Consumers have created a true retail omni channel marketplace through collaboration with other consumers and technology in order to support their changing lifestyles using imagination and third party mobile apps to build the marketplace  Retailers must now accept these changes and realize they must change as well to meet the demands of this omni channel marketplace.  A new strategy to support these new omni channel shopping and sales demands must start with collaboration across the supply chain  and across the retail operational and marketing silos and expand across throughout the extended supply chain partners for inventory management and transportation support across the omni channel market.  Retailers must break down the silos with a robust collaboration strategy to flourish in the future.

 

The retail market and the supply chain supporting this market must change to support consumer demands in shopping and most importantly in sales and product delivery.  The focus on the process to order online and pick up in the store is a great stride forward, however it is only one piece of the puzzle.  In order to flourish in the future retailers must provide a true omni channel experience and currently at best the large retailers are providing a multi channel experience.  Consumers have stepped into this mix and created an omni channel market through their own means to address their demands..  The consumers have done this through social collaboration, mobile technology, social networking tools and most importantly collaboration across these different outlets.  It is time for the large retailers to embrace these collaboration demands to become an important part of the omni channel market.

 

I do not see how the large retailers can survive without embracing the collaborative efforts across the supply chain.  One small case in point is parcel delivery changes from major carriers to adjust to the changing consumer lifestyles and collaborate with consumers on the best method and times for delivery of parcels.  As an example UPS provides two services now in collaborating with consumers for delivery; the direct notification and ability to redirect to another address, and drop lockers where the consumer package can be dropped for the consumer to retrieve by entering the package tracking information at their convenience.  In my opinion these are two important ingredients to the omni channel purchasing experience and the only experience retailers are promoting is purchase online and pick up in the store.

 

Retailers must quickly and efficiently expand services in both shopping and purchase delivery and the only way they can effectively and efficiently hope to execute on these demands is to break down the silos and collaborate across customers, internal marketing and operations, and the extended supply chain including the transportation partners.  Retailers can quickly turn around the in store profit loses by extending their stores into omni channel shopping and delivery hubs and they cannot do this without extended the collaboration practices across all partners, internal and external.

 

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?