Steps Towards Unified Commerce

On 3rd August Adyen will host a webinar showing how unified commerce is the future of retail, outlining the steps you can take to build the ultimate cross-channel experience for shoppers – including Endless Aisles. To register for Adyen’s webinar The Future of Retail: Get ready for ‘anytime, anywhere’ shoppers – click here.

Retail is undergoing a significant transformation. The transition from in-store to e-commerce is expected to top US$27 trillion in 2020, according to research from eMarketer. But, it would be premature to announce the obsolescence of bricks-and-mortar retail. Indeed, a glimpse at the activity of initial pureplay companies tells a different story. We are increasingly seeing e-commerce businesses such as Amazon, high-end electronics retailer Sonos, and men’s fashion retailer Bonobos opening physical stores – to great success.

So, what’s really going on?

These online-first businesses realise that the physical store still plays a crucial role in the buyer journey. It enables businesses to establish a strong emotional connection with their shoppers by giving them a full sensory experience – something impossible for now. And with no legacy systems or procedures tying them down, these retailers can start from scratch, building the in-store experience around the expectations of the modern customer.

And the final result? Frictionless, channel-agnostic commerce – redefining the shopping experience.

Unified Commerce is within reach

All the above looks great on paper – but for many businesses the journey to unified commerce can feel like a gargantuan task. You’re faced with consolidating fulfilment; integrating in-store POS systems to online platforms for CRM, order management, and stock management; and internally uniting in store and e-commerce teams, who may be meeting for the first time.

Among all of this complexity, payments can seem like a small issue. But in fact, it holds the key to a wealth of unified commerce benefits. By centralising your payments into a single system, you have access to data-rich shopper insights, which is gold for your business.

Weekly reports from your payment provider can keep you informed about the international reach of your online and in-store shoppers: How many from Europe, how many from Asia, etc. And this is just the beginning. You can also leverage unified commerce data to build a unique identifier for each shopper, both in-store and online, tracking user behaviour in both channels.

The good news is that consolidating your cross-channel payments can be pretty straightforward. And of course, unified commerce payments make it easier to support unified commerce shopper journeys, which benefit both your customers and you:

Collect in-store

Letting your customer buy online and collect in store is not only more convenient for them, but has the great side-effect of some shoppers –close to 70% during last year’s holiday season buying more when in store, according to a report by CBNC.

Endless aisles 

Eliminate out-of-stock issues by serving up your entire inventory to customers via in-store kiosks or tablets, known as endless aisles. They can then pay for the item with an in-store/online transaction, which reduces the chances of losing a sale, while also creating greater opportunities for upselling.

In-app/in store purchase

This is one of the best illustrations of a modern shopper journey. While on the move, a customer browses items in-app, adding something to their basket. Later, as they walk through a shopping area, the store recognises they are nearby, notifying them that the item is in stock. The shopper then collects the item in-store, paying in-app, while the basket value is transferred to the POS system.

Product personalisation

In many cases the personalisation of an item (like the engraving a watch) is reserved for online orders. With unified e-commerce payments however, your shopper can buy an item in-store, and order another item to be personalised in a single in-store transaction.

With unified commerce payments enabled, the business can remove friction from the buying process, letting the customer browse, buy and collect as it suits them. All payments occur in the background, feeding into a single system, so you can track performance and drive optimisation at both a strategic and granular level.

Although a full unified commerce operation might still be some way off for your business, with the right payments technology partner, you can start reaping the benefits of unified commerce right now.

To register for Adyen’s webinar The Future of Retail: Get ready for ‘anytime, anywhere’ shoppers click here.

This article is the second in a series of three that identifies how retailers can prepare for the future of retail. The first article addresses the 5 Reasons Retailers Need Unified Commerce.


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