The value of the retail shopping community and the shopping home page will need to be determined through measurements and performance indicators that are much different that those used today.  Of course sales themselves will continue to be an important performance indicator and there will be others such as longevity on the site and types of activities and locations on the site visited.  I think some of the most important measurements of the community are the number of community members and the number of members that visit in a time period.  Outside of the sales performance measurements I am suggesting that the  shopping community and especially the shopping home page be measured on social networking statistics.

 

The social aspect of shopping and purchasing is growing now based on the demands of consumers and especially their usage of mobile technology.  Consumers have been expanding their use of social networks and third party services and mobile apps to enhance their shopping and purchasing techniques and practices.  Social networking sites have started to offer content and shopping or product offers based on your activities and the places and stories you access.  Both Facebook and Google base their income in large part on ads and these ads are becoming more and more sophisticated and pervasive in all of the consumer's’ online activities.  Retailers must embrace the social community practices in their shopping home page to maintain and grow the consumer activities and the retailer shopping home page must provide a wide selection of both networking and product offerings that can be delivered to the consumer based on their activities and visits of the home page. 

 

In order to be successful in these new offerings the retailer must be able to measure the success based on the social networking performance indicators in addition to the historical sales information.  One of the key performance indicators then is time on the site and how often does the consumer return.  These types of measure measurements provide the basis for adjusting the site makeup and content based on the reactions of the community members.  In my opinion Ikea is one of the retailers that is leading the way in this new practice of combining the social community aspect with the product usage and that results in sales based on the consumer needs.  Ikea uses a combination of membership for communications and then cross over offers from their web site and then probably most important they use Pinterest as an integral tool on their website for product usage suggestions.

 

Retailers must embrace the social aspect and deliver new capabilities to meet the consumer demand in order to survive. This requirement will only increase and with the demands of the consumer and the retailer must focus on value through shopping experience to retain their customers rather than lowest price.

 

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?