Retailers must extend their collaboration partners in order to succeed in the new omni channel market demands of the consumer for a make-over. The key demand of the consumer in this new omni channel market make-over is their expansion of focus into shopping and the social aspects of shopping that lead up to the purchase. Up until now retailers have focused on the purchase aspect of the omni channel, the focus of retailers was the ability for the consumer to purchase any time and any where. With the explosion of mobile technology, which was enabled by the expansion of wireless technology and capabilities, consumers have embraced the technology to extend their commerce practices to include shopping and the social aspect of shopping to connect with their friends to enhance their commerce experience. Consumers are demanding now participation and collaboration in the retail experience and they are creating these new capabilities in social shopping through mobile technology and capabilities
Retailers must now accept and incorporate these new consumer practices and social shopping demands into their omni channel program to produce an expanded, or what I would call a true, omni channel experience. This true omni channel experience not only provides a channel for social shopping, it also provides a channel for the retailer to collaborate with the consumer in purchasing capabilities, shopping capabilities and product mix, and even product features and functionality. This provides the retailer an additional channel of input to their marketing and product life cycle management that has not been available before and would provide tremendous benefits to retailers and event their suppliers in product life cycle management.
The consumer reaction and participation in the social shopping network provides a means for direct feedback based not only on their reactions to mini surveys and purchased but most importantly through the interaction and touch points in their shopping and interaction with other consumers at the site. The most valuable information provided by the consumer is their progress through the shopping and then eventual purchase from the eCommerce site. This information is invaluable to the retailer for use in product placement and pairings for marketing purposes. Add this information to the social networking information that will be available via the social shopping practices and interaction with friends and other shoppings and the retailer obtains an invaluable collection of information for marketing and product life cycle management and development.
The consumer is searching for an opportunity to incorporate social networking with shopping and purchasing to create a true omni channel retail environment. Consumers are building these networks themselves through mash ups of mobile technology social networking tools and eCommerce purchasing and the first retailer to provide all of these capabilities in their omni channel offerings will achieve a huge success and the excited participation and retention of consumers in the shopping and purchasing experience.
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?