I believe that a key contributor to the success of social commerce is not related to the interaction with customers or the ability to connect with customers through social networks or even the ability to shop from any channel in any channel, I believe a key contributor is the metrics from which you measure your success. Social commerce is a new type of retail that does not differentiate between channel and your metrics must allow you to measure based on the customer purchase and stock position and the cost of the sale. People focus on what is measured and in order to change your retail culture to a social commerce marketplace you must measure across the geographic marketplace and not by a channel. This is how you drive the change and maintain the focus of senior leadership and most importantly change the culture to a social commerce marketplace focus.
Social commerce metrics require a great deal of information to measure and analyze, the more the better! The good news is that the tools and methods and technologies supporting these tools and methods can generate a huge amount of data that can be used for metrics. In fact, I think one of the greatest benefits of social commerce is the amount of data available for metrics. In addition, one of the greatest challenges is the ability to collect the appropriate data, assimilate and analyze for guidance with the the speed necessary to guide adjustments and modifications. A key challenge is the rate of change in consumer demands and retailers must develop tools and methods to collect, analyze and then implement changes at a much greater rate in order to meet the demands.
Additional challenges for retailers is inventory management and purchase fulfillment across channels. What I mean by this is that retailers should be processing purchases and tracking through inventory management in the same manner no matter the channel. In addition to this and because of the blending of inventory across channels the sales must also blended across channels. In order to encourage the store management to embrace these changes the store must be measured by the same service levels as all other fulfillment channels and most importantly the store must be given the sale credit for all channel sales within their region.
Customer service and satisfaction is very important to social commerce and multichannel retailers must focus on an experience that delivers consistent service and support across any consumer touch point and these must all be measured to ensure consistency. Online retailers have changed the consumer expectation by incorporating consumer reviews in all of their consumer views and this carries over to now to social commerce and all consumer touch points. Retailers will quickly achieve a benefit from these metrics and these benefits will then sustain and encourage the continued expansion of measurements. This allows a greater benefit to the retailers as well as it allows them to better understand customers and their demands before making changes.
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?