Evolving retail models, higher expectations toward the customer journey and disruptive technologies are motivating retailers to reshape their services, according to BRP’s 2018 POS Survey. Four out of five retailers plan to have a unified commerce within three years.
According to a new report from BRP, the customer journey and associated expectations continue to rapidly evolve – driving a major transformation in retail. Disruption and adaptation are changing the customer engagement model and blurring the lines among retailers, brands and wholesalers. Online pure-plays are opening brick-and-mortar stores and traditional retailers are experimenting with new store models: stores as showrooms, theatre, distribution centers or pop-ups.
To enable the new customer experience and support its rapid evolution requires a different technology approach. According to the 2018 POS/Customer Engagement Benchmarking Survey, retailers recognize the urgency to transform their operations and 81 percent plan to have unified commerce within three years.
“Retail and customer engagement models must transform,” said Brian Brunk, principal at BRP. “However, the legacy retail applications and infrastructure still in place at many retail organizations are not properly equipped to support changing retail models and continuously evolving customer expectations. To meet the demands of their customer, the retail winners in 2018 and beyond need to accelerate the transformation to cloud-based unified commerce. Victory belongs to the agile.”
4 key pillars for unified commerce
“As customer expectations have been reshaped by the digital retail experience, successful retailers have shifted their focus in the physical store environment,” added Perry Kramer, senior vice president and practice lead at BRP. “Customers appreciate personalized offers and recommendations when shopping online or via mobile, and now they expect the same personalization, or better, when they shop in a store. Understanding the importance of personalization, 62 percent of retailers indicate customer identification is their top customer engagement priority as they transform the in-store customer experience.”
Unified commerce is the key to this retail transformation. Critical to unified commerce are the four key pillars that we have identified to define the required customer experience: personal, mobile, seamless and secure.
BRP’s 2018 POS/Customer Engagement Survey of top North American retailers offers insights into retailers’ current priorities and initiatives as digital and physical retail environments converge to facilitate a seamless experience across channels.
The key customer experience trends
Engaging the customer through personalization and relevance is the key to attracting and keeping customers.
62 percent of retailers indicate customer identification is their top customer engagement priority
83 percent will suggestive sell based on previous purchases within three years
The pervasiveness and ease-of-use of mobile devices offers tremendous opportunities for retailers as the customer takes control of their own retail experience across channels.
62 percent plan to increase their use of mobile devices as the POS by the end of 2019
42 percent will use customer-owned mobile devices as a point of sale within three years
Customer expectations for a personalized and seamless experience require retailers to follow customers’ journeys across channels as they research, shop and purchase.
81 percent plan to offer unified commerce by the end of 2020
91 percent plan to offer order visibility across channels within three years
Today’s retail environment requires security beyond retailers’ current focus on payments and networks.
91 percent will have end-to-end encryption (E2EE) by the end of 2020
61 percent will offer a single token solution across the enterprise within three years