How Unified Commerce Creates šŸ›’ Seamless Customer Experiences and Drives Loyalty

Cultivating customer loyalty is more challenging than ever, particularly following the rapid growth of third-party marketplaces. Today's online customers are happy to shop around for the best deals and value effortless cross-channel shopping experiences.

According to Zendesk , over 50% of online customers will shop elsewhere if they are unsatisfied with their experience. Curating a seamless customer experience is top of mind for every eCommerce business and omnichannel retailing has evolved over the years to provide solutions to this challenge. However, the current market requires businesses to handle even more complexity. This is where unified commerce comes in.

Unified commerce is the next step in your omnichannel strategy

Unified commerce and omnichannel are closely linked but not quite the same. While omnichannel focuses on streamlining customer experiences across different channels, unified commerce takes this one step further and aims to integrate all of those channels into one cohesive system.

Streamlining business processes for greater visibility into data

Behind the scenes, businesses have traditionally relied heavily on manual data entry and disparate systems to manage customer, inventory and transactional data. Teams spend a significant amount of time jumping between multiple spreadsheets and systems to gather and update data, leading to inefficiencies and potential errors.

Unified commerce gives you a holistic view of your business, organising all of your data into one system and eliminating the need for manual data entry. Now, you can leverage real-time reporting and advanced analytics to make informed decisions that drive business growth. Key data points include:

  • Customer data - profiles, purchase history, reviews

  • Inventory data - stock levels, product information, sales trends (e.g. best-selling products)

  • Transactional data - payment methods, promotional effectiveness (e.g. discount code usage)

  • Operational data - channel performance, operational costs (e.g. shipping/returns costs)

  • Marketing data - campaign performance, customer segmentation, loyalty programmes

  • Behavioural data - customer journey mapping, cross-channel interactions

  • Personalisation data - product recommendations, tailored content, dynamic pricing

Whether it's uncovering customer behaviour and sales trends or diving into inventory turnover and conversion rates, the data is at your fingertips. In turn, this enhances operational efficiency and agility, supporting faster order processing and improved inventory management. Analysis by the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) suggests that retailers who don't adopt a unified commerce approach could lose up to 30% of sales.

Curating a consistent, compelling customer experience

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to delivering a seamless shopping experience. As channels diversify and shopping behaviours become more nuanced, there is a growing need for retailers to lean into personalisation. Without a unified commerce approach, delivering consistent and tailored experiences across different channels is challenging. Customers may encounter inconsistencies in branding, messaging and promotions as they move between online and offline channels, leading to a disjointed shopping experience. This is a huge risk in a world where customer experience is the top consideration for over 70% of shoppers when making a purchase decision, according to a report by PwC .

Since unified commerce collates your data in one place, leveraging customer data is far easier. You can analyse key information such as individual preferences, purchase history, potential pain points and key touch points throughout the customer journey to curate best-in-class experiences that connect and convert across various touch points. A great example of this is Gatoradeā€™s newly launched membership, Gatorade iD . Through this loyalty programme, customers can earn points through both in-store and online purchases, unlock free shipping, receive exclusive discounts, create personlised products and more. On the other hand, New Balance have leveraged unified commerce all parts of their business, helping them track inventory, manage sales and enter new, more challenging markets.

Final thoughts

Today, customer experience is more valued than ever, so having a strategy that supports this is crucial. Unified commerce integrates channels into a cohesive system, unlocking key insights and providing a 360 view of your customers. This enables you to create seamless, personalized cross-channel experiences that meet their growing expectations, driving higher conversions and loyalty. As an extension of omnichannel, unified commerce offers a flexible, scalable solution that helps you adapt quickly to complex market and consumer trends.

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