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?