Retailers must redefine their business processes for shopping, purchasing and delivery in order to support the demands of the changing consumer demands in the retail market. This redefinition will allow the retailer to define a flexible and robust process model that can support the current demands along with the changing demands that cannot be anticipated in the future. The current business processes are defined and focused on the channel which worked for the initial stages of the omni channel retail demands however, this no longer applies in a market that truly blends channels into an omnipresent market and retailers must now adjust to this reality in order to support and react quickly, efficiently and effectively to the changing demands in the future.
A single shopping, purchasing and delivery business process design simplifies the retailer requirements and will allow the retailer to implement a strategic framework to support the changing consumer demands quickly and efficiently. The retailer can no longer follow a business process that focuses on a channel while the consumer driving the market is focused on the process and the delivery that best meets their current need without regard to channel. The inefficiencies inherent in struggling with processes that don’t quite fit are enormous and these are some of the key challenges to the retailers in this new market.
Retailers are currently struggling with with the inefficiencies of integrating both changes to their practices based on consumer and partner demands along with the inefficiencies of integrating new acquisitions acquired to support new online capabilities. These changes will certainly not slow and will only increase in complexity which is why the retailer must take the time now to redefine their business processes. This will require though that the retailer ‘walk and chew gum at the same time’ to balance reaction and support of the changing market demands and integration of new acquisitions, with the development of a strategic omnipresent business process definition.
Retailers should view this business process definition exercise not only as a means to define a cohesive and flexible process to support the market and just as important this exercise provide a means to define the integration strategy along with a means to define needs to support the process. The identification of the needs to support this omnipresent process is, in my opinion, one of the most critical and valuable objectives of this exercise. Let’s face it, it is critical that retailers define the process first and then review and analyze this process to identify and address gaps. This gap definition will allow the retailer to define their strategic direction and plan to move forward and without this gap definition the retailer will simply flounder along from one changing demand to another towards an inevitable loss of market and dwindling sales.
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?