Unified Commerce is the Goal, but “Faux” Omni-channel is the Reality, According to New Boston Retail Partners Report

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85% of Retailers are Focused on Implementing a “Real” Unified Commerce Platform to Deliver a Personalized Customer Experience

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A unified commerce platform is not simply the future in-store or web platform, but combines POS, mobile, Web, call center and clienteling into one single integrated platform. It has become the new retail imperative.

According to a new special report from Boston Retail Partners (BRP), retailers recognize the need for a holistic customer experience that transcends channels, but most attempts are falling short. According to the BRP SPECIAL REPORT: Unified Commerce is the Goal, “Faux” Omni-channel is the Reality, many retailers have taken the “just get something done” approach over the last few years to attempt to deliver a cross-channel customer experience. The unfortunate result of this quick fix approach is a “faux” omni-channel model that doesn’t execute as promised and risks disappointing customers.

The industry has now reached a critical point where retailers can no longer afford to operate from within channel silos. They must transform their organization, business processes and technology to align with the demands of their customers. According to BRP’s 2016 POS/Customer Engagement Survey, 85% of the retailers surveyed realize the importance of offering a true unified commerce environment to their customers but most have not reached that goal yet. Only 18% of the retailers surveyed indicate they have implemented a unified commerce/single commerce platform, and two-thirds of those companies indicated that it “needs improvement.”

“Unified commerce goes beyond omni-channel, putting the customer experience first, breaking down the walls between internal channel silos and leveraging a single commerce platform,” said Ken Morris, principal, Boston Retail Partners. “The idea of a single, centralized, real-time platform for all customer engagement points is a key tenet of unified commerce. A unified commerce platform is not simply the future in-store or web platform, but combines POS, mobile, Web, call center and clienteling into one single integrated platform. It has become the new retail imperative.”

Unfortunately, the risk of losing customers due to a disappointing shopping experience caused by flawed omni-channel architecture is deadly – this is why retailers are focusing on “real” unified commerce in 2016.

This Special Report provides insight into BRP’s 2016 POS/Customer Engagement Survey and highlights the unified commerce objectives and challenges facing leading retailers today.

To download the complete BRP SPECIAL REPORT: Unified Commerce is the Goal, “Faux” Omni-channel is the Reality, visit: https://bostonretailpartners.com/2016-special-report-unified-commerce/

The Special Report sponsors are Manhattan Associates (platinum), Aptos (gold), Demandware (silver), Omnico (silver) and UTC Retail (silver).

About Boston Retail Partners

Boston Retail Partners (BRP) is an innovative and independent retail management consulting firm dedicated to providing superior service and enduring value to our clients. BRP combines its consultants' deep retail business knowledge and cross-functional capabilities to deliver superior design and implementation of strategy, technology, and process solutions. The firm's unique combination of industry focus, knowledge-based approach, and rapid, end-to-end solution deployment helps clients to achieve their business potential. BRP’s consulting services include:

Strategy | Business Intelligence | Business Process Optimization | Point of Sale (POS)
Mobile POS | Payment Security | E-Commerce | Store Systems and Operations | CRM
Unified Commerce | Customer Experience & Engagement | Order Management
Merchandise Management | Supply Chain | Information Technology | Private Equity

For more information on BRP, visit http://www.bostonretailpartners.com.

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David Naumann
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