Point of sale (POS) data has long been the domain of the retailer that collects it. It hasn’t always available – in detail, anyway – to manufacturers and suppliers that could use the data for such things as demand planning, improving supply chains to avoid stock outs and to better understand and act on buying habits so they can more accurately allocate advertising dollars. Of course, all those benefits would in turn benefit the retailers, which could improve planning and forecasting, reduce (or eliminate) stock outs, and even have leverage to enact and enforce service level agreements with suppliers.
Those of us who have been around ecommerce for a few years can probably remember hearing or reading about the ‘next big thing’. Whether that next big thing was handwriting recognition software, the ‘netbook’, server virtualization, or internet TV, it’s been a little hit or miss. That’s to be expected; things move quickly in this hyperconnected world, and technology never stands still.
I don't know, and I don't care.
As a retailer or etailer, you know what I mean when I say “the consumer is driving the bus”. Your customers are always connected, they buy through multiple channels, price shopping has become a competitive sport, and they want their stuff immediately. In fact, if they could have their products magically pop out of their laptop after placing their order, they’d want that, too (I think Google is working on it). Oh yeah, they also want to be able to track their order from the moment they place it until it’s delivered.