Unified commerce: A practical guide
Take for example, Lisa, whose shopping journey could have begun with a personalized recommendation on social media, moved on to an online website, and led to a lunch-time purchase at a nearby outlet. Or Lionel, who has made an order online, found it didn’t quite suit, and stopped at the store for an exchange.
This is unified commerce, where the line between bricks and clicks has all but disappeared, and online and offline channels operate seamlessly to deliver an intelligent, pervasive and uninterrupted consumer experience, from discovery to checkout.
Digital technology has completely transformed the shopping experience. And Asia Pacific, with its tech savvy consumers, leads the world in the proportion of “Spendsetters” – the category of digitally enabled shoppers setting the trends for how people will shop and spend in the future.
These shoppers love to shop, move effortlessly across sales and engagement channels, and have embraced mobile wallets and contactless payment options like Apple Pay.
While Spendsetters expect a frictionless shopping experience, and are loyal to retailers who tap into their past purchases to offer personalized recommendations – they are not afraid to walk away when their expectations are not met.
Spendsetters make up more than half of APAC’s consumers, compared to a third in the US.
Our research has also shown that as more consumers embrace digital technology, they tend to shop and interact with brands the way Spendsetters do.
To stay relevant, retailers must find ways to deliver to Spendsetters’ standards. And those who do, have much to gain: increased loyalty, improved conversion rates, larger ticket sizes along with repeat visits and purchases. Our research has shown that if retailers need to focus on 3Cs to meet and possibly exceed shoppers’ expectations.
Many retailers still see themselves either as online or offline businesses. But Spendsetters, and in fact most shoppers, don’t differentiate between bricks and clicks. Which is why retailers need a unified commerce strategy to deliver experiences that not only offer a unified view of each shopper, but also engages them in all relevant channels. More importantly, the shopping experience has to be seamless and frictionless.
The cost of inconvenience cannot be ignored. In 2018 alone, APAC retailers have lost US$5.3 billion in potential sales as queues caused customers to abandon their purchases. To relieve store assistants and shoppers of frustration, retailers can consider smoother checkout processes via payment kiosks, self-checkouts – or turn any spot into a point of sale with mobile point-of-sale (mPOS) terminals.
Want to make online shopping convenient? Try one-click checkouts and card tokenization. So shoppers don’t have to re-enter their payment details every time they shop. Because nothing is more annoying than having to get up from the couch to get your credit card when shopping in the comfort of your home.
Thanks to the increasing digital touchpoints around us, shoppers have easier ways to browse, interact with – and buy from brands.
Frictionless experiences tailored to shoppers’ immediate needs and situations usher them from discovery to checkout seamlessly. Since there is a demand for the product or service, the rate of cart abandonment drops significantly.
Many APAC Spendsetters are already comfortable with shopping on social media, and even paying via messaging apps. Plus, 55% of respondents in our retail study said they would shop more by buying via a chatbot such as Facebook Messenger. 42% would increase shopping frequency using a smart speaker like Amazon Alexa.
Having control of the shopping experience is crucial, particularly when it comes to payment methods and personal information. In APAC’s fragmented payment landscape, it’s important to offer the popular payment methods. Beyond credit cards, businesses should also consider mobile wallet payments, online banking, and voucher payments for example.
To cater to the needs of global travelers, world leading travel activity booking platform, Klook, is already partnering Adyen to offer a variety of payment methods, from credit cards to local payment methods like DragonPay in the Philippines.
Data security and fraud management must also be top of mind for retailers. Retail fraud is on the rise year on year, and retailers already know it’s not possible to apply the same risk rules across all regions they operate in. In Asia Pacific alone, different countries have different accepted levels of security and authentication.
Adyen works with the Australia-based Cotton On Group to offer all key payment methods its shoppers prefer, while managing risk and sales conversion across the group’s large portfolio of brands. This holistic view not only makes it easier for shoppers to buy, but also ensures secure payments no matter which brand they buy from – giving shoppers greater peace of mind – while helping Cotton On keep fraud at bay.
Spendsetters may seem like a demanding bunch of shoppers, but to stay ahead in today’s competitive retail industry, retailers have a lot to gain by taking the cue from them.
Businesses should make unified commerce a priority if they haven’t done so already. Consolidating all touchpoints onto a single platform not only offer a 360-degree view of the customer, but also help to deliver meaningful experiences that sets the brand apart from the competition.
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