The service integrators of today, will not be here in five years if they stay focused on the commerce implementations as their bread and butter for their retail partners. Those platforms are commoditized, and brands will not have to re-platform as often. That budget money will shift to enhance the customer experience.
In addition, 3rd party platforms and marketplace will compete with commerce platforms moving product globally, lessening the need for individual commerce sites. Gartner predicts that by 2018, more than half of all commerce sites will integrate technologies from more than 15 vendors to deliver a digital customer experience.
Many of the commerce giants will win because they have put R&D into developing modules, plugins and add-ons that enhance the lift of the customer on their platform. They can afford to lose some of their service partners, and that is not a good sign for our global consultancies who have built large businesses relying on this model.
Gone are the 3-year, multi-million dollar onsite implementations, coming soon is the community of partners who deliver amazing experiences together with transparency in the cloud. The shared economy is our future. The global consulting firm, the service integrator, and the agency never did it alone, they just created that illusion. The truth is a business doesn’t need to be 100% your employees, that is unhealthy and high risk.
These consultative partners are silently uncomfortable because these trends we have been mentioning that shift our retail business focuses from the transaction to the customer are now in the pocket, and integrators and agencies are starting to worry about where their new revenue will come from.
As for retailers, they can focus on the customer experience and how to engage with them at different steps of their journey with the brand through the implementation of new technologies. The right partners for retailers will lead with a diagnostic assessment of the legacy systems and how that can blend with the IOT, AR, VR and video commerce.
Retailers should continue to seek partners who innovate and develop solutions for the future of business. We are bringing them together to collaborate, as disruption continues to break old patterns of business.
Retailers will ask for less re-platforming, more partnerships – and look for smaller channel partners with more substance.
A connector and cultivator of women across industries, Kelly Stickel, is the founder and CEO of Remodista, a global think tank examining disruption in business. She is an international speaker, and provides business insights through collaborative research done through Remodista’s platforms.