Retailers have ambitious plans to move toward the goal of “unified commerce.” While only 22% of retailers currently have a unified commerce platform in place, 73% plan to have a unified commerce platform implemented by the end of 2019, with order management capabilities at the center, according to a survey report from Boston Retail Partners (BRP).
Additionally, 56% indicate that creating a consistent brand experience across channels is a top digital priority. Given the tremendous growth of e-Commerce and mobile retailing, it may not be enough to simply optimize these channels; retailers must ensure that the offerings on every channel reflect the brand value.
The BRP report, titled: 2016 Digital Commerce Survey, emphasizes three digital commerce phrases that drive retailer’s priorities: personal, ubiquitous and unified. In implementing a platform that takes on all three priorities, the retailer gains a single consolidation point for all transactions, inventory management, pricing, order management, CRM and call center interactions.
With newer research and purchasing channels in play, retailers have to meet the consumer’s every demand. While 50% of retailers said they will offer “start anywhere, finish anywhere” capabilities within five years, 75% say they will host a single shared cart across channels within three years. It won’t be a moment too soon, since consumers have a strong desire to be able to start, stop and re-start their shopping journeys at their own convenience.
Shaping the customer’s experience to his or her individual preferences has been a buzzword in retail for several years, but surprisingly, only 40% of retailers have indicated that personalization initiatives are a top digital priority.
When it comes to providing personalization, 50% revealed they will have customer identifying technology within the store in two years. Of the retailers surveyed that did have such in-store identification technology, none said it was “working well,” so it’s clear there are plenty of improvements to be made on this front.
What’s one method that might solve this problem for retailers? Geolocation technology. As many as 58% of retailers plan to utilize geolocation within two years, with brands aiming to understand where the customer is, and to provide messaging based on customer insight that they can gather.