Letter from America: Goodbye EPoS, hello unified commerce

A new generation of retail processing is sweeping America and retailing everywhere.  The 2015 Store Systems Study 2015 indicated only 22% of respondents plan to purchase new PoS, the lowest percentage ever, but a full 63% plan or have already implemented Unified Commerce, a complete  integration of traditional EPoS, eCommerce, catalogue and mobile system function. 

Unified Commerce is one step beyond omnichannel and appears to largely satisfy all new technology enabled retail functions required in this age of customer centric retail, serve the consumer where, when and how they desire.  Distributed order management (DOM) is another name for unified commerce.

Omnichannel, the number one priority in the RIS Study, promises the consumer the ability to:

To fulfil these promises requires integration or better yet a single system (Unified Commerce) to perform:

Are these services important to please customers?  Absolutely, let me provide a personal example: on a shopping trip last week to a major home retailer I purchased paint and asked the sales associate for the companion wall cleaning product.  He said sorry looks like it is out of stock but that there might be a similar product at the complete other end of the store. I walked, no luck and left a very unhappy customer. Armed with Unified Commerce, the sales associate could at PoS have ordered the cleaning product from another source and shipped to my home. A customer would have been saved.

Boston Retail Partners in their 'Order Management is the New PoS' available free online highlights these benefits of Unified Commerce:

Fortunately software providers are responding to retailer requirements and preparing Unified solutions.  To name a few:

If you want to do omnichannel successfully, I suggest you explore Unified Commerce, DOM or whatever the name, to provide seamless satisfaction to your customers and prospects.

Richard Mader, is president of Mader International Consulting and former executive director of the Association for Retail Technology Standards (ARTS). He will be writing a regular US viewpoint article, exclusively for Essential Retail.