Legacy retailers must really step up their collaboration practices in order to succeed in the social commerce market.  This means that they must focus on the technology collaboration tools and integration of mobile collaboration technology while also providing a human interface to the collaboration to support a direct consumer interaction that encourages participation.  These requirements are nothing new to the retail environment, however they take on a much greater level of importance in the social commerce marketplace. Consumers are trying to engage with retailers as is demonstrated by the success of the Amazon customer retention programs legacy retailers must now invest in the technology and the processes and people to support these investments.

 

Legacy retailers are really in a good position to support these consumer demands because they already have the reputation and the base sales from consumers.  These retailers though must implement a technology investment program in order to support the ongoing demand for these consumer demands.  Consumers will not slow their demands and expansion of capabilities and legacy retailers must implement a continued investment program to support the demands going forward.  This requires a change in culture for the large retailers in order to implement a continuous investment program that supports incremental investments that support changing consumer demands.

 

Going forward the successful retailers will excell in the social commerce marketplace and this success begins with developing a relationship with consumers.  Legacy retailers have an advantage because they have an infrastructure of physical retail outlets with a consumer base that provides direct interaction with consumers.  These legacy retailers are at a disadvantage though because they are focusing mainly on operating cost reductions.  These retailers need to change their strategy and also their culture to encourage and support direct consumer interaction across sales channels to create a seamless marketplace for consumers to shop and purchase.

 

Legacy retailers must implement a difficult culture change including breaking down the barriers across channels and changing their technology investment strategy  in order to succeed in the social commerce marketplace.  These legacy retailers do have an advantage in their marketplace framework across channels, however they must change their integration and utilization of the channels in order to create a blended consumer experience that focuses on the positive consumer experience and not the retailer management benefits.  Legacy retailers have been slow to embracing these changes because of the difficulty and resistance to change in the culture.  Legacy retail leaders must focus on changing the culture and this will be a long process to not only start the process but also an even longer process to ensure this new culture will flourish.

 

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?