Until retailers embrace collaboration and the change demanded by consumers there are no tools or software that can help the retailer to cope. Consumers have embraced collaboration and are now utilizing mobile technology to incorporate and enhance collaboration across their shopping and purchasing practices. The omni channel control tower provides a framework for the retailer to support and collaborate with the consumer and all other partners in the retail supply chain. First though, the retailer must embrace collaboration with the partners across the supply chain, including consumers, suppliers, logistics and delivery and product design. This collaborative integration across the retail market must be the driving objective for retailers and then they can incorporate the tools to support this objective.
Tools and the omni channel control tower only provide the means to support the collaborative objectives of the retailer’s market, these tools do not ensure success. The critical ingredient to the retailer success is the collaborative integration across their marketplace. The control tower reduces the effort required by all partners in the retail market to collaborate and develop a successful collaborative relationship. In other words, success will come from collaboration and not from the tools. The tools provide the methods to achieve the objective and the tools are not the objective. Consumers understand this and that is the reason there is such upheaval in mobile technology and apps.
I saw an interesting mobile app statistic that only about 40% of apps installed are used by the consumer after installing on their mobile device. The interesting point about this statistic is that it highlights the fickle nature of consumers. Consumers are willing to try any app that peaks their interest and then the trick for consumer acceptance is how the app meets the consumer needs or demands. This suggests to me that retailers must understand and accept that only 40%, or less, of their consumer offers will attract the interest of consumers. This changes the retailer focus from a long evaluation and implementation process to a process that supports quick trial and then just as quickly discard tools that are not accepted by the consumer.
This is where the control tower concept brings value because it provides the consumer with the framework that supports a quick trial framework along with a capability to just as quickly measure results of the trials. This allows the retailer to quickly and effectively modify their offerings based on the demands of the consumer. It is important though for the retailer leadership to understand that the control tower is not bringing success, it is the flexibility supported by the control tower that allows the retailer to adapt to changes in consumer demand that is bringing the success.
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?