One of the key strategic objectives of the consumer collaboration community should be incorporating this community into the organization framework as a key practice of the organization.  This is not necessarily the initial position, however, the strategic plans should provide a pathway for the eventual incorporation into the the organization framework.  This community provides a method and the structure to directly interact with the consumer and incorporate this interaction into the both the internal framework and the external partner network.  This means of collecting data will become a critical benefit to your organization and extended partners because it is a direct input of unbiased reactions and actions from real customers.

I think that it is important though that you go through a development and vetting process of the collaboration community prior to the full incorporation as a practice.  The reason this is so critically important is because of the newness of this strategy and functionality.  This is brand new for retail organizations and because of this there will be quite a bit of experimentation required to work through the services, technology and practices before settling into a path and a framework that works for the organization.  So I think it is important to settle into this path and framework before incorporating into the overarching organizational framework.

Five years from now this consumer collaboration community will become the price of entry especially in the retail business.  As a comparison just look at the trajectory path of acceptance for Facebook and Twitter, five years ago these were just ‘kids toys’ and now they are both critical aspects of the retail marketing practices.  I see the consumer collaboration community as being on a similar trajectory and will become the common accepted practice very quickly simply because of the value that it can bring to your organization and by extension your extended network partners. 

I do not think that I am exaggerating when I say that the consumer community has the potential to bring greater value to your organization than any other social network practice we have seen.  I have not seen a tool or practice that combines customer retention, marketing, product development and quality evaluation with the underlying potential for big data collection and analytical capabilities.  You may think that I am over-hyping the potential so take a moment to review my previous discussions to get a better understanding of why I am putting so much potential into this initiative.  This is all new territory though in the business environment and it is important to understand going into this that there is no previous examples to follow and must be developed based on your own requirements and capabilities. 

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?