Consumers are using mobile and wireless technology to expand their social network interaction to support their new lifestyle requirements and this is crossing over into their shopping and purchasing practices as well.  Shopping and purchasing practices are a natural extension and pair up for mobile and wireless technology and consumers have embraced the capabilities to expand their virtual social world across friend, family and into shopping and purchasing.  Consumers are using this technology to collaborate across their social network to support their ecommerce neets and this means that retailers must take this into account in their own technology and sales strategies to remain current and succeed in the future. 


Consumers have already embraced a high level of collaboration across their social network to support their virtual networking and are utilizing this technology to shape and driver their interaction with retailers.  Consumers are focused on collaboration to support their lifestyles and retailers must also embrace collaboration technology and practices across the entire extended supply chain in order to provide the flexibility and capabilities in a manner and speed that consumers are now demanding.   With their embrace of these practices and technologies consumers have taken control of their relationship with retailers and in order to succeed going forward retailers must also change and embrace these practices and technologies.


This is difficult for many large retailers because of their dependence on monolithic technology supporting their legacy practices and, frankly, their legacy practices themselves.  Consumers are dragging retailers, and their supply chain partners, kicking and screaming to support new practices.  I see Amazon as a major player in embracing the consumer collaboration demands and the technology to support these new changing demands and practices.  Amazon came to the table with the advantage of no monolithic technology architecture to hinder their adoption, however, Amazon has been vigilant and even ruthless in maintaining the capabilities and practices that allows them to change as quickly as consumer demands change..


Amazon also regularly brings new technology to the consumer area in experiments to develop new practices and capabilities.  This practice of collaboration with consumers and drive to experiment in the market is a key success factor for Amazon.  Large retailers seem to have an attention span challenge in maintaining momentum and collaboration with consumers.  These large retailers recognize signs of changes in the marketplace and then take initial steps to embrace the changes, unfortunately they fall down in maintaining the focus and extending the collaboration with consumers.  One key challenge for large retailers is maintaining the strategy of collaboration and change.  These large retailers now suffer from a lack of patience that is displayed as a lack of persistence and a lack of imagination to identify and deliver new capabilities.


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?