The initial attraction of the eCommerce channel I think was the ability of retailers to provide a means for consumers to purchase at any time and now with the explosion of mobile technology it allows to purchase from any place.  This was essentially the introduction of omni channel purchasing and it was very successful and also very profitable for retailers because eCommerce does not require sales clerks or a brick and mortar outlet to support.  There is an interesting turn now developing in the omni channel market of the human social interaction and the importance of this human interaction in the omni channel marketplace.  This human factor is on display now through the reaction of consumers to social network recommendation interactions and Facebook supported sales channels.

 

Large retailers have started to realize that they cannot hope to maintain a long term success based on a lowest price and continuous cost reduction strategy.  This strategy does not promote or encourage the return of consumers to purchase from the large retailer, this strategy promotes exact opposite relationship with consumers that large retailers require to be successful.  The large retailers must promote a relationship with the consumer that encourages interaction and collaboration with the consumer in order to encourage the consumer to return and to encourage the consumer to socialize with friends and interact with the retailer. 

 

This required focus on the consumer relationship is the great shift in this next phase of the omni channel marketplace.  This development is coming to focus now with the increased usage and capabilities of mobile technology that allows the consumer to not only purchase any time and any place, it also allows the consumer to interact with their entire social network at any time and in any place.  This electronic interaction with both retailer and consumer social network will allow the retailer to develop and promote a personalized relationship with consumers to allow the interaction any time and in any place. 

 

This opportunity must be seized by large retailers in order to change the relationship with their customers from a demand for low prices to a relationship that provide additional personalized services to encourage the customer to return and bring their friends and social network contacts to the new retail experience.  Retailers must understand that this relationship shopping is being driven by the consumer and not as a response to any offering from the retailer. 

 

This consumer reaction and practice is the result of consumers desires and attempts to introduce a human factor to to the purchasing practices.  This is the reaction of consumers to take advantage of tools offered by mobile technology to allow them to introduce a human factor through social networks to the purchasing practices and by doing this to develop an omni channel shopping capability that supports the demands of purchasing any time and any place.

 

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?