The new retail market being built by consumers on the tools and networks that have grown pervasive over the last two to three years is made up of a wide variety of participants and the capabilities of this new market continue to grow and expand.  Consumers are taking control of this market which is now sending the larger retailers into a re-evaluation of the methods and practices for interaction with the consumer.  Consumers are using the tools available to building a collaborative retail market that is cohesive and consistent across legacy channels.  Consumers are changing the retail market through their use and integration of tools, networks and technology.

 

Many large retailers are at a disadvantage in this new retail market due to their foundation of control based actions, focus on sales via channels that have a tendency to prohibit collaboration with the consumer.  While the large legacy retailers have been trying to maintain control of the market, consumers have focused on building their own market and capabilities to shop and purchase according to their desires and changing lifestyle.  The larger retailers have struggled for a long time to maintain their control of the market and now must struggle even more for a place in this new market.  This can be seen by the number and variety of both acquisitions and partnerships currently being developed by the large retailers to survive in this new market.

 

In the meantime, consumers continue to evolve and develop this new market based on their learnings, new availability of capabilities through new tools and mainly through collaborative relationships.  In fact, I think the next wave of the retail market is being created as a result of consumer collaborative relationships and embrace of the virtual marketplace.  This change is increasing in velocity as a result of the efforts of the millennial generation.  Millennials are leading the efforts in creating this new retail market to define and implement the new capabilities that are being embraced by the other consumers.  These changes are and new capabilities are encouraged and spread through consumer collaboration across a variety of social networks.

 

Social networks are providing the highway and the functionality to both advertise and then encourage adoption of new capabilities.  These changes in the social networks are in turn being driven by the need of social networks to develop income generating capabilities.  Consumer collaboration practices, especially as it relates to social networks, are the fuel that drive consumers forward to utilize and develop the tools that are creating and supporting the new retail market.  All of these cross functional relationships are coming together to help to shape the retail market to support the changing consumer lifestyles.

 

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?