The omni channel and retail market in general are also disrupted by retailers via a combination of practices, products and consumer interest.  For instance the fashion apparel marketplace continues to be disrupted by fashion forward or fast fashion retailers and there is the classic example of the Amazon entrance into the book market.  Once upon a time a retailer could offer product at a fair price and fair customer service and the retailer could earn a solid return.  There have always been market disruptions that have really been driven by new retailers bursting onto the scene and offering a new service or a new combination of products.  You can see the progress, and the disruption, in looking back now and not realize the upheaval of the disruption at the time it occurred.

 

Throughout the ages of retail there have always been disruptions in the market that are driven by the combination of practices, products and consumer interest and I think the difference now is the rate of change driven by consumers and creative retailers themselves.  In the past, retailers have been known mainly for their products, or the size of their product mix, or their service offering but retailers were never really known as technology innovators.  With the Internet age this has changed though and now retailers must embrace technology innovation in order to weather the market disruption and in fact these market disruptions are driven by technology.  The age of the Internet has increased the velocity of change and disruptive retailers such as Amazon have embraced and driven market disruptions through their creative implementation of technology.

 

Disruptive retailers have a couple of key traits that allow them to disrupt the market; they view the market and technology creatively and they are willing to take a risk on new technology or services and accept failure.  The disrupters are leaders whose actions and leadership are driving the retail market forward while the remainder of the market at first fights the change and then accepts when they are forced and follow the market leaders two or three steps behind.  This turns into the issue now because of the velocity and level of change the leaders are driving into the market, so even when the followers are two or three steps behind they are having a problem maintaining due to the rate and velocity of change.

 

The issue is now the combination of the leaders disrupting the market with innovation and the speed of this disruption.  In fact I think of the disruption as the rate of change combined with the collaboration of retail leaders with consumers to define and implement consumer driven changes.

 

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?