Omni market tools cover a broad span of capabilities and especially usage. This is especially true of the social networking tools and capabilities embraced by consumers in their everyday activities and these are the tools that are really driving the omni market today in ways that were not really imagined a short time ago and into directions that are difficult to imagine now in the future. This new reality requires that retailers focus on flexibility and collaboration as their key tools in the tool box to allow them to react and incorporate new tools and processes in the timeframe demanded by consumers. Millennials get very impatient when they cannot quickly incorporate new capabilities into their daily practices and on top of that they also aren’t bound by historical loyalties and this makes them the most dangerous in their demands.
Rather than focus on the tool or capability of the day, retailers need to focus on the collaboration and flexibility to support quickly changing demands. As we have seen over the last few years there have been quickly changing demands on the market that in turn has disrupted the retail landscape from the disruption in the mall and brick and mortar market to the disruption in the ecommerce channel capabilities, to the disruptions in the delivery and pickup capabilities. These changes have particularly disrupted the large legacy retailers that have focus on cost controls and low price strategy. These retailers have been chasing the market changes to delivery new capabilities through acquisition and new software capabilities. This strategy has allowed the retailers to quickly deliver new capabilities although these new capabilities have also come at a cost of flexibility to quickly deliver new capabilities.
These retailers are now focused on integrating the new software and capabilities into their technology framework and this also is dragging them behind again in meeting the changes demanded of the market creating a cycle of change and acquisition that is directly impacted by the their integration capabilities. This change cycle is also impacted by the large retailer leadership culture in accepting and embracing the mode of discontinuous change. This culture limitation is also limiting the ability to identify and integrate change.
Tools in the retail omni market must be expanded to include the softer ‘tools’ including culture, attitude towards change and also collaboration, in addition to the technology flexibility required to quickly react to change. These changing softer ‘tools’ are the most difficult to implement because they are harder to measure and harder to monitor. This requires a change in culture and practices that encourage a long term view and collaboration in addition to the operational measurements currently used to measure success. The large retailers must focus on the measurement and encouragement of collaboration now in order to incorporate the volume of change disrupting the retail omni market.
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?