Social commerce is bringing about a new type of entrepreneur that is comfortable relating across channels and social networks and is also adept and strong at collaborating and building partnerships across channels and networks to support the new consumer demands. This requires active participation and network building on the part of the entrepreneurs to engage consumers in the social aspect of shopping. This also requires active engagement and participation on the part of carriers and manufacturers to round out the service offerings demanded consumers. This can be very difficult for the large legacy retailers because it requires giving up a great deal of control and requires a greater level of collaboration and partnership with both supply chain partners and especially with consumers.
Newer eCommerce vendors have a very large head start on the social commerce entrepreneur engagement and collaboration because they were built in on a concept of flat organization and greater comfort with technology and especially social networks. Facebook and Google have turned up the engagement through advertising and now eCommerce retail while the legacy retailers have only engaged in Facebook and Twitter as a marketing channel. Social entrepreneurs in the meantime have been offering tools and methods to shop and engage with others in the social networks to extend shopping capabilities to meet changing consumer lifestyles and demands.
The legacy retailers have cobbled together solutions that they have convinced themselves support the consumer demands without really engaging and collaborating with the consumers. Another important aspect is that legacy retailers have also fought every type of social shopping tool and practice that have been developed by consumers because they were afraid to lose sales. The sad thing about this misguided practice is that these legacy retailers are losing sales because they haven’t accepted and embraced the social commerce entrepreneurial practices. This has allowed others to step in and offer social tools to support the consumer demands anyway.
Consumers are searching for engagement and simplified shopping capabilities that meet their lifestyles and they require capabilities that are flexible to change as the consumer demands change. Many retailers are left behind and failing because they are focused on a legacy practice of delivering functionality that consumers will bend their practices to use and now this retail practice is no longer valid. We are seeing the results of this rigidity in retailers now in decreased sales and reductions in mall shoppers. Social commerce entrepreneurs have recognized the change and are running to embrace and engage consumers. In a way the social commerce entrepreneurs have already one the war and are simply waiting on the large retailers to recognize this.
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?