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.”
Multi-channel, cross-channel and omni-channel retailing
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.
3 cornerstones of a unified commerce strategy
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.
1- A single platform
A unified commerce platform is based on both a solid back office and a unified framework that manages both product and customer data.
2- A Rehumanised shopping experience
Unifying data concerning the customer enables retailers to offer a more personalised experience instore.
3- No more silos
Organisations need to rethink their IT infrastructure to make it possible for different departments to work together.
CX: the new competitive advantage
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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