Consumers are changing the omni channel market through their embrace of mobile technology, mobile apps and social networking practices.  Retailers must also adapt now to these changing demands of the consumer in the omni channel market in a manner that is much different than previous experience and practices.  Retailers must focus social shopping type services that enhance the experience and encourage consumer retention and frequent returns to the site.  In the future, the social experience will drive consumer participation and their desire to return to the retailer’s site for purchase and networking and this will replace the current focus on price for the majority of consumer omni channel purchasing.  In addition to these additional consumer services, it will be necessary for the retailer to collaborate with consumers in addition to their other partners in maintaining and enhancing the relationship with the consumer.

 

These service collaborator activities will drive and ensure the growth of consumer participation, retention and sales at the retailer’s eCommerce site.  This change in the relationship between consumer and retailer is going to be driven by the demands and the practices of the millennial generation as a result of their acceptance and comfort in the quickly changing technology market.  This change in focus to a service collaborator will require the retailer to embrace a higher level of risk in their offering of technology and services by driving a quicker cycle through new technology and services. This quicker cycle time will in turn drive a more flexible foundation of technology platform to support these changes.

 

Millennials are the future customer base for retailers and their focus along with their overarching driving factors is very different than other retail consumers.  Millennials have a much higher level of comfort with technology and technology socializing which is demonstrated through their utilization of communication and social technology.  In addition I do not think they are focused on the lowest cost, they are more focused on value than cost.  This combination of driving factors along with comfort in technology brings with it a very different viewpoint basic demands that must be supported by the retailer. 

 

Finally, millennials are much more collaborative and utilize technology to enable and support this collaboration. Their reach is amazing, they use social technology to maintain relationships around the world and bring a new meaning to the term ‘pen pal’.  Retailers must take these demands into account when providing an omni channel framework for customers.  The millennial will be the future of the retailers customer base and retailers must understand and embrace their demands and practices quickly in order to maintain their success. 

 

The retail industry has proven over and over that retailers must regularly reinvent themselves in order to remain successful.  Millennials have shown an affinity towards technology and their increasing activity in the retail marketplace will place great demands on retailers to embrace and incorporate new technology and an increasing rate that also increases the risk, or potential, for the new technology to be dropped just as quickly as it is picked up.  The good news is that selling price is being replaced as the driving factor in consumer purchases and the bad news is that technology services and capabilities is the replacement driving factor.

 

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?