According to Boston Retail Partners “unified commerce places the customer experience as priority by leveraging a single commerce platform”. Such a solution eliminates internal channels that operate in silos. Instead, merchants are given the opportunity to leverage a “single, centralized, real-time platform for all customer engagement points.”
Over the past few years retailers have implemented the following types of strategy to meet the needs of a rapidly growing number of connected customers:
- Multi-channel retailing - enabling a customer to shop using different channels.
- Cross-channel retailing - this is when a customer uses a combination of different channels to make the same purchase.
- Omni-channel retailing - this involves the simultaneous use of two channels. The term "omnichannel" is also used to describe consistency between all the different channels that customers use to interact with a brand.
Unified commerce now takes all this one stage further, providing a seamless customer experience (CX) that easily transcends all channels.
The rapid growth in ecommerce together with new trends in tech and consumers that are more demanding than ever before mean that retailers now need to build a coherent strategy to unify physical and digital retail experiences for their customers. Here are three vital elements of a unified commerce strategy.
A unified commerce platform is based on both a solid back office and a unified framework that manages both product and customer data.
Unifying data concerning the customer enables retailers to offer a more personalised experience instore.
Organisations need to rethink their IT infrastructure to make it possible for different departments to work together.
According to Gartner “89% of businesses may soon expect to compete mainly on customer experience.” A unified commerce strategy allows retailers to achieve this by providing a seamless CX, leading to higher customer engagement across all channels.
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