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Year of “one view of the customer”

Digital, physical convergence to drive commerce

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Year of  “one view of the customer”

Convergence of physical and digital worlds in 2016 will transform business for a better customer experience, says Pitney Bowes Inc., a global technology company.

“We are increasingly seeing clients of all sizes reexamine how physical and digital technologies converge to power commerce,” says Roger Pilc, chief innovation officer. “Clients are already demanding a more seamless way of integrating their physical and digital worlds.” Pilc says that businesses will need to learn to bridge the two worlds.

5 factors pushing commerce forward

The firm’s research identifies five drivers of commerce for 2016, most of which should resonate with retail banking:

1. Internet of Things technologies will drive better business outcomes across industries.

The business benefits include lower cost of operations, greater productivity and output, and higher service levels. Businesses also need the flexibility to toggle between the physical and digital worlds to reach their customers in their preferred channels.

2. Small and medium businesses will greatly benefit from the digitization of physical communications.

Significant shifts in technology, mobility, and information are creating new global commerce opportunities for small and medium businesses, according to Pitney Bowes. New tools and technologies enable small and medium businesses to better target, engage, and serve new customers.

These new technologies and cloud-based solutions are becoming available to integrate physical and digital experiences and simplify processes on one platform. For example, businesses can now complement physical mail pieces with digital experiences through adopting QR codes; creating more interactive and targeted direct mail; and deliver messages across multiple channels to boost impact.

3. Personalization and hyper-localization will drive explosive growth in global commerce.

As cross-border ecommerce becomes more mainstream, consumers are becoming savvier. Retailers and marketplaces must continuously improve the global consumer experience, but shopping experiences across the world are not all the same. The challenge facing retailers is to create deeper, more personalized localized experiences that mean something to consumers from varying countries and regions. To make international purchases not only possible, but probable, retailers must deliver what their global consumers want, while also taking into account how they like to shop.

4. Data analytics will play a key role in fraud detection and prevention.

The same data analytics in the cloud that help create one view of the customer are also being used to fight crime, help meet regulatory requirements, and detect fraud. Businesses across different industries have a common interest in protecting their assets and minimizing their losses.

Almost a quarter of security breaches involve accessing private data in paper-based form. New cloud-enabled multichannel communications platforms can help small and medium businesses ensure client data privacy, meet growing regulatory requirements, and integrate their physical and digital transactional communications.

5. Omnichannel marketing will increasingly use data analytics and optimize physical and digital technologies to deliver a seamless experience for the customer.

Customer service is at the heart of brand loyalty. Best next actions in any physical or digital channel will determine whether marketing wins the day or drops the ball.

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