Social commerce growth and adoption by consumers is a culture change for legacy retailers and not just a new method to interact and sell to consumers.  This requires a culture change of legacy retailers to change the way that these retailers interact with consumers and this will be the greatest difficulty for these retailers.  Legacy retailers must revise their own internal and consumer facing activities to take into account and support consumer demands to expand the social interaction across channels and partners in the channel.  This culture change must also extend across all partners in the social commerce marketplace.  This is no longer a question of sales channel, it is now the total consumer interaction across channels and this is the reason for the need of a culture change to support this new marketplace. 

 

This change coming is can be loosely compared to the introduction of social media networks on the retail marketplace and is beginning to have the same impact on retailers as that first wave of social networks.  You remember the impact of Facebook on retail almost ten years ago when consumers had embraced this new technology to share reactions to interactions with retailers and the struggles for retailers to develop a presence in this new technology.  Social commerce is the natural progression of consumer practices in the mash up of social networking and omni channel retail sales.  You can see this across the span of social networks that have embraced marketing and advertising in their social networks to support these networks.  Another growth area impacting the retail marketplace is the growth and consumer embrace of product search and comparison, especially price comparison. 

 

The catalyst for this major change in retail is the introduction and embrace of mobile and wireless technology.  These technologies have allowed the consumer to combine and share in new ways that are now significantly impacting the retail marketplace.  This is also impacted by the growth of technology companies such as Google on the retail marketplace.  Retailers seem to be caught flat footed by these changes as they were when Facebook first changed their interaction with consumers. 

 

Retailers must learn the lesson that consumers are taking control of their interaction with retailers and retailers must change their culture to embrace these new technologies and collaborate with consumers to develop the next generation of commerce.  Retail cultures have been driven by major events in the past and now these major events have morphed into a continuous stream of changes and revisions that must be embraced by retailers and even lead by retailers in order to increase consumer retention in this new and changing marketplace.

 

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?