It would be nearly impossible for any retailer to control the touchpoints across the retail omni market without the use of some kind of software control center or control tower to provide the means to track and trace th activities.  This control tower would provide the means to coordinate the touchpoints into a cohesive process and view to allow the retailer to track and trace activities through interactions and data updates along the consumer shopping process in the retail omni market and especially in the online channel where every move and action of the consumer can be tracked and traced.  This control tower will require an enormous amount of data to provide the means necessary to trace and coordinate the consumer and external supply chain partner activities in addition to input to creating and encouraging new touch points throughout the retail omni market.

 

The retail omni market will provide the opportunities to collect immense amounts of data through the online channels and now with the expansion and growth of mobile technology and location aware technologies the opportunities to collect additional consumer shopping data in the brick and mortar stores in also increasing dramatically.  This is the area where the growth will occur along with the greatest return in value for the data of from the consumer brick and mortar shopping. The technology is available and used by other technology leaders such as Google to identify smartphone locations and provide suggestions for activities and stores in the vicinity and there is no reason that retailers should not be using this same technology to connect with consumers in the store and in the mall to provide shopping suggestions or alerts. 

 

Retailers must overcome their cultural hesitation to lead the technology development and create these new means to interact with consumers to increase the engagement and collaborative interaction with consumers.  Consumers are using social technology to help with their shopping selection and purchasing and these same consumers would also welcome the opportunity to engage and interact with the retailer in their brick and mortar shopping.  The whole objective of the retail omni market is to provide one cohesive shopping experience with the consumer and currently the greatest level of cohesiveness is in the online or eCommerce channel. The brick and mortar channel has been utilized as a delivery channel for the eCommerce channel or a self standing outlet with no real cohesive touchpoints to the eCommerce channel.  This is the next frontier of consumer collaboration and interaction.

 

As we have seen over the last few years there is absolutely no time for retailers to hesitate in supporting the demands of the consumer because the demands and changes come in increasing waves of change.  Retailers must develop touch points for direct interaction with both consumers and their supply chain partners in order to help them to sense and respond to the changing demands in a manner the can be coordinated not only across the retail omni market but also across the entire supply chain because the changes encountered in the retail market reverberate across the entire extended supply chain.