Retailers have been focused on an omni channel consumer purchasing strategy to support consumer purchases any time and any where within the retailer’s vertical market.  Consumers, on the other hand, are viewing retail from a different perspective based on shopping and not just purchasing.  Consumers now are expanding their viewpoint to include all retail interaction across all markets, in other words, consumers are now viewing retail from an omni market perspective.  Retailers can now gain in their own markets by extending their focus through collaboration with their extended supply chain partners.  Retailers can utilize their partners to expand their understanding of consumer demands across retail markets to support consumer demands in their own market.


The extended supply chain is the one area that interacts across all markets and can provide valuable information related to these markets to their retail partners.  This span of visibility provides the extended supply chain with a wealth of information consolidated from all markets that can provide valuable insight into the consumer demands regarding timing of purchase, purchase channel and also trending of sales and purchase channels.  The extended supply chain partners have an opportunity to collect and provide great background information to their retail partners. 


The challenge for the supply chain, and also their retailer partners, is starting to collect this information.  This has been a challenge for initial big data start-ups in any organizations and it can be even more difficult for the extended supply chain partners due to non-disclosure requirements of retailers with their supply chain partners.  For this reason the extended supply chain must collect the generic aspects of data such as product types and channel trends in order to avoid conflict with retailers.  Extended supply chain partners can provide data such as product types, parcel type shipments and parcel shipment priority.  They can also provide feedback from other supply chain partners that provide feedback on product type demand.  This type of data can provide important market trends across partners that will allow retailers to compare their own results to industry market trends.


This concept is obviously in the very early discovery stages and requires a great deal of analysis and discussion regarding how to implement and what to analyze.  There is an important first step though that can be started in advance of the analysis and that is collection.  The supply chain partners can begin to collect data now and then there will be historical data for analysis determined by the discovery and analysis that must be done.  The critical point though is to begin now because the consumer change and demand is only increasing in speed and will not wait while a group performs an extended analysis.


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?