Retail shopping has been revolutionized by the growth and capabilities of mobile and wireless network technologies. However I see this as a relatively slow moving revolution that has been coming together as a result of the evolution of shopping technologies and consumer acceptance of the technologies with the final push into a full resolution brought about by the growth and capabilities of mobile and wireless network technologies.  Another factor pushing retail shopping into a revolution has been brought about by consumers taking control of their shopping and purchasing habits as a result of their embrace of mobile and wireless network technologies. The tipping point of this revolution has been the embrace of the technologies that provide consumers a means to create their own shopping practices to support their lifestyles.

 

In hindsight you can see that the trends and capabilities that brought about this revolution have been building for quite some time, starting with the creation of the World Wide Web.  Thinking about the previous twenty years and through the trials and errors of retailers it seems that the evolution started with the combination of World Wide Web and Internet growth that allowed a visionary person like Jeff Bezos put together a company like Amazon that changed the relationship with consumers.  Each time retail shopping and purchasing is revolutionized it starts with a visionary retailer with an vision of the future that is at complete odds with the existing retail industry.

 

The turn of the 20th century Sears introduced the catalog revolution in shopping and purchasing that changed the environment because of its ability to bring together new and existing technologies in a manner that met the consumers lifestyle requirements.  Now we see at the turn of the 21st century Amazon taking advantage of opportunity and encouraging a revolution in shopping and purchasing because of its ability to bring together new and existing technologies in a manner that met the consumer lifestyle requirements. 

 

This has been a significant event that requires change from the large legacy retailers.  In many ways the changes we are experiencing turned from evolution to revolution because of the reaction from the large legacy retailers and the market to the changes being driven by consumers.  The market in general has fought these shopping and purchasing changes because of the loss of control it represents. This has been the pattern of these large legacy retailers specifically and the general retail market place generally fighting change.  This revolution now has been fueled by the growth and capabilities of technologies like mobile and wireless network growth along with healthy doses of imagination along with encouragement from pure play ecommerce retailers and supply chain partners supporting these capabilities.  The large retailers are beginning to recognize this revolution now and seem to accept the fact that the market will never return to the past. The question now is will this be enough and how can they recover?

 

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?