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Unified commerce is the new omnichannelthe next step in the transition required for companies to meet the expectations of today's customers.  Here are three ways to start unified commerce today.

The change affects the entire organization, as it includes both the brand strategy and the sales strategy. 

Today's business landscape requires many companies to reevaluate its view of business. People who focus on high customer satisfaction increase their competitiveness because a key initiative is to create a seamless and constantly relevant customer experience. Your customers buy an experience, not just a service or a product. 

For an ideal customer experience to be possible, all information must be transparent and updated continuously in all channels. Visualize unified commerce like an omnichannel, but in real time. Moreover, as customer demands are constantly changing, most companies need to be more agile at all levelsfrom supply chain to customer support. 

Your company’s journey to reach unified commerce is affected by, among other things, the business model, customer needs and existing digital infrastructure. But if we disregard these factors, its crucial that you plan for the long-term, and in stages. Its not wise to try to do everything at once. 

For an organization to become more unified, it requires change in processes, organization and systems: 

1. All processes must be geared towards the customer journey and the customer life cycle.

2. All departments within the organization need to collaborate and understand their roles in the customer journey and the customer life cycle.

3. The digital infrastructure (including integrations) must be in place for you to be able to update real-time information across channels. 

The biggest pitfalls that most organizations face is that theyre not prepared for the journey of change. In addition, the organization doesn’t have a consensus on the impact it would have on different departments and how theyll influence each other. 

Is your company ready to take the first steps toward unified commerce? Here are three approaches to help you get started. 

Integrated Data Approach 

Embrace a unified commerce strategy 

In the current scenario, connected devices offer a host of new solutions to help vendors collect, sort, filter, segment and analyze data from each channel. However, most of them operate independentlywhether in different tools or managed by various departmentsleaving marketers with multiple streams of disconnected information. Marketers need interoperable solutions that can integrate a variety of consumer data types from many sources and create a centralized, functional view. 

Efficient Marketing Operations  

Adapt to unified marketing 

Unified marketing is a framework that allows all marketing strategiesboth traditional and digitalto be compared and compiled together. Itll help to reduce redundant efforts and to identify gaps that marketing activities should fill. By combining the metrics around the user's actions, we also avoid the unmanageable attribution situation: no single tactic is completely sufficient or solely responsible for users taking action, all of them play a role. 

One View of the Customer 

Unified customer profile 

The rule of thumb is to put your customer’s needs first. To do so, you need a customer-centric data architecture. In simple terms, have a single, unified data stock at the epicenter of your technology stack to serve as a source of truth for every business user involved with your digital ecosystem. 

Any well-planned CX program aims to create customer loyalty through delightful experiences. There are no quick fixes, so your growth objectives need to be long-term. 

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According to a recent study by Frost & Sullivan, by 2020 customer experience is expected to overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator. Customer centricity is turning out to be a key priority in the business landscape. Using business intelligence and advanced analytics, companies are on the hunt to gather valuable customer data to turn into meaningful product innovation.
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