Customers have come to expect a seamless shopping experience whether in store or online and are using technology as part of the buying journey more than ever. This is driving the need for a dynamic approach to commerce—agile, responsive and on-demand. Retailers have to innovate faster, and new technology solutions that can help deliver a great customer experience (CX) are that much more valuable as we address the needs of the Now Economy. Consumers want more choice, fast and effortless delivery, and an exceptional experience, and they want it now.
When CommerceHub was founded 20 years ago, we were pioneering a new approach to commerce. The idea was to give retailers access to inventory outside of traditional distribution centers via a network of suppliers and distributors who would fulfill orders on behalf of a retailer. At the time, it was a model many retailers couldn’t imagine, as even the idea of consumers paying by credit card online was a new concept. Now, drop ship and marketplace are go-to models that major retailers and brands rely on to get customers what they want, when they want it.
Today, we are driving innovation with a renewed focus on enabling our customers to compete and win in the Now Economy, with enhanced ecommerce capabilities to support unified drop ship and marketplace, new catalog services, and fast, effortless fulfillment. And that’s just the beginning. With the power of our unified commerce network, the thousands of retailers, brands and suppliers across a wide range of retail categories are generating data that can make them more responsive, more agile and more profitable. Our extensive view of the network provides insights that are fueling the development of increasingly advanced AI and machine learning capabilities, driving our mission to innovate and help customers stay ahead of the curve with the latest commerce technology.
Consumers are driving increased innovation in retail
It’s not enough for retailers to just “keep up”. They have to be out ahead and ready to pivot at a moment’s notice because consumer demand is constantly changing. With social media and always-on access to content, consumers are getting inspiration from anywhere and everywhere that is driving demand in new and different ways. And when those consumers are ready to buy, they want their products delivered fast—like right now.
Competition amongst retailers and brands is fierce. If customers aren’t happy with a delivery date, a price or the overall buying experience, they go elsewhere. A great CX relies on technical advancements, especially ones that are digitally focused as Gen Z/Millennials emerge as primary consumers. Technology is advancing to improve all retail touchpoints, such as self-service options, contactless payments, enhanced product content, omnichannel, delivery, inventory management and AR stores. For a retailer, customer loyalty can be won and/or lost based on the online experience a customer has. Exceeding expectations truly is the best competitive advantage. To do this, a retailer has to invest in providing a top-notch delivery experience and a curated product assortment that is personalized and relevant to customer needs. This requires innovative solutions built with great tech that is invisible.
Where are areas for retailers to improve?
Product discovery. Surfacing products that are personalized and relevant to customers means having the ability to quickly onboard new brand partners, list products and populate product content that drives conversions with searchable attributes and high-quality images and videos.
Delivery. Not only do customers want to find what they want, they want their items as soon as possible. This means faster shipping (one or two-day) or even same day. And post-purchase, they want to be notified of the status of their delivery via tracking and notifications. With machine learning, retailers can pinpoint delivery dates with precision and automate customer communications to ensure a great CX.
Inventory management. Omnichannel has been buzzing around the retail industry for decades, but now it’s more important than ever. Retailers have to be able to connect with customers across multiple channels and provide them with a frictionless, seamless experience. The best way to do this is with a drop ship and marketplace solution that gives retailers the flexibility to choose the model that is best to attract new customers and build loyalty with existing customers. A solution like Commerce Suite is designed to get retailers as close to “being all things to all customers” with one single connection to a vast and thriving commerce network. It enables a retailer to jump in and out of categories to meet the moment (think pandemic puzzle craze) without taking on or holding the inventory when demand wanes.
CommerceHub continues to make innovation our top priority as we work with the world’s leading retailers and brands to address the needs of the Now Economy. We are strengthening our tech stack and enhancing our technology with increased machine learning and data analytics to provide the capabilities and insights to deliver an exceptional CX and meet the changing needs of a more digitally focused consumer buying journey. We’d love to partner with you. Contact us.