Retailers Shift Priorities, Implement Key Technologies to Deliver "Unified Commerce"

11 Jul 2014

Retailers Shift Priorities, Implement Key Technologies To Deliver “Unified Commerce”

Boston Retail Partners just released their 1st Annual CRM/Unified Commerce Benchmark Survey that brings to the forefront a marked focus on CRM priorities that is helping retailers deliver “Unified Commerce.”

So, right about now you’re probably scratching your head, thinking what in the world is “Unified Commerce”? Well, basically it’s the next step in the evolutionary chain of next gen commerce. First we had “multi-channel” (voice, web and email), then there was “omni-channel” (adding social and mobile to the mix) and, now, as retailers prepare to create a more holistic, “unified” shopping experience, many are focusing on key CRM technologies to gain a better view of customer, product, pricing and inventory – all in real time! Enter Unified Commerce.

Here are some notable indicators that highlight this trend:

  • 95% of the respondents indicated customer experience/ customer engagement is one of their top three current initiatives;
  • 3% have the ability to identify the customer when he/she walks in the store, and another 72% plan to implement this within five years;
  • 16% currently have real-time retail from POS (which offers the “Amazon” experience in the store) and another 63% plan to implement within five years;
  • 28% currently use mobile marketing and another 62% plan to implement this within five years (56% plan to implement mobile marketing within two years);
  • 81% have implemented some type of customer database, typically as part of a CRM or loyalty platform; and
  • 22% of retailers have implemented real-time analytics and 61% plan to implement it within two years.

As you can see from the survey data, there are multiple marketing initiatives in play that are essential to executing the right mix of strategy, technology and business processes. However, the challenge for retailers will be to improve the unification of Marketing and IT in order to implement a successful “unified commerce” strategy. As a matter of fact, many of the customers we work with have already developed a senior-level role responsible for working with IT to develop a marketing technology strategy. This is helping businesses evaluate and implement the necessary technology to deliver a seamless shopping experience in real time.

So, we want to know: is your business working on delivering “Unified Commerce”? Join our LinkedIn group to share your ideas or chat with other industry experts about what it takes to be a Level 10 in the retail IT industry! We’re always online, so if you’d rather just stay up-to-date on the latest developments in retail/hospitality technology, you can always connect with us on Facebook.