A solid, flexible and extendable eCommerce framework provides the foundation for supporting the consumer demands along with the security requirements to protect consumer and merchant private information.  A retailer must have this solid foundation in order to support the frequently changing demands of consumers along with the frequent and changing assaults on the secured private information.  This foundation also provides a stable collaborative platform for the retailers that has become important and will only grow in importance with the expansion of the omni channel marketplace.

The retailers in the omni channel marketplace have almost exclusively focused on the sale to the consumer up to now with little collaborative effort.  The collaboration aspect has been left up to the devices of the consumers along with a few third party sites that realize the importance of consumer collaboration on the omni channel market.  The interesting point in these practices is the retailers do not seem to have realized the importance of collaboration and developing a partnership with consumers.  With the focus on the sale side the retailers have essentially left the development of the omni channel market with consumers.

Consumers are demanding and have started to develop the collaborative methods and tools that will allow them to shop in a manner that shifts the strength to the consumer.  Retailers do not seem to have learned the simple fact that consumers have turned the table on the retailers in the omni channel market.  Consumers now have the tools and connectivity that in the past would only have been available to the retailers and the consumer is using these capabilities in an imaginative manner to shop in the manner that brings value to the consumer.

Retailers seem to be stuck in a command and control operation and sales strategy when the consumer has embraced a strategy comparable to guerrilla warfare.  This has been shown over and over again in the omni channel market where consumers are using the technology available to enhance their shopping practices.  The mainstream retailers in the omni channel market seem to have embraces a low price strategy that focuses just on the sale.  It seems to me that consumers are looking for more than a low price and they are showing this by embracing collaborative tools and practices in their shopping. 

The early winners are retailers like Amazon and Alibaba.  These are companies that have recognized the desire of consumers and especially in collaboration to enhance their methods.  These companies have used their lack of a brick and mortar outlet as a strategic strength.  I see this as a failure of the omni channel retailers, they should truly incorporate all channels in their shopping experience to provide the consumer with a true omni channel shopping experience rather than simply focusing on a sale.


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 consumers’ experience?  Improving the consumers 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?