Today’s customer journey occurs across multiple channels requiring retailers to provide a seamless personalized experience. This brings us to our third pillar of the Boston Retail Partners 2019 POS/Customer Engagement Survey, seamless customer experience.
Consumers are constantly shopping, researching, and purchasing via their mobile devices, online, or in-stores. The ability to create a shopping cart that is easily accessible wherever and whenever consumers choose helps to provide consistency. 56% of consumers in the BRP Consumer Study indicated that they were likely to shop at a retailer that allowed them to have a shared cart across channels. Today, it’s natural for the consumer to crisscross channels: shop and review products online and then purchase in-store or shop in-store and then purchase online. Unified technology allows the shopping journey to be seamless for both the retailer and consumer.
What is Unified Commerce? BRP states, “Unified Commerce is a single, centralized commerce platform, and technology integration that allows real-time access to information across the ecosystem.” Retailers are increasingly turning to Unified Commerce Solutions in order to deliver a consistent shopping experience across channels. 75% of consumers indicate a strong preference for shopping at retailers that offer consistent pricing, promotions, and product assortment across all channels. Unified Commerce enables retailers to identify their customers and analyze data across all channels instantaneously.
In order to enable a Unified Commerce Platform, retailers are moving towards a cloud-based service. The cloud enables retailers to significantly reduce infrastructure, improve security, and increase operational efficiencies by centralizing management of all data and processes. Today there are network technologies that are robust, fast, reliable, and resilient, which is significant in supporting a cloud-based platform across multiple channels. The “always connected” customer adds pressure for retailers to ensure they can provide a secure, high-speed network to support this shopping environment. Continuing to invest in technologies and sophisticated networks that can keep up with the ever-changing shopping experience is key for retailers to gain a competitive advantage.
Industry-focused technology partners are critical to creating the required seamless experience. STORIS’ Unified Commerce solution is developed to help home furnishings retailers maximize their revenue potential across channels. It consists of STORIS’ Point of Sale, eCommerce, Mobile POS, Kiosk, and Customer Experience Management (CXM) platforms that are connected through the STORIS shopping cart. All data, including customer and product information, sales orders, inventory, and pricing, is updated in real-time. STORIS’ cloud-based solution is highly configurable and scalable to deliver enterprise-class features and dependent functionality.
The importance of updating data in real-time and easily accessing product and customer information across channels continues to grow exponentially as shopping behavior shifts. 94% of retailers indicate they have or plan to implement a Unified Commerce platform within the next 3 years. Offering customers the ability to shop anywhere, anytime is key to meet customer demands. A unified experience has become the new model in the retail environment and is necessary to succeed in the home furnishings industry.