Find out what's in a unified commerce transaction

Over the past few years, payment companies have begun to offer merchants a more holistic payments experience. Some call it unified commerce, while others call it omnichannel – but the central idea remains the same: to allow sellers to connect every channel and engage customers throughout their shopping journey.

But what does “unified commerce” really mean? To demonstrate, let’s go through one hypothetical consumer’s experience across all channels in a single unified commerce transaction.

Start Anywhere
In the traditional commerce experience, a consumer will either have to travel to a store’s brick-and-mortar location to buy a product or, order it from an e-commerce site and await its arrive days or weeks later.

A unified commerce experience offers far more avenues to getting a product. For instance, let’s consider a hypothetical customer named John. John decides he wants a new shirt, but he wants it today, so he doesn’t want to order it online. Still, he doesn’t want to risk going to a store that may not have it, and he doesn’t want to have to call up multiple locations of a local brand he likes.

In a unified commerce experience, John goes to the website, browses until he finds a shirt he likes, and checks its availability. It’s in-stock at one of the store’s locations, so he chooses to buy it online, and pick it up in store. 

He doesn’t want to drive in to get it just yet, but he knows it’s safely off the shelf, so he’ll get it in a few hours.

Pick Up Any Time
A few hours later, when he has the time, John drives down to the store to pick up the shirt. It’s ready for him and he’s already paid, so checkout is a breeze. Such a breeze that he neglects to take the receipt when he leaves.

When he gets home, he realizes the shirt doesn’t fit like he wants—so he has to exchange it, but he forgot that receipt. And he knows there’s a closer store than the one he went to, so he’d prefer to go to that location.

Return Anywhere
No receipt still isn’t a problem. A unified commerce experience lets him return his shirt to any location in the chain, and they’ve got his card stored in a tokenized manner. Not only does this ensure security of the data, it allows them to easily pull up the transaction and enable an exchange. He gets his new shirt, and he’s on his way.

But this isn’t the only path for a transaction—nor does the industry have to be clothing, either. In a true unified commerce experience, maybe it begins at a pop-up shop, and the customer later returns it via mail; maybe it’s bought online and returned to the store; there are countless possibilities.

This seamless experience makes life easy not just for the customer, but for a merchant, too. The customer’s happier, of course, because they’ve had unparalleled freedom and simplicity in this transaction.

But for the merchant, by using solutions that work in tandem across all channels, it’s created a simple, headache free process that gets customers in and out faster. And this tracking will, in the end, create more insight into customers.


​​A Journey Through A Unified Commerce Transaction

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