Imagine your customer has explored a product on the website, add that item to your cart through a mobile app, and collect from the nearest brand location. How cool is it to connect all platforms together? All appreciations go to unified commerce which makes it possible.
The growth of a retail business is directly proportional to the more reliable customer experience. According to the PWC research, 86% of shoppers are ready to invest more for a better customer experience. Whereas 49% of purchasers continue their shopping after getting a more personalized experience. Your ultimate goal as a retailer should be customer-centric in order to grow retail revenue. Staying ahead of the game, you need to integrate multichannel and omnichannel together as one kind of commerce, i.e., unified commerce. Let’s take a dive into the world of unified commerce.
What is Unified Commerce?
Imagine there is a single software that lets you connect all your retail platforms starting from the website and mobile channels to brick and mortar stores as well as the eCommerce marketplaces and that is what unified commerce does. It integrates your backend system with a Consumer-facing channel through a single platform to function all customer touchpoints.
Retailers oblige it to deliver seamless omnichannel journeys, consumer behavior, merchandises, and management process in a unified manner including eCommerce, mCommerce, inventory management, order fulfillment, customer relationship management, point of sale systems, and many more.
BRP conducted a survey of 500 North American retail companies in which 28% of the retailer have already implemented unified commerce in 2019 which is triple growth reported in 2018. It was predicted 81% of deployment at the end of 2020. 93% are adopting a unified commerce model with 54% in the planning stages and 39% currently implementing solutions.
From Omnichannel to Unified Commerce
Retailers need to sell their products across multiple platforms in terms of providing an omnichannel experience. Because buyers usually make a purchase through several platforms, for example, a customer searching products on a mobile device, before buying in-store or adding products to cart on the website and finish the checkout process on the mobile application. To meet the customer experience gaps in omnichannel delivery, retailers need to adopt a unified system.
When utilizing unified commerce, consumers get consistent, real-time updates regarding products, availability, pricing, and recommendations. Whether they are using multiple platforms of retailers such as a mobile app, website, or even the storefronts, it all synchronizes in a single unified system. These platforms recognize customers and offer a personalized experience and loyalty perks. This personalization might expand to the social and email marketing offers, made on a single, unified view of customer behaviors.
Now, you should be able to differentiate unified commerce from omnichannel. It’s pretty obvious, while omnichannel is supposed to be an experience, unified commerce is a medium through which the experience can be delivered better.
Unified commerce and headless
Headless commerce is the structure that makes the basis of a unified strategy. Headless commerce decoupled the backend system which allows retailers to drive all storefronts or frontend systems from a similar commerce engine to give a unified consumer experience. Here, Backend with application programming interfaces (APIs) can connect with the storefronts, call data from the backend microservices, and deliver it in real-time. By connecting microservices, retailers have the freedom to build personalized features and respond quickly to update trends.
Benefits Of Implementing Unified Commerce
Several advantages that unified commerce enables retailers to provide more reliable consumer services, getting ahead of the competition, growing their revenue and enhancing customer engagement.
More Accurate Tracking Of Customer Engagement With Your Brand
As the customer has a lot of platforms and ways to buy the product, tracking customer behavior becomes more challenging for retailers. A unified view of your data makes it possible to track customer behavior across every touchpoint, resulting in creating an opportunity to re-engage and nurture.
By integrating all sales, orders, and shipping in a single platform, unified commerce enables you to bring automated communication via email and text messages. Keeping your customers informed at every phase of the order journey and following up with a request for their feedback will enhance the customer experience.
Tailored Shopping Experiences For Customers
Unified commerce avails facility that your customers order online and get it in a physical store to avoid shipping charges or maybe you don’t have that particular color or size which customer wants, in such situations, your point-of-sale system allows you to check that product’s availability elsewhere and then dispatch directly from there. It will create more opportunities for both sales and enriched customer behavior.
As it is the most important function, unified commerce allows you to check, track and manage your inventory in stores or warehouses. As there is a real-time connection between your inventory and all channels regarding stocks, it will reduce errors such as out of stocks.
Nike, Apparel Accessories Sports equipment company using unified commerce strategy to provide seamless customer experience and improving sales revenue. Nike’s all stores are integrated with its online platforms.
Some of the features associated with this are:
● Shoppers can make a purchase online and collect from the store, buy in-store, and get home delivery or order products from another store as well.
● Mobile point of sale lets the sales associates finish the purchasing process anywhere in-store to reduce checkout queues.
● Nike’s stores are connected with the Nike+ application, therefore buyers can scan barcodes on products to buy. Self-checkouts allow them to complete the payment process with the payment method saved in their account.
● Membership ids are connected over Nike’s websites, shopping apps, activity apps, and stores, giving personalized content and offers.
Nike invested 30% of its revenue in digital business which was approximately three years ahead of the schedule, increasing 82% in the three months to August 31, 2020, and nearly $900 million of incremental revenue-generating compared to the previous year.
All of the features focusing to enhance customer engagement and eliminating frustrating experiences to meet customer expectations. Despite the COVID-19 era, we could not predict what the future holds for the retail industry but one thing for sure that retailers must continually adapt and find innovative solutions for both in-store and online to satisfy their customers.
Want to Go for Unified Commerce?
Maybe you want to provide features like buy online and collect in-store or order “out-of-stock” products available for your customer convenience? Then you are exploring the right content to reach your goal. We have expertise in retail and eCommerce solutions to provide integrations in all your retail platforms.