Unified Commerce: More Than a Buzzword?

View From The Ridge: 91

February 3, 2017

Greg White

Greg White


Blue Ridge just returned from Retail’s Big Show – NRF 2017 in the city that never sleeps – New York City. One of the key takeaways from the show is that retail is more competitive than ever with Amazon and a host of others having drastically changed the landscape of commerce. Retailers are recognizing the need for a holistic customer experience that includes multiple channels. But, in order to effectively compete and succeed with unified commerce, powerful technology is required to help deliver the best customer experience in the most efficient way.


A few recent statistics to consider:

  • 61% of consumers who picked up a purchase in-store, ended up buying additional items this past holiday season
  • During the 2015 holiday season 32% of consumers reported using click and collect for their purchases
  • In 2016 ICSC found that nearly 70% of holiday-related expenses took place with a unified commerce retailer – having both an online and physical presence
  • Retail TouchPoints found that 47% of retailers now use their store locations as extensions of their supply chain distribution arm.

Call it omnichannel retail or call it unified commerce, it is a growing trend, it is here to stay, and it is now mainstream. Retailers need systems that not only optimize current order fulfillment flow, but also adapt to predict future consumer actions and align merchandise to deliver a superior customer experience.

The best way to overcome this challenge is to combine an Order Management System (OMS) with robust Supply Chain Planning (SCP) technology. This combination of technologies will enable retailers to:

  1. Capitalize on omnichannel demand by preemptively positioning inventory: Details about every consumer transaction are supplied to SCP.  This detailed customer intelligence enables a highly accurate prediction of not just where and when demand will occur, but also how customers will buy (click and collect, buy in store, etc.).
  2. Take advantage of smart distributed order management by not robbing Peter to pay Paul: Online orders are not only routed to the lowest cost fulfillment location, but also to the location in which fulfillment would not risk stockouts and lost sales for walk-in traffic.
  3. Enable smarter reverse logistics / returns management to improve profitability: Retailers can check the need for that item elsewhere and efficiently route to another location in the network.

Don’t let the supply chain status quo jeopardize your business opportunities. With Blue Ridge supply chain planning technology, your supply chain becomes an invaluable organizational asset and can help you overcome the challenges associated with unified commerce. Connect with us to learn how we can help