The retail market is in a process of renewal as a result of the disruption brought about by the omni market change by consumers to the market place.  This is a good thing and really a necessary thing that drives the market forward to support consumer demands. This time though the renewal is in part driven by consumers through technology and collaboration and part driven by consumer focused Internet retailers like Amazon that are themselves encouraging and experimenting with consumer changing demands.  I believe though that this renewal cycle is different from previous cycles in that the renewal will be a continuous cycle of change and renewal. This is the theme of this cycle of renewal and this is one of the key differences in this change cycle as well. 

 

This cycle is driven by consumers rather than by some retailer, as in the past and this is a very important difference in this disruption.  The last major disruption to the market in my opinion was the explosion of Wal Mart on the market. This disruption, like previous disruptions, was driven by a retailer with a vision that was embraced by consumers.  This disruption, also like previous disruptions, spread through the market quickly with the concept, in this case the drive for the lowest price, accepted and extended by other retailers until it seems to be embedded in the market DNA.  This disruption is also in many ways at the root of the current disruption. 

 

This current disruption started with the concept and the drive for the lowest price from consumers.  In the beginning consumers’ focus on low price was supported and driven by the opportunity of Internet retailers to cut prices.  This was the result though of retailers reacting to consumers and these same retailers attempting to gain market share. This drive from Internet retailers was borne of the drive to succeed and the ability of these new Internet retailers to take advantage of the market and cut costs dramatically because of their reduced overhead.  Now this lowest price concept and drive has become the foundation of the retail market in many ways and this concept has also in many ways now bitten the creator of the concept.

 

Now this concept along, with the combination of technology and the growing ability of the consumer to direct and even change their shopping is also disrupting the market.  Now this new renewal is all about the consumer ability redirect and direct their shopping in ways that support their individual lifestyles along with their desire to spend less and get more in return.  This new disruption also is creating a model for continuous renewal and disruption as technology changes and increases 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?