In this retail market relevance is an important focus and goal of the retailer and crosses over product offering, pricing, shopping and purchasing aspects as an important ingredient to the customer experience and most importantly the customer return to shop again.  Relevance is one of the keys to success in retail and especially in the omni market experience with consumers.  With so many choices in this omni market environment retailers must continuously focus on their currency and in order to maintain their relevance in the market.  Consumers are continuously drawn to the new and changing interactions and shopping opportunities and especially the new products and prices.  As the omni market services and capabilities expand the retailer relevance becomes more and more important.   


One aspect of relevance is related to customer communication and collaboration to increase the interaction and improve customer exchanges with the retailer.  This focus has been changing as the consumer interactions with retailers have been changing.  One factor to the changing interaction is the change in the brick and mortar retail store from a focus on sales channel to more of a focus on a shopping channel.  The reduction in consumer ‘facetime’ with the retail sales clerks means that the electronic interaction of online shopping and purchasing takes on greater importance.  This increase in electronic interaction has been a challenge for retailers because of the number of electronic interaction outlets and also the requirement to continuously reach out to consumers in all electronic outlets. 


Retailers have been chasing the shifts and changes from Amazon as a means to identify and meet consumer demands and I think that retailers are beginning to understand the need for personalized interaction and a variety of outlets for these demands.  The objective is developing and strengthening the relationship with consumers through the electronic outlets.  Amazon recognized this challenge a long time ago and because their only outlet was eCommerce they worked hard to develop the tools and capabilities to meet the demands in an effort to remain relevant. Amazon is stretching and expanding its offerings in an effort to remain relevant.  Now retailers born in the brick and mortar market must change their culture and their capabilties to also expand their interaction and relationship with consumers through electronic outlets in order to remain relevant. 


Legacy retail giants such as Sears, for example, have lost their prominence in large part because they are no longer relevant.  They spent too much time focusing inward and not enough time focused outward to realize the market changes and the leadership woke up one day and they were just too far behind the curve and were no longer relevant.  One reason for this shift is the growth of millennials in the market and another is the embrace of technology by all generations.


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?