Strategy

How Retailers are Winning at Unified Commerce

Alexander Rodriguez
Alexander Rodriguez July 30, 2019
How Retailers are Winning at Unified Commerce

A business is like a vehicle with several moving parts, and unified commerce ensures all these parts work together to impact the customer experience. Business facets like inventory and personnel impact a customer’s shopping journey. This is important because: 

  • Customers interact with businesses through interconnected events that are non-sequential 
  • Unified commerce provokes greater visibility across all facets of the business
  • Customers expect their experience to be seamless
  • A disconnected retail experience causes prospects to take their business elsewhere

By building a comprehensive, omnichannel commerce strategy, you can easily align your systems, products, and channels to ensure you achieve stellar customer experience. 

If you haven’t already unified the facets of your business, read on to find out why you should and how you can do it.

Blending Transitions Between Business Facets

Channels, interactions, products, and systems are the four main components you need to pay attention to when coming up with a unified commerce strategy. The only way a business can achieve seamless customer experiences is if all these components are blended. Unified commerce allows you to achieve a harmonious and unified operation which meets your customers at their point of need, whether they are using offline or online channels. Some of the reasons to consider a unified strategy include the following facts:

  • Customer buying journeys have become more complex over the years 
  • Technology enables better services; customers expect exceptional shopping experiences
  • Predicting customer behavior when different channels are used in a non-sequential manner can be difficult without unification in eCommerce

Track Customer Data

That is why you need to track customer data in a unified manner so that you get all the information you need to deliver a wholesome user experience. Tracking customer data through a single-channel does not give you the whole picture and if you are using only this data, it can result in disjointed shopping experiences. Depending on the channels utilized, your data could be very different between your online store, your marketplace sales, and your brick and mortar store.

Unified digital commerce, however, gives customers a universal view of your store, both online and offline. The unified view also helps personnel to stay updated on stock availability so that they provide customers with accurate data in case of inquiries.

Providing Comprehensive Product Data on all Channels

Since all marketing efforts are usually geared towards encouraging customers to make purchases, it only makes sense to provide comprehensive product data across all channels. Updating your website with accurate product data ensures customers don’t waste their time shopping for something that’s out of stock or above their budget.

Keep Specificity In Mind

Most of the time, customers browse the internet looking for a specific product. When they click on your website, it must be because you have what they need. Updating your site with inaccurate data can be frustrating, and the customer is likely to take their business somewhere else.

This also applies to brick and mortar stores in the sense that all your staff should be armed with the right product information. Unifying the data on online and offline channels allows customers to experience a seamless transition from online to offline platforms.

In today’s age of omnichannel shopping, you need to be prepared to serve your customers, regardless of the route they choose to take. If you have a website, a brick and mortar store, and an app where customers can place orders, ensure product data on all these channels is consistent.

Personalizing Customer Experiences

The best way of personalizing customer experiences is by thinking like your shoppers. Unified commerce allows you to do just that by providing you with customer data from all channels. You need to realize that shoppers don’t think about channels when shopping for products. That is why you need to make their experience so seamless, they don’t realize when they are transitioning from one channel to another.

Furthermore, customer-brand interactions begin way before a customer gets to your store. Most online shoppers will discover your brand on social media, from recommendations from friends, and so on. When you manage all your channels from one platform, you can ensure customers enjoy an interrupted shopping experience from the minute they open your site to the time you deliver their order.

Final Thoughts

Unified commerce allows you to provide your customers with an uninterrupted shopping experience. The key component to successful and intuitive eCommerce operation begins with a website platform designed to operate accordingly. The VTEX unified commerce platform has been designed to do just that. It enables you to integrate all sales channels through a single order management system. Check out this platform overview to see how using a single pivotal aspect allows for a fully united customer experience. 

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