In order to develop the collaborative shopping home page portal that will be the entrance to the retail mall, retailers must identify and engage other retailers in the same manner as brick and mortar mall developers.  The virtual mall must include retailers that compliment and provide ‘color’ to the shopping experience that will encourage consumers to explore and engage from the home page portal.  The virtual shopping mall concept should focus on different complementary retail partners in developing this concept though simply because of the medium and the need to generate consumer retention and encourage return to the mall.  The concept though of an anchor store and a group of complementary retailers that enhance the offerings of the retailer is the goal and will provide lift and increased value to all of the partners, including consumers.

 

I see this concept as the next logical step to developing an omni channel shopping network and I see the omni channel shopping network as the next logical to step to meeting the changing demands of the consumer.  These demands are being driven by millennials and younger consumers based on their acceptance of technology to alleviate their limited time to spend in shopping.  This collaborative shopping home page provides a means for retailers to meet these changing consumer demands and develop a relationship with consumers.  In fact, retailers must develop a partnership with consumers to succeed in the future! 

 

The key partnership in this strategy is with the consumer because this partnership will help to encourage the consumer to return and invite their friends to join them.  This is very different from the previous and most current relationships with consumers for large retailers where the retailer focused on providing the consumer only with a means to purchase.  What we are seeing now though is the consumer utilization of technology to incorporate social networking technology and capabilities in their interactions with the retailer’s purchasing site.  In other words, consumers are developing their own collaborative shopping networks that allow them to share and virtually shop with their friends.  In order to maintain success in the future, large retailers must embrace these consumer demands and encourage consumers to participate.

 

This will require that the large retailer engage with consumers in a manner that develops and encourages a two way conversation with the consumer.  The collaborative shopping home page provides the framework to support and encourage this relationship with the consumer.  This partnership in turn will encourage and give reason for consumers to return and also for these consumers to invite their friends to join them.  Consumers now are putting together their own networks and the retailer that supports this strategy will be head and shoulders above their competitors in continuing their success.  There is no way that large retailers can continue to compete on price alone, this is a losing raising to the bottom for retailers and they must embrace and extend these collaborative shopping practices in order to ensure success in th

 

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?