eStar CEO Andrew Buxton discusses the importance of integrating digital and physical stores for retailers.
Many Australian retailers have yet to successfully integrate digital and physical. A recent article said only 42% of retailers actually had click & collect. Enabling customers to shop anywhere, anytime and begin their journey in one channel and complete it in another requires integration. The ability to have all the digital information, customer information, and order options in-store for customers will be key.
The uniqueness of the in-store interaction can complement the ease of digital to create a more enhanced experience for the customer. Imagine the experience that combines the best of both – for example, you can create your items at an apparel store to try on at home online. Then, you book and meet with your personal stylist in-store, where together you browse online outfits, then try items chosen. Once purchased, you take some items with you and have the rest delivered to home, either pay for it in-store or via the personal stylist’s mobile POS.
Digital sales will continue to grow at a much faster rate than in-store sales. The real leap in mindset and success is thinking solely about your brand and its representation in digital and the physical world. Retailers need to consider how the brand travels on the customer journey, one that more often than not, starts online even when purchases are in store and how to integrate in-store and digital to reduce the friction of shopping for your customers. Digitally enabled store team members will drive success.
With digital commerce revolutionising retail, unified commerce becomes a whole new ball game of opportunities for retailers. Unified commerce is about transforming the customer journey. It’s about removing the friction from shopping by giving the customer the information and support they need to make a buying decision.
Unified commerce is here and it’s beyond the omni-channel promise
An integrated in-store and online experience is no longer a nice-to-have. It is now a matter of survival in the competitive retail landscape. Ecommerce solutions have already leapfrogged POS - with the ability to perform everything that POS terminals do - while providing richer data about customer journeys, faster updates to information, inventory and offer in near real-time, with generally higher levels of reliability.
This opens up the almost limitless potential of integrated data and solutions:
A single view of the customer’s interactions and purchases, whether in-store or online.
A unified system of managing a widely distributed fulfilment network through optimal selection of store, distribution centres (DC) and third-party logistics (3PL) models.
Overcoming the barriers to unified commerce
Unified commerce is not a goal in itself, instead it is the enabler for placing the customer experience front and centre to your strategy.
By locating and processing data and transactions on one integrated platform, retailers gain a single source of truth that delivers accurate and up-to-date information, reducing the number of critical connections to inventory, sales management and fulfilment systems that are a necessary and critical point of failure in many retail architectures today.
How true unified commerce technology can fit your strategy
Point of sale systems are becoming increasingly connected within the overall business system architecture. They must be integrated with, or to your eCommerce platform.
Whether your customer starts their buying journey online or instore, using the most convenient channel becomes irrelevant. Their entire sales history, and your entire fulfilment network is at their disposal to get the right product at the right time, for the right price.
True unified commerce combines the rich content and user experience of online shopping with the functionality of in-store POS and operator-initiated orders and sales.
How the eStar Store fits your commerce strategy
The eStar Store combines the rich content and user experience of online shopping with the functionality of in-store POS and operator-initiated orders and sales, creating a true unified commerce solution.
- One system for online, in-store and serviced sales
- One channel for all sale receipts
- One platform for a complete view of the customer
- eCommerce-grade scalability
- Integrated address book and digital wallets
If you would like to see eStar Store in action and understand how true unified commerce can work for your business, arrange a personalised product tour with an eStar expert now.