The consumer is utilizing mobile and social networking technology to change and improve their shopping and purchasing capabilities to better meet their needs and desires. The consumer usage of these capabilities along with the discontinuous change resulting from the speed of delivery for new tools along with the wholehearted embrace of these tools by the consumer is disrupting the retail market and causing upheaval in the marketplace. Retailers have lost the control they previously enjoyed in types of services and the manner in which the consumer shops and purchases. Mobile technology coupled with social networking capabilities has changed the control from the retailer to the consumer and now retailers are in a position where they must embrace these demands in order to remain successful.
These demands will require an investment from the retailer in both technology, capabilities and strategy in order to react to the disruption in the market. This is especially difficult for the large retail chains because these demands require foundational changes in technology and strategy to accept and embrace new technology. The reason for this is the mobile marketplace and mobile apps are now catering to the demands of consumers and in many cases creating new consumer demands. Consumers have reached a place in their shopping and purchasing capabilities where they do not have to wait on the retailer to support these capabilities and they have embraced this new availability with abandon. For example, omni channel retailers not too long ago fought the consumer practice of ‘window shopping’ in the store and now consumers are able to use mobile apps and their social network to support a hyper window shopping that ignores and overcomes the retailer hesitation.
The combination of the explosion of mobile technology and the expansion of social networks in combination with the reduction in consumer free time and the drop in mall shopping have permanently disrupted the retail marketplace. These changes to the marketplace now require the retailer to react quickly to incorporate the capability to support the discontinuous change in the market. This capability to support the change requires the retailer to implement a foundation framework that allows rapid change to be delivered while also supporting integration to legacy back office and financial software packages. A large retailer will never be able to consumer a complete change out of all legacy business applications while also changing the face of their consumer shopping and purchasing experience. They can however implement a framework that supports rapid integration of new capabilities required from mobile apps and social networking while supporting the integration of legacy business applications.
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?