The unified commerce and the luxury industry: opportunities and benefits

March 29, 2022
18 minute(s)

Both the fashion and luxury industries are experiencing a new era.   The digital and physical convergence is reshaping the luxury industry. This convergence has become more pronounced in the last few years. Indeed, with the spread of COVID-19 and the events that took place in 2020, the need to digitise has become a priority for stakeholders in the luxury industry. To meet the needs of their customers, brands and retailers have to come up with effective solutions to cope with the various changes. Unified commerce is an efficient solution to face the crisis and to adapt to new consumer habits.

What is unified commerce? 

Technology is transforming our lives and our shopping expectations. The shopping experience is no longer simply about heading to the mall and browsing the aisles of products. Indeed, with new technologies pushing the boundaries of what we can do as shoppers and the strong trend towards the digitalization of the shopping experience, retailers are forced to outdo themselves to innovate and to best respond to the customers’ needs which have grown steadily the few last years.   

Nowadays, consumers are looking for a certain level of coherence between the different stages of the purchasing process: ordering, purchasing, paying and being delivered, and this is what is increasingly emphasising the concept of phygital. 

In this regard, it has been necessary to create a single platform for user experience, information (about both customer and product), logistics and inventory, with the aim of providing customers with an improved service quality. 

Based on this idea, unified commerce was born. It’s a new revolution in the world of commerce that allows sales and marketing teams to have complete visibility across all channels. It’s a digital solution that makes the different touch points the customer visits interactive and instantaneous, leading to a unique customer experience. 

Unified commerce VS multi-channel, cross-channel and omni commerce : what are the differences ?   

In order to meet market expectations and optimise the customer experience, luxury brands have followed a consistent pattern to create a certain coordination between their different customer touch points. They have thus switched from multi-channel to unified commerce while passing through cross channel and omnichannel.   

  • Multi-channel: Means having several sales channels (website, shops) without having a link between them. Each channel is therefore independent of the other.   
  • Cross-channel: unlike multi-channel, cross-channel induces coherence between the different distribution channels. The user can then use these different channels in a complementary way. For example, the customer can choose a product on the brand’s website and pick it up in shop (click and collect). 
  • Omnichannel: in the omnichannel strategy the different sales channels are interconnected and seamless. The user can use them simultaneously as the contact points are interconnected.   
  • Unified commerce: It combines online and offline elements that promote a seamless customer experience and create a single customer journey. It is a single platform that offers the customer a consistent experience across all channels. 

The benefits of a unified commerce for the luxury industry

As the internet grows, so does the world of luxury retail. According to Statista, the global luxury goods market is expected to grow from USD 309.6 billion in 2021 to USD 382.6 billion by 2025.  Historically, this was a fragmented world that required specific tools and services to operate. However, with unified commerce, it is hoped that more companies will be able to serve all parts of their customers’ lives through a single channel.    

In fact, a unified commerce strategy represents multiple advantages for the luxury industry, which has long relied on the quality of its services and the direct relationship with the customer. Today things have changed, and customers are increasingly moving towards online shopping. It is therefore necessary to implement an appropriate solution that provides a global view of consumer behaviour, the most popular items and their availability in the entire shop network. Unified commerce offers, among other things, better stock management. It therefore enables customers’ needs to be met more effectively. 

In addition, unified commerce allows for a unified customer repository.  Thus, interactions and transactions with the customer become much easier as connections between the back office and the website are made in real time. Therefore, it is fundamental to pay careful attention to the latter, whether through attractive ergonomics, a fluid path or by sending targeted and contextualised web and mobile notifications. This is particularly true when we know that 91% of consumers who have made at least one purchase in a local shop have carried out a search on the Internet beforehand (BVA). Web-to-store is simply becoming the norm.   

Finally, unified commerce is the best alternative to face the radical changes in consumer behaviour. It is time to rethink Retail, which will be marked by several transformations in the near future. In a few years online shops will gain much more ground.      

Meanwhile, the physical shops will be a simple complement to the online experience, and this is what brings us back to the concept of phygital.

Are you a retailer? Discover our solution to unify your business 

However, in order to implement an effective digital solution that allows you to benefit from the numerous advantages of unified commerce, it is necessary to be assisted by an expert. Timsoft shares with you the fruit of its many years of experience in the field of digitalization of luxury shops. Our team has extensive expertise in retail solutions. We are therefore able to offer you the ideal solution that enables you to benefit from unified commerce.  Our experts will support you throughout your project and go to great lengths to guide you towards the right choices and optimise your digital platform.    

To find out more about our retail solutions, contact us!