Unified Commerce: The Evolution of Omnichannel – Customer

Tracking the consumer path to conversion can be difficult – as people move across multiple online and offline channels, purchasing goods and services in a way that suits them.

The omnichannel approach, while well established and adept at delivering products across multiple channels, can sometimes fall short for companies. It does not meet the logistically complex requirements of the modern world.

Unified Commerce (UC) is the next step in the evolutionary chain – bringing absolute convenience to consumers and greater understanding to merchants. It offers more than an omnichannel approach in the eyes of both the company and the customer.

Successful traders focus on long-term goals – this requires business strategies that can achieve those goals. The pandemic forced companies to make spontaneous, reactive decisions. These didn’t necessarily offer long-term business value.

UC puts the customer experience (CX) at the heart of operations — but the strategy is still in its infancy. JCB examines the most effective ways to develop UC-centric commercial offerings – and why they’re beneficial.

changing of the guard

Vulnerabilities have come to light with an omnichannel approach – so long a one-stop shop for retailers.

This strategy does not offer cross-channel integration, nor does it store transactional and inventory data in a single place. These operational gaps mean developing a smooth CX is impossible. This can affect merchants’ profitability.

Merchants traditionally offer e-commerce offers – the problem is that these stand out from the brick-and-mortar shops. Increasing channels are hampering merchants’ ability to maintain an accurate view of the company’s core pillars:

  • consumer behavior
  • inventory management
  • consumer behavior

This pressure hurts CX – and hurts brands’ long-term value perception. Traders need to focus on channel targeting. Projections predict that the global e-commerce market value will grow to $6,169 trillion by 2023 — and account for more than 22% of total retail sales.

Adopting a centralized platform that connects consumer-facing channels with back-end systems is the way to go. However, transitioning from an omnichannel approach requires trust.

Customers need to be reassured that their personal data is protected – and that the data will remain anonymous unless permission is given. JCB’s J/Secure™2.0 – an authentication system – can help merchants easily achieve consolidation across all transaction points.

UC – The way of the future

UC can seem daunting – some traders are not sure where to start.

Developing a detailed understanding of the principles that underpin this proposal is crucial. The winners will be those who create a sustainable competitive advantage that comes from smooth CX.

There are several benefits that come from a UC-focused strategy:

Improved return system

The productivity of the employees drops drastically – with a simultaneous focus on the processing of returns. The average response rate in e-commerce is 30% – and the trend is rising. Post-Christmas yields in the UK are up 24% yoy. Using e-receipts and aggregating information across all purchasing channels can help ensure returns are processed quickly.

Effective supply distribution

Traders using historical inventory data from a single platform can identify inventory patterns. This ensures a more efficient distribution of the products. It also reduces waste and improves profitability.

Greater consumer understanding

UC enables merchants to develop a comprehensive understanding of customer characteristics and behavior. The average online shopping cart abandonment rate is 70% – merchants can use this strategy to reduce friction and barriers that prevent conversions. This also facilitates improvements to CX.

Updated fraud protection

Consumers are increasingly concerned about how their personal information is being stored and used. Merchants are similarly concerned about becoming the target of fraudulent transactions. Global losses caused by payment fraud are expected to reach $40.62 billion by 2027. The consolidation of systems enables a smooth introduction of improved security solutions.

The plan comes together

The impact of the pandemic remains widespread – businesses continue to respond to immediate challenges rather than looking to the future. UC provides retailers with the building blocks for sustained success. Collecting data – provided by satisfied customers – is the key to the future.

Using UC within payment solutions can enrich data exchanges across the payments ecosystem – allowing everyone to reap the rewards of the next step in the payments evolution process.

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