The journey to unified commerce yields tangible benefits in a number of areas. The impact can be felt in higher revenues, more loyal customers, lower inventory costs, better service levels, and an enhanced ability to compete against larger, well-funded competitors. While the capabilities required are numerous and sometimes complex, a thoughtful approach can be applied to achieve success and build momentum for larger efforts. Any company contemplating a journey or that has started one and lost its way can benefit from establishing the desired benefits and then linking those benefits to business objectives and capabilities.
There are many different approaches to unified commerce. Reviewing and understanding your company’s situation and where it would most benefit is the first step. We have established both a roadmap and an ROI calculator for you to use as a framework for establishing your priorities. If you would like to discuss more about how to use this framework or would like to establish a custom one for your business, please contact us at Microsoft for retail | Technologies | RSM US.
We believe that one of the key capabilities for unified commerce is “knowing your customer”. Many companies have a trove of customer information but have not yet established an understanding of their customers. This would include segmentation, lifetime value, acquisition costs, churn, and scoring. Understanding customer acquisition costs and lifetime value may justify investments in customer experience and customer service. This is especially true if a company is not operating at best in class for these metrics.
Places to start: Customer data platform
Using this as a starting point, it is important to understand what business benefits would be achieved with a customer data platform. In addition, understanding what would be required to operationalize these benefits so that they would be able to scale and have a material impact would also be important. After establishing a baseline, a company would next need to make changes and then re-measure to determine impact. This can take time and so should be scoped in a way that is manageable. One way to get started is with a proof of concept. We offer a proof-of-concept project that allows a company to baseline their operations and then provide guidance for what can be done to influence the outcome for the next measurement. If you are interested in learning more, please contact us at Microsoft for retail | Technologies | RSM US.
Places to Start: Removing Friction
One of the core objectives for unified commerce is improving the customer experience. In our roadmap we outline a few capabilities that are likely easier to start with. The first one is an inventory availability microservice. A service such as this provides information to customer that increase their confidence to go to the store. Stockouts or long shipping times would normally result in a lost sale online. Just showing that inventory is available in a nearby store can save the sale.
Another way to reduce friction is by establishing a chat capability on your website. Many studies have shown significantly improved conversion rates when offering chat. Chat, however, is only one channel of communications. Additional channels, including Facebook Messenger and SMS text should be considered in the name of reducing friction.
If you want to learn how we can help you establish either of these capabilities, please contact us today.
The journey to unified commerce can be thought of as establishing a collection of capabilities that all orient towards a common goal. Not all of these capabilities require a large investment and many of them can be achieved in stages. We encourage you to start your journey or revisit once you have started. Contact us to help you plan your approach.
- How Microsoft Dynamics composable commerce architecture makes adopting unified commerce easier
- Headless with Microsoft D365 Commerce
- How to spin up and evaluate the Microsoft Commerce trial solution
- Case story – Apparel retailer implements unified commerce
Build a Business Case
- Review the roadmap to unified commerce.
- Download the ultimate ROI calculator for unified commerce. Understand how lighting up key capabilities impacts your business.