Commerce to Achieve Retail Utopia

Commerce to Achieve Retail Utopia

commerce retail utopia

Written by Preston Adams, Sales & Commerce Practice Lead at PolSource

As a retailer, do you feel constantly behind the ball trying to make predictions, attempting to keep up with customer needs and the ever changing retail environment?

Imagine a world where we understand our customers habits, needs, wants and in a single unified platform. The ability to know how our customers are thinking, what they are looking for and how to guide them towards a seamless utopian retail experience. In today’s world the ability to understand a complete picture of a customer as a retail business is critical to a company’s success and ability to stay agile in an ever changing industry.

When a customer is shopping, they are likely using multiple platforms (social media, mobile, desktop browser, in-store). As retailers, we must be able to reach the customer where they are; on their level. Salesforce eCommerce, in conjunction with Marketing and Service, creates a retail utopia for not only our customers, but also our internal teams. Streamlining efficiencies from all our parts of the business.

Furthermore, the retail industry has not been immune to the changes that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to us, but what remains constant is our ability to adjust, make changes, and meet the needs of the changing market. In order to stay relevant, retail organizations must adapt a seamless commerce approach – “By 2022, organizations using multiple go-to-market approaches for digital commerce will outperform non commerce organizations by 30 percentage points in sales growth.”

So how do we get to unified, multi-platform utopia??

1) Seamless transactions between online and in-store

    1. Imagine you’re shopping for a new winter jacket – while shopping online and viewing the different brands and company offerings you find the perfect jacket that matches your needs, looks, and style – however you have a few questions: How soft is the material? Is this jacket true to standard sizing? This situation is becoming more and more common as 87 % of shoppers begin their hunt online, but often have a need to physically experience the product before making the purchase. When we think of e-commerce in our modern world, we must have the ability for the customer to make the buying decision that best suits their needs. By leveraging Salesforce e-commerce we can create a buying experience where a customer can start their purchase online and make a decision to pick up that product in store. During this process, we must create a seamless experience enabling BOPIS (Buy Online Pickup In Store), BORIS (Buy Online Return In Store) ROPIS (Reserve Online Pickup In Store).

2) Understand Customer 360*

      1. Building trust, brand association, and connection with our customers in commerce starts with having a complete 360 * view of our customer. To fully understand our customers, we have to understand a few things about them:
        1. Buying habits
          1. By having a complete view of our customers we can better understand their buying habits. What are our customers constantly searching for? What are blockers that might be impeding our customers from completing the checkout process? What types of coupons/promotions are driving the most business to our storefront? Through connected platforms, we are able to use data and analytics to drive our sales and marketing strategies catered to our customers needs/wants and habits.  
          2. Relationship with our brand (Have they previously purchased from us? Did they have any comments or complaints about the product or service?)
        2. Personalized Browsing
          1. Knowing what products they have previously browsed for or added to a cart allows us to understand our customers needs and market directly to those needs.
            1. Show a list of previously browsed products and product recommendations to allow for quicker and easier product selection
            2. Persisting cart for future shopping: If customer does not checkout, but returns to the cart at a later time, the items will remain in cart to encourage quick painless checkout
            3. Email reminders and marketing campaigns based on items previously browsed for or purchased.
        3. Tailored experience for each customer
          1. Customers shop and purchase products in many different ways – Whether they prefer to shop online via desktop, mobile, in-store or a combination of both, customers should be able to have an experience that matches their needs. 
          2. The experiences we are delivering to our customers should be unique, personalized, and relevant to each customer.

3) Connect Commerce with Marketing and Service

  1. Disjointed sales, service, and marketing departments have constantly provided for confusion, data corruption and lack of customer understanding. Using Salesforce natively integrated clouds, we can fully understand our retail business. How we interact with customers, how to drive revenue and have actionable insights through data and analytics. 
  2. Insights into each stage of the customer journey: From the moment a customer is shopping for your product to deciding to buy your product, through checkout, post purchase service, and continued marketing, we have insights and data from each stage. With this consolidated view we can make educated data based decisions to keep our business at the leading edge of the industry and drive revenue, customer base, repeat business and brand loyalty and recognition.

The future for e-commerce is no longer a distant thought, it must be front and center as our world, industry, and technologies are ever changing and advancing. Salesforce eCommerce blended with Marketing and Service clouds, allows for retailers to not only keep up with the changing market, technologies and shopping habits but to lead, innovate, and design an even more successful future.

Want to learn more about commerce to achieve a retail utopia? Attend our upcoming webinar, Achieving Retail Utopia: Today, Tomorrow and Beyond.​​​​​​​ Join the industry experts from PolSource and Salesforce along with featured customer Nebraska Furniture Mart, May 6th @ 2 PM CT. Our webinar journey will cover the current challenges, solutions and future insights to evolve your Retail customer journey. Register now, no passport required.