Key metrics to track with unified commerce

Dec 08, 2023

Key takeaways

Certain key metrics for each stage of unified commerce are helpful in tracking and monitoring the performance of each capability

A few sample metrics are described in this article, but more are available in RSM’s downloadable ROI calculator

It’s important to take the time to adapt these ideas to your organization

Business applications Retail Microsoft

There’s no question that unified commerce allows retailers to increase sales and provide a better experience to customers. But the business value of unified commerce is different for each retailer. As capabilities are added, they establish levers to provide more value to the business. And since unified commerce can be adopted in multiple stages, each new stage synthesizes systems and further increases value. But to know just how much value each unified commerce capability is adding to your business, you will need to establish a baseline and track and monitor the performance of each capability.

We have described the road to unified commerce as capabilities added in stages. A description of some of the metrics for each of the first three stages is described below. For a more complete list of recommended metrics, please review the ROI Calculator.

Stage 1: Metric examples for knowing your customer

Stage 1 of unified commerce, “know your customer,” introduces the capabilities of a customer data platform and a unified customer loyalty program. These capabilities enable a retailer to improve customer loyalty by gaining a better understanding of customer behavior. Improving loyalty reduces customer churn and increases average spend.

To baseline, establish customer loyalty profiles, customer segments and marketing spend. Loyalty profiles can be established through a scoring process over sales history, and customer churn can be calculated from existing sales data. Knowing how to impact these areas is unique to each retailer but can typically be identified as retailers get to “know their customer.” 

Stage 2: Metric examples for increasing service levels

Stage 2 of unified commerce, “increase service levels,” enables “buy online, ship from store” capabilities. The value here is in recovering lost online sales, improving the speed of shipping for online orders and improving customer service handling of cross channel payments.  

Recovering lost online sales starts with analyzing customer shopping cart abandonment at two places: inventory reveal and shipping time reveal. This will provide you with solid insight into why many online sales are initially lost. Next, analyze the volume of order cancellations due to inventory backorders and shipping costs. Adding buy online, ship from store can reduce shipping times and costs and also reduce the inventory stock level requirements. This means more fulfilled orders that are shipped more quickly and at a lower cost.

Lastly, gather data that indicates the customer service cases generated from payment issues. The number of issues, and time to resolve relative to customer service capacity will indicate the benefit of implementing a unified commerce payment approach. Keep in mind that many of these issues may be happening at the store level where tracking may be more difficult.  

Stage 3: Metric examples for removing friction

Stage 3 of unified commerce, “remove friction from the customer experience,” involves driving conversion in online and in-store sales. The goal is to remove friction from the customer experience so that retailers can amplify online and in-store advantages by having these two channels work together and support each other. The metrics for this area are designed to calculate conversion rates for stores and online channels without unified commerce capabilities. Then, once unified commerce is in place, conversion rates for online customers who are near a store and general store traffic would likely improve due to having inventory visibility available online.

What happens next?

Understanding your objectives and establishing a baseline by stage is a great way to evaluate and influence the impact of adopting unified commerce capabilities. These objectives should be tailored to your organization’s unique situation; there may be goals and metrics not covered in this article that will have an even higher impact on your business.

For a complete list of metrics and impacts, visit our ultimate ROI calculator for unified commerce. This ROI calculator is a companion tool to our “Journey to Unified Commerce” roadmap, which outlines the stages of adoption. These tools are linked below and can help you start preparing a business case for unified commerce.  

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