What is unified commerce and why should you invest in it?
It may be the latest retail buzzword, but there’s a good reason everyone’s talking about it. So, what actually is unified commerce? .
With unified commerce, your retail management software allows you to administer every element of your business from a single solution – from the front to the back and across every single customer touchpoint. It provides a single interface for every aspect of your business, from point of sale to eCommerce, to inventory management and more.
According to Retail Consultant, Brian Brunk, “unified commerce goes beyond omnichannel, putting the customer experience first, breaking down the walls between internal silos and leveraging a common commerce platform.”
If the simplicity of a single solution isn’t enough to convince you that unified commerce is worth the investment, read on and discover all the benefits that come with a truly unified retail system.
Save Time and Money (and your sanity)
To be brutally honest, multiple systems usually means multiple headaches and ePOS is no exception. Not only is it more expensive because you’re contracting with multiple suppliers, but it’s also prone to breakdowns because different systems have to exchange data, and sometimes those integrations fail. When they do, not only do you have to work out which system is at fault, but you then have to track down their support service and wait for them to identify and fix the issue. Worse still, you could end up with two different suppliers blaming each other for the issue, with neither of them willing to fix it.
With a unified system, the functionality you need is built into the system so you don’t have to worry about failed integrations and suppliers passing the buck – while the whole time you’re unable to function as a business. And best of all, if things do unfortunately go wrong, you know exactly where to go for help.
Keep Data Secure and Accurate
When you choose a unified solution, your data is stored in a central location so you don’t have to rely on multiple databases having to speak to one another and share information. This means your customers have a single source of information and you can easily control how, when and where it’s accessed, for example stock availability and prices across different sales channels.
It also means that you only have one database to secure so you don’t have to worry about data transfers or the security implications of multiple data sets across different platforms.
Make Better Business Decisions
When your business is run from a single interface, accessing the reports you need is simple. All the data you need is at your fingertips, so understanding exactly how your business is performing is as easy as a few clicks. You also benefit from real-time data so you know your reports are always up-to-date and that you are basing important decisions on facts, not feeling.
And, when you sell across multiple channels or locations, you can look at overall business performance or drill down by business unit, sales channel, location and even individual salespeople, so identifying areas for improvement is easy.
Understand What Makes Your Customers Tick
With a unified platform, you not only benefit from detailed business performance data and reports, but you can also identify what makes your customers tick – right down to a single individual. While that may sound extreme, it has been proven that offering a personalised service results in increased customer loyalty, and repeat business.
With a customer CRM, you can gather data on purchasing habits and use this to create personalised marketing campaigns, and even to tailor the individual’s shopping experience specifically to them. Whether that’s by emailing a coupon for a product you know your customer regularly purchases, to sending them a birthday gift or inviting them to join your new wine club – you can make customer interactions more meaningful and watch their loyalty, and your profits, grow.
Meet Your Customers’ Expectations
Retail has seen a lot of change in recent years. Once a single channel industry when bricks and mortar stores were the primary route to market, retail has evolved to encompass many channels from eCommerce to social selling, to online marketplaces and beyond.
Today’s shoppers expect to be able to shop whenever and wherever they choose. Whether that’s placing a grocery order from their phone while on the bus, or ordering their summer wardrobe from their work computer at lunchtime, retailers must make themselves available to their customers at all times and in all places. And that’s not limited to making purchases, today’s consumers expect to be able to buy online and return in store, or order at the till and have the item delivered to their home. The lines between sales channels have been well and truly blurred. A unified platform is the only way a retailer can realistically expect to meet the modern consumer’s expectations.
Meet Your Employees’ Expectations
Experienced retail assistants have seen it all – from cash registers to sleek touchscreen ePOS systems – and it doesn’t take a genius to work out which they prefer. If your ePOS system is clunky and outdated, it makes your employees’ jobs more difficult, making them more prone to errors and taking longer to get their job done. Not only do mistakes result in unhappy customers, but if they are as a result of the poor tech you are proving your staff with, it also makes for unhappy employees.
Disjointed systems mean your staff have to master multiple hardware, systems and processes. That means it takes much longer for new employees to get up to speed, and makes it much harder to move them across tasks or departments. When you use a unified solution, your employees only have to learn to use one system, reducing your time to train, and increasing your ability to retain your staff.
If you’re an ambitious retailer, a unified system is the only solution you need. Saledock delivers everything you require to run your retail business effectively and efficiently while meeting the expectations of both customers and your staff.
When you choose Saledock’s award-winning platform, you’re choosing a UK-based team that’s dedicated to your success. Why not start your FREE 14 day trial today and see for yourself why Saledock has been named Point of Sale Technology of the Year by the Retail Systems Awards.
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