Unified Commerce on Salesforce: a Practical Guide
The 2020 pandemic accelerated many changes in consumer behavior, from online shopping to curbside pick-up, and QR code table orders. Businesses that have adapted to meet these needs have inadvertently set a new standard: Unified Commerce.
After a year+ of establishing this new standard, consumers now expect retailers to uphold it. More than ever, consistency is vital. According to a recent report by Adyen, 73% of consumers expect brands to continue selling across multiple channels. The report also underlines the importance of delivering a great experience from the start, else 71% might not return due to falling short of expectations either in store or on your website.
Customers spend 40% more when they shop on more than one channel.
Unified commerce is a powerful, connected approach that pulls together and optimizes your consumer experiences and increases both engagement and resilience. Data shows that customers typically spend 40% more when they shop on more than one channel. And 50% of unified commerce retailers saw transactions remain consistent during the pandemic.
What do we mean by Unified Commerce?
Unified commerce is the next step up from omnichannel. Omnichannel businesses are already delivering great cross-channel experiences to their customers. But systems behind the scenes are often disconnected. With unified commerce on Salesforce, you have a single view of your stock, your customers, and your payments. This allows greater flexibility for your customers, deeper insights for you, and increased agility to add new channels and support new customer journeys quickly. All because everything is connected.
Essentially, it’s a series of building blocks that can be mixed and matched to create smooth experiences across different touchpoints.
- Order: Where (in terms of sales channel) a customer places their order. This could be at home, on the move, or in-person.
- Receive: Where the good or service comes from or is returned to. This could be a store, a warehouse, or a combination of the two.
- Pay: How payment is taken. This could be online, in-app, in-store, or via a payment link shared by text or email.
Taking a tactical approach to Unified Commerce
A singular payments platform can be a great first step towards Unified Commerce. A truly connected sales channel pulls all your payment feeds into the same system, so it no longer matters whether a customer buys online, in-app, in store, or a combination of all three. Your customers are free to dictate their experience, and you benefit from a centralized overview of their activity.
So, what does all this look like in practice? Below are 3 immediate positive impacts when Payments are centralized via a Unified Commerce approach.
1. Increased customer flexibility
Consumer behavior has undergone a seismic shift in recent years, and the trend towards non-traditional shopping experiences picked up speed with the pandemic
Brands are embracing experiences that span online and offline channels to provide a better experience. Unifying payments empowers your customer to shop from their home office, on the go between destinations, and in store with all of their saved data and options right there for convenience in checkout.
2. Better customer loyalty
With a smoother flow to payment processes, businesses see increased customer loyalty and repeat business.
A key driver of customer loyalty comes in the form of loyalty programs, but many require too much effort to manage physical loyalty cards or brand specific apps. Connecting your loyalty program to your customer’s payment card is a move that would be welcomed by 63% of consumers who’d love brands to implement payment-linked loyalty. This can only be achieved, however, if your payment data is connected.
Utilizing a payment platform, like our featured partner Adyen, helps manage every payment. Data is captured and held in one place. This makes it easy to track customer behavior and assign loyalty points.
3. Connected data to power growth
If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that agility is essential. Businesses have to be able to respond fast and pivot if necessary. But it’s a lot harder to do if your operations are scattered across multiple systems and channels. Each one needs updating in turn, and older systems might not be compatible with the changes.
But with unified commerce and centralized payments, it’s much easier to expand to other sales channels. You can furnish remote sales associates with secure payment links to share with customers via email or chat windows. And, critically, you gather all your payment data into one place. This makes life a lot easier for your finance teams since they’ll benefit from consolidated reporting.
Making the Unified Commerce magic happen
The pandemic has shifted customer expectations for the long haul. Consolidating and connecting the systems that are powering an omnichannel strategy takes a business to the next level of unified commerce. Implementing a sole payment platform is a solid first step towards achieving the benefits of increased customer flexibility, loyalty and streamlined data capture.
The best partners are ones that work behind the scenes supporting your business goals. We work with the top technology platforms to enhance your ecommerce site on Salesforce. With seamless integrations for platforms like Adyen, your site can provide flexibility to your customers, build a deep understanding of their preferences, and remain agile, anytime, anywhere.