Implementing a commerce cloud utilization strategy can be very difficult due to both the span of the partners that would, and should, be involved and the horizon of the strategy. The strategic horizon of the cloud technologies and services is a very short span due to the velocity of the change being driven by both the technology and acceptance of the technology.  In addition, the strategy is also being driven by the wide spread acceptance of the cloud and the manner in which consumers have embraced these technologies and services. The cloud has and will continue to change the consumer shopping methods in ways that will continue to change and evolve in new ways that can only be imagined today.

I see the wild card aspect to cloud and eCommerce strategy development and implementation to be the consumer.  The consumer has taken on a greater level of importance and a greater level of disruption to the retail market as a result of the improvements and capabilities of the smartphone market.  This impact is not slowing down, rather it is speeding up and this is encouraged and supported by the expansion of both the smartphone market and high speed Internet availability and wireless broadband access. This is an interesting study in the results and relationship of the impact that one market segment has on other market segments; the communication and wireless phone market segment in this case is actually driving the disruption to other retail market segments. 

This disruption is quickening due to the expansion of the wireless phone market segment and the acceptance of the consumer and the consumer’s hunger for new capabilities.  This disruption in turn is spilling over into other market segments due to consumer demands to utilize their new tools and capabilities for all their shopping.  So now in order to meet these new and changing consumer demands the retail market must embrace the same framework of cloud tools and capabilities.  This is really the only option for the retail market to be able to keep up with the demands.  Retailers must be able to change and meet the changing demands of the consumer in this increased demand velocity and the only option to succeed in meeting these demands is utilization of shared services and tools along with increase collaboration across both partners and consumers.

The consumer has finally turned the table on retailers and is demanding the ability to shop in a manner that meets their changing needs and desires.  This consumer adoption of the cloud technology and services has allowed the consumers to utilize new capabilities that were out of reach of both consumer and retailer only a few years ago.  This new reality makes it impossible for retailers to spend a great deal of time internally developing these new capabilities.  It also makes it possible for the smallest retailer to provide the same or even better shopping capabilities as the largest retailers.

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 consumer's experience?  Improving the consumer’s 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?