Retailers Deem Unified Commerce as Top Priority for 2016: BRP Survey

Although the majority of retailers recognize the need to create a holistic experience that transcends channels for connected consumers who increasingly have the ability to shop where, when and how they want from their mobile device, most attempts are falling short, so finds results of a new survey by Boston Retail Partners (BRP). 

According to the 2016 BRP POS/Customer Engagement Survey, 85 percent of respondents indicate that unified commerce is a top priority. Yet while many retailers have taken the “just get something done” approach to get in the game, the unfortunate result of a quick fix approach is a “faux” omni-channel model that doesn’t execute as promised and has the risk of disappointing customers.

“Many retailers are realizing that the future of POS is part of a unified commerce platform that hosts a single shared cart across all channels and is integrated with order management,” said Brian Brunk, principal, BPR. “This is the game changer as it is fundamentally changing how retailers think about POS and driving much of the activity we are seeing in the solution marketplace.”

While 60 percent of retailers indicate they have implemented “inventory visibility across channels,” 80 percent of those retailers indicate that the system “needs improvement.”

“Saddled with legacy systems that are not designed to accommodate today’s retail environment, retailers have scrambled to cobble things together in attempts to deliver the omni-channel capabilities customers expect,” added Ken Morris, also a principal at BRP. “Retailers need to invest in infrastructure, networks and service oriented architecture (SOA) layer and do it right."

The risk of losing customers due to disappointing shopping experiences as a result of "a flawed omni-channel architecture is deadly," Morris noted, which is why "'real' unified commerce is retailers’ top priority for 2016."

Key findings of the BPR 2016 POS/Customer Engagement Survey – which offers insights into retailers’ current point of sale and customer engagement initiatives, priorities, and future trends as the physical and digital worlds converge within the store – include:

  • Creating a true unified commerce environment is the top priority – 85 percent of retailers indicated this was a top priority for 2016
  • Improving customer engagement and the customer experience is critical – 68 percent of retailers indicated this was a focus for the upcoming year
  • Retailers are still occupied with payment/data security – 38 percent of retailers stated this was a top priority

To download the complete 2016 POS/Customer Engagement Survey, visit:  

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