Beyond Omnichannel – why Unified Commerce is key to the future of retail

As a merchant, it's crucial to stay up-to-date with the latest trends, and one of the hottest topics right now is omnichannel vs unified commerce.

Till Payments

For merchants, one of the hottest topics right now is omnichannel vs unified commerce. The future of your business could depend on knowing the difference. And choosing wisely. Till is here to help clear things up. So let’s get to it.

In this blog you'll discover:

  • What is omnichannel?
  • What is unified commerce – and why it’s a giant step forward
  • What it means to have a single view of your customer
  • More ways unified commerce is good for business

What is omnichannel?

In essence, Omnichannel retailing means the ability to sell and accept payment across a range of channels, both online and in-store.

Sounds good in theory? Sure. But it comes with many challenges. An omnichannel approach means getting different backend systems to talk to each other. You wind up with different tools to integrate various channels – none of them working quite as well as you’d like. This makes it hard to deliver a seamless customer experience. Let alone achieve a single view of the customer.

But luckily, that’s not the end of the story.

What is unified commerce – and why it’s a giant step forward

Imagine a single platform or piece of software that connects all the different parts of your business. And makes them work together as one.

With unified commerce, your e-commerce, m-commerce, order fulfilment, inventory management, point of sale, CRM and ERP all work in sync. They talk to each other. In near real-time.

All of this makes possible a single view of your customer. With every interaction and all their order and purchase info available at every touchpoint. In near real-time.

Retailers that lack this ability will pay the price. Today’s connected customers expect the same easy, friction-free experience no matter how they transact with you. They don’t think of channels. They just shop. And pay.

You’d better make it easy for them. Or lose the sale.

78% of online shoppers who experience friction abandon their cart

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

With unified commerce, your staff can look up any customer and see their purchase history. Empowered employees with tablets can answer questions, track an order, check stock levels, or place an order instantly on the customer’s behalf. And do it right there. On the spot.

A recent unified commerce study by IHL Group/NCR found that a single view of customers can generate a 2.1 times increase in sales.

Don’t have a particular size or colour of item in store? With unified commerce, your POS system can find the right item in another warehouse or store. And dispatch it directly to your customer. According to IHL Group/NCR research, a unified order management system can drive a 15% increase in sales.

More ways unified commerce is good for business

Instant updates for customers

Customers expect first-rate, near real-time status updates on their orders. Unified commerce facilitates automated messages via email and text.

Return in store = Spend more!

Today customers expect to be able to ‘buy online and return in store’ (BORIS) – and vice versa. According to research 92% of consumers will buy again if returns are easy. In store returns often also lead to impulse purchases.

Unified commerce can also help your customers save on shipping, with ‘buy online, pick up in store’, or BOPIS, AKA ‘click and collect’.

Personalised offers

A single view of your customer makes it easy personalise offers based on purchase or browsing history. Research shows that people spend more if the shopping experience is personalised.

Operational efficiencies

With unified commerce, payments from all your channels feed into the same system. Reconciliations can happen automatically – saving huge amounts of time and effort.

Price changes, inventory movements and new product listings no longer have to be done multiple times across multiple systems. You only have to make changes once. In one place.

With all orders flowing into one platform, your cost to fulfill is so much lower. Returns and refunds almost process themselves.

And with one piece of software controlling it all, you finally have one version of the truth. On a single dashboard. Full of insights. That’s power.

The hybrid future of retail

So what of the future? Unified commerce prepares your business for the new world of Hybrid Retail, where online and in-store experiences weave together.

Unified commerce is the key to making it happen. And Till is here to help. Till’s Unified Commerce takes the payment data from all channels, all systems, all stores, all Point of Sale platforms, apps, customers, inventory, reporting and more. And connects them.

Into one single source of truth. So you can easily combine online and offline payments. Enable easy returns in store. Online. Or both. And please your customers with personalised offers.

With Unified Commerce from Till, everything’s simplified. Everything’s unified. And, everything’s possible.

Interested in learning more?

Discover more use cases here, or start your Unified Commerce journey and find out what's possible for your business today.

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