The quality feedback and improvement loop process will be another area of great improvement as a result of the collaborative marketplace that I call Commerce 2.0.  There are two types of performance improvements that can be achieved through the collaborative marketplace; shopping performance quality and product performance quality.  Up until now I have been discussing the shopping performance and engagement aspect of quality and now I will begin a discussion on the product performance quality.  It is important to establish the customer communication and engagement model to provide a feedback loop to the product quality.  Product quality then engages the entire supply chain from materials to the customer delivery.

Lets start with the customer feedback loop as the beginning of the process.  The customer determines the starting point for the quality discussion.  This is where the product style and material used to produce the product are determined.  The retailer selects the market and the products to offer to the customer, the target customer has been defined for the particular market along with the value and cost of the products offered to that market.  This is true of any product from produce and groceries to automobiles or appliances.  The retailers’ first requirement is to understand the market and the products included in that market. 

Customer feedback is important at every step of the product supply chain, whether it is direct or indirect.  The retailer starts with indirect feedback that pertains to the market, types and cost of the products, then as the products flow through the extended supply chain there are customer feedback points along the way.  Each step along this chain the various customers will provide feedback on the product and quality until the product reaches the point in the chain where the end customer, or consumer, gets involved. 

The retailers, and especially the leading retailers, will have a quality assurance program instituted for the manufacture and delivery of the products to these retailers.  This includes product sampling and testing, packaging and delivery to the retailer.  There is also a consumer quality assurance program that is not generally as well defined, however it also includes sampling and testing (through shopping) packaging and delivery and then in addition there is an additional feedback loop from the customer returns, or reverse logistics. 

Each program has been instituted with varying degrees of formality and measurements.  The key area of improvement to be captured from the collaborative marketplace is the consumer quality program.  This area deserves a formal program with all of the measurement tools to monitor progress and areas for improvement.  The most prominent area for improvement is the consumer feedback loop.  This is where it is important for customer retention and quality improvement to develop a conversation, feedback loop, between the consumer and the retailer.

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?