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Report: Mobility driving unified commerce

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Retailers finally understand that the always-connected consumer expects a personalized, seamless experience wherever, whenever and however she shops.

This, coupled with the proliferation of mobile devices, are the catalysts driving the new retail paradigm called unified commerce, according to “2017 POS/Customer Engagement Benchmarking Survey,” from Boston Retail Partners (BRP).

A concept that goes beyond omnichannel, “unified commerce puts the customer experience first, breaking down the walls between internal channel silos and leveraging a common commerce platform,” said Brian Brunk, principal at BRP. “Retailers are moving in this direction, with 71% planning to have a unified commerce platform within three years.”

There are four key pillars that define the required customer experience in unified commerce:

Personal. Today’s informed consumer researches products and shops anywhere and anytime, and she expects a personalized experience wher-ever she shops. That’s why 75% of companies plan to use Wi-Fi to iden-tify customers with their mobile devices in the store by the end of 2019. Meanwhile, 80% will suggestive sell based on previous purchases within three years, the report said.

Mobile. Having a constant, virtually unlimited array of information available through mobile devices has changed the shopping experience and elevated customer expectations for customer service. That said, 89% will offer mobile solutions for associates within three years, and 84% of companies will use mobile POS within three years, data revealed.

Seamless. Real-time retail is the ability to deliver a seamless and person-alized experience to the customer whenever, wherever and however she chooses to shop. To achieve this goal, 71% of retailers plan to have a uni-fied commerce platform by the end of 2019, and 60% plan to have cen-tralized POS within two years, data showed.

Secure. Today’s retail environment requires security beyond retailers’ current focus on payments and networks. Thus, 96% of merchants will have end-to-end encryption (E2EE) by the end of 2019, and 73% will of-fer a single token solution across the enterprise within three years, the re-port said.

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