The state of the retail industry is not as dire as sensational headlines make it seem. The savior for the industry, which the most innovative companies have already figure out, is great products. And as we heard at the Bamboo Rose STARS 2017 conference, retail communities create better products than siloed supply chains. Sue Welch, CEO of Bamboo Rose, spoke on this topic; below is a synopsis of her presentation.
Not just an industry: A retail community
Retail is constantly changing, and the most recent shift in the industry is around community. Retailers aren’t developing products by themselves anymore; it’s a tribal effort that involves the entire supply chain community. Think about the history of products: Traditionally, product development was very siloed, and required multiple iterations between the retailer and the supplier. The retailer would send a product idea to a supplier to create, and the supplier would come back with all the reasons why it wouldn’t work. It was ineffective, frustrating, and pitted members of the supply chain against each other.
In today’s retail community, all of that friction disappears. Suppliers and retailers work together throughout the product development process to build the best possible goods for their audience – everyone has the goal of bringing the best product to market. The retail community isn’t just retailers and their suppliers, it also includes banks, freight forwarders, carriers, mills, factories and so many more parties. All of these groups come into play to bring great products to market, so the industry today needs to continue bringing everyone in the community together to collaborate and create.
Learn from the past, prepare for the future
At Bamboo Rose, we want to be about five years ahead of retailers so we can improve the way they do business. If we look at where the industry was 10-15 years ago and compare it to today, so much has changed. People didn’t shop online 15 years ago; today, you can buy anything online. Retailers were trying to shift consumer thinking; meanwhile, they weren’t paying any attention to their backend operations, which hadn’t changed at all in 30 years. That’s when Bamboo Rose started to shift retailer thinking. We built out our marketplace platform to help retailers shop easier, and to mirror the way they were beginning to shop in their personal lives.
We’re already looking to the future, and taking what the consumer is doing and putting it into the retailers’ backend experience. We’re looking at innovations like virtual and augmented reality, for example. Many companies are already beginning to offer VR/AR experiences to consumer shoppers, and we’re bringing that technology to retailers. There’s no reason for the consumer shopping experience to outpace the retailer shopping experience, and we’re here to keep them on par with each other.
We’re bringing the retail community together and focusing on processes that mirror retailers’ daily lives, all with the intent of making better products.
See how Bamboo Rose helps retailers compete in the New Retail Economy in our whitepaper, “B2B Retail Revolution: Rethinking How We Create and Shop for Products.”