Collaborative partners are another important aspect to success in the new Commerce 2.0 environment.  There have been dramatic strides in the ability and even the openness for developing partnerships over the recent years.  The realization has finally been embraced that collaborating brings dramatic benefits that would not have been possible in a lone wolf model.  Collaboration allows the partners to overcome their weaknesses through the strengths of their partners.  How does this relate to the eCommerce collaborative marketplace?  The partners in this particular case should be engaged to provide the marketplace consumer shopping capabilities. 

The leaders in the omni channel market have done a very good job in developing their extended supply chain and partnership supporting the purchase and delivery to the consumer.  This includes both the purchase, or outbound logistics and the return, or the reverse logistics. There will always be  need to monitor and improve the execution of the purchase and the extended supply chain partners provide an important ingredient for these capabilities.  The mobile technologies and increasing usage by consumers though requires the purchase and delivery of the product to be a more robust and flexible capability to meet these changing consumer demands. 

The changes to mobile purchasing is only a small function in the overall changes that are being driven by mobile technology.  Another aspect that will cause the greatest disruption in the eCommerce market is the social shopping capabilities that are supported by the mobile technology and the expanding data and network capabilities.  These capabilities will drive the greatest marketplace disruption and they will also drive the greatest value and retention of customers.  Mobile technologies allow the consumer to turn the eCommerce marketplace into a social collaborative marketplace that utilizes all of the social technology (Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram) for the communications aspect and the location networking technology (yelp, google+) for their store and product ratings.  These technologies turn the consumers’ smartphone into a virtual neighborhood shopping mall experience.

This virtual neighborhood shopping experience is where a new set of partnerships are required to support the demands of the consumer.  There are many services now offered on a subscription basis to consumers the providing specials of the day even based on location for instance.  We’ve all used one or another of these services.  The retailers’ objectives now should be focused on embracing these services and then adding a social layer to their eCommerce that allows consumers to connect and participate to provide feedback and recommendations to share with other consumers.  So the additional partners that retailers must integrate are the marketing partners that offer specials and incentives to the consumer and the most critical partner is the consumer themselves.  The retailers must create a two-way conversation with the consumer in order to create this collaborative marketplace and also to increase customer retention.

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?