Satisfying the borderfree shopper requires nothing less
than a (R)Evolution
By Michael Griffiths, Vice President, Marketing & Communications, Retail & Global Ecommerce, Pitney Bowes
Retailers face a world where shoppers cross borders in a single touch; emerging market means marketplace, drones deliver, shipping is measured in seconds and fantastic experiences are expected at any cost. In this world, where the stakes are higher and the opportunity is bigger, technology needs to do something more…make commerce complete. Some call this moment a reckoning for retail. We call it a (R)Evolution.
Buyers know that their options for better product selection are no longer limited by geographic boundaries, which is why 66% percent of online shoppers say they shop cross border with regular frequency, according to our recent study. Customers also expect that their favourite retailers will make it easier than ever to shop and ship from anywhere to everywhereTM, which is why a 82% of millennials want retailers to have physical locations and a quarter of all worldwide consumers say they most frequently shop from a mobile device. Ultimately over a billion consumers and a trillion dollar opportunity are at stake. But as expectations have taken this next leap forward, the industry is realising that omnichannel strategies alone aren’t enough. Too many tradeoffs are being made, and retailers are done settling for less.
The Perfect Storm
If retailers are struggling to keep up with the brutal operational efficiency of Amazon, ever increasing customer expectations, and data measured in zettabytes that doubles every few years, it’s not for lack of awareness or effort.
Most merchants are well aware that they need to offer amazing experiences, inspire customer loyalty and turn their brand into a retail destination, but, they remain trapped spending IT dollars to maintain systems never meant to work together; limited in reach; and targeted at necessary, yet low growth, scenarios.
Insight, experience, and execution were always meant to be delivered in concert – the perfect storm leading to long-term, sustainable loyalty. Yet Amazon offers cold execution devoid of experience. Our favourite brands deliver experiences, but often at the cost of profitable execution. And, actionable insight still remains more science fiction than certainty for most.
What does all of this mean? Technology providers have been put on notice - including a growing but minimally profitable Amazon – that it’s not either or, but all of the above. Which is why Amazon now opens physical stores and retail brands expect nothing less than unified, anywhere to everywhereTM answers from the solution providers with whom they work. The bar continues to be raised for all.
The rise of Unified Commerce
That brings us to where omnichannel ends and unified commerce begins. While omnichannel aspired – and at times succeeded - at blurring the lines between the physical and digital, it has come with great complexity and costs often not sustainable for retailers. You see, omnichannel has been rightfully focused on a great customer experience, but it was never complete. Complete gives the retailer global reach in any market; a single version of the truth for scenarios like sourcing and returns; and control over the hidden costs – like shipping enablement – that have crippled margins and ceded far too much ground to Amazon.
Unified Commerce doesn’t replace omnichannel. It simply extends beyond where omnichannel could go – delivering the final pieces of a puzzle that empowers retailers to:
1. Connect without compromise to any customer: reaching them anywhere in the world how, when, and where they shop.
2. Engage is a way that’s personal and empowering in every moment: providing exceptional customer experience and associate productivity.
3. Deliver with agility on any opportunity, every time: capitalizing on what’s next from demand to delivery.
A unified, Anywhere to Everywhere™ commerce platform accelerates retailers into the area of highest growth like cross-border retail (25% y/y) and finally unleashes the potential of existing systems like order and warehouse management through intelligent, optimised shipping, and global sourcing – improving both productivity and margins.
Commerce Made Complete by Craftsmen for Craftsmen
Pitney Bowes aims to solve that challenge with the most proven, capable, and scalable global commerce platform available today - Commerce CompleteTM for Retail:
· Solutions for crossborder, marketplace, and shipping enablement
· Supporting services for marketing, payment, and delivery
· Powerful API’s that locate, trade, ship, and track
As an end-to-end platform from demand to delivery, Commerce Complete for Retail for the first time makes global unified commerce possible by unlocking the potential in existing investments and providing unmatched customer reach – Anywhere to Everywhere™. This is how you deliver on your brand promise and build lasting loyalty in a world where the only constant is change.
Pitney Bowes has a rich heritage delivering technology solutions to millions of retailers and merchants of all sizes around the world. From powering location intelligence on social media for 1.2 billion consumers, to international shipping for eBay, to enabling billions of transactions, we’ve solved the hardest problems on an unprecedented scale. We’ve continued to build on a legacy of precision, accuracy, and security to create an end-to-end platform for retailers who want to grow on their terms – be it Evolutionary or (R)Evolutionary change, the choice is yours.
The result is Commerce Complete for Retail, built by craftsmen for craftsmen – uniquely connecting millions of merchants to the world.
In other words, commerce made complete.
If you think you know Pitney Bowes, chances are you don’t. Everything is about to change….again. Are you ready for what’s next?
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