It is important for the retailer to understand the success factors of the collaboration community to ensure their objectives are aligned properly.  For this reason it is important for the retailer to expand their definition of success to include the information and intelligence that they will obtain from the robust interaction with the consumers and the retention factor of returning customers to the community in addition to the sales achieved as a result of the community.  This will allow the retailer to sustain and grow both their collaboration community along with the the sales of their eCommerce channel along with the brick and mortar channel. 

 

The collaboration community will provide the retailer with the ability to grow the sales in both channels as a result of the intelligence obtained along with the customer relationships that the successful collaboration community will encourage.  The retailer must treat the incentive and the encouragement of the consumer to return to the community as a first priority because this habit of returning is the factor that allows and encourages the retailer to obtain the intelligence that will allow the retailer to utilize the information to develop and grow their relationship with the consumer and the stronger the relationship with the consumer the greater the likelihood the consumer will continue to return and purchase.  This turns the definition of success of the collaboration community on it’s head.

 

The retailer must expand the success definition of their business to combine the not only the sales across all channels and they must define the collaboration community as a key factor to achieving their sales growth.  The focus of the success should be the encouraging the consumer to return and spend time in the community because of the intelligence that can be collected by this interaction.  With the consumer participation and retention defined as key success factors, the retailer must focus on the social networking tools that will encourage the consumer to return and participate in the community. 

 

The challenge for the retailer is supporting the resources, both people and technology, required to create and maintain this highly interactive community to encourage the return and participation of the consumer.  This requires a revision of the time horizon defining success.  The success of the community and the time, both investment and duration, required to achieve this success is much greater than the customary quarterly cycle.  This is why I recommend that the retailer must view the success across all channels to create a true omni channel retail environment.  The continued and long term success of the retailer is dependent on the success of the collaboration community and how  they utilize and incorporate the intelligence and customer retention driven by the community. 

 

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?