The 18th annual edition of Boston Retail Partners’ POS/Customer Engagement Survey, which surveyed more than 500 North American retailers, confirms current conventional wisdom that the new retail paradigm is a channel-agnostic, personalized customer experience. Taking it a step further, the survey concludes that “A unified commerce platform, along with real-time retail, is the solution to support this seamless customer experience.”

As the report notes, unified commerce transcends omni-channel, “putting the customer experience first, breaking down walls between internal silos and leveraging a common commerce platform.” According to the BRP survey, 71% of retailers plan to have a unified commerce platform within three years.

As Salesforce Commerce Cloud, this is the message we’ve been espousing for quite some time, and we’ve been delivering technologies that integrate digital and store channels to provide retailers and brands with a single view of the customer, product, inventory and more. Combined with other Salesforce clouds, Commerce Cloud is part of a complete customer success platform, powering commerce, marketing, customer service, community and more.

BRP has defined four key pillars of the unified commerce experience as: mobile, personal, seamless and secure, and points out that, “Retail’s legacy technology of channel silos does not support this new retail paradigm; unified commerce requires a common platform.”

Such a platform combines next generation in-store POS, mobile, Web, order management, call center and more. Why? Because it’s the most efficient, best way to support customers in every phase of their buying journey, from discovery and purchase to fulfillment and service, and to have a 360-degree degree view of inventory and the customer, whether online or off.

Other findings:

  • 84% of retailers will use mobile POS within three years
  • 89% will equip associates with mobile devices within three years
  • 75% plan to use WiFi to identify customers with mobile devices in store by end of 2019

As for priorities around customer engagement, BRP uncovered the following:

“Cloud computing, either off or on-premise, offers the quickest and surest path to seamlessly connect all ecommerce, mobile commerce and in-store POS transactions to order management, inventory, marketing, financials, supply chain and customer service,” the report notes. “It has become the new retail imperative.”