The consumer chain allows and ensures that the retailer promotes a consistent message to all consumers through the integration of the consumer community with the eCommerce channel.  This is a very powerful tool that really cannot be duplicated in the store channel due to the number of players involved causing a great difficulty in delivering the consistent message.  The consumer chain provides one team the opportunity to deliver this consistent message because there is only one outlet to the consumer through the consumer chain.  Rather than a limiting factor the one outlet to the consumer provides a very powerful tool that allows the retailer to focus and promote the single message. 

 

This single and consistent message is important to the implementation of new strategies in products, shopping and purchasing and then to be able to measure and validate the success of the different factors that make up the message.  It is extremely difficult to implement a consistent message across a chain when dealing with the number of people involved in the execution and then take into account the fact that the great majority of people that would be responsible for execution of the new strategies are part time staff and you can see the level of challenge this presents to implementation and delivery of a consistent message.  Then add to this challenge the challenge to measuring the results and determining refinements to the strategy and the result is an almost impossible mission to deliver and refine a consistent message across the chain.

 

This is a completely different story though in the eCommerce channel and the consumer community that supports the eCommerce channel.  This framework allows for quick and effective implementation of a consistent message to all consumers accessing the channel.  In addition to this the measurement of the results of this message in the shopping and purchasing processes can also be completed quickly and efficiently because of the tracking capabilities provided by the channel.  Then add to these measurements the ability to group the products into purchase combinations and you have a very positive engine to deliver increased sales and customer retention. 

 

There is a change coming to the retail market, and especially the large department stores and chains, where the brick and mortar stores will provide support to the eCommerce channel.  This change must also include a focus on shopping patterns rather than simply a focus on sales.  These large retailers must provide the consumer the ability to shop from any channel at any time and then complete the purchase from any channel.  This change will drive the stores for the large retailers to become showrooms with a focus on product displays that the consumer will try and the sale will be completed electronically.

 

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?