The retail industry has moved through eCommerce and omni channel into a social commerce market that blends shopping and purchasing across all channels and social networks in the sharing economy.  Social commerce is driven by consumers and is the result of their wresting control of shopping and purchasing to support and also more importantly to enhance their lifestyles.  This is the next logical development of retail that redefines the market into a new market that enhances and extends the consumer experience and lifestyle demands.  Consumers have embraced technology to mash together retail shopping, social networking, delivery services to support the demands of their changing lifestyles. 

 

Millennials in the marketplace are driving changes these changes into the market based on their comfort with technology, embrace of virtual capabilities and drive to experiment through combinations to meet their needs.  These morphing capabilities are then expanding into mainstream practices more quickly as a result of the growth of millennials in the marketplace in addition to the growing embrace of technology by consumers.  The consumer market is growing and changing through a natural type of continuous improvement or in this change a process of continuous change where one change leads to another and changes are then combined and recombined into new cablitilities limited only by their imagination and tendency to experiment.  The key difference now in this age of social commerce is the group that is controlling the change, with the explosive growth of technology capabilities available to consumers they are no longer limited to the capabilities offered by retailers. 

 

This has put the large legacy retailers at a disadvantage requiring they chase the technology and the capabilities to maintain their standing in the market.  These retailers have been chasing Amazon for a while now to provide expanding shopping and purchasing capabilities to keep up.  While Amazon is arguably the leader in consumer shopping and a worthy leader in enhanced capabilities focused on improving the consumer shopping and purchasing capabilities Amazon is also a leader in social commerce capabilities as well.  This focus on social commerce by Amazon provides a secret sauce ingredient that other retailers have missed as a result of their focus on technology and purchasing capabilities.

 

The good news for the retail market is that large legacy retailers are beginning to take notice of these social network demands and capabilities to expand the consumer relationships.  These retailers realize the potential and I believe that millennials are not only changing the retail market, they are also expanding influence and participation in corporate america, including these large legacy retailers to drive the same practices in the corporate culture that have changed the retail market.  These are exciting times and social commerce in combination with the sharing economy are redefining practices and capabilities.

 

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?