Unified Commerce Platform: Common Goal, Uncommon Reality

Retail TouchPoints – While retailers are embracing the concept of unified commerce, with three out of four planning to have a single commerce platform within three years, the majority of organizations have yet to fully commit to this technology in 2016.

Only 23% of North American retailers have implemented a unified commerce platform, according to Boston Retail Partners (BRP).

A unified commerce platform generally consists of these elements:

  • Centralized inventory management;
  • Order management;
  • Integrated CRM capabilities;
  • Real-time data reporting and analysis; and
  • Predictive analytics.

As many as 90% of retailers plan to include the first three elements as part of their unified commerce platform, illustrating that they are aware of the tools necessary to optimize the customer journey.

“The customer journey can be simple or complex and can be different for each customer and each individual purchase,” said Brian Brunk, a Principal at Boston Retail Partners. “It’s not important that we have specific labels for these scenarios such as webrooming or showrooming, but simply that we understand that the customer journey is one that is very dynamic. As retailers we have the opportunity to optimize and enhance this experience to drive increased customer loyalty. This is why ‘start anywhere, end anywhere’ cross-channel capabilities are so important, like enabling a unified or shared shopping cart across channels.”

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