The shifting sands of time have brought in so much complexity to doing business that it takes a great deal of thought, effort and an ability to constantly evolve to keep up. Consumers want choices not only in what they want but also about how and where they buy. They also want choices on how they pay for it and in the delivery of the product.
To meet these demands, businesses offer multiple channels such as brick-and-mortar stores, mobile and social platforms, marketplaces, etc. which make up the roster of multichannel retail.
However, because consumer interactions are so unique, providing a seamless experience across all relevant channels comes in, which is the domain of omnichannel retail.
Unified commerce is the seamless, integrated execution of the omnichannel strategy by using a single platform such as Primaseller to manage all of retail. This helps provide a seamless experience for the consumer by streamlining everything from inventory management to sales.
With Unified Commerce, you have a system through which you have a single view of various parts of your business.
What is Unified Commerce?
Unified commerce can be defined as the execution of a strategy that provides a flexible, consistent and seamless customer experience right from discovery and until purchase, to make the retail journey smooth and intuitive.
It runs on the basic premise of omnichannel retail- that customers expect to get what they see in the shortest possible number of steps.
For example, if they see a Facebook ad for a product that’s on sale, they expect to be led directly to the landing page of that product and see it on discount. Being out of stock at that point, or not offering them what they came looking for, will cause them to leave your website.
If omnichannel retail is the strategy, unified commerce is the execution. It enables you to converge and connect all channels through a single software platform, so you have an unhindered view of your retail business right from inventory to delivering a seamless and consistent customer experience across all channels.
The Importance of a Unified Commerce System
Businesses today place prime importance on great and consistent customer experience as the main differentiator from their competitors. Research from think tanks and industry bodies has consistently shown that shopping for something is rarely ever a rational decision. Instead, it is driven more by impulse, and impulses are driven by first impressions.
A unified commerce system
- integrates all of your systems and processes so they behave more intuitively.
- eliminates problems associated with inconsistent data from disparate and disconnected channels.
- gives you data-sharing capabilities that are accurate across all channels.
- lets you understand your customers better through their shopping behavior so you can market to them better.
- gets you more order confirmations through data analysis of customer behavior.
- helps you reduce the risk of errors.
Perhaps the greatest benefit comes from the fact that a unified commerce system integrates products and their information across all offline and online channels. This ensures that you know well in advance when a product is running out. Also, customers can browse through products more easily and place orders on any channel they are comfortable with.
A shared catalog has other benefits as well. Products that are out of stock in a store can be ordered online immediately so you never miss a sale.
Steps to Build a Successful Unified Commerce System
You can put your omnichannel retail strategy on steroids by executing it with a unified commerce system like Primaseller. It’s your turn now to provide a winning customer experience across all channels and platforms. Here are the steps to follow.
Evaluate Your Current Channels And Applications:
Figure out the various parts of your business to integrate through unified commerce. Evaluate all of your sales and awareness channels. Also, consider which of your applications already have the ability to communicate with each other.
Some applications come with powerful integrations or the ability to customize them with ease. These are the systems you should choose as you implement this strategy. This way, you ensure that your software can always expand to suit your needs.
Consider What Really Needs To Change:
Just because unified commerce is a new strategy, it may not be ideal for you to implement it. Consider your business overall and see which areas need improvement. Think about how/ how not unified commerce can help you provide a better experience and solve these problems.
In an attempt to design the best consumer experience, do not sabotage a good consumer experience.
Decide What Consistency Looks Like:
Then, determine what consistency in personalization looks like to a customer. This can range from chat support, targeted advertising based on customer behavior through to dynamic pricing strategies to sell and retain customers.
Determine How To Measure The Success Of Your Strategy:
Have clarity about what data you want to capture across each of these channels and systems. You can use this data to define, measure and track business performance and customer experience. You want data that you can deep dive into, to figure out future marketing and sales strategies.
Use A Good Unified Commerce Software:
Look at implementing a unified commerce software system that provides wide capabilities and is feature-rich when it comes to integrations.
Choose one that offers you capabilities to constantly engage and enhance the customer experience. Features that prompt suggestive selling based on browsing the history give you greater conversions. A wish list widget that integrates with your inventory management system allows you to send targeted offers and promotions. At the basis of it all is powerful inventory management that unifies your catalog into one entity.
For example, in Primaseller, you have complete visibility of all your sales channels as well as your vendors, shipping partners and more. The exhaustive reports help you make key decisions about your business, while a QuickBooks Online integration allows you to manage your financial reporting better.
Plus, offline retail is a core component of Primaseller too! The cloud-based POS system can be scaled up or down depending on what you need. And it allows you to gather crucial information about your customers so you can market to them more effectively.