The retail marketplace is entering into a period of extreme change driven by technology and most importantly by consumer use of new technology capabilities.  This change in technologies is driven by consumers demand for increased and improved services to support their changing lifestyles.  These new demands and changes will cause an extended period of upheaval in the market and require retailers focus on extreme flexibility in their capabilities along with increased investments in these new capabilities driven by the new technologies.  The basis of these changes are communications and collaboration and these changes will drive retailers to adopt open technology platforms and tools to be able to adapt to the changes in demands quickly and efficiently.


The order of the day for this new marketplace is disruption and discontinuous change driven by consumer adaptation of new technologies and how consumers use these new technologies and capabilities to support their changing lifestyle demands.  Technology delivered by one retail market segment to consumers is driving the changes and disruption in other retail market segments and these changes are so quick that retailers in the impacted market segment cannot use traditional discovery practices to react to the changes. 


Consumers are utilizing technology, software, social networks with the Internet as the glue that connects all of these tools to create new capabilities and retailers now must plug into these same tools with the connection and glue provided by the Internet as well in order to react to the demands in a response time and manner that allows the retailers to not be overrun by the potential disruption. The Internet of Things is the wild card to these consumer capabilities and based on the current capabilities and the potential changes, especially those changes driven by consumer demands added to the potential promised by smart home technologies, the retail impact will be discontinuous disruption to the retail market in a cycle that can potentially overrun retailers capabilities without warning.  Retailers now must accept the fact they will be chasing these changes and will not be introducing the changes.


Large retailers must first recognize that they no longer control the retail market and second they must change their from directing the consumer interaction to collaborating with consumers to find ways to meet their needs.  The changing and improving technology will support these new demands however the retailers must invest in the technologies.  This is the challenge of the large retail culture which in the past was not supportive of leading edge technologies and in the future will be required to support leading edge technologies in order to survive. 


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?