More than half—53 percent—of retail business and technology executives plan to implement a unified commerce platform in the next few years, up from 50 percent in 2014. Looking ahead a decade, 86 percent of retailers plan to have a unified commerce platform.
The new study, conducted in partnership by the National Retail Federation, E-commerce Europe, the E-commerce Foundation and Demandware, surveyed 300 U.S., European and Australian retail executives. The results show that changing consumer shopping habits increasingly require that retailers have a centralized commerce platform across traditional point-of-sale, e-commerce, call center and mobile channels.
"Many retailers are already in the throes of managing the critical changes necessary to keep up with existing retail infrastructure, architecture and applications, and today's consumers will continue to shape how retail CIOs adjust their commerce and business platforms for years to come," said NRF VP of retail technologies Tom Litchford. "Retail IT executives increasingly want a unified commerce platform to bridge the many digital and traditional touch points that customers access to better serve customers, streamline IT operations and improve the bottom line."
More than two-thirds of respondents believe that a unified commerce platform could improve margins, brand value and revenue. Specifically, 52 percent foresee an improvement in items that directly impact margin; 46 percent expect to see an increase in brand value; and 38 percent believe improvements will occur in average order value, promotional redemption and conversion rates.
Additionally, those surveyed believe that consolidating commerce platforms could drive improvements in IT innovation and efficiency. Two in five retailers anticipate significant improvements in their ability to meet business demands faster and 35 percent foresee IT efficiency improvements in data security, maintenance costs and infrastructure.
At the time of the study, 72 percent of retailers were planning the transition to a single commerce platform.
For some retailers, commerce platforms are now extending to social channels such as Facebook and Twitter. For example, Shoppost, a platform for social commerce, is now available for retailers selling on the Amazon Webstore. Created by Zantler, Shoppost allows retailers to sell their products in-stream on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and blogs in a post that looks like an e-commerce storefront and will connect customers directly to the checkout process.
*This story originally appeared in FierceRetailIT's sister publication, FierceRetail.
-See this NRF press release
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