Unified commerce faces a dilemma that can only be resolved through omnichannel.
This is because there are those who still prefer to go directly to physical establishments to see in more detail what they are going to buy. While others are inclined to consult social networks or web pages of different brands, complete a transaction from a mobile device and pick up their products in store or receive them in the comfort of their home.
Although there are many options, these changes have caused many companies and marketers to consider omnichannel among their priorities, a strategy that seeks to take advantage of and integrate all possible sales and interaction channels, including social networks, internet platforms or lines phone lines of a company, to capture as much information from its customers and to be able to offer them better attention, much more personalized and effective.
Digital amplitude in supermarket aisles
Imagine for a moment a father of two children who makes his weekly trip to the supermarket. As you push your cart, you open the store app. Your shopping list is synchronized, organized in groups according to the layout of the store: fresh produce, bakery, groceries, etc.
The app shows the prices not only of the items on the list, but also of the own brand. In addition, you can automatically access any coupons, as well as any rewards associated with the store’s loyalty program.
In short, today it is possible to unite contact channels with software systems and all customer information on a single platform to have a single, comprehensive view of all retail operations and consumer profiles in real time.
According to Accenture’s “On the Verge, B2B Digital Commerce is at an Inflection Point” study, 69% of customers across all industries are demanding omnichannel and multichannel services. Additionally, multi-channel customers are typically 15% more profitable than digital-only customers and 25% more profitable than those with in-person experiences only.
“Today, consumers do not differentiate between channels: they jump between the app, the web and the physical store, which makes the physical and digital worlds merge. Having the ability to provide customers with connected and personalized shopping experiences both online and in stores represents a great business opportunity for companies”, says Alejandro Vázquez, regional vice president at Salesforce.
How to consolidate a unified commerce strategy?
Basically two main elements are required. One of them is to follow a four-phase process in which organizations (regardless of their size or line of business) go from having a single channel, to working under a unified commerce, in which the strategic areas interact and collaborate with each other to offer more personalized customer experiences.
According to Alejandro Vázquez, the first step is for companies to expand their number of channels and not be left with a single point of communication.
“It is investing in technology and betting on omnichannel so that the user has many more contact, purchase and service alternatives. Once this strategy is consolidated, it will be much easier for them to move towards unified commerce and be able to consolidate all their internal systems to have complete customer profiles and improve their experiences,” he adds.
The second element, according to Vázquez, is to adopt a robust e-commerce solution that allows the integration of a wide range of software solutions within the same platform. In other words, a tool focused on improving the experience of consumers and that in turn offers complete profiles that foster more insightful sales initiatives, specific attention and anticipation of any type of need.
The Salesforce Proposal
One of the solutions on the market is Salesforce’s Commerce Cloud, a cloud-based e-commerce platform (B2B and B2C) that offers intelligent shopping experiences through different channels.
This technology has helped multinational companies of various sizes and industries to improve the visibility they have of their operating systems, servers, devices, licenses and applications, in order to unite the entire commercial experience, from knowledge to purchase.
Specifically for distributors and retailers, this technology enables them to capture first-hand data to better understand their customer base, connect their marketing, sales and service processes, and in turn identify new revenue opportunities.
In this regard, Vázquez concludes the following: “Unified commerce takes omnichannel one step further to bring all that information together with the full integration of all software systems and databases on a single platform, not only to improve the experience of consumers, but also for companies to develop more effective sales strategies.