Retail marketing is all about the relationship across the entire end-to-end chain and with the steady march of technology and consumer demands changing the marketplace this relationship can be very difficult to maintain.  These relationships are expanding across the supply chain to include consumers, retailers and suppliers in a decentralized manner that supports the distributed nature of the participants and the technologies. This expansion across the supply chain network is based on the social technologies along with the integration of mobile and IOT technologies to complete and maintain the linkage.  The goal of these efforts is building collaborative relationships across the entire chain to share and maintain the flow and use of information.


I think that one of the most promising aspects of these technology developments is the inclusion and extension of transportation and carrier information integration into the relationship equation.  This is the next wave of consumer collaboration as a direct result of the expansion of the retail omni market and the consumer embrace of technologies. This, like other developments in consumer collaboration, has been driven by the demands and the imagination of consumers for supply chain carriers to share and coordinate deliveries of their eCommerce purchases.  Parcel carriers have provided tracking capabilities for a long time, this is nothing new, the new developments are push notifications and the abilities to redirect the deliveries based on changing consumer needs.


Suppliers and resellers in the retail marketplace have demanded traceability for deliveries for a long time and the traceability practices and capabilities have been improving for a long time.  These carriers have taken advantage of the growth and improvements in wireless and mobile technologies just the same as consumers have and these logistics partners are also embracing these technologies, and adding IoT technologies and capabilities to improve their services and meet the consumer demands.


Consumers are at the center of control of the social marketplace and they are demanding flexibility and creativity in their shopping, purchasing and delivery of goods and services.  These technologies allow relationships and new, or expanded, services to be quickly and efficiently created to support demands. This social marketplace will only expand in demands and reach across all aspects and relationships between consumers and the partners that deliver goods and services.  The partners delivering goods and services now must focus on a flexible and robust foundation that supports collaboration and change in order to meet the changing demands. This will be the key challenge and during this wave of development and expansion there will be a great deal of fall out from the legacy partner marketplace.  We are already seeing the fall out with legacy retailers quickly falling by the wayside because the market and their customer demands changed while the retailer either did not recognize or could not meet the changing demands.


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?