The gazelles (retailers able to shift directions quickly) in the the retail omni market have a distinct advantage over the large legacy retailers that have historically struggled with no only quickly changes but more importantly changing their culture to support quick changes in practices. These large retailers have been stuck in a culture and a world of their own making that believes that changes require detailed planning and costly development cycles to implement change. This reality is changing though as a result of the retail omni marke that focuses on quick and incremental changes to adjust to the demands of consumers. In order to succeed in the future retailers must recognize the difference between large business directional changes and the incremental changes required to support the retail omni market. This difference in viewpoint between the types of changes is will be the difference between success and failure in the retail omni market.
In the current state of the retail marketplace and the focus of consumers in this marketplace, the retailer must focus on the difference between business directional changes and incremental strategy and direction refinement. This difference between business directional changes and direction refinement is also the difference between the gazelle and the large battleship in ability to shift direction. Retailers must first focus on identification of the type of change and then they can determine the best method and schedule to implement the change. This requires a change in culture along with the shift in viewpoints for the retailers to enact the changes. This sense and respond method of continuous change in the retail omni market will allow the large retailer to react as a gazelle in the important consumer facing areas while still taking the time necessary to support the large business directional changes.
Over the recent years retailers have focused on business directional changes, as they should have, to support the omni channel retail operations. This was required t in order for retailers to implement omni channel business functionality to support consumer purchasing demands. At this point though, the major operational support requirements for consumer purchasing across channels has been implemented and retailers now need to focus on the collaborative consumer interaction to support the changing consumer shopping demands in the developing retail omni market. This current phase of supporting consumer shopping demands requires incremental changes in consumer facing areas to develop relationships and shopping methods that support the consumer demands. This is an experimental process for consumers and requires a method (such as consumer/retailer collaboration practices) to sense and respond to the incremental shifts and changes.
Large legacy retailers can be successful and react as gazelles by implementing a consumer collaborative practice to allow these retailers to sense and respond the shifting incremental changes before they become business operational changes. This requires a flexible control tower type framework that supports the collaborative practices and then supports the incremental changes required to support the consumer experimentation. This practice will be difficult to enact without a change in culture to focus on consumer collaboration and recognition of the change in the retail omni market direction and requirements.