March 30, 2023
Many retailers, especially small and mid-size businesses, have a hard time competing with giants like Amazon. However, one of the most powerful ways to distinguish themselves is through personalization and unified commerce experiences. A unified commerce experience is very important to each customer since they expect to have personal engagement and be rewarded for their loyalty. The ability to see products across different channels with a frictionless experience is at the top of their list.
The main components of unified commerce
A unified commerce experience consists of four central pillars: channels, systems, products, and interactions. Below, we’ll dig a little deeper into each of these components and list tips for achieving a unified commerce experience for your brand.
1. Address organizational issues
Among the biggest obstacles to achieving a unified commerce experience are issues with the internal organization. A lot of brands treat their eCommerce and in-store channels as separate entities, which causes a lot of disparity.
Your brand should review its current policies and processes. Are they outdated? How can traditional processes be transformed and enhanced? Is there a holistic marketing approach? These are just some of the questions to start with when addressing organizational issues.
2. Review your current technology stack
Don’t start investing in new platforms immediately without first assessing the makeup of your current technology stack and its impact on other business areas. Adding point solutions creates long-term challenges to the feasibility and complexity of achieving unified systems.
3. Assess your current customer experience journey
Before implementing a fully unified customer experience journey, assess its current strengths and weaknesses. Delivering a positive retail experience for your customers is no easy task. That’s why it’s very important to be intentional about your customer experience journey.
Your brand should establish a customer-centric approach. Always start with the question: “What would the perfect experience look like for my customers?” Once that is determined, strive to intentionally deliver that experience on an ongoing basis.
4. Interact with customers (and your departments, too)
Customers will interact with your brand both offline and online. If you only have a single-channel view of your customers, predicting their behaviour is very difficult.
All interactions with your brand should be recorded so all channels provide a single point of access. To achieve a fully unified commerce experience, your brand should interact with your customers using every direct and indirect touchpoint.
Great interaction between all of the relevant departments within your organization is also necessary if you want to create a fully customer-centric approach.
5. Collect and analyze data
A key step to achieving a truly unified commerce experience is data unification. Data analytics will be your best friend when deciding on a plan for a unified commerce experience. Unified data can help you predict and plan all aspects of the commerce business, from supply chain to marketing. It will also provide better visibility across all segments of your business.
Some tools already have unification as a central feature, while others don’t really address this need in a sufficient manner. Business intelligence software helps retailers understand the buying habits of their customers by analyzing large volumes of data. Customer analytics is especially important for small and mid-size businesses.
6. Have a point-of-sale (POS) system
Many small retailers don’t even have a POS system, which makes tracking retail processes a very tedious and complex task. Most of these businesses are missing out on the opportunity to grow their business and increase revenue.
A point-of-sale (POS) system is necessary for achieving a unified commerce experience. Great POS systems offer four crucial features: a sales reporting and analytics dashboard, customer management, inventory management, and eCommerce support.
If you have a retail or commerce business that wants to achieve a unified experience, we can help you define, deliver, and execute a strategic roadmap for success. We invite you to reach us directly for a no-obligation consultation to help you achieve your goals!