Overcoming retail challenges with a unified commerce solution

Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Retail & Optimizely Commerce Cloud 

The promised land of achieving unified commerce has been the talk of retailers over the last 5 years until 2020 rewrote the script. With the recent pandemic, retailers have been forced to adopt a digital-first mindset and accelerate their e-commerce capabilities in weeks, not years. In other words, achieving unified commerce is now or never.

There are solutions that can help businesses deliver for changing consumer behaviour and expectations, and adapt to this new post-pandemic reality without rebuilding.

Increasingly, delivering the goods means bringing a single unified view of the customer to interactions across all the touchpoints--in-store, online, by telephone, or by mobile device. With consistency across channels, new possibilities arise for deploying personalized and segmented offers and services that drive satisfaction and loyalty.

A single commerce platform

Many retail success stories are built with Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Retail combined with the out-of-the-box integration of Optimizely Commerce Cloud. Not only does this provide all the ERP and CRM functionalities needed to run modern retail operations, with seamless integration to POS and e-commerce running in the Azure cloud, but it’s also a platform that helps accelerate and facilitate the path to modern retail success – and differentiation.

Integration with Dynamics 365 for Retail and CRM

Data for orders, products, pricing, and promotions are fully integrated with Dynamics for Retail, and customer profiles are shared with Dynamics CRM for a 360-degree view. With a single source for data and unified processes, retailers gain significant efficiencies and the ability to consistently offer customers exceptional experiences across all touchpoints.

Customer-centric shopping experiences

Customers can start shopping online, receive personalized emails based on their interests and visit a store for VIP service from mobile-enabled employees. When in-store, mobile shoppers can receive personalized offers, and autonomous shoppers can discover products through interactive kiosks and enjoy faster checkout through line busting and mobile POS. No matter where they start, pause or complete their purchase, it’s a customized, frictionless, and seamless journey.

Breath new life into brick and mortar

Unified commerce enables retailers to leverage and adapt stores as a complementary point of contact in an e-commerce experience, for example as fulfillment centers and pick-up locations in response to the surge in online shopping. More traditionally, customers who prefer in-store browsing and shopping never have to leave a store disappointed with endless aisle capabilities to identify the nearest location of out-of-stock items, and streamlined order fulfillment gives them the choice to have it shipped or pick-it up.

Launch new online storefronts

Retailers can compete on a whole new level, leveraging the power of digital to launch new websites for multiple brands, in new markets, in multiple languages, and customize their product offerings accordingly. All from a single system, rapidly, and efficiently.

Faster time to value

Technically speaking, Optimizely Commerce’s out-of-the-box connectors to Microsoft Dynamics lower costs, risks, and maintenance work by significantly reducing “under-the-hood” implementation time. The result is a standout unified commerce platform with the industry’s lowest TCO, faster time to value, and continuous innovation, extremely critical when retail success depends on a rapid transformation. 

Keep up with change

Built on Azure, retailers using the Optimizely platform can leverage PowerBI to make informed decisions to enhance customer experiences and optimize operations. In addition, as the landscape continues to take twists and turns, Microsoft continues to innovate and ensure retailers can benefit from the most powerful tools and apps to drive a successful digital business.

Leveling the playing field

Today’s retailers are no longer in the business of just selling products. Serving customers requires a certain level of sophistication. A blend of technology and human interactions to ensure customers are welcomed personally online and in-store, where they can get consistent, valuable product information, access to real-time inventory and availability, and fulfillment options.

For customers, the possibilities are empowering, even exhilarating. But for retailers, while offering exceptional efficiencies and startlingly more inventive ways of selling, they can also present plenty of challenges and opportunities for stumbling.

The key to delivering on unified retail’s promise is to align front-end, customer-facing aspects with all the back-end, behind-the-scenes business processes. The better front and back are integrated, the better-unified retail will succeed.