Omni channel retail and social commerce are practices or concepts that support each other and in fact without omni channel retail I would argue there would be no way to support or realize social commerce.  Social commerce though ties together the retail channels to support the consumer shopping activities.  Social commerce has really gained importance as millennials have increased and become a driving force in the retail marketplace.  The growth and maturity of the Internet along with the growth and expansion of wireless and mobile technology have provided the tools for the millennials to transform their shopping and purchasing practices to meet their lifestyle requirements.  Consumers have followed this lead as they have come to understand the capabilities and value to support their lifestyle requirements as well.

 

Each generation leaves their mark on the retail marketplace and millennials are leaving their mark through the growth and importance of social commerce.  Retailers must realize now that omni channel retail outlets is only a small piece of the retail puzzle and that social commerce has emerged to provide the tools and methods to support the consumer engagement and and participation in the retail market.  This is creating a struggle for control of the marketplace as retailers are slow to accept these changes and this struggle is causing a great deal of fall out because retailers have been so slow to recognize and then accept the changes.

 

Retailers must embrace the change as what it really is - a culture change from the retail consumer to how they interact in the retail marketplace with retailers and other consumers.  The key to this is the change driven by consumers, and especially changes lead by millennials, to support their lifestyle.  Retailers are struggling with this culture change because of the impact to the retailer organization and methods to sell to the consumer.  Until retailers embrace this consumer culture change they will continue to struggle in their relationship with consumers and ultimately they will continue to struggle with their sales. 

 

Millennials are really the driving force now of the retail marketplace change to a social commerce practice that blends virtual with physical and then further blends purchases across retailers and the channel to support their lifestyle.  My concern for retailers is the impact of delays in their acceptance of this new reality.  We are seeing the fall out now of legacy retailers struggling with the expansion of eCommerce sales and the difficulty is that these retailers are focused on building and expanding the eCommerce channel rather than embracing and focusing on social commerce.

 

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?