Effective social commerce measurement and especially service levels require the data to be rationalized and comparable across channels and then it also requires that you collect data from shopping patterns across channels to be rationalized for measurement.  First you must understand the process flow for each of the channels and then you can measure and compare results.  All of this rationalization requires a grounded definition of the business processes across channels and across shopping outlets in order to understand and define the basis for rationalization.  As social commerce brings together shopping and purchasing demands and practices across channels, retailers must also review and re-evaluate their processes supporting these methods in an exercise to review, measure and improve. 

 

This exercise is important now because of the turmoil in the retail marketplace that has been driven by the changing shopping and purchasing habits of consumers.  In addition pure-play eCommerce retailers are now expanding into the physical presence market along with the expansion of traditional legacy retailers into the eCommerce marketplace.  All of these changes are creating masses of new data that can be used for analysis and also, more importantly, for strategy validation.  The success of Amazon is driven in large part by their collection, use and understanding of data in their interactions with customers and other partners.  Traditional retailers with a large physical presence did not have the same level of data available for analysis and these retailers must now change their focus to collection and analysis of data to formulate and confirm strategies. 

 

Accuracy and volumes of data available for analysis provides an important piece of a strong retail marketplace foundation.  In order for the data to be useful though the processes across the social commerce marketplace for a retailer must conform to provide value in comparison.  From a consumer perspective a purchase is a purchase and large multi-channel retailers must evaluate and redefine their processes to conform and support the comparative analyses and service level management.  The additional twist in this endeavor is the addition of shopping data in the physical store.  This will require additional tools to collect shopper visit information and also tracing movements and flow through the store.  This is where the eCommerce shopping analysis can also provide value by providing tracking of virtual movement through the virtual shopping world.

 

No matter the changes in store for shopping and purchasing there is one constant and that is data for analysis.  Without a steady stream of data that can be used for validation and analysis retailers will continue to struggle and fail as they rely more on luck than facts.  Retailers cannot afford to hope for luck and a robust data collection and analysis strategy will help them ensure their success in the future.

 

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?