Merchants have long treated their businesses as the sum of essentially different parts. The recent focus on mobile devices and social media has further fragmented brands’ strategies, with merchants continuing to focus on linear experiences, although on these new platforms. But consumers have a different view of brands. While they appreciate the convenience of being able to shop via a variety of touchpoints, research shows they also crave consistency when it comes to products, pricing and promotions. When asked which aspects of the shopping experience should be consistent, participants in a Consumer Shopping Survey by MarketLive ranked product pricing, free shipping policies, and other promotions as the three key areas where they sought a standardized approach The survey showed that merchants must respond to this expectation by taking a new approach: The Unified Total Commerce. This implies that rather than designing experiences by device, browser or social network, they should approach shopping tasks from the consumers’ point of view of the brand as a single entity, and strive to understand at what points different research tools come into play and what spurs purchase decisions, whether in-store or browsing a tablet. Then, by offering contextually-relevant products, content and offers that match shoppers’ needs in the moment, merchants can create a truly meaningful brand experience, one that has the potential to create a lasting connection. The study suggest that for merchants to create more concretely in the days ahead, merchants should strive to create a unified commerce experience by focusing on five key areas, including: Physical store experiences by breaking down the “online/offline” mentality and creating a seamless flow of information from store shelves to online. resources and back again, merchants can augment the shopping experience for browsers in store outlets and motivate sales. This is in addition to building customer loyalty, strategic business purchasing, building responsive designs and considering the merits of big data.


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