Collaboration does not just happen, it requires commitment and coordination to be effective and delivery benefits to the collaboration partners.  This is especially true in developing a collaborative partnership with consumers due to the need to maintain interest and encourage the consumers to continue the relationship.  A collaobrative partnership between professionals and companies is defined and measured via a formal agreement, however consumers do not and will not enter into a professional agreement to collaborate with retailers.  Retailers must grow a relationship with consumers to encourage collaboration and this relationship must continuously provide reasons and encouragement for consumers to participate in the collaborative relationship.  This effort requires coordination and planning to be effective.

 

Collaboration coordination requires careful planning along with a mechanism to collect and then implement changes based on feedback mechanisms.  This all requires commitment from senior leadership and also a mechanism to store, track and measure the results of the feedback.  The strength of the collaborative partnership cannot be maintained extended through haphazard activities, it requires a great deal of information, planning and coordination to be successful.  This requires a tool to collect data and support analysis of the data so that the feedback can be used to identify and direct new methods for shopping and purchasing.

 

This tool provides a control tower concept to support and coordinate and improve collaboration opportunities. Collaboration continuous improvement must be a focus and the control tower tool provides methods to measure and evaluate improvements to increase the collaboration level and in turn support new shopping and purchasing demands of consumers.  This continuous improvement focus provides a method for retailers to collect feedback from consumers to feed back into the improvement process.  The control tower provides the means to store and analyze the information.

 

Consumers are fickle and have short attention spans and this requires a continuous level of attention in order to maintain interest in the consumer.  This requires a greater level of focus and, in addition, a greater level of information to ensure greater attention is focused on the topics and that are important to consumers.  This level of detail must be stored for access and research and this belongs in a control framework that collects and supports relational analysis. 

 

Retailers will do well to focus on developing two relational frameworks, the first to collect and store data to allow for big data relational analysis and the second to support quick integration of new apps for support of consumer demands.  I do not think retailers can be successful without both of these frameworks and capabilities.  Then the focus and the work for retailers is can be the collaborative relationship with consumers that will remain fresh and interesting for consumers. 

 

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?