From unified commerce to unified payment: How to increase your sales?

unified payment

Multichannel, cross-channel, omnichannel and now unified commerce?

Le 29 June 2021

Today, more than ever, customers impose their own pace of consumption. Merchants must adapt to these new behaviors by offering increasingly personalized shopping experiences and payment solutions. Consumers are looking for a commerce that revolves around them and that blurs the boundaries between online, mobile and in-store.  In short, a unified commerce, facilitated by unified payment.

Commerce, digital, customer experience… All these concepts are developing at a rapid pace and bring with them their share of terms and jargons. In order to understand what unified commerce is and its impact on payment, it is essential to go back to the origins of these terminologies, which are often confused and misused.

  • Multichannel is about offering customers different channels that act completely independently of each other. It is about the simple purchase online or in store for example.
  • With cross-channel, the merchant adapts to the customer’s buying path and behavior by making the company’s different contact points work together. Store-to-web (try-on in store then order online) is a good example of this concept.
  • Finally, omnichannel goes even further by encouraging the simultaneous use of the various available contact points to provide a fluid and homogeneous purchasing experience anywhere, anytime. It is no longer a question of proposing an identical offer everywhere, but according to the specificities of the customer contact points. This is notably the case of Click&Collect, which needs no introduction.

Unified commerce comes into play at this stage, corresponding to the extension of omnichannelity. Its objective is to coordinate the points of contact as much as possible in order to guarantee a seamless customer experience whatever the channel. Thanks to a synoptic view of all customer information, unified commerce makes it possible to push the concept of customer experience to the extreme.

And the payment in all this?

These methods have a direct impact on payment processes and unified commerce is no exception. This is called unified payment. Payment channels become vectors of customer recognition, allowing merchants to benefit from a global view of their customers’ activity, in short a 360° vision. Transaction history, purchase frequency, dematerialization of payment methods, payment attempts, average shopping baskets… All this information from different channels is centralized in a single interface. For merchants, this data is the key to delivering a smooth and personalized customer experience. Unified payment and the associated customer recognition can be strategic levers to increase sales and adapt commercial and loyalty methods.

A single, centralized platform for merchants

The evolution of payment behaviors (mobile payment, One-Click, Scan&Pay, Self-CheckOut…), the complexity of new purchase paths (Click&Collect, e-reservation…), customer volatility, as well as the strong European payment regulations (PSD2) are the reasons that push companies to unify their payment processes.

For a merchant, unified payment requires an inclusive and centralized payment solution for all its channels in real time. Implementing it therefore requires organizational, business and technological restructuring to track and interact with customers throughout their purchase journey. According to Natalie Echinard, Director of Business Retail at Cegid: “The objective is to converge on the same digital platform all the uses of unified commerce: click & collect, store to home, loyalty management, etc. “. However, even if we are witnessing a generalized interest in these new solutions, there is still a long way to go before all companies adopt a true unified commerce environment.

To help businesses transition to unified payments, CentralPay offers a payment solution focused on customer knowledge. With the help of an appropriate payment solution and secure customer accounts, each transaction is automatically associated with a customer ID in order to continuously feed the merchants’ customer knowledge database, from all sales channels (online, physical, remote or mobile). Thus, by identifying customers from their credit cards, merchants have an overview of customer activity, facilitating strategic and operational decisions and the implementation of loyalty systems.

At CentralPay, we support you in the digitization or optimization of your payment processes, to help you imagine tomorrow’s shopping experience.

Want to know more? Contact us