The benefit to social commerce is the ability that is provides to consumers to meet and fit their changing lifestyle needs.  This increases consumer personal and family productivity and allows the consumer to spend more time on the things that improve their lifestyles.  Its important to view the consumer benefit in the same manner that we view business benefit and one of the benefits of the new technology is the increase in productivity.  Consumers are searching for increases in productivity just as are retailers and manufacturers.  Consumers use increases in shopping and purchasing productivity to allow them to spend more time and focus on their own person activities whether it be time with family or time to engage in any personal activities that improve their lifestyles.

 

Consumers and especially the millennial generation are essential focusing on eliminating shopping and purchasing activities that do not add value.  Millennials have incorporated their comfort with the virtual practices and capabilities to enhance shopping and purchasing.  These improvements have spread then organically through the consumer marketplace and embraced by other consumers to enhance their experience and improve their shopping and purchasing capabilities.  Internet and mobile technologies have allowed and supported consumers in their improvements without the need for retailers to support, in other words, these are all changes that can be developed and used by consumers without the support of retailers.

 

This has caused retailers to be surprised when the use has reached a critical mass, causing some to react in a negative manner, because it impacts their sales and their costs.  Positive improvements in consumer productivity has led to negative sales and productivity for some retailers, especially large legacy retailers.  Retailers have begun to realize the impact of the changes implemented by consumers and for some of the large legacy retailers this has seriously impacted their sales. These productivity changes from consumers has reached a critical mass where the cycle of improvements is quickening causing a quickening of discontinuous change for retailers to recognize and incorporate.

 

I think that retailers must realize that their success cannot be supported by a closed loop strategy that does not take into account the usage and productivity demands of consumers.  The Internet and mobile technology have opened a door to a great deal of possibilities for consumers and they are exploring more and more as they become accustomed and comfortable with the technology.  The retailers place in this ecosystem has changed, they are not the center of this system and they must now change to support the fact that the product and the price, while important, are no longer the only factors in consumer decision making. Retailers must change to focus on support consumer productivity in order to success in this environment.

 

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?