The collaborative shopping home page requires the participation and support from both internal and external partners. The external partners are made up of social network, retailer, suppliers and consumers. It is important to identify and support the demands and requirements of each of these partner groups to ensure a robust home page and continuing success of the relationships. Without the support structure and focus the interest of and in the site will diminish until it disappears and the success of all of the retail and supplier partners is diminished. This maintenance aspect requires a great deal of focus and effort to maintain in the manner that will support the demands.
This is where the concept of mass customization fits into the support equation. The collaborative shopping home page provides the platform and the framework to support the customization and the partners can provide the content for the customization. This still requires a great deal of management, coordination and and monitoring to maintain a fresh viewpoint though. This collaborative shopping home page simply provides the delivery vehicle and the content still requires your support and a great deal of partner collaboration and support to deliver a cohesive message that encourages the consumer to engage and return to the site. While one of the long term goals of this home page concept is the interaction and engagement with the consumer it will still require a great deal of effort to coordinate and update content and format of the site to maintain a fresh portal into the virtual mall.
In order to maintain this fresh portal it requires a great deal of collaboration and support from your partner network. The suppliers are one aspect of this network and they can provide content and product info that will encourage the consumer to engage or will bring the consumer to the site through product searches. Then the next group of partners are the complementary retail and service providers who will also bring in consumers through searches. The third group of partners in this relationship is the consumers and they will bring additional consumers to the site through word of mouth promotion and also sharing their contact lists as a result of home page registration.
You will notice the tripod of partner groups that I describe as support partners. I see this as an important aspect of the new omni channel shopping mall concept and a key factor in the future success of this concept. The most important aspect of this concept is developing a partner and more importantly a social relationship with the consumer. The large retailer has not focused on developing a two way relationship with the consumer in a long time and in order to be successful in the future this is a very important relationship to develop. Retailers now are fighting a losing battle to the bottom now because they are focused on a low cost model, this is especially true in the eCommerce purchasing channel. In order to break this cycle the retailer must develop a partnership with the consumer. This will provide the difference that will encourage the consumer to return to shop and engage and this will result in purchases.
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?