Retailers must implement a method to systematically and continuously sense and respond to changes in the retail omni market whether from consumers or from the extended supply chain partners.  The difficulty is implementing the control tower methods that allow for the information to be collected and stored for analysis from many different functions and activities across the entire omni market, from the eCommerce channel, to the brick and mortar channel, to the social media interactions with consumers, to the developments and new capabilities available from the transportation partners.  This require not on methods and capabilities to collect and analyze data inputs from many different sources, it also requires implementation of methods to support collaboration with partners and consumers across all channels.

 

This sounds like a simple process and the goal is simple; collect and analyze information to understand and guide the interaction and support the demands of consumers and develop a relationship with consumers to encourage returns and purchases..  This simple goal though requires a robust method first to collect information, second to analyze and understand the information and third to encourage and support collaboration and engagement of across the entire extended supply chain from supplier to consumer.  This goal of the sense and respond control tower is the price of entry and most importantly success in the omni market retail environment. 

 

A strong relationship with consumers is required for success in the retail omni market and the large legacy retailers must build this control tower infrastructure to replace the personal relationships that have been developed with consumers through the network of sales clerks.  This relationship is paramount to the success of these retailers in the omni market age and this is where these legacy retailers must focus now that the operational functionality supporting the eCommerce channel have been implemented. The eCommerce channel and the experimentation of consumers with mobile and web technology has fundamentally changed the retail marketplace.  This change is driving the demands for increased collaboration across the supply chain and these demands for increased collaboration across the supply chain require a means to collect and analyze data and consumer interaction.

 

The good news in this story is that the technology is currently available through big data capabilities and retailers are more than likely using this technology to support other areas of their operations.  This requires a strategy to incorporate the data collected from all areas into a cohesive tool that supports current and future analysis of this information. This requires an expansion of the collection activities that will allow the retailer to incorporate the data into the store for analysis.  All of this analysis though will not generate success for the retailer in the retail omni market though, success in the retail omni market requires the retailer to develop a new method to help them to develop and strengthen relationships with consumers and this control tower functionality can provide the foundation and the means for these large retailers to develop these relationships.  The relationship with consumers provides the reason for consumers to return and returning consumers drives increases in sales.