In the modern business arena, companies grapple with dual challenges: optimizing back-end systems and enhancing customer interactions. As digital channels gain traction for transactions and engagement, while in-store experiences persist, the call for unified commerce is clear. However, technology integration remains a major hurdle.
For the second year running, 75% of retailers see technology integration as a primary impediment, up from 61% last year.2023 Retail Technology Report
Addressing this entails strategic partnerships with established unified commerce tech vendors. Additionally, contemporary commerce technology providers can trim in-house IT costs. Yet, stakeholders must grasp the technology’s potential in breaking silos, entering new markets, and spotting business openings.
Unlocking Value Through Unified Commerce
Unified commerce offers multi-faceted advantages, creating modernized customer journeys with hyper-personalized experiences and bolstered sales through insightful marketing management— understanding what is being sold and where, and knowing customers better leads to increased sales.
For example, the unified commerce technologies can direct customers to the right store location by combining back-end system information, such as real-time inventory with online purchases and requests. This approach also streamlines operations, optimally directing customers using real-time data, and provides leaders with a comprehensive, single-source view for effective decision-making.
Fueling Billion-Dollar Growth
The Global Unified Commerce Market, currently valued at $12.4 billion, is poised to ascend to $23.47 billion by 2030.Virtue Market Research
This enables companies to adeptly adopt digital trends like contactless payments, curbside pickup, and omnichannel shopping.
Internal units leverage built-in AI and machine learning in unified commerce to optimize inventory, foresee demand, spot supply chain disruptions, and ensure seamless product availability.
Deciphering the bedrock of these technologies necessitates scrutiny of three pivotal pillars: the apt platform, data, and analytics, all pivotal for executing a triumphant unified commerce strategy.
Optimal Platform, Data, and Analytics Synergy For Success
Selecting the appropriate unified commerce platform demands strategic introspection. Considerations span business objectives, scalability, pressing challenges, and performance enhancement. Notable players in the unified commerce vendor market, like Oracle, Google, Amazon, and Microsoft, offer varied options; aligning their tools with specific business needs is paramount.
Nonetheless, the platform serves as a conduit, not the destination. Unveiling the crux of unified commerce hinges on data transformation into actionable value. Replacing disparate data sources with a central system capable of intelligently converting raw data to potent business insights is pivotal.
Proficiency in business analytics, once attained, catalyzes customer loyalty, brand recognition, workforce efficiency, sales, and beyond. Unified commerce platforms double as innovation frontiers, utilizing AI and machine learning (ML) for task automation—customer service, sales support—via virtual assistants and AI chatbots. This automation liberates valuable human resources for more impactful pursuits.
Essential Traits for Unified Commerce Platforms
Leveraging unified commerce technologies, retailers achieve a comprehensive strategy spanning offices, logistics, mobile and web apps, and physical stores. This integration empowers both customers and the organization.
Vital features for unified commerce platforms encompass:
- Flexibility and Scalability: Platforms must align with business goals, scaling cost-efficiently as needed.
- Real-time Inventory Visibility: Essential features provide real-time inventory tracking, mitigating downtime and stockouts.
- Order Tracking: Seamless order tracking reassures customers and internal teams.
- Customer Self-Service: Trending customer-centric features, like order tracking and returns, facilitate self-service.
- Fraud Prevention: Given diverse digital channels, AI-driven fraud prevention is pivotal.
- Security, Privacy, and Compliance: As digital presence expands, robust security and compliance tools become vital.
Unified commerce platforms synthesize these attributes, fostering holistic customer engagement and organizational growth.
Charting Uncharted Territories: Expanding into New Markets and Seizing Opportunities
Unified commerce implementation facilitates market expansion and agile capitalization on novel prospects, thereby embracing innovation. Automation’s cost reduction and time liberation, accompanied by comprehensive decision-maker insights, serve as the foundation for strategic market penetration and product diversification.
Adeptly understanding customer preferences and operational enhancements confers a competitive edge when venturing into new markets. Unified commerce’s cost efficiencies can translate into customer benefits, heightening attraction.
Enhanced data and analytics usher in the future, steering companies towards sustainability, fortified governance, trust, and enhanced social impact. Given the compelling ROI of initiating unified commerce transformation, neglecting modernization implies foregone opportunities.