Flexe – It’s a fine line giving shoppers what they want. Consumer expectations for what it means to shop have changed, according to Perry Kramer, SVP and Practice Lead at BRP, retail consulting firm. Today’s expectations include in-store and online, and demands continue to evolve. On one hand, many want to be left alone when they shop—free to discover products on their own; others expect a much more personalized experience—one in which their customer profiles are easily identified and catered to.
Identifying how your customers want to be treated and then delivering on that experience means continuously improving the integration between in-store, online, and enterprise operations. For any retailer with both an online and physical store, there can no longer be any separation between the two. This is the essence of a new retail model called unified commerce—the next generation of omnichannel.
Unified commerce centers around what’s right for your customers. For some, this means providing faster delivery options by shipping more inventory from stores to fulfill online sales. Some will convert stores into virtual show rooms and ship store purchases from nearby warehouses. Others will rely on data and technology to help store associates understand personal details about their in-store shoppers.
It’s a fine line giving shoppers what they want.
The ultimate goal of unified commerce is to enable deeper engagement with consumers and a more holistic approach to the customer journey. No matter where an order starts or ends, the customer has visibility to it—it’s a fluid transaction.
That means retailers are connecting with customers long before they get to the store or website, and continuing to engage long after they leave. In some cases, the customer may never even enter the store. Sometimes the journey begins on social media and results in a digital transaction and follow through.
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