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?