They're Mad as Hell …
… and they're not going to take it anymore.
What am I talking about? Well, it seems that a group of retailers and brand manufacturers got together earlier this month and crafted marching orders for technology vendors to change their traditional engagement and delivery models and partner with them in a more meaningful and strategic way — all to meet the needs of today's demanding consumers.
The edict was laid out in a document called "The Digital Directives: A Commerce Technology Manifesto," which was created at the conclusion of a cross-channel retail summit in Scottsdale, Ariz. The workshop was initiated and facilitated by Demandware and was attended by 20 marketing, e-commerce and IT executives across multiple industries including footwear, apparel, sporting goods and several specialty retailers.
According to a Demandware press relase, participants said technical interoperability, flexibility and usability from their commerce technology is required to deliver a unified brand experience across all shopping interactions — e.g., websites, social networks, mobile devices, tablets, kiosks or in-store. After all, this is what consumers expect today.
The retailers established seven directives that ask vendors to deliver the capabilities and innovation required to excel in front of consumers. Those seven directives are:
- Deliver ongoing success beyond the software sale.
- Solve business problems; don’t sell products.
- Ensure technology is interoperable and extensible.
- Enable faster innovation to consumers.
- Extend commerce capabilities easily into any application, channel or device.
- Unify brand experiences for digital consumers.
- Enable merchants to do their job with minimal reliance on IT.
"Internal teams must be allowed to focus on business enablement, user experience and systems integration," said Yul Vanek, a workshop participant and vice president of IT at Deckers Outdoor, in the release. "We don’t want to be in the software development business.”
Rob Garf, vice president of product and solutions marketing for Demandware, added that while the burden largely falls on the shoulders of vendors, "I was encouraged that the retailers and brand manufacturers acknowledged that there's also an opportunity for them to redefine relationships, share strategic direction, and focus on collaboratively solving business and consumer problems."