I have discussed ‘turn and burn’ technology and the need for the retail industry to embrace and incorporate a strategy that allows for quick replacement of technology tools and practices. This is necessary because of consumer tendencies and practices to embrace and utilize new technology and tools in an more frequent manner. The interesting point here is that it is another retail industry that is driving this consumer practice; the wireless phone service carriers and the mobile phone manufacturers. Mobile technology is driven by new capabilities and the carriers are driving the sales in order to sell new services.
Consumers have embraced this ‘turn and burn’ practice and increasing social collaboration that is supported by the new technology. Consumers had already embraced the social networking capabilities in their personal lives and the new smartphone capabilities have allowed consumers to extend this into every corner of their lives and time of the day. The results can be seen everywhere you look; people are constantly interacting with their smartphones to text and share updates with their social network. In addition to this practice of sharing information, people seem more inclined to extend and expand their social network much more through technology than they ever were in person. Social networking allows and encourages people to connect with others in a manner that is far reaching and based on commonalities of interests or schools or geographic locations or hobbies that would have been unimaginable 20 years ago. These practices are changing and growing so quickly that 10 years from now they will be unrecognized from the leading trends of today.
Consumers are just beginning to explore and develop new social collaborating techniques made possible by the advances in smartphone technology. On the other hand, the retail industry is seeing the initial impact of mobile purchases and the forecast increase in mobile purchasing is dramatic. Social collaboration is also expanding the techniques supporting new consumer shopping practices. This mashing of consumer shopping and social collaboration is increasing and expanding in a manner that will dramatically impact the retail industry. The opportunities for collaboration are endless, for instance; networks notification of special sales, like in-person limited time offers, or consumer recommendation of products, or spot check pricing and availability based on location.
The beginnings of these capabilities are just beginning and consumers are putting together capabilities and developing techniques in a manner that will only increase the rate of discontinuous change. As a result, the retail industry must also embrace a strategy that allows them to take advantage and incorporate new shopping techniques with speed in order to simply maintain their business. Retailers must now develop the collaborative techniques that will build a mutually beneficial relationship with consumers. This means that the ‘turn and burn’ method will only increase in velocity going forward.