Working Towards Unified Commerce in 2020

No matter the industry or market, digital commerce is disrupting and creating new expectations from customers. Brands must look to place the customer experience as their first priority moving forward, and in order to do so means leveraging a unified commerce approach. This goes beyond having a robust omni-channel strategy, but takes it one step further by breaking down the walls of different channels and looking directly at the entire customer experience as a continual holistic offering. What does that mean, to break down the channel walls? 

Consider your business broken into six pillars, making up your commerce framework:

Business, Operations, User Experience, Merchandising, Marketing, and Technology 

Imagine all six of these pillars of your commerce framework operating with transparency, ridding of any internal silos and working on a single commerce platform with a single source of data. Beyond the integration of multiple channels, but with a true focus on the whole customer journey, regardless of channel. This holistic commerce allows you to continuously innovate and optimize, surpassing competition- this is a truly unified commerce.

Boston Retail Partners identifies cloud-based unified commerce — the use of a single platform to support commerce for stores, mobile and the web — as the linchpin to competing in a fast-changing, omni-channel environment. BRP estimates by the end of 2020, 81% of retail will have already deployed unified commerce.

Working towards unified commerce addresses all aspects of your company’s ability to manage online and offline channels. In 2020, it means being able to create new, engaging experiences for potential buyers that respond rapidly to market or social trends and using that as a baseline for campaigns and interactions. This type of unified commerce requires a single source of data to connect the entire business together- marketing, sales, customer service, shipping, etc. Taking it a step further, once aligned it will enable you to create improved personalized interactions with your buyers like expedited delivery or loyalty rewards. At the end of the day, the goal of unified commerce is to make sure every experience is consistently convenient and delivered on point for that particular buyer, so it doesn’t simply end at a single page view or purchase. 

Over the next decade they way buyers prefer to do business and make purchases will evolve, we don't doubt that. At Echidna, we believe the change happening in modern commerce can be seen as a catalyst for brands, retailers and merchants to take advantage of with the right methodology and business components in place. Brands that study and stay ahead of emerging trends will see success and growth, others that lack in preparations will see the effects. Choosing the right commerce platform will provide a solid foundation for a business’ overall customer experience and backend business operations, all while offering scalability & performance to continuously innovate. This is a key piece to being able to work towards unified commerce. And while the way to practice and evolve your commerce practices and business pillars will change, you will want to have a solid foundation and technology platform in place to allow you to scale. Echidna’s team of experts works with our clients to help them achieve internal alignment and define their unified commerce strategies - starting with a sound commerce foundation. 

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