Connected commerce is a rapidly growing trend in the retail and restaurant industries, and it is changing the way businesses interact with their customers. By seamlessly integrating online and offline channels, this strategy is creating a more personalized and convenient experience for consumers.
Connected commerce makes it easier for customers to access products and services at any time or place. It includes online shopping and in-store pickups, and enables food ordering for takeaway and delivery.
Implementing connected commerce can be a new and unfamiliar process for small businesses. However, this is rapidly becoming a necessity for those looking to stay ahead in today’s digital age. In this guide, we will explore the key components and benefits of this system, along with some popular brands that have successfully integrated it.
What is Connected Commerce?
Connected commerce is a strategy that involves integrating all customer touchpoints into a single, unified experience — leveraging technology to provide a seamless shopping experience across various channels, such as online and offline, mobile apps, social media, and in-store. With connected commerce, customers can expect to receive consistent messaging, promotions, and pricing across all channels. Moreover, it also enables businesses to personalize the shopping experience based on the customer’s preferences, purchase history, and behaviors.
What are the Benefits of Connected Commerce?
Connected commerce offers a range of benefits for restaurants and retailers, including an enhanced customer experience, reduced operational costs, and a competitive advantage in the market.
Today, many restaurants and retailers face challenges in meeting the diverse needs of their customers due to lack of efficient systems, maintaining integrations, and staff training. This can result in dissatisfied customers and a negative impact on brand perception, potentially affecting business success.
Connected commerce allows businesses to plug-in-play, adapt their technology stack into a headless cloud. From eCommerce to CMS and even loyalty, a headless connected platform brings all these different systems and factors together to give your customers the best experience possible.
Let’s take a closer look at the top benefits of connected commerce and how it can help your business grow.
#1 – Increased Customer Engagement
Connected commerce creates a more immersive shopping experience for customers. It’s changing both the retail and restaurant industry, with companies like Mad Mobile and Salesforce leading the pave.
As futurist and keynote speaker Brian Solis notes in a guest post on Restaurant Dive, “a mobile ordering platform keeps servers in sync with guest needs, empowering consumers to collaborate with restaurants while allowing staff to engage and serve with as little or as much contact as they want… With collaborative commerce, guests are presented with so much more than a menu when scanning a QR code. Once they do so, an intuitive ordering experience launches, identifying their table location and presenting them with a dynamic menu with real-time item availability and pricing.”
Our QR code ordering solution with Salesforce offers guests a more intuitive and interactive dining experience for customers.
Moreover, this approach provides customers with more opportunities to interact with the brand, including social media, mobile apps, and in-store experiences. As a result, customers feel more connected to the brand, leading to increased loyalty and repeat purchases.
By ensuring a seamless transition between multiple touchpoints, connected commerce delivers a unified shopping experience with consistent branding, pricing, inventory information, and personalized offers for consumers.
#2 – Improved Customer Service
With access to a customer’s purchase history and preferences, businesses can leverage connected commerce to offer personalized recommendations, provide targeted promotions, and efficiently resolve customer issues.
For example, retail associates can utilize technology tools like clienteling to better understand customers’ preferences and offer tailored recommendations, thereby enhancing customer engagement and satisfaction. Additionally, businesses that employ chatbots and other AI-powered technologies can provide round-the-clock customer support, ensuring customers receive timely assistance. These efforts result in improved customer service and elevate the overall shopping experience.
#3 – Reduced Costs
Unifying all sales channels can reduce manual processes and minimize costs for businesses. Analyzing customer data from all channels can help identify inefficiencies, enabling companies to streamline their operations and optimize their supply chain. This can lead to further cost savings and a more efficient business model.
New Salesforce Commerce Cloud innovations in partnership with Mad Mobile are helping retailers find new ways to grow revenue and margins while increasing business efficiency and cutting costs. Our connected commerce platform enables retailers to attain a single view of transactions across digital and physical stores. This helps create seamless experiences to accelerate time to value, streamline operations, and keep shoppers coming back to retailers’ digital stores.
Read the full press release on this collaboration: New Salesforce for Retail Innovations Help Personalize Every Shopping Moment
#4 – Increased Sales
Connected commerce has the potential to increase sales by providing customers with a seamless and personalized shopping experience. This makes it easier for customers to find and purchase products or food.
As a result, businesses can increase online ordering conversion rates and reduce cart abandonment. Moreover, offering targeted promotions and personalized recommendations can increase average order value and encourage repeat purchases.
#5 – Stronger Loyalty
An integrated shopping experience can lead to stronger customer loyalty as a result of providing consistent messaging, promotions, and pricing across all channels. This approach builds trust with customers and creates an immersive shopping experience.
According to new Salesforce data, a disconnected experience is the leading source of frustration for retail customers, with 79% planning to reassess their spending over the next year. However, 65% of consumers surveyed will stay loyal to companies that provide personalized experiences.
By using customer data to offer personalized recommendations and promotions, businesses can deepen their relationships with customers, leading to increased loyalty and repeat purchases.
Four Brand Examples of Connected Commerce
As connected commerce continues to transform the restaurant and retail industries, many innovative brands are leading the way by successfully integrating this strategy into their operations. By leveraging technology to offer a seamless and personalized experience for their customers, these businesses are increasing sales, optimizing operations, and gaining a competitive edge in the market.
In this section, let’s explore some of the top brands that are utilizing connected commerce to revolutionize the way customers shop, dine, and interact with businesses.
Amazon Go is a prime example of connected commerce. With the introduction of “Amazon Go,” the retail giant has created a cashier-less store that allows customers to purchase items using their mobile app. The app recognizes the customer’s identity and automatically charges their account for the items they take out of the store. The system uses AI-powered technologies, such as computer vision and deep learning, to identify the items that the customer has taken.
KFC has implemented this strategy by allowing customers to order food through its mobile app, website, or in-store kiosks. Customers can pay for their orders using various payment methods, including mobile wallets and credit cards. Moreover, KFC has also implemented a loyalty program that rewards customers with points for every purchase, leading to increased loyalty and repeat purchases.
Starbucks utilizes a connected commerce approach that allows customers to order food and drinks through its mobile app, website, or in-store. Customers can pay for their orders using the mobile app, which also allows them to earn rewards and track their loyalty points. Moreover, Starbucks has also integrated an AI-powered chatbot that enables customers to order their favorite drinks using their language.
Domino’s has implemented the strategy by allowing customers to order pizza through various channels, including its website, mobile app, and social media platforms. Customers can track their orders in
real-time and receive updates on their delivery status. Domino’s rewards customers with points for purchases, leading to increased loyalty. The loyalty program has been implemented to encourage repeat purchases.
The success of leading brands shows the power of connected commerce in transforming the customer experience. By offering a seamless and personalized experience, they increased engagement and loyalty, optimized operations, and drove revenue.
To the stores of the future
In conclusion, connected commerce is a game-changing strategy for restaurant and retail businesses. It offers a seamless omnichannel experience that can drive sales, optimize operations, and provide a competitive edge. By leveraging technology, businesses can offer personalized experiences to their customers.
While connected commerce offers tremendous benefits for businesses, it’s important to note that implementing this strategy requires careful planning, investment, and expertise. Therefore, businesses need to evaluate their needs, choose the right solutions and partners, and stay focused on their goals. With the right approach, however, businesses can transform the way they interact with customers. They can also improve their operations, and ultimately achieve success in today’s digital age by following such strategy.
We hope this guide has provided valuable insights into the key components and benefits of connected commerce, and inspires businesses to explore this strategy in the ever-evolving landscape of the restaurant and retail industries.