2022 Predictions: Unified Commerce Increases Total Revenue
What a year it’s been for eCommerce; amid a continued pandemic causing sea change in how, where, and when we transact business. Industry analyst Gartner publishes predictions for the upcoming year based on research and trends, and 2022 brings us to their latest findings; perhaps the most dynamic subject on the minds of analysts and organizations alike, is the future of buyer behavior.
100% Digitally Focused on the Buyer’s Needs
No surprise that today’s shopper is driving the omnichannel experience; or the idea that we meet the customer where they are. Gartner offers key insights based on their extensive research and marketplace eCommerce trends.
Overwhelmingly, B2B organizations had to rethink how they do business in the last two years given the harsh realities of a global pandemic; and while these organizations answered the call out of necessity, many focused on their own internal sales goals versus the customer experience. These businesses stand to benefit from focusing on improving customer experiences, a key finding in the report highlights that reducing customer effort increases revenue.
This is not groundbreaking but validates their prediction, “By 2025, organizations offering a unified commerce experience by frictionlessly moving customers through journeys will see at least a 20% uplift in total revenue.”
Unified Commerce Experience
Unified commerce is the engine for delivering an omnichannel experience. Having a centralized platform creates consistency across all channels and devices; from your site to your mobile app, to your social media presence, unified commerce brings each experience into a single interface.
Gartner has this to say:
- Customers stay on a continuous loop on the buying journey when unified commerce is in practice; this leads to higher conversions and higher order values
- Unified commerce in practice calls for cross-collaboration among teams; not siloed divisional interests
Three areas contribute to the 20% predicted lift in revenue from the unified commerce model: conversion/acquisition, average order value, and customer retention. Getting the right information in front of customers at each stage of the journey is key, and it requires collaboration among teams to gather and integrate the data from multiple points.
Bringing your commerce functions into a unified commerce solution requires a few well-executed steps with the following considerations. Consider the organizational impact of unified commerce:
The team needs to be aligned on the vision and goals in addition to roles and responsibilities clearly outlined to reduce friction. Evaluate your current technology and create a roadmap based on requirements and cost. Identify a commerce partner who assists with your transition by offering the appropriate tools and support as you scale, completely customized to your needs.
Unified commerce has its benefits; with revenue growth taking the top spot, you’ll also build better, trusted relationships with your customers by providing an experience they expect, return to, and talk about in the marketplace. Having a trusted partner to manage your platform also provides access to vendors and new technologies to continuously improve upon the services you offer towards a seamless, omnichannel experience.
You’ll also see operational lift with better inventory visibility, and increased employee productivity as functions become automated. You’ll get a sharper, more accurate view of the business that sets you up for success and growth.
Gartner suggests a transformation on how this channel approaches digital optimization by changing the way they view the customer. Instead of investing in the latest technology and hoping for the best, the shift comes in understanding the customer and meeting them where they are on the buying journey; when this occurs, the latest tech is then leveraged to support that journey for a truly customer-centric approach versus a process driven take.
Digital Commerce is No Longer a Project
What was once an IT-led initiative, digital commerce has grown in sophistication and scope. Multiple disciplines across the organization must work together to meet shared goals. No longer project-based, it’s mission critical to the business with collective ownership across teams. (i.e. Marketing, Sales, IT, Customer Service etc.) Gartner points out in a 2021 Digital Commerce State of the Union survey that approximately 84% of respondents say that more than 12 different primary leaders can be responsible for eCommerce transformations.
Gartner poses a shot across the bow with a warning about siloed environments; such workspaces adversely affect innovation and delivery of the customer experience. When employees sense boundaries within an organization they are less likely to make connections across teams, such behavior leads to stifled innovation and opportunities to grow.
A Retro of Past Predictions
Gartner also takes the time at the end of this report to look back at past predictions to see what missed and hit the target.
Read a full list of Gartner’s 2022 Predictions and stay tuned for more highlights from their extensive research and survey findings.