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 must quickly act to build this collaborative network in order to turn around the slippage in sales across channels.  Consumers have already moved to implement their own omni channel practices through the technology and network capabilities.  This collaborative strategy must be implemented in order for the retailer to support the consumer practices, retailers can no longer direct and control consumer retail shopping and purchasing and if these retailers continue to demand that consumers accept their control the consumer will simply walk away.

 

Consumers have too many choices now in all of their interactions and these choices are being encouraged by the simplicity of online purchasing combined with improved mobile technology and wireless networks.  Large retailers have been slow to react to these demands I think because they have believed in their practices and control.  These retailers incorporated multichannel retail capabilities however they never implemented omni channel capabilities, the multi channel capabilities seem to have been viewed has almost a necessary evil because the brick and mortar outlet was the key channel. Omni channel capabilities seem to have been focused on how they could be incorporated to support the retail brick and mortar outlet. 

 

I think the issue is a cultural issue in the large retailers that causes a hesitancy to collaborate across the channels and a with consumers.  I think that the large retailer focus is on internally developed strategies based on standard industry practices and their accepted norms.  The problem with this culture is that consumers are now collaborating with each other and Amazon is disrupting the norms of all standard industry practices.  Large legacy retailers are attempting to add capabilities that fit into their culturally accepted practices and Amazon is disrupting these industry practices at the same time.

 

Retail has now reached a turning point and consumers are collaborating with retailers such as Amazon to support their shopping and purchasing to create a true omni channel experience.  Large legacy retailers have been caught in their culture and as a result have not recognized the signs that were clear for years.  These retailers now must open up and collaborate across the entire extended marketplace to obtain information and most importantly to act on the information in a manner that is not influenced by pre-conceived industry practices. 

 

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?