Global IMPACT: Single view of everything

It should not matter how I buy, where I buy or when I buy. I do not care where the products come from, I just care that I get them.
This is part 4 of 4 in our new mini-series about the future of commerce in London.

single view of customer, data and much more

What does the future of omnichannel commerce hold? Karoline Lotz Jonassen went to London to gain inspiration on how retailers are meeting customers’ needs in Europe’s biggest shopping mecca.

This is the fourth article in a mini-series about the future of commerce. In this episode, she explores single view of almost everything. 

the future of commerce in london

As a part of the next generation of customers I am most definitely always an omnichannel customer using numerous channels to gain inspiration, and research before I purchase – leading brands in London understand that.

Big data might just be the most important step towards true unified commerce. As creating a unified experience across channels is key to succeed in the future of commerce.

Brands and retailers can gain important knowledge from the leaders in London.

What is single customer view?

Single view of data includes single customer view, also known as unified customer view or customer 360 and single view of inventory.

It is all about creating a single view of customer behaviour and the information you collect across touchpoints and business areas, and how you utilise this data.

It could be using in-store purchase history to create personalised marketing on social media and on your e-commerce site.

It could also be making sure that your sales associates give the best possible experience in-store by giving access to customer information such as size, recent purchases and online behaviour or enabling ship from store, split order and endless aisles.

As 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience and single view of data will definitely help you.

single customer view

The benefit with single view

Since I visit Oxford street a post-corona day in September, there were not many people in the stores. It gives me the opportunity to talk to the store staff about their digital journey.

In Scandinavia, less than 30% of brands and retailers promote online in-store, according to IMPACT Omnichannel Index.

In London close to 100% of the stores I visit seem to understand the benefits of making customers loyal to more than one channel.

Single customer view in Timberland

The staff in Timberland share with me how corona has put speed to their digital transformation.

They believe that the future store will be a showroom for the online shop where you can gain inspiration and try on the products before buying the items online.

In the store, I find a pair of shoes which is only in stock in one size. The staff ask me to try the same model in another colour to make sure I get the right size. Afterwards they ensure that the product is delivered to us from their sister store, the online shop or their warehouse.

The endless aisle concept seems to be working quite well for Timberland and it is a great way to ensure a great range of products without having everything in stock in each store.

As a customer, I do not care where the product is shipped from. I just care about receiving it.

single view of customer

A solid customer experience

I continue my shopping in Urban Outfitters, Adidas, Nike, and John Lewis.

Many of the services, which are only just seeing the light of day in Scandinavia, are must-haves in London.

The in-store employees are provided with the tools they need to give me a great customer experience.

  • They can easily do an online check on stock data in sister stores and no matter if I want the item shipped to my home address, collect at the store or reserve at the sister store they can make it happen.
  • They can access their visitors purchase history – no matter where a previous purchase has been made.
  • They provide me with an online receipt for my in-store purchase.

In London, I get a full-blown unified commerce experience.

what is unified commerce?

Unified commerce is building a seamless customer experience across all your channels and touchpoints.

An experience where your customers are provided with relevant information, personalized content and the opportunity to buy your product or service on the channel which they desire.

This is made possible by understanding your customers and then defining and connecting your processes, people, data and system

How to create unified commerce

While click-and-collect and reserve-at-store are important services, providing these features will not make you a true unified commerce company.

It is well known that brands take incremental steps towards unified commerce. But even so they are not meeting customers expectations 100%.

Only doing something half-heartedly you risk being caught in the middle, losing ground to your competitors and missing out on the customers’ attention (and their money).

unified commerce in reality

A great example of a company succeeding in becoming a unified commerce business is GANNI. They implemented RFID, Digital POS and OMS.

No matter where they meet the customer they have the same view and all relevant information gathered giving a seamless and excellent customer experience.

Ganni has single customer view

It should not matter how I buy, where I buy or when I buy. I do not care where the products come from, I just care that I get them.

Adidas' flagship store i London er deres mest digitale butik til dato
IMPACT har mystery shoppet i Adidas flagship store i London

In some markets, Adidas is leading the way on these solutions.

As I visit their London flagship store, they even offer to send an in-store purchase to my home address.

As a customer, I want the companies I buy from to give me relevant and personalised information on all channels and throughout my journey.


Across Denmark we have entered the second corona lockdown and the authorities are encouraging us to shop online and limit the time we spend in retail stores.

The shift to digital puts the online warehouses under pressure both when it comes to handling orders in time but also when it comes to ensuring the needed stock level of products.

Let me give you an example from my life. As many others I have turned to DIY projects during lockdown. I have unfolded my questionable creative competencies within clay, painting, and pearls.

I started adding various tools, pendants, threads and pearls in all colors of the rainbow to my online basket. But some of my items are out of stock online.

The out of stock situation

Although in-store stock levels are shown on the site some of my items are out of stock in my local store as well.

Seeing my items available in stores far away from my home but not being able to purchase them is frustrating.

I even call my local store and ask if they can order the missing items from their sister store or from their supplier – but no luck there either.

What did that mean for the company? It meant they lost my order.

This pain could have been solved if the company had implemented split order or ship from store solutions and if they had an OMS system to handle and consolidate inventory across stores and warehouses.

Personalised information

As a customer I want the companies I buy from to give me relevant and personalised information on all channels and throughout my journey.

I recently bought two chef knives in a store on Gammel Kongevej. What I do not want the company to do after my purchase is to send me retargeting filled with the same knives I just bought.

single view of customer

Instead, they should inspire me on how to use the items, they should push relevant cross sales such as a chopping boards or a knife sharpener or even better four months from now they should offer me a knife sharpening service.

If the data was floating smoothly between channels the company would know not to target me with online remarketing once I have already bought the item in-store.

In a unified setup this would have been a better experience for me as a customer.

I am not the only one reacting positively to a personalised experience. 49% of buyers have made impulse purchases after receiving a more personalised experience.


Karoline Lotz Jonassen is an E-Business Consultant at IMPACT and helps our clients develop their e-commerce strategy, digital concepts, and roadmaps to optimise their returns on digital investments.

As part of the Omnichannel Index 2020, Karoline went to London to gain insights and inspiration on how retailers are meeting customers’ needs in Europe’s biggest shopping mecca.

She has tested in-store apps, conducted self-checkout, and spoke with staff regarding their digital touchpoints in-store.

In the next segment, Karoline will look at single-view of data.

karoline lotz johannesen er e-business consultant hos impact