Whereas customers crave a extra seamless procuring expertise throughout a number of channels, new analysis from Bain and Aptos revealed that assembly that demand is a prime precedence for retailers and types.
The analysis, launched in a report titled “The State of Unified Commerce: A Bain and Aptos Examine,” additionally confirmed that retailers and types “that spend money on the tech to ship a seamless expertise see considerably increased profitability and gross sales development than their friends — however few corporations have a transparent roadmap.”
Nikki Baird, vice chairman of technique at Aptos, advised WWD that the analysis, primarily based on a survey of greater than 300 business leaders, confirmed “a niche between the precedence round unified commerce generally and the respondent’s confidence of their skill to execute on it.”
“Practically 100% of respondents mentioned unified commerce is absolutely necessary to them, however while you begin asking them if they’ve a technique in place and the way assured they’re in reaching a technique, then responses fall to 50 %,” Baird mentioned.
Different key findings of the report embrace a need to combine back-end and in-store know-how. However these polled additionally acknowledged that their bodily shops should not prepared to take action. “Retailers usually tend to succeed once they safe alignment throughout the group and use knowledge analytics to grasp buyer preferences throughout bodily and digital channels,” the report said.
When requested if there was a reluctance to make investments or if retailers have been already saddled with so-called “tech debt,” Baird advised WWD, “It’s somewhat little bit of each. About two-thirds of respondents mentioned that they principally need to self-fund these investments. So, they’re not getting more money really to realize [implementing unified commerce]. And I feel given the extent of uncertainty that we’ve been residing via, particularly over the past couple of years, self-funding something is tightly managed.”
Relating to retailers making these investments, the report’s authors mentioned they’re investing in creating a deep understanding of their clients and procuring preferences. “They concentrate on the whole tech stack, from buyer expertise to knowledge techniques, connecting the client’s profile, historical past, rewards and incentives throughout bodily and digital channels to create a single view of the client and in the end activate a very unified commerce expertise,” the report said. “This allows them to ship a tailor-made expertise on-line or in bodily shops. Importantly, these leaders additionally work to align the whole group, particularly leaders within the enterprise and know-how capabilities, on the worth of making this seamless expertise, they usually foster cross-organizational efforts to make it occur.”
In a separate report from Baird and co-authored with Mike Hughes, vice chairman of buyer expertise at Aptos, the 2 famous that in-demand companies resembling purchase on-line, choose up in retailer (BOPIS), omnichannel returns, and ship from retailer are key at present. “However merely providing them isn’t sufficient,” they mentioned. “If a buyer has to fill gaps — or worse, overcome any disruptions — of their expertise, your efforts will fall flat. This threat is even increased for retailers who depend on many individuals or processes to maintain these companies afloat, resembling division retailer chains.”
The Aptos executives mentioned that with unified commerce, “you possibly can’t make it tough for a consumer to buy with you and count on to remain aggressive. Greater than 70 % of retail clients abandon carts, with extra prices and tough checkout experiences as main causes.
“The client expertise have to be seamless. That may solely be achieved via a unified commerce resolution that places the shop on the coronary heart of every part.”
Baird and Hughes mentioned most gross sales nonetheless occur in shops. “And whereas on-line income contributions have grown, expectations for shops are as excessive as ever,” they mentioned. “Shops are the house to the model’s id; a solution to bodily work together with the retailer’s merchandise/companies pre-purchase; a possibility for in-person worker help; a spot of group. Shops additionally have to be greater than an endpoint.”