The next logical step for the retailer that has committed to embrace the omni channel revolution is to position their social collaborative shopping site as a consumer home page to encourage consumers to start all of their online activities from the retailer’s site.  This can easily be supported by providing a mix of interesting news and features that cover a mix of purposes and allows the consumer to pursue any interest.  The key benefit of this strategy is getting the consumer to start with the site and encourage them to alway return to the starting point.  This home page concept provides the draw to the consumer to return to start their day or to start their online activities. 

 

This home page concept adds the social side to the retailer’s site to increase consumer interest and incentive to return to the site.  This social home page encourages the consumer to return and also must encourage the consumer to share their contact list and invite their friends to participate.  The draw and encouragement of the return of the consumer is critical to the success of the site and the virtual shopping concept.  The retailer must continuously renew this site with new stories of interest and links to fashion and entertainment stories for instance.  Every retailer currently provides a landing page that provides purchasing specials however the consumer must seek out the retail sites or be drawn in through advertising .  The retailer social home page concept encourages consumers to start every online session from the retailers page and provides a means to draw the consumer in through both interesting links and also sharing with their friends.

 

This can be a very powerful draw for the consumer that will provide the retailer with a new marketing and data gathering option that will increase the sales across all channels.  The site can provide consumer product suggestions, fashion advice from entertainment sites, links to entertainment news and sprinkle in product advertising throughout the site.  This site should provide opportunities and the means for the consumer to share and collaborate with other consumers and members of the site.  I would envision something along the lines of FourSquare that would allow a means for consumers to provide product usage and evaluation recommendations to members.  This type of data can be invaluable to the retailer for product development, marketing and also quality and demand management.  This homepage can even generate income by providing advertising to complimentary services and merchants.

 

I see the homepage concept as the next wave of retailer interaction with the consumer as means to engage and retain consumers to increase sales.  I also see the homepage concept as the next wave of consumer interaction with the retails as means to support the consumer desire to engage in shopping as a social interaction.  Whatever the reason, this concept will change the retail omni channel practices and interactions between retailer and consumer.

 

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?