With recent years spent patching together support for omni-channel transactions, retailers are now recognizing the need to invest in a true Unified Commerce platform to heighten the customer experience and realize anticipated technology benefits.
According to RCP’s recent Unified Commerce: State of the Industry for Holiday 2022 report, less than 5% of all retailers have implemented a true unified commerce platform. Impacted by store closures, limited shopper capacity, and the rise in digital commerce, retailers spent a significant portion of the pandemic years accelerating many of their “buy anywhere, fulfill anywhere” objectives. For many retailers, these solutions were quickly implemented to address immediate consumer demand, without the benefit of well thought-out and efficiently architected technology solutions.
As a result, their omni-channel experience is being delivered via multiple purchase points enabled by multiple integrated platforms, with 54% of retailers responding to RCP’s survey indicating this type of omni-channel structure. RCP Managing Partner Ryan Grogman adds that “while this may potentially and ultimately lead to a satisfied customer, it results in greater support complexity and higher maintenance costs behind the scenes.”
Early results of the 2022 Holiday shopping season confirm that retailers with investments in Unified Commerce solutions are the best positioned for long-term success.
The need for a true unified commerce platform is further exemplified when you look at RCP’s additional findings around retailer’s top Customer Engagement priorities:
- 60% indicated the need to REDUCE FRICTION BETWEEN ONLINE SALES & IN-STORE FULFILLMENT
- 56% indicated the desire to INCREASE CUSTOMER IDENTIFICATION & PERSONALIZATION IN-STORE
- 44% have prioritized ENHANCING THE CUSTOMER MOBILE EXPERIENCE to align with all shopping channels
- 32% noted that REAL-TIME RETAIL and PROVIDING GREATER FLEXIBILITY AROUND PRODUCT FULFILLMENT were a top priority
The continued shift to transactions involving more than one channel, and the continued heightening of shopper expectations for an enhanced, 360-degree customer experience are table stakes for the modern retailer, and RCP Managing Partner John Eagles indicates that “the early results of the 2022 Holiday shopping season confirm that retailers with investments in systems which can seamlessly support these types of transactions are the best positioned for long-term success.”