Why We Must Embrace Unified Commerce: An Open Letter By Our Executive Vice President

Dear Retailers,

Today’s retail industry is vastly different than it was 50 or even 10 years ago, and the fact of the matter is (whether you like it or not), the new ways in which retail functions will continue to evolve. What I mean by that is, back when brick-and-mortar ruled the world, retail operations were store-centric. But in light of the behemoth that is internet retail’s takeover, a new centerpiece has emerged: I’m talking about the almighty customer.

And with the industry’s shift out of a store-centric game and into one that focuses on the customer, we all have to set new strategies and plays in place. The problem is, we don’t have the luxury of taking timeouts to reconvene and reassess. With that said, retail consulting services from RPE Solutions can play an integral role more than ever before – but for now, let’s focus on that word reassess.

You may be thinking something along the lines of, OK, so we change our mindset to focus on the customer. We can do that. But it’s not quite as simple as it seems.

You didn’t close up your shop one night at 9 p.m. only to discover that the next morning you were suddenly competing in an internet-driven retail sphere. The switch happened more gradually than that, thus creating a limbo between the old and the new. During that in-between period, businesses reacted to bits and pieces of retail’s ideological changes as they hit, which created somewhat of a band-aid effect. Now that we know the new retail is permanent, it’s about time retailers start utilizing solutions designed for today’s way of doing business.

In other words, since customer-centric retail is here for the long haul, the most important thing we can do is embrace Unified Commerce. And by that, I mean if retailers want to maintain and increase profit margins and success rates, the technology has to be all-encompassing. As an industry, we need to reassess and converge the following technologies:

  • Traditional POS
  • E-commerce
  • Mobile

According to a recent report by the National Retail Federation, statistics show that retailers are largely warming up to Unified Commerce. In the most recent year of collected data, 53% of retailers said they plan to deploy a Unified Commerce platform, whereas in 2013, just 36% had similar ideas. Furthermore, 36% of retailers are currently making formal plans of action for implementation, where 72% have some sort of informal strategy.

That’s a good start, but I’d like to use this opportunity to encourage all retailers to begin strategizing for a formal switch to Unified Commerce. Anyone who doesn’t know where to begin is welcome to touch base and utilize our retail supply chain consulting services.

There’s no denying that the retail industry is in the midst of intensive advancements, but with the right tools, retailers will be able to handle them smoothly, and continue to thrive. RPE Solutions will continue to work with retailers to create a Unified Commerce strategy that can help you stay 10 steps ahead of the competition, allowing you to never miss a beat.

Sincerely,

Rob Henneke

Executive Vice President, RPE Solutions