Omnichannel Commerce vs. Unified Commerce | Acro Media
Laura Meshen
Author Laura Meshen
Content Marketing Specialist
Posted in Unified Commerce
June 3, 2021
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Omnichannel Commerce vs. Unified Commerce

Are omnichannel commerce and unified commerce two sides of the same coin? It is a pretty common belief that the two terms are marketing speak for essentially the same thing. This is not exactly the case. Our list below outlines the differences.

Still learning? Visit our unified commerce page>“Omni” is the root word for “all” in Latin, so omnichannel should translate to “all channel”. This is correct in a way. While your message, product or service may get pushed out to “all channels” with an omnichannel commerce strategy, that is about where it ends. The critical data you need to make decisions doesn’t necessarily circle back to you in a cohesive or centralized manner.

This is where unified commerce differs. With a unified commerce ecosystem and strategy, not only can you reach all of your customers anywhere they are, but the data from each channel comes back to your team to be used to create an overarching, unified strategy.

The following table takes a quick look at some of the differences between omnichannel commerce and unified commerce.

Omnichannel commerce

Unified commerce

Architecture:

  • Generally uses a standard ecommerce platform as the base with siloed apps or platforms used separately.
  • Products/messaging are manually pushed to non-connected channels by marketing teams.
  • Often uses a traditional coupled architecture.

Architecture:

  • Backend systems are connected with customer-facing channels via a unified ecosystem.
  • Automatic publishing to all sales channels, with consistent messaging and experience.
  • Often employs a decoupled or headless architecture.

Data flow:

  • Usually stops after multichannel expansion and front end alignment.
  • It does not consolidate the data or experiences from the various channels.
  • Customer data collected from each individual channel to create better strategies based on each channel, but it is not centralized to get interconnected, unified customer profiles.
  • Limited to desktop, mobile and in-store experiences for data collection.

Data flow:

  • Consolidates all sales channels, payment systems, products, and customer interactions to deliver a totally integrated, measurable, and frictionless experience.
  • Gives a more complete view of the business and allows the capture of consolidated data insights tracking across channels and regions.
  • Keeps reconciliation simple and reduces the workload of reporting and finance teams.
  • Able to facilitate recurring payments with real-time account updates.

User experience:

  • A multichannel approach to sales that focuses on providing seamless customer experience whether the client is shopping online from a mobile device, a laptop or in a brick-and-mortar store.
  • Since each channel may have a separate payment capture, there can be a disconnected feel if all checkout functionalities are not in sync.
  • Personalization is possible, but it would have to be done on a system-by-system rollout, making it cumbersome.


User experience:

  • By consolidating all systems and data across every channel, whether it’s in-store, online, or in-app, you can better identify your customers, understand their needs, and facilitate seamless cross-channel experiences.
  • Process payments and refunds globally through one contract, on one platform.
  • Personalization is seamless between sales channels since the data is unified. What a customer sees in email, social ads, retargeting messaging is integrated and combined.

Unified commerce is a marketing strategy, but it is also a technical infrastructure strategy. Building a unified ecosystem that controls all your sales channels and can consolidate data has great power. It has the ability to streamline processes, build in business automation and improve customer experience.

Unified commerce enables organizations to become more competitive, drive up sales and improve customer engagement through:

  • Inventory visibility across all channels.
  • Ease and speed of order fulfillment.
  • Improved communication tools, internally and externally.

There are several ways a unified commerce strategy will help in growing a business:

Unified commerce will help grow your business by breaking down the walls between internal channel silos and leveraging a common commerce platform. It offers a real-time holistic view of the entire enterprise — empowering finely-tuned insights that drive margins upward and create new strategic possibilities.

Ready to move your business to a unified commerce strategy? Our consultants would be happy to talk you through it.

Still have questions? Check out our unified commerce page >

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