The retail omni market is now driving change through social interaction across the entire extended supply chain and especially with the consumer.  The retail omni market has reached a point such that the product price, availability and delivery via any means desired by the consumer is no longer a differentiating factor because these functions have essentially become baseline functional requirements. The changing factors now are driven by the social interaction of consumers across the entire extended supply chain and with just about every partner in the extended supply chain.  This social interaction is now the key driving factor to the change impacting the retail omni market and this must be the focus of retailers and especially the large legacy retailers.

 

The previous few years have focused on the price, availability and delivery to support the retail omni market and retailers have been driven to provide this baseline functionality across the all interactions with th sales and delivery to the consumer.  Now, however, the consumer focus has shifted to the social interaction and relationships with retailers. This is a much more volatile area and requires more flexibility and imagination from the retailers to support. The good news is that these large legacy retailers should now be familiar with the process and speed of change as a result of the recent and the bad news is that I just don’t think these same large retailers have learned the lessons of the retail omni market to help them to support the level and velocity of change demanded by the omni market social interaction .

 

Consumer social interaction brings with it and even greater velocity of change than experienced with the previous round of purchase and delivery changes.  The key to supporting the level and velocity of change is the ability to sense and respond to the consumer reactions and shift priorities. There must be a fluid interaction between the consumer and the retailer that requires a focus on collaboration and engagement between consumer, retailer and other partners in the extended supply chain.  The collaboration and engagement provides the foundation for the enhanced sense mechanism to understand and react to the shifting social interaction requirements. 

 

This enhanced collaboration and engagement requires retailers to step up their game which requires taking the culture changes to another level.  Retailers have been able to focus on the operational side of the relationship with consumers to meet the demands of pricing, availability and delivery.  Now, however, retailers can no longer delay in developing the relationship and social interaction with the consumer and this will require an increased level of collaboration and engagement with consumers and the other extended supply chain partners.  There is really no time left for retailers to embrace these demands as the velocity of changing demands increases. 

 

Retailers cannot afford to delay in supporting the changes in the retail omni market and this requires a continuation of the cultural changes to increase social interaction with consumers and across the entire extended supply chain.  Consumers are definitely encouraging this interaction and the improvements to mobile technologies and wireless network capabilities to support these demands are definitely keeping pace and even driving the changing consumer expectations.  The challenge though is the continued cultural changes required of retailers to support these changes. Retailers cannot rest, they must continuously change and react to the consumer demands for social interaction and a relationship with the retailers and retailers must realize that their reaction to these demands will allow them to succeed in the future.