Product suppliers can gain a great deal of benefit from omni channel collaborative partnerships in the way of product life cycle and demand forecasts that will promote more efficient supply and reductions in overstock.  This is the new logical phase in the development and expansion of the omni channel into social shopping and purchasing capabilities.  Retail suppliers must engage and participate in the omni channel expanded practices in order to reduce the line of communications and by extension develop direct consumer communication channels.  The omni channel social shopping practices and framework provide the means and the encouragement to develop these communication channels.


Retailers and suppliers have already realized a great deal of benefits from the consolidation of inventory tracking and consumption across all retail channels.  There is still a great deal of room for improvements in both product life cycle management and by extension reduction in stock outs and over stock conditions.  Sales forecasts are based on complicated algorithms that take into account, seasonality, consumer demand and other factors include product life cycle.  The challenge is in the timing of the forecast demands as it relates to product life cycle and also spikes in demand and these challenges are exacerbated due to the time frame and delays in calculations.  The omni channel social shopping practices can add additional dimension of data to improve the forecast and demand calculations dramatically and in a more timely manner.


The data that can be collected from the social shopping framework can be used in combination with the actual sales data to improve the product mix along with the product pairing and site display and offering to increase the sales potential.  In addition, this social shopping data can also provide the means to develop new product offerings and also improvements to products based on consumer feedback, shopping and purchasing habits.  Consumer feedback can be collected from the shopping site based on many factors such as their shopping and search habits, their shopping cart and responses to quick surveys and questions from consumers.  All of this information when combined with the sales data can provide highly valuable background for product decision making.


Consumers are open and willing to participate in the shopping experience with other consumers, the retailer and suppliers to improve the shopping experience and the product selection and availability.  The social shopping site can provide the platform that supports the activities across all partners to provide a shopping experience that will attract new customers while retaining the existing customer base.  This social shopping framework provides a much more sustainable method to attract and retain customers than a low cost marketing method.


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?