Why do retailers need to think unified commerce?

March 12, 2019
Woman with shopping bags checking her phone

Customer journeys are often characterized by complex patterns of behavior on various channels. This makes it difficult for retailers to create a rewarding customer experience. With unified commerce, you can live up to your customers’ expectations and gain competitive advantages.

Woman with shopping bags checking her phone

Customer journeys cannot be generalized. The journeys are different depending on where the customers come across your business, and what situations and needs they are facing. Similar to the journeys is, however, that they rarely take place exclusively on one single channel. Most often it is a combination of different channels that create the customer journey and the overall customer experience.

Today, more than half of consumers experience an inconsistent, interrupted buying experience when they jump from channel to channel. If you, as a retailer, want to be sure to create positive word-of-mouth and get returning customers, you can benefit from exploring the opportunities of a unified commerce strategy.

Why is unified commerce the solution?

Unified commerce is built upon the mindset behind omnichannel. Omnichannel retail is characterized by the integration of all the company’s sales channels, both physical and digital. Even though the sales channels are integrated, retailers do not necessarily achieve the same truth about the customer in real time. The problem is that data is not homogeneous and not frequently updated.

The purpose of unified commerce is to centralize data and transactions on an integrated platform that provides retailers with a single source of knowledge. It gives you a more accurate and up-to-date information while you do not need to duplicate data or make use of manual processes. The centralization of data will create a friction-free and consistent customer experience across all channels. Therefore, you will not only streamline your business processes and get an overall view of your business data; you will also be able to create a competitive business with happy, returning customers.

Where to begin?

Building a unified commerce business will not happen overnight. First and foremost, retailers should get an overview of their business. Secondly,  they should gain a deep insight into where they can make a difference to the customer journey. The overall goal is always to unite processes, channels, and systems to improve the customer experience from start to finish.

Here are a few tips on how to get started:

  • Review how your current systems and technologies are communicating. Before you take a step towards investing in new platforms, you should examine the current systems and how new technology could affect the rest of your business.
  • Review your customer journey and suggest improvement. To improve the current experience, you need to know it into detail. Then you can prepare how the ideal customer experience design should be for your customers.
  • Take data seriously. Data integrity is crucial for successful unified commerce. If you do not already collect, analyze, and utilize insights gained from customer data, you should take a step back and initiate this first.
  • Make sure you have the necessary technological foundation for unifying your commerce. Older POS, ERP and web solutions that cannot deliver up-to-date real-time data will not provide customers with a great cross-channel customer experience.

Transform your business in 2019

Do you want to meet your customers’ expectations of today’s in-store experience? In order to transform the user experience, it is important to look at the way you interact with your customers. In the world of technology, there has been a development of retail tools, which enhance the in-store shopping experience. You can learn more about the trends for the year 2019 here.

Maria Bindesbøll at Navi Partner

Want to learn more?

Do you want to learn more about the potential in having a unified commerce strategy? Contact us today and have a non-committal talk with one of our consultants. We might be helpful in transforming your business.