What is unified commerce?
Completely unified commerce works on the basis of a single platform. Unified commerce has therefore become increasingly important in recent years and will become the leading way of doing business in the future. Unified commerce allows you to manage your business from a centralised platform—an ecosystem, as it were. This increases recognisability for customers, simplifies stock management and also allows business owners to collect more and (above all) more relevant data.
From omnichannel to unified commerce
So what exactly is the difference between omnichannel and unified commerce, you might be wondering? And rightly so, because it sometimes seems that business trends emerge even more quickly than fashion trends. Unified commerce has been on the rise for several years now. Omnichannel focused on holistic thinking around touchpoints with customers. Connecting all the business elements and touchpoints via an external system made it possible to create unambiguous communication, greater recognisability and a better shopping experience. However, it remained an approach in which separate elements were connected by means of manual interventions. Some sections still functioned as standalone silos as a result, leading to miscommunication and potentially a negative experience for customers and employees alike.
Unified commerce solves this problem, as all the commerce and communication takes place on a single centralised platform. Manual interventions in the (intermediate) processes are no longer required, eliminating the possibility of human errors and varying interpretations. With unified commerce, all business elements, from stock management and personnel to sales channels, are completely integrated. By definition, this delivers a more positive customer experience and a stable process that employees can count on.
As everything starts from a single point, you can avoid stock issues and other forms of miscommunication. Take the example of someone who is looking at an item on a smartphone and can see that it is available in the store around the corner, but when they get there it is no longer in stock—a frustrating experience that can drive customers away from your business. Unified commerce eliminates this possibility. All the information is kept perfectly up to date in real time and works on the basis of a single centralised system. Even ‘out of stock’ will increasingly become a thing of the past. Everything is connected, so customers can order a different size, colour or model at any time, regardless of their current touchpoint with your business. Omnichannel introduced this principle and unified commerce is now streamlining it into a flawless process.
Better data collection leads to outstanding personalisation
The fact that you are operating from a single platform also allows you to gather all your customer data in just one place. Information can be collected at each touchpoint, and all these points are interconnected. This kind of integrated ecosystem gives you priceless insights into your customers, with knowledge that lets you personalise and give customers a fantastic experience. Personalisation is an important trend, especially when it comes to commercial offers tailored to your consumers. In fact, it is now becoming even more than a trend: it is a necessity. Personalisation is a tried and tested way to grow your business and enhance customer loyalty.
The ability to capture this rich data is one of the biggest benefits of unified commerce. After all, these insights allow companies to profile themselves in line with the requirements of their consumers and prospects within the same target group.
Keen to find out more about unified commerce and how it can help your business to prosper? Don’t miss our article on all the benefits of unified commerce.