A consumer quality feedback program is a key area of improvement that is dramatically enhanced by the eCommerce and mobile tools and technology.  This area deserves a formal program with all of the measurement tools to monitor progress and areas for improvement.  A prominent area for engagement with the consumer is a consumer feedback loop.  This consumer feedback loop is important for customer retention and quality improvement.  The consumer feedback loop allows the retailer to develop a conversation, feedback loop, between the consumer and the retailer. 

Retailers and manufacturers have developed supply chain feedback loops that monitor and continuously improve the quality of the products, packaging and transport.  The consumer quality feedback program incorporates these same principles for a consumer feedback loop.  Without a consumer feedback loop the retailers and manufacturers lose a very valuable voice in product development and delivery.  In addition the consumer feedback loop engages the consumer with the retailer in a partner relationship where each partner benefits.  This consumer feedback loop can utilize the same tools and technology that retailers are incorporating into their omnichannel market support to provide the additional data points to improve the demand forecasting, sales and manufacturing of the products.

A very important area for success in retail is the customer retention.  Due to the instant availability of products and services at competitive prices, the retention of the customer is critical to the future success of retailers.  One tool in the customer retention toolbox is engaging the consumer for advice and feedback that can be incorporated into the retailer’s product, sales or marketing programs.  Consumers can find coupons and lower prices with ease from many new services that pop up almost on a daily basis.  Retailers cannot fight these services by simply lowering the prices.  Instead the retailers should focus on engaging the consumers in their target market to develop a relationship that discourages the consumers from looking around for lower prices.

The consumer quality feedback loop provides the methods to engage the consumer and incorporate their feedback into the retailer’s omnichannel strategy.  The retailer should look around, as if they were a consumer, to identify the programs that would enhance their own personal shopping experience, or better yet, engage consumers to provide the feedback and then engage these same consumers to ‘test’ new programs and products.  This consumer engagement process will provide more value and higher retention than any price matching program and does not cannibalize the sales, or more importantly the profits. It simply utilizes tools and procedures that you may, or should, already be using with your supply chain partners.

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?