The development and encouragement of the collaboration community by retailers will require a flexible governance that encourages participation in a safe and secure environment.  We’ve found over and over that a governance strategy and participation by key stakeholders, including internal and external partners is critical to the success of the community.  It is critical to the development and success of a governance strategy to develop a practice of inclusion from all stakeholders.  A collaborative community requires the support of the external stakeholders and participants and one of the best ways to develop this support is to encourage the participation of all stakeholders, internal and external, in the governance of the community.

This participation starts with framework that supports video, image and text posting to support all of the types of networking that would be of interest to consumers and community participants.  This is frankly where the cloud technologies and services can play an important role in providing and supporting the community framework.  This is important to both the success of the community and also critical to the acceptance by the retailer senior leadership.  The key point of these capabilities being that they can be delivered quickly to the community and there is a very low cost of entry.  I think that the cost is the critical aspect to retailer leadership acceptance.  This lowered cost of entry, and even more important cost of failure, can be the linchpin to the acceptance of the retailer leadership.  Of course this is not the only cost to implementing the collaboration community, however you can argue that the community can be supported by the same people that are currently supporting the social media management.

This social community provides another aspect and outlet to the social media management and engagement that should not be underplayed.  The social media management framework and governance must take into account all of the social media outlets.  In addition to coordinating the social media outlets it is important for the retailer to manage the submission of content to ensure there is no offensive content.  In addition to the content the retailer must manage the discussions, by this I mean they must manage the trolls and also the unrelated blatant marketing attempts by participants.  This, I believe, is probably the most important factor in achieving support of the consumer and the success of the community.

All of these activities require the focus and time of a team to provide the oversight required to ensure this collaborative community is safe, secure and supports the message of the retailer.  In addition the collaborative community with the outlets for a variety number and types of postings provides the retailer with the opportunity to focus their message. 

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?