The retail omni market is built on the concept of adaptation and flexibility to meet the demands and velocity of change required to meet the demands. This requires not only a focus on flexibility to support the changes it also requires the ability to sense the changing demands to allow the retailers and the market to respond to the changes. The ability to sense the changes requires a dramatic increase in consumer and retailer collaboration and engagement. This challenge requires that retailers step up their game to meet the new demands and retailers, especially the large legacy retailers, will never be able to meet the consumer demands in the short timeframe without developing an adaptive ability to change and most importantly the ability to sense the changes in a time frame that allows the retailer to adapt to the changes.
Adaptation takes on a whole new meaning in the retail omni market and this includes a focus on flexibility and velocity, or speed of delivery. Retailers cannot follow the same rules or practices followed in the past to adapt to changing market demands and requirements. Consumers have a new viewpoint and most importantly a new level of control in the market that requires retailers to redefine their definitions of adaptation. This new definition of adaptation is driven to a very large extent by consumer lifestyle changes and the consumer reaction to their lifestyle changes. When consumers add this new definition to the technology, especially mobile technology, and network capabilities it gives them a dramatically higher level of control in the omni market that retailers must recognize and support.
The level and velocity of adaptive demands now requires the retailers to recognize and redefine their own understanding of adaptation. This is a large challenge for retailers not because of the technical or practical aspects of the challenge, it it more the control aspect of the challenge that will challenge the retailers. As time moves along in the retail marketplace retailers have been forced to give up controls each step of the way in order to survive and this has now reached the point where the control of the relationship and really last remaining stronghold of retailer control has been attacked by the consumer demands.
Adaptation now requires a continuous change cycle to allow experimentation by the consumer to help them identify the appropriate direction. This trial and error practice is best supported and requires a high level of collaborative engagement with the consumers to allow them change, measure, react and change again. This is the really the process required to develop and strengthen the relationship between consumer and retailer. This new retail omni market incorporates technology to allow the consumer to develop a relationship with the retailer that augments the person-to-person relationships with their customer. This requires creation of a new method and type or personalized relationship with the consumer that takes advantage of the technology to allow consumers to interact and relate with the retailer in a manner that suits the consumer demands.
This new relationship requires a high level of adaptation because the consumer is continuously defining and redefining the practices of the relationship. Technology augments the relationship and consumers have embraced the technology to support their new lifestyle demands. This requires a greater level of adaptation and collaboration because consumers are still trying to figure out what is required to best meet their lifestyles. This is not about continuously changing lifestyles it is about continuous changes to determine the best method to support the lifestyle.