Unified commerce: the superpower to drive innovation - The Entrepreneurial Way with A.I.


Monday, October 18, 2021

Unified commerce: the superpower to drive innovation


As superheroes continue to wow us with their skill, fortitude and ingenuity to protect and defend, it makes us think about the superpower click-to-brick retailers need to call on to protect their hard-won, valuable market share from competitors and the crosshairs of COVID: Unified Commerce.

What Unified Commerce is and What it's Not

Unified commerce brings all of a company's customer encounters under a single technology umbrella that consolidates the consumer experience and integrates it with operational activities. This single platform optimizes every consumer interaction with data-inspired insights about in-store and online browsing and buying, web and social messaging and commerce, CRM, point-of-sale, personalization, fulfillment, inventory, supply chain and more. 

40% of consumers purchase more from retailers that provide a personalized shopping experience across channels. Improving the shopper experience will have a direct impact on your bottom line (Source: RetailNext).

Perhaps the greatest advantage generated by unified commerce's seamless, consistent shopping experience across multiple marketing, communication, and commerce interactions is a satisfying, frictionless customer journey that seals gaps through which likely buyers are often lost. Unified commerce ensures every marketing message, every product image, and every engagement with a brand delivers a compelling result that continues to strengthen the customer/brand bond.

According to a recent survey from SmarterHQ, 72% of consumers say they now only engage with marketing messages that are personalized and tailored to their interests.

Unified commerce is often mistakenly interchanged with omnichannel engagement. Omnichannel enables companies to interact with customers across a variety of media and marketplaces, largely through a set of diverse components bolted on to legacy systems or daisy-chained to existing workflow. These disjointed systems generate disjointed shopping journeys and customer relationships because customer and basket data remain isolated within siloed applications. Furthermore, these incongruent applications require too much manual intervention and are costly to attempt to extend, dramatically restricting digital speed and innovation.

Why Unified Commerce Matters

Consumers today are spoiled with on-demand accommodations and options (think streaming media, Grubhub, Uber). Buyers want consistent and relevant treatment every time they engage with a company's product, store, or e-commerce site. They may compare products using their mobile phone during their lunch break, place their preferred item in an online shopping cart using their office desktop, pay for it, and schedule an in-store pickup on their personal laptop when they get home.

Mitigating customer loss requires consolidating your platform interfaces and interactions required to progress transactions from discovery to fulfillment. That is precisely why unified commerce is the consummate superpower wielded by successful retailers. 

A McKinsey & Co. survey confirmed this momentum, with nearly 60% of US consumers who used BOPIS in 2020 saying they will continue to do so after the COVID-19 pandemic subsides.

Start Building Unified Commerce Muscle

Look for a unified commerce platform with an infinitely scalable cloud-native, API-first infrastructure that powers a single omnicommerce transaction engine. By connecting all engagement and data, the platform conveys essential information for strategic and operational decision-making without the need for IT. Some examples are: 

  • Better Data Usage - Collecting and analyzing data that reflect consumer buying patterns, online and in-store site visits, browsing preferences, demographics, purchase triggers and schedules, and more.
  • Effective Personalization - Granular segmentation at every touch point to ensure consummated engagement with the 78 percent of consumers who wholly ignore marketing messages that are not personalized and tailored to their interests.
  • Programmatic Efficiency - Robotic process automation of routine and repetitive tasks, eliminating errors and optimizing inventory control, fulfillment, customer service, and marketing campaigns.
  • Optimal Marketing Mix – The unified basket contains valuable in-the-moment, consumer-centric data that inform brands about where, when, why, and how each person shops—critical information for optimizing marketing spend in the right channels, with the right messages and offers, at the right times.

Look for a headless unified commerce platform that supports fast-track development and delivery of experiences at every point of engagement including in-store, curbside, delivery, online and more. Ensure the architecture is fully microservice-based to allow ready access to the hundreds of commerce actions (search, add product, add to basket, calculations, promotions, taxes, checkout, substitutions, payment, etc.) that will create a unique and engaging experience. Leverage this design to rapidly create brand-relevant commerce transactions that deliver immediate value to your shoppers. 

With business objectives and customer experience outcomes as guides, retailers can begin their transformation journey by executing the most impactful use case, proving value, and immediately iterating from there. This methodical approach minimizes risk and accelerates transformation without sacrificing your investment in legacy systems. 

Having evolved from revolutionary to requisite for winning customer loyalty and sustaining competitive advantage, retailers who are already building their unified commerce superpower are ahead of the pack. They are liberating data from silos to drive efficiencies across channels, markets, and engagements. They have a single, accurate, up-to-the-second picture of their engagements informing and mobilizing strategies that deliver ROI. Take a OneView Test Drive today.


via https://www.aiupnow.com

, Khareem Sudlow