaborative relationships across the entire chain.  There is a treasure trove of data generated by online activities now that has grown in volume and potential value and considering the growth of the omni market in retail this data is continuing to dramatically increase in both volume and potential value.  This requires though that legacy retailers begin to collect the data at a minimum to support the collaborative opportunities that will result from the omni market.  Do not wait while focused on the operational impact of the omni market this will only delay the potential value.

 

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 retail omni market will produce tremendous amounts of data as a matter of course from expanded consumer and retail partner utilization.  The data produced as a result of the online shopping and purchasing consumer practices will bring a tremendous level of clarity and predictive capabilities to the retailer, if they take the the time and make the effort required to collect the data to perform the analytics.  The information available from the online channel is tremendous both in value to the retailer and their partners and the volume of data produced for anlaysls.  This does require a focused strategy and effort to define the data capture volume and storage to support the current and potential analysis requirements to produce the value.  This effort will be a struggle at first however the potential return will continue to increase in value as the analysis matures.

 

The initial struggle for retailers and especially large legacy retailers is to split their focus between the efforts to react to consumer demands that are increasing in velocity and level of disruption and the efforts to identify and build the infrastructure to collect and then analyze the data produced from the omni market shopping, purchasing and communication efforts.  Retailers are first struggling with understanding and reacting to the changing consumer demands because of the types of change to infrastructure and capabilities required by the retailers.  The large legacy retailers have taken a path of reacting to the changing demands and delivery of these demands by large and difficult initiatives that involve major development, acquisition and integration of new companies and the services the provide or many times both of these requirements.  Adding another initiative requiring focus and a great deal of effort and investment to collect the enormous amounts of data and develop the analysis tools to mine the data is in itself another major initiative that will also potentially disrupt their omni market capabilities.

 

Legacy retailers currently seems to be reacting to consumer and industry actions and reactions by chasing industry developments an acquisition of software tools and service providers to increase their omni market capabilities.  This is a perfectly acceptable practice to quickly improve their portfolio of capabilities to me consumer and market demands.  This strategy, in my opinion, cannot be sustained over a long period of time and these same legacy retailers must focus on communication and collaboration practices with consumers and their extended partners to get ahead of this curve and begin to define trends early.  This is the key; analysis capabilities and the amounts and types of data to support trending predictive analysis to allow the retailers so quickly and efficiently identify potential trends and react to take advantage of these trends.

 

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 retail omni market requires a robust and flexible communication and collaboration framework to support the changing consumer demands.  This requires a coordinated and open communications platform that engages the consumer and retail partners to encourage and support collaboration and integration.  This framework requires a control aspect that directs and coordinates the communications and connectivity that encourage collaboration.  The Internet provides the perfect delivery mechanism and game technology provides the perfect framework for the communications across disparate participants and partners.  The retail omni market demands this robust communications and requires a coordination across partners to ensure that the consumer and partner demands are directed in a manner that encourages engagement and collaboration.

 

Open and fluid communication provides the foundational framework for the retail omni market to react to the changing consumer demands and thrive.  This communication must be robust to support the demands across all parties, consumers, extended retail partners and especially the retailer themselves to encourage engagement and collaboration.  This framework will be best implemented using the practices and capabilities employed by group game technologies which allow for teams or groups to be defined to engage and collaborate without interference.  This technology does not require wholesale change to the eCommerce tools and technology however it does require additional administration to ensure smooth flow and respond to technology hiccups.

 

This communication and collaboration framework provides the glue or nourishment necessary for the omni market to flourish.  This does require an additional level of support to ensure the communications are safe between participants from both the personal data perspective and controls trolls in the market.  It must be an accepted and standard requirement to ensure the integrity and the safety of the communications in the retail omni market.  This means that retailers must get ahead of the curve now to shore up the communications framework to address changing demands and changing risks of the communication platform.  

 

Security issues and loss of personal data from the retailer communication platform will quickly kill the retailer’s site and this will lead to a slow eventual death of the retailer.  The retail omni market can bring great benefits to the retailer and can also bring great risk if the retailer is not on point with security and safety measures in their virtual practices.  In this retail marketplace there are not many large retailers left without a virtual presence of some sort, this is the cost of remaining in the market.  However, retailers must implement a robust security practice in order to protect consumers and their partners from malicious attacks.  This responsibility can be met more efficiently through a robust and centralized communication framework that includes the security protections along with the communication and collaboration tools to support the retail omni market.

 

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

Retail Omni Market

Posted by tbrouill Feb 6, 2018


Consumers are changing the retail marketplace with demands to meet their lifestyle requirements and the growth of millennials in the market has increased the velocity of this change.  There is no longer a separation in the usage between the channels and the millennials have been the key force in driving these changes.  The demands and the consumer capabilities to utilize technology supports these demands as a retail omni market that consumers use to enhance shopping and purchasing in a manner that fits in with their changing lifestyles.  Millennials have added the push to greater virtual interactions as a result of their comfort in technology and the consumer market is embracing these changes as a means to support the changes in their lifestyle.

 

This retail omni market will drive significant disruption into the legacy retailers as they scramble to define and strategy and change their culture to support the demands of the omni market.  This requires a change in the view of the technology and the utilization including significant change to support increased communications and collaboration not only between retailers and consumers but also between retailers, consumers and the extended supply chain partners.  This change requires a control tower mechanism to coordinate and sort the communication demands of this retail omni market to ensure efficient engagement across the participants. 

 

This also requires a control tower mechanism to control and direct data requirements to support the communication demands.  There are way too many moving parts now in the retail repertoire that require monitoring and direction to provide value and these types of pieces and parts is only going to increase as the retail omni market changes and grows.  The retailers success in this omni market will hinge on their ability to embrace new technologies, partners and capabilities in the same breakneck pace that consumers are embracing them.  This cannot hope to be managed in a command and control environment, it requires and adaptive collaboration environment with a huge dose of big data collection and analysis to coordinate and direct. 

 

The retail omni market is the coming together of the virtual and the physical market in a manner that supports the continuously changing consumer lifestyle demands in an ever increasing velocity.  This is Moore’s law in the retail market and just as the improvements in transistor capabilities doubled every two years, in the case of the retail omni market the rate of consumer demands to meet the changing lifestyles seems to double at least every two years.  This requires a flexible and robust foundation to integrate and guide change that is best supported through a control tower strategy bringing together technology and data to provide guidance.

 

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?

 


There can be no question any more that consumers have used technology and network capabilities to take control of their shopping and purchasing practices.  As a related and important additional aspect of these changes consumers are also building and extending virtual relationship capabilities with retailers to enhance their shopping and purchasing.  These extensions of virtual relationships are a direct result of the growth of millennials in the market and their comfort in technology and the virtual world.  These changes and the continuous manner of the combination of changes will only increase in the market and drive further retail disruption that must be accounted for by the large legacy retailers in order to survive and maintain their position in the market.  Retailers must realize that the end game for consumers is relationships and each of actions across and omnipresent virtual network

 

Just as the technology has caught up with consumer demands for shopping purchasing, the virtual relationship capabilities are also going to drive another level and type of disruption in the marketplace.  These changes are driven by a ‘push me / pull you’ process of consumer demands meeting retailer capabilities and leapfrogging each other to create new blends of capabilities.  We have been seeing this process enacted over that last few years across the marketplace between legacy retailers, online retailers such as Amazon and consumers driven by expectations and demands from the increasing numbers of millennials in the retail market. 

 

Amazon has been in the forefront of the virtual shopping marketplace disrupting the market and rolling over retailers for years and with the expansion of millennials in the market the level and type of disruption is only increasing.  Amazon has been working for years on consumer relationships through things such as product reviews and also using consumers to respond to consumer questions themselves.  This, admittedly, was a small start but even that start has introduced dramatic change in the market.

 

Millennials are the kinetic force that will drive the next wave of disruption in the market with extensions and expansions of the virtual relationships. This will drive technology utilization and usage across the marketplace to extend virtual relationships.  This will engage gaming technology to create a virtual environment for shopping and purchasing that will open new demands for virtual modeling and views of products, including the ability to try products.  The virtual relationships will introduce new consumer controls and demands in the marketplace that will drive technology and require dramatic increases in technology investments by retailers to meet the demands.

 

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 Process Model

Posted by tbrouill Feb 3, 2018


Consumers are following their own shopping and purchasing process model that they have developed over years of trial and error with tools and technology to interact with and across the retail market.  Consumers are not hiding the fact that they have been defining and redefining their shopping and purchasing process models over the years and they have also been open about their willingness and eagerness to collaborate with other consumers and mobile app developments to enhance and extend their shopping and purchasing capabilities. Retailers must now focus on extending their relationship with consumers and capabilities to enhance and extend relationships with consumers.  The key to consumer loyalty is engagement and relationships and retailers must first understand and support the consumer process model in order to engage and develop the personal relationship.

 

The gaming world has shown the viability and strength of virtual relationships and the millennial generation growth now in the retail marketplace is driving the extension of virtual relationships to extend the shopping and purchasing consumer process model.  Again, though consumers are not shy about sharing their demands and with the extension of the virtual relationship along with the consumer shopping data available as a result of online shopping there is really no excuse for retailers to incorporate the practices and the information available into their practices.  I have been promoting the importance of consumer collaboration for quite some time so this is not a new revelation, however the tools to support and engage have been steadily increasing as a result of new developments and practices of millennials in the market. 

 

Retailers have realized the importance of technology to support consumer shopping and they have been adding and improving capabilities now to support the consumer shopping and purchasing and most importantly they have been extending these tools into the brick and mortar stores to enhance consumer support in the store and extend purchasing opportunities.  This is a great first step to support consumer demands and enhance the product search and purchase for consumers in the stores without increasing the clerks in the stores. 

 

These tools have enhances the in-store shopping and purchasing experience however they are still cold and impersonal and do nothing to enhance and create a relationship with the consumer, this activity is still dependent on the human interaction for retailers.  Online retailers, especially Amazon, have focused on developing the personal relationship with consumers and have embraced and supported the consumer process model to encourage the growth of these relationships.  This practice has been missing from the large legacy retailers’ practices because of their culture that has focused on the physical market and their focus on cost management.  The growth of millennials and growth of the technology now requires these retailers extend their focus to engage consumers in the virtual market and most importantly develop the virtual relationship.  This is where the need to understand and support the consumer process model comes into play and importance.  Retailers must first understand and support the process to develop the relationships.

 

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?

 


In order for retailers to successfully navigate the change that seems to have been washing over the retail market in waves these retailers must develop what I would call a process of improvement.  This process would provide the framework that allows the retailer to review, evaluate and then react to the changes in the marketplace in a manner that addresses the change while still maintaining the framework of the retail processes.  Retailers must first define the process to followed to evaluate and implement change before they begin reacting to change so that the change can be addressed in a manner that effectively meets the challenge while maintaining the framework of the retailer’s market strategy.  The process of improvement is about how the retailer incorporates change into the framework and not about the change itself.

 

The process of improvement will define the method that the retailer reacts to change and disruption in the market and will allow the retailer to incorporate change in a manner that supports the change while also integrating with the retailer market framework.  The process of improvement allows the retailer to react and incorporate change into their model more quickly and efficiently to allow theme to stay maintain their relationship with customers and maintain market share.  The process of improvement must not be implemented as a rigid procedure that limits change, rather it must be implemented as a model to eliminate the rigidity of the retailer framework.

 

This process requires a commitment from the retailer to focus on process and flexibility which requires that the retailer’s framework be built upon a collaborative and flexible foundation of processes that support the quick and efficient integration when change is required.  This is no easy feat to implement and will require that the retailer focus on standard integration practices and Internet based capabilities that allow the retailer to focus on objectives and process, allowing and encouraging the retailer to focus on the ‘what’ rather than the ‘how’.  This is critical to implementing a framework that supports the retail market for a long time to come.

 

The larger retailers have spent the better part of the last two or three years acquiring and implementing new capabilities as ‘bolt on’ type features and now must turn their focus to process definition and implementation to incorporate these features into a flexible and robust retail framework that focuses on process rather than channel.  When this process of improvement framework is defined the retailer must then focus on the tools that are part of the framework and used to support the changing demands from consumers on the retailer.

 

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 Internet has embraced the retail market and now it’s time for the retail market to embrace the Internet.  While the retail market has embraced eCommerce and the ability to purchase across channels, aside from retailers that have started recently and as an Internet based business, the large and legacy retailers have been focused on acquiring and implementing ‘bolt on’ features and functionality to enhance their eCommerce sales capabilities.  This strategy allowed the retailers to maintain sales and at least superficially support consumer demands to extend purchasing across channels.  Retailers have learned a lot during this time and the market has changed to incorporate eCommerce capabilities, these are all very positive improvements and the beginning of the a revolution in the retail market.

 

The changes continue to be driven by consumers and their embrace of technology coupled with the offering changes driven by Amazon’s expansion into new areas of the retail market.  The Internet of Things in the retail market will be driven first by Amazon and then embraced by consumers.  These changes will require retailers to implement a framework that supports both integration across technology practices and collaboration across partners and consumers.  The large legacy retailers have implemented a very strong suite of interactive capabilities supporting multi-channel demands as an initial reaction to the consumer demands and this gets them over the initial hurdle and now they must redouble the effort and change to truly integrate and support the market disruption. 

 

The first phase is the external manifestation of the Internet revolution and this provides some time for these retailers to focus on a robust and flexible foundation to take the capabilities to support the next level of demands.  The capabilities of the Internet of Things will drive the next revolution in the retail market by extending voice technologies on top of the mobile and wireless technologies into the consumer world to create a true Internet enabled omnipresent retail marketplace.

 

Unfortunately for large retailers, technology and the Internet of Things will only double down on both the changes and the rate of changes to continue to drive the market disruption.  The rate and velocity of change will only increase and this requires a componentized framework that supports enhanced collaboration and the ability to integrate new capabilities and technologies driven by consumer demands and experimentation.  The virtual and the physical retail outlets are merging with the Internet of the retail market and this requires implementation of both practices and technologies by the retailer to support a true single outlet supporting virtual and physical demands in the market.

 

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

Age Of Social Commerce

Posted by tbrouill Jan 28, 2018


The retail industry has moved through eCommerce and omni channel into a social commerce market that blends shopping and purchasing across all channels and social networks in the sharing economy.  Social commerce is driven by consumers and is the result of their wresting control of shopping and purchasing to support and also more importantly to enhance their lifestyles.  This is the next logical development of retail that redefines the market into a new market that enhances and extends the consumer experience and lifestyle demands.  Consumers have embraced technology to mash together retail shopping, social networking, delivery services to support the demands of their changing lifestyles. 

 

Millennials in the marketplace are driving changes these changes into the market based on their comfort with technology, embrace of virtual capabilities and drive to experiment through combinations to meet their needs.  These morphing capabilities are then expanding into mainstream practices more quickly as a result of the growth of millennials in the marketplace in addition to the growing embrace of technology by consumers.  The consumer market is growing and changing through a natural type of continuous improvement or in this change a process of continuous change where one change leads to another and changes are then combined and recombined into new cablitilities limited only by their imagination and tendency to experiment.  The key difference now in this age of social commerce is the group that is controlling the change, with the explosive growth of technology capabilities available to consumers they are no longer limited to the capabilities offered by retailers. 

 

This has put the large legacy retailers at a disadvantage requiring they chase the technology and the capabilities to maintain their standing in the market.  These retailers have been chasing Amazon for a while now to provide expanding shopping and purchasing capabilities to keep up.  While Amazon is arguably the leader in consumer shopping and a worthy leader in enhanced capabilities focused on improving the consumer shopping and purchasing capabilities Amazon is also a leader in social commerce capabilities as well.  This focus on social commerce by Amazon provides a secret sauce ingredient that other retailers have missed as a result of their focus on technology and purchasing capabilities.

 

The good news for the retail market is that large legacy retailers are beginning to take notice of these social network demands and capabilities to expand the consumer relationships.  These retailers realize the potential and I believe that millennials are not only changing the retail market, they are also expanding influence and participation in corporate america, including these large legacy retailers to drive the same practices in the corporate culture that have changed the retail market.  These are exciting times and social commerce in combination with the sharing economy are redefining practices and 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?