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?