Consumers are demanding new methods and options for delivery that will require a heightened level of collaboration for the entire extended supply chain. These demands are being ignored and misunderstood by most retailers and the extended supply chain. This has required that consumers ‘settle’ for options that are least offensive. This is a very similar environment as retail shopping from five or more years ago. In the supply chain retailers and the extended supply chain offer services that fit in with their framework and their cost structure. This has worked in the past because the marketplace tools and capabilities were not available for consumers to put together their own solutions. All this has changed over the last couple of years and this is now coming together to disrupt the entire extended supply chain to create an omni supply chain.
The catalyst in this disruption is the millennial growth in the marketplace driving change as a result of their comfort in the virtual world and their imagination to mash together options and capabilities in new ways. Millennials are leading the way in collaboration and developing collaborative methods of shopping and these practices will naturally spread to the supply chain. Millennials think nothing of rebuilding virtual environments through collaboration with other consumers to create new capabilities that better support their lifestyles. They have already been instrumental in developing a social shopping environment that blends channels. It seems to me that it is only natural that the next step then in this growth in influence for millennials should extend to the supply chain.
I think this is where Amazon enters into the equation to push the disruption forward and I think that the consumer supply chain marketplace is watching their activities with anticipation. This new social shopping and purchasing consumer environment is searching for a partner to share their vision to incorporate the supply chain and support their lifestyle. Amazon historically has been a leading factor in reshaping the retail marketplace and now they are extending their focus on the supply chain with their own delivery services and solutions. Amazon brings an important practice to the table in this area which is their desire and ability to collaborate with consumers to understand the consumer demands. Add to this the Amazon practice to experiment with solutions and this will be the factor to disrupt the consumer supply chain.
It will be interesting to see how these factors and players come together to reshape the marketplace. One thing for certain though, the change in the marketplace will only increase going forward by embracing and building new capabilties. We are in for very interesting and exciting times in the retail market as new consumer demands and new consumer generations remake the market to meet these lifestyle demands. The constant going forward is the spirit and practice of collaboration.
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?