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2018


The velocity of change in the retail market has been increasing for quite some time now and is only showing signs of increasing both volume and the velocity of the change cycle.  This is really related to the opportunities afforded by the connectivity and flexibility of the Internet, mobile technology and increased network capabilities that have all come together to deliver increased speed of delivery and also expansion of the parties involved in the change cycle.  The change cycle is permanently changed by the methods of delivery and also the types of changes delivered. The days of monolithic change are definitely over and have been replaced by a continuous change cycle of incremental changes that allow for adjustment and speed to market to meet the increased velocity of demands that are encouraged by the Internet players such as Amazon.

 

There is an old phase that is particularly fitting in this retail market - ‘Change at the speed of life’.  This reflects the current reality very clearly and explains the velocity of change as well. The velocity of change is increasing because the change cycle is quickening and the changes are actually building on each other.  These factors are then related back to the improvements in consumer technology and network capabilities. Consumers are actually driving the change now as a result of their embrace of technology and the improvements in consumer technology.  Add to this mix Internet retailers and service providers that are encouraging these changes and you can see the reasons for this increase in velocity.

 

This new reality puts many of the larger retailers in a bind to meet the increased velocity because the standard practice for these large retailers has been to bundle changes into larger releases that require more time to deliver.  This practice puts them squarely behind the curve and constantly chasing the changes causing lost customers and lost sales. Even the reaction to the changed model, increase capabilities through acquisition, has caused the retailers to remain behind the curve. 

 

These large retailers must now revise their change cycle to implement smaller, incremental, releases to deliver change in a more frequent and iterative manner.  The large releases provided major enhancements to features and functionality however it also allowed the market to change during the period of development of these large releases, thereby increasing the risk of delivery either too late to take advantage of the market or no longer required by the market.  Large retailers must focus on a flexible and extendable framework that supports quick incremental change in addition to the acquisition of new companies to support the changing demands. I think that the greatest impact of Amazon in the retail market is their focus on the velocity of change through incremental changes that build on each other.

 

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?

 

tbrouill

Omni Market Evolution

Posted by tbrouill Mar 25, 2018


While it may feel like the omni market has revolutionized the retail marketplace these changes have been incubating and growing for a long time to the recent seeming explosion of change and retail disruption.  In other words, this seems like a revolution only because retailers have been seen as struggling to maintain share in the omni market in an especially visible manner recently through acquisition and reported focus on the eCommerce channel.  Travel through the history of the changes though and it is easy to see that the appearance of revolution is only an appearance and in reality is the culmination of many changes and technology over the last ten years. This is important to the retailers’ plans and strategies for the support of the retail market disruption and provides the roadmap for retailers to build an engaged and collaborative strategy to meet the demands of future evolution.

 

This perspective of evolution allows retailers to build a framework and structure based on broad collaboration and engagement across the market in order to sense and respond to the changing consumer demands and especially to the changing market demands.  The importance of this framework cannot be overstated as a key to the retailers’ ability to act on demands. This framework allows retailers the time to plan and evolve solutions rather than the current practice of waiting for the market leaders to develop the change.  It is important to realize that change in the retail market is evolutionary and requires retailers to accept this and implement the changes in both culture and strategy to allow them to evolve with the market and not be left behind.

 

This change requires a revolution in leadership management strategy to continuously search for the changing demands by both consumers and the retail market and especially market leaders.  The retail market has always been made up of leaders and followers. The make-up and number of followers compared to leaders has always been rather large with the market leaders taking the risk and then the followers reacting after the change has been accepted by the market and consumers.  I do not think that the ratio of leaders to followers has changed, I think that the time to deliver the change has decreased and this has thrown the followers behind the curve. In other words, the velocity of change in the market has increased and the retail followers have not changed their cycle leaving them further and further behind.

 

Amazon and similar online retailers have been able to drive this velocity of change because they can make a change in one place and it pushes to the consumers where the larger retailers have a huge infrastructure that increases the cost and difficulty of change.  We are seeing the large retailers now reimagining and rebuilding their capabilities now to allow them to sense and respond to the market shifts more efficiently. They now seem to realize the importance of evolution over revolution.

 

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?

 


The retail omni market must be cognizant of data security requirements and especially personally identifiable information (PII) that can put consumer identities at risk.  In the fast moving and quickly changing omni market environment coupled with hacker advances in technology to mine and extract consumer data for identity theft purposes it can be very easy to overlook and fall behind in data security requirements.  Any type of breach can cause consumers to lose confidence in the retailer’s site and be extremely damaging to business. Any loss in consumer confidence can be much more damaging to a retailer and also the retailer’s leadership than any failure to maintain pace with consumer demands in the omni market. 

 

Data security in the fast paced world of the retail omni market can be easy to overlook and in addition to this the retailer could go for a long period of time without an incident.  The greatest risk to data security is compliance and loss of focus on the risk. The abilities of hackers is continuously improving and the attacks growing in sophistication and this only increases the requirements for retailers to maintained a heightened awareness and also heightened tools to monitor and rebuff any attacks.  While it may be very cumbersome to maintain this type of awareness and capabilities to monitor and rebuff attacks this is also much more cost efficient in the long run than any recovery activities could ever be.

 

Data security must be a continuous and early focus in order to protect the retailer from the results of a breach.  A breach of any nature could not only seriously damage the confidence of consumers but more importantly could and would damage the viability through loss of business and fines to the retailer up to and including putting the retailer out of business.  Consumers and government agencies are much more aware of the damages that can be caused by data security breaches and this translates into a dramatic increase in requirements for retailers to protect consumer personally identifiable information. 

 

Retailers walk a fine line with data security between protecting the consumers’ data and utilizing consumer shopping and purchasing practices to improve the consumer experience.  This requires a great deal of focus and awareness of the requirements in order to maintain the appropriate level of protection. Retailers must be ever vigilant for potential breaches and this vigilance extends to the retailer employees and leadership.  Retailers must act under the assumption that they are under continuous attack from outside entities and must maintain a very high level of awareness and vigilance to stop any potential attacks to protect the consumer information with which they are entrusted.

 

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?

 


The control tower framework is a great way to react to and meet the retail omni market changes currently disrupting the market place.  This framework provides the means for the large legacy retailers to coordinate their reaction and support of the market changes in a thoughtful and well planned manner.  The control tower framework provides the structure to coordinate the collaboration and engage their partners across the market. This is important in the omni market because the changes impact the entire marketplace and not just one practice, product type or channel.  There are so many different changes and reactions to changes currently disrupting the market place and there is no reason that these changes will level off and the control tower framework provides the method for retailers to coordinate reactions and changes across their entire span of relationships.

 

The control tower framework allows retailers to collaboration and engage their partners across the supply chain and even can provide a means to integration consumers interaction and collaborative engagement.  This is important in the market because the velocity of change has reached a level where the large retailers especially require this framework to support the collection, communication and coordination across their supply chain without continuously disrupting their internal financial and back office systems. This collaboration layer and framework that can be provided by the control tower allows the large retailers to segregate the change to reduce and improve the management of disruption to their business. 

 

In addition, the control tower framework provides an integration layer so the retailer can isolate the change and reduce the impact to the integrating systems.  This framework would allow the retailer to format the integration into operational systems to allow new changes to quickly take advantage of functionality without major impact to the systems.  This is very important from a speed to market along with a stability perspective and will then allow the retailer to focus more on detecting and reacting to the next consumer demand rather than supporting and reacting to issues caused as a result of the changes.

 

Retailers must implement a framework that supports extended collaboration along with simplifications to the integration of new features and functionality in a timeframe that allows them to quickly react and support consumer demands.  There are two sides to this challenge; early detection of the trend and change to meet the trend, and quick turn around of the actual change. I believe that the control tower framework provides the conceptual foundation to support the demands and will help the retailers to gain an equilibrium and balance in detecting and reacting to the disruption in the retail market.

 

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?

 


As the change cycles are quickening in the retail omni market there are reaction impacts to the retailers and the supply chain that require a great deal of attention in order to determine the appropriate reactions to the change.  The changes are difficult at this time from the retailer perspective because these changes are buffeting in waves across the market place without a lot of time to determine the appropriate reactions. The new omni market world requires organization in order to identify and determine a reaction and then requires flexibility to react to the changes.  The velocity of these actions will drive the market and unfortunately in this process will also disrupt the market in ways that will grow in impact and velocity. This will be unsettling for retailers that are accustomed to a measured progression through change while they make their way through the change until they reach a rhythm to respond to the changes.

 

Retailers must overcome their cultural tendency to wait for the the market to settle, because the market will not settle.  More importantly the changes are not ending and will continue to build on each other to support changes to the changes, to the changes.  This cycle of disruption and change in the market is built on a model of continuous change were the changes are in many cases building on the previous changes as technology catches up.  Consumers are fundamentally changing the culture or the retail market and the omni market is the manifestation of this culture shift. 

 

Retailers must meet these demands with their own cycle of continuous change in order to survive.  Luckily most organizations accept and incorporate a continuous improvement process that can be expanded and utilized to identify and respond to the change.  The continuous improvement model must be expanded though to the leadership of the retailers first and then pushed outward to engage and collaborate with partners from suppliers to end customers to be used as a basis to identify and respond to the changing market.  It is important that the retail leadership embrace this model to change the culture, without this acceptance from leadership the continuous change model will not reach the critical mass of acceptance required to meet the velocity of change in the market.

 

The change cycles impacting the retail market will not slow and this is why it is so important for retailers to embrace the new model and the new culture quickly.  The large legacy retailers are especially encumbered by large and relatively rigid operations that have been difficult to change in the past. These retailers must embrace the culture of change in order to identify and react to the quickening change cycles.  Amazon as an example has a history of disrupting the market through quick cycles of change and engagement with the customers and this places them in an especially important position now to drive and encourage disruption in the market. Retailers must accept and react to this challenge to support the change and quickening cycles 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?

 

tbrouill

Omni Market Supply Chain

Posted by tbrouill Mar 18, 2018


The retail supply chain takes on an increased level of importance to support the retail omni market demands the market place and the velocity of these changes.  The supply chain provides the foundation for supporting the revisions to shopping and purchasing through increased flexibility in services and capabilities. The critical focus for the supply chain in this support is the flexibility to quickly and efficiently react to the changing demands in supporting the procurement and delivery on products to the consumer.  Since a key factor driving the retail omni market is related to consumer demands to support changes in shopping and purchasing the supply chain provides the foundation to support these demands and this in turn means that the supply chain must increase flexibility and the spectrum of capabilities to support these demands.

 

One of the market demands that I see as driving the changes are revisions to the product life cycle and these revisions to the consumer demands will require increased flexibility in the entire supply chain to support the changes to the product life cycle.  These consumer demands produce a discontinuous product life cycle that must be tracked closely to understand and react and then the reaction time to adjust will be dramatically shorter. The requirements on the market place and the supply chain are similar and very swift in the omni market as a result of the velocity of change supported by technology.  The market place no longer allows much time for retailers to review, understand and then react to the changes demanded by consumers. 

 

The discontinuous change demands from consumers on the retail omni market require a robust continuous improvement and collaboration practices across the entire supply chain.  The change cycle though is a continuous cycle without time to take a breath. These changes and especially the velocity and nature of the changes require the retailers and their entire chain to be engaged in a continuous analysis and forecasting of the changes. This requires increased collaboration across the entire supply chain from supplier to end customers. 

 

It seems to me that the nature, especially the discontinuous nature of the changes, are driving reduced and similar discontinuous change cycles in both services and product life cycle.  This type of market place requires a higher level of collaboration and increased engagement from the supply chain to reduce the time to react to changes. This shortened change demand cycle, in turn, requires a shortened procurement cycle to react to react to the changes in consumer demands.  These changes in consumer demands, especially including shopping and purchasing demands, also requires increase flexibility in the omni market practices and capabilities to allow the retailers to react. This all results in a highly flexible and reactionary omni market that is disrupting the success of the large legacy retailers.

 

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?

 


The realization of the retail omni market has changed the rules in the retail market place and retailers must realize that this has change the factors that drive these retailers success.  A key to achieving and maintaining success in this omni market is the realization that the factors are continuously changing as a result of changing consumer lifestyles. Consumer lifestyles have always been a success factor for retailers and the difference now is the impact of technology on the velocity and types of changes.  Technology has allowed consumers to take control of their shopping and purchasing to support their needs at the moment of their purchase. There is a very large influence in shopping and purchasing driven by consumer instant gratification and retailers must take steps to develop and improve their abilities to meet these demands.

 

I think that probably the most influential impact and factor in the retail omni market is the instant gratification effect and demands of the consumers.  Amazon and other online retailers have had a great impact on driving this focus or need for instant gratification in consumers and now the increase of millennials in the market place has added technology and the virtual capabilities to this drive for instant gratification.  Comfort in technology and curiosity with the ability to combine technologies to meet their demands has allowed millennials to make a huge impact on the market place. The comfort in gaming and the virtual aspects of technologies have allowed millennials to lead the way in reshaping shopping and purchasing. 

 

This may not have impacted the retail market place had it only involved millennials, the tipping factor in these changes and velocity of continued change is the acceptance and embrace of these capabilities by consumers at large.  Social networking and Internet based retailers such as Amazon have only spread the news and as a result encouraged the adoption of these capabilities by consumers at large. Now Amazon is spreading into the brick and mortar, physical, market with its focus on imaginative methods to blend virtual and physical shopping to further spread and encourage adoption of the omni market capabilities.

 

Omni market retail is a freight train moving through the retail market place that is fueled by a combination of consumer demands and Internet retailer drive to creatively encourage and meet these demands.  This drive is changing the retail market place just as catalog retail changed retail in the early 20th century. Amazon and these Internet retailers are driving this change and the legacy retailers must adapt or expire.  This omni market has reached a change velocity now that will only increase the rate of failure.

 

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?

 


It is important to understand the definition of retail omni market and it is even more important to understand that the retail omni market is a concept and a practice and a direction rather a product or an endpoint.  This is much different than the multi channel or omni channel practice because these terms describe an operational practice that describes the method of product sale. Retail omni channel crosses over the operational sales methods and brings to together the act of shopping and purchasing in a social manner to meet the lifestyle demands of the consumer.  Consumers have always treated retail as a social experience where the experience of interaction and engagement is almost as important as the act of purchasing. This initial iteration of the retail omni market is bringing dramatic change to the retail experience that will further impact the physical properties, such as malls and brick and mortar stores.

 

Retail omni channel supports consumer collaboration and engagement to produce a retail personal experience rather than a simple transactional engagement of the purchase.  Consumers are social animals that are drawn to the persona interaction. There are many tools that have progressed to the point where they can easily support the virtual social interaction and the ingredient that allowed the omni market to really come together and solidify is the growth of the millennial generation in the retail market place.  Millennials brought two things to the market to push towards the omni market concept;

  1. Comfort with technology and the virtual capabilities of social networks.  Millennials bring to the table a basic acceptance in the technology and more importantly a comfort in the technology.  In other words technology comes as second nature to millennials and they don’t hesitate to use technology to enhance their lifestyles.
  2. Curiosity and the drive to experiment encourages them to push boundaries and move past the accepted practices to enhance and improve their experiences.  These are the people that experiment with new technology and embrace new technologies as second nature and have a drive to improve and enhance their experience through technology.

 

These are practices and reasons why the retail omni market concept has come together into a reality and these are also the reasons why the omni market concept will have such a large impact on the market place.  This concept requires a change in culture of the large legacy retailers to focus on implementing flexibility to allow them to increase consumer collaboration and engagement. This consumer engagement is the factor that will drive success for the retailers going forward.  This consumer engagement must really replace low price as the critical success factor in retail. This change in the critical success factor is the reason why the culture must change from a culture of control to a culture of collaboration.

 

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?

 

tbrouill

Omni Market AI

Posted by tbrouill Mar 14, 2018


Artificial Intelligence and robots have been embraced by consumers to support their shopping and purchasing demands and as a result these tools are changing the face of shopping and purchasing in the retail omni market.  Many sites have implemented checks to ensure access and activities are engaged by humans rather than robots. The large legacy retailers seem to have been focused on their operational capabilities and services rather than the automated side of the equation and I think this is simply a reaction to the changes in the marketplace and their need to keep up with the velocity change.  Consumers, on the other hand, have embraced AI and the capabilities of the tools to support their changing lifestyles. 

 

The face these changes now are based on the assistants such as Alexa, Siri and Google Assistant and these tools have grown in prominence since the consumer embrace of the related home tools and mobile phone apps.  These tools and apps seem to have left the large legacy retailers out of this loop of a connected consumer and the related retailers and this vice squeeze is just increasing as the capabilities of these home tools and mobile apps increase.  These assistants are providing consumers with an easy means of coordinating their shopping and purchasing for all aspects of their lives. This drive for integration and support of consumer lifestyle has been lead by the Amazon Alexa offerings.  This is really no surprise because Amazon has been a leader in consumer shopping and purchasing since starting and their influence on the marketplace has only grown. The assistant tools also allows Amazon to expand across all channels of the marketplace with a goal of expanding their omni market presence and influence.    

 

Consumers must be very careful with their use of these tools because of the ability of hackers to use these tools to gain access to their personal information for identity theft.  I am sure that everyone has heard the horror and humor stories related to Alexa where TVs activate and initiate purchases or the appliance starts laughing eerily. These are interesting asides that should alert the consumer to the requirement to be careful with the information shared and stored on these devices.  Unfortunately, while these tools definitely make shopping and entertainment dramatically easier for consumers as these consumers share more information and the tools collect information from the consumer usage, these increased comfort level of consumers in sharing this information also increases the risk of theft.  In order to counter the risk consumers must augment their use of assistants and robots with a strong identity protection tool.

 

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?

 


Sustainability tools for the retail omni market include both technology tools in addition to social networking and collaboration tools.  These tools are much different than a tool list that would have been produced ten years ago and this clearly shows the difference in the retail omni market brought about by the combination of technology and the millennial generation.  The focus on social networking and collaboration tools in this omni marketplace require a change in the retail leadership culture in order to utilize, embrace and finally integrate these tools in the retail omni market so that these retailers can improve consumer collaboration and most importantly develop a relationship with the consumers in a medium and manner that more and more of the customers are have been demanding and building on their own to meet their changing lifestyle demands.

 

The tools that have been embraced by consumer include Twitter, SnapChat, Amazon, Siri, Alexa and Google in their drive to support their lifestyle. Consumers are at least two steps ahead of retailers in their incorporation of social and AI tools usage in their shopping and purchasing and while retailers have been focused on operational capabilities.  In addition to this, these tools that are in common use by consumers are not the leading edge tools, the real challenge in front of the retailers is how to engage with consumers to identify the leading edge tools that will be changing the retail omni market in a year. The change in tools required of retailers now is to improve collaboration with consumers in the development of these tools.  Retailers need to change their culture to focus on the leading edge of consumer demands through the collaboration and engagement of these consumers.

 

It is for these reasons that I believe the most important sustainability tools for the retail omni market are related to collaboration and consumer engagement.  The velocity of change in the retail market now has increased to the point now where retailer cannot afford to wait for other to develop the operational capabilities because it will be too late for these copycat retailers to catch up.  You can see from the retail market leaders this focus on consumer collaboration and engagement and this is the secret to their success. 

 

Retail leaders are now technology focused, leading edge cultures that are continuously changing and driving change into their operational capabilities based on the collaborative input from consumers.  This focus on consumer collaboration allows the leaders to support the velocity and actually drive the velocity of change in the market. This is the greatest change to the retail omni market and this is also the change that is driving the disruption.  The greatest lesson for retailers now is that they cannot afford to wait for the changes to be accepted and embraced by consumers before implementing simply because by the time the operation change is embraced by consumers the leaders are already implementing the next group of changing in the retail omni market.   The difference in the current environment is that the the market itself has become an area of experimentation and this change in strategy has itself increased the velocity of change.

 

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?

 

tbrouill

Omni Market Tools

Posted by tbrouill Mar 10, 2018


Omni market tools cover a broad span of capabilities and especially usage.  This is especially true of the social networking tools and capabilities embraced by consumers in their everyday activities and these are the tools that are really driving the omni market today in ways that were not really imagined a short time ago and into directions that are difficult to imagine now in the future.  This new reality requires that retailers focus on flexibility and collaboration as their key tools in the tool box to allow them to react and incorporate new tools and processes in the timeframe demanded by consumers. Millennials get very impatient when they cannot quickly incorporate new capabilities into their daily practices and on top of that they also aren’t bound by historical loyalties and this makes them the most dangerous in their demands.

 

Rather than focus on the tool or capability of the day, retailers need to focus on the collaboration and flexibility to support quickly changing demands.  As we have seen over the last few years there have been quickly changing demands on the market that in turn has disrupted the retail landscape from the disruption in the mall and brick and mortar market to the disruption in the ecommerce channel capabilities, to the disruptions in the delivery and pickup capabilities.  These changes have particularly disrupted the large legacy retailers that have focus on cost controls and low price strategy. These retailers have been chasing the market changes to delivery new capabilities through acquisition and new software capabilities. This strategy has allowed the retailers to quickly deliver new capabilities although these new capabilities have also come at a cost of flexibility to quickly deliver new capabilities.

 

These retailers are now focused on integrating the new software and capabilities into their technology framework and this also is dragging them behind again in meeting the changes demanded of the market creating a cycle of change and acquisition that is directly impacted by the their integration capabilities.  This change cycle is also impacted by the large retailer leadership culture in accepting and embracing the mode of discontinuous change. This culture limitation is also limiting the ability to identify and integrate change.

 

Tools in the retail omni market must be expanded to include the softer ‘tools’ including culture, attitude towards change and also collaboration, in addition to the technology flexibility required to quickly react to change.  These changing softer ‘tools’ are the most difficult to implement because they are harder to measure and harder to monitor. This requires a change in culture and practices that encourage a long term view and collaboration in addition to the operational measurements currently used to measure success.  The large retailers must focus on the measurement and encouragement of collaboration now in order to incorporate the volume of change disrupting the retail omni market.

 

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?

 

tbrouill

Omni Market Shopping

Posted by tbrouill Mar 9, 2018


The retail market has been changed forever by the combination of mobile technology and millennials growth in the market.  The retail market now supports shopping and purchasing across virtual and physical markets along time time zones and geographic locations to create what I have started calling a retail omni market.  This retail omni market supports shopping in a way that was not envisioned prior to the expansion of mobile technologies and the growth of millennials in the market. The changes in shopping and purchasing capabilities have been accepted by consumers and have become a de facto standard in the retail market. All consumers expect these capabilities as a matter of course and the technology and social network sites support and encourage consumers to create these capabilities in a manner that can be built and rebuilt to support their needs at the time.

 

Omni market shopping is an opportunistic practice that can be exposed and activated at any time and any place by the consumer based on the consumers’ needs or wants at the time.  The technology has allowed consumers to create a virtual shopping mall that can be configured based on the consumer needs at the time of shopping. This is both a retailer’s paradise and nightmare at the same time because of the flexibility exercised by the consumer that is not limited by a retailer’s capabilities.  If a particular retailer cannot meet the consumer demands at the moment in time that the consumer is shopping the consumer will simply move to another retailer. The positive aspect of the market though is that consumers will always come back again to give the retailer another opportunity on their next shopping exploration. 

 

Retailers have focused on the operational side of this market and built out channel purchasing capabilities and have not focused very much at all on the social aspect of shopping.  This is a critical failing of the retailers and they are now struggling to catch up. The retailers though seem to regularly fall into the same blind spot, which is the open and collaborative aspect of the consumer shopping and purchasing practices in the omni market.  Retailers such as Wal Mart have focused on the operational side of the retail market, still viewing the omni channel aspect to provide consumers capabilities to purchase in one channel and pick up from another channel. This is all well and good but it is also the accepted baseline now and consumers have moved on to the shopping aspect and this requires the omni market view point. 

 

Retailers must engage directly with consumers to support their shopping and encourage their return again and again.  In the brick and mortar retail environment consumers did not always purchase on their outings, however the more they returned to the store the higher the likelihood a purchase would result. The retail omni market requires this same viewpoint for consumer engagement.  The omni market is more difficult however because the retailer must continuously focus on the consumer relationship and engagement.

 

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?

 


Collaboration starts with a conversation. This is the simplest way that it can be described and yet it can also be the most difficult first step, especially when that first step is performed virtually in the omni market environment.  Conversation is not only the first step to collaboration, it is also the common thread and glue of the collaborative relationship whether with the consumer, manufacturer, transportation or employee relationships its the conversation and the continuous conversation that holds the relationship together and then provides the encouragement for engagement. The end objective of collaboration is engagement and this too cannot be achieved without a continuous conversation.  A great deal of the potential and the success that can be achieved in the omni market depends on collaboration and engagement from one end of the chain to the other. 

 

The dialog across all partners in the omni market encourages and supports transparency in the relationships and this transparency when coupled with collaboration and then the engagement of the partners provides a key driving force to success in the retail omni market.  Many retailers have focused on the omni channel market that supports sales and delivery across channels This is a first requirement for the retail omni market, retailers must provide an operation and capabilities to execute the process and this execution must cross channels to support the consumer requirements.  Collaboration and engagement then provide the means to develop and support a social relationship across all partners. 

 

This collaboration and engagement cannot be automated though and requires the human touch, especially in the virtual world.  This will be difficult then for many retailers, especially the large retailers, because they have spent years eliminating costs and automating processes and procedures resulting in reductions in store personnel.  The collaboration and social aspect of the legacy store retail environment has been tied to the sales clerk in these stores and the relationships they developed with the customer. The virtual relationship starts with a conversation and retailers must now develop the means to engage the consumers in a virtual conversation develop the relationship.  This relationship requires the human touch when in the physical or virtual world and requires the support and commitment to develop these relationships over the long term. 

 

This is a serious and long term investment for retailers and a practice change for them to commit to the relationship with the consumer in the omni market. Without this relationship the only reason for consumers to purchase is the price and this is a losing fight for retailers because there is always someone that will undercut the price and without the personal relationship there is no reason for the consumer to return.  Even in a price war the difference many times comes down to the relationship and this is why retailers must focus on the conversation and the dialogue first.

 

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?

 


Sustainability is important in any endeavor and the retail omni market is no different.  I thought that it would be important to start with an understanding of sustainability in biology in order to better understand the demands and potential requirements and objectives that could be required for omni market sustainability.  The biological definition of sustainability from Wikipedia is  “the property of biological systems to remain diverse and productive indefinitely.  In more general terms, sustainability is the endurance of systems and processes.”  I think that the retail omni market definition and objectives of sustainability relates more to the biological system definition because the retail omni market is a continuously evolving and improving diverse system of partners, participants and the processes that bring them together.  This is important to start with the appropriate definition because it influences and informs the activities of the market.

 

The omni market has many pieces and parts required to sustain the services and capabilities and support  these services in the support and growth of the omni market.  It seems to me that the market sustainability is very much like a biological system that requires diversity and the endurance of systems and processes to remain viable and productive.  The systems involved in the omni market are social, technical and physical operational systems that come together to meet the demands of the customers.  A failure in any one of these systems has a dramatic impact on the retailers’ ability to support the market and retailers must remain focused on the maintaining and supporting these systems to remain successful.  The measurement is straightforward, even though the support requirements can be complicated,  the measurement is the success and continued viability of the retailer.

 

Key factors in in the sustainability of the omni market are collaboration and engagement, technology and processes will continuously change, however the glue and the fuel of the market can really be broken down into these two ingredients.  However these are probably the two most difficult factors to maintain because of the ever changing demands and the tools used by all of the partners.  The control and direction of the market are really driven now by consumers that have embraced technology.  These consumers are continuously changing and trying new technologies to improve their shopping and purchasing capabilities. 

 

Millennials have grown in the omni market and have made a significant impact in the requirements for sustainability.  These changes and demands are very much list a biological system because of their continuous changing and growing practices and capabilities.  There is a high level of experimentation that is causing mutations in the marketplace practices and these mutations are impacting the market sustainability.  The ability to meet these demands will be supported by the retailer collaboration and engagement practices to sustain the market.

 

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?

 


The retail omni market demands the supply chain to be viewed from a network perspective where partners and collaborators from the manufacturer to the end consumer and all points in between are nodes in this network that are providing support to the end objective of supply to the consumer.  Each node has a purpose and provides value to meet the end objective of meeting the changing demands of the consumer lifestyle.  Each of the nodes in the network provides a specific value and the value of the overall network is the flexibility provides by the network framework to meet the end objective.  All members must be focused in the same direction and this network framework provides the flexibility to support the changing demands through an engaged and collaborative practice that brings value to all partners.

 

This network framework eliminates the silos of control and allows the members to focus on meeting the end objective through an engaged and collaborative framework that brings value to all members.  This framework encourages cooperation and participation in sensing and responding to the changing demands and opportunities.  This framework encourages participation to bring value to all the partners through collaborative benefits. Most of all this framework requires a long term commitment and even culture change to eliminate the silos and support open communication and engagement across the network.  All of these points bring the value and the flexibility to the network and all of these points encourage participation and engagement across the network to sense and respond to the demands.

 

The omni market network requires a type of business neural network that allows the retailer and the partner chain to sense and respond to threats and opportunities in all aspects of the omni market, from product lifestyle management to inventory and delivery management through shopping and consumer collaboration.  These types of activities were previously provided by sales clerks and merchants in the store and they have been largely overlooked and forgotten by the larger retailers in their drive to reduce costs and increase market share. 

 

The growth of millennials in the retail market has quickened the change and the growth of the omni market.  The large retailers have many of the pieces and parts already in place and require the network to connect them and bring the value.  This is where collaboration and engagement really play a predominant role in the network.  Collaboration and engagement provide the logical and physical network connections across the market and with the open and transparent collaboration the partner engagement will increase and the value of the network will increase.  This requires continuous review and renewal through the sense and respond process of the network.  This continuous review is prabablyone of the most difficult aspects though because it requires a continuous focus and without the focus the engagement and collaboration with die, which in turn will significantly limit the benefits of the network.

 

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?