Why Retailers should focus on Unified Commerce
26 Aug 2019 Why Retailers should focus on Unified Commerce
Access to a wider range of collections at the touch of a button and receiving highly personalized shopping recommendations has led to a major shift in the consumer landscape for retail. Today’s customers do not want to compromise in terms of quality, responsiveness and experience across channels of their purchase.
Tackling business challenges of retail
The increasing dominance of eCommerce necessitates a strong online presence for all retail businesses. This in turn also requires a reliable eCommerce platform. Despite a strong level of investment and willingness to adopt emerging technologies in the retail sector, there are budget constraints, capacity limitations and sometimes retailers simply don’t have the technical capability to connect disparate business processes and systems together.
It’s no secret that customer experience is becoming a key brand differentiator, over price and product. But as retailers increase their selling channels to boost sales, the challenge of creating a consistent experience becomes greater.
Hence, retailers need to think beyond omnichannel and focus on ‘Unified Commerce’ which will be more logical in the current retail landscape.
Revenue depends on strong customer service, irrespective of the channel
If businesses can’t deliver a consistently high level of service across customer’s platform of choice, they will struggle to drive revenue growth or develop loyalty. The customer experience needs to be highly personalized and devoid of any disruption in terms of what each channel is offering him.
However, it doesn’t stop here. For enterprise brands to be highly successful, they need to be able to react much quicker to market opportunities – and threats – to better serve customers. Is there a major demand for seasonal products due to unexpectedly warm weather? Is there a market gap that urgently needs filling – and if your products can fill the gap, can you promote this fast enough?
The businesses that are on the right path are the ones that think like their customers and understand their needs. They achieve this by building complete personas of their customers. Businesses must map out a pathway of all possible customer touchpoint – digital and physical – to identify if all stages are linked and, if not, how to better integrate systems and teams to ensure the customer journey does not falter or end prematurely.
Unified Commerce avoid the disconnect of omnichannel
Unified Commerce leverage existing systems and processes at every level and department of the business to ensure a consistent experience for all customer engagement. A wider unified commerce approach evaluates the suitability of existing systems across the business and integrates them using simple APIs. By linking together systems spanning eCommerce, CRM, inventory management and POS, employees are presented with business-wide visibility and can avoid a disconnect between individual departments.
Avoiding siloes and managing information essential to connect the dots
Central to the Unified Commerce approach is the need to undergo business-wide ‘de-siloing’. Data may be gathered at every available opportunity – but beyond this – it needs to be filtered, sorted and analysed. Businesses need to know updated product information across all platforms, and that the latest offers and promotions are visible and correctly applied at a point of sale. Consistent communication across all departments is required to ensure assets, campaign and offers are accurate across all possible channels.
Moving forward, the retail sector looks set to adopt emerging technology such as AI at an even greater pace. Today, however, unified commerce represents the next logical step beyond existing omnichannel strategies.
Looking for a smart Unified Commerce Platform? Learn More.