Manhattan Unveils First Unified Commerce Benchmark for Specialty Retail in Europe

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Manhattan Associates Inc. (NASDAQ: MANH) today announced the findings of the industry’s first real-world analysis of Unified Commerce in specialty retail in Europe conducted in partnership with Google Cloud and Zebra Technologies. The Unified Commerce Benchmark for Specialty Retail, conducted by Incisiv via actual shopping transactions, assessed three retail verticals (apparel and footwear, home and DIY, and luxury), and five countries (France, Germany, Italy, UK, and the Netherlands).

The Unified Commerce Benchmark for Specialty Retail in Europe conducted by Incisiv, assessed 50 retailers, analysing 290+ customer experience capabilities in four categories including: search and discovery; cart and checkout; promising and fulfilment and service and support.

Based on data from actual purchases, returns and customer journeys across digital and physical channels, the benchmarking reveals common attributes of successful retailers and opportunities for retailers to improve customer value and operations. Of the 50 retailers benchmarked, four brands emerged as overall leaders in Unified Commerce: Adidas, H&M, Leroy Merlin and M&S.

Below are some of the key findings from each of the four categories assessed:

  • Unified Basket: The biggest point of friction in today’s retail customer experience is due to the loss of context when transiting between the physical and the digital. Leaders in cart and checkout understand that a unified cart or basket is a foundational capability when it comes to that all-important connection across channels; 40% of leaders show personalised promotions and offers on product description pages and cart, compared to 6% of non-leaders.

  • Guided Inspiration: Leaders in search and discovery help shoppers discover meaningful products, making shoppers feel good about their purchase decisions, with 100% of leaders publishing detailed content on sustainability practices. They offer capabilities such as product recommendations, back-in-stock notifications, and product sourcing information, while 40% of Leaders offered real-time inventory visibility on product detail pages and personalised recommendations on home pages.

  • Flawless Fulfilment: Leaders in promising and fulfilment make sure shoppers’ product pick-up or delivery experience is as good as their shopping journey. Not only do leaders meet or beat their delivery promises consistently, they do also so while being more environmentally friendly too. Offering shoppers greater post-order flexibility, including complete or partial cancellations, and greater delivery/pick-up options are all areas leaders excel in. 60% of leaders offer shoppers the ability to cancel orders post-purchase compared to 28% of non-leaders.

  • 360 Degree Service: Leaders in the service and support segment offer shoppers a wide variety of service options; from in-store assistance to call centres, social media support to live agents on their website and mobile app. Importantly though, they offer seamless continuity, consistent quality and always-on availability across channels and services. They empower shoppers to self-serve most of their service needs with 92% of Leaders supporting in order modifications, returns and exchanges via chat/call and 75% offering their customers the ability to return purchases to drop-off locations.

Henri Seroux, senior vice president, EMEA at Manhattan Associates commented: “73% of European consumers are more likely to shop with retailers offering integrated online and in-store experiences. This means brands need complete visibility and insight into all aspects of their business, from back-end supply chain processes to customer services, if they are to deliver seamless shopping experiences to Europe’s mosaic-like retail landscape.”

“Unified Commerce holds great promise for retailers and the key to it lies in not only seamlessly joining digital and in-person experiences, but also linking all the data and systems that enable them too,” said Paul Tepfenhart, Global Director Retail and Consumer Strategy at Google Cloud. “Manhattan Associates’ partnership with Google Cloud on this latest benchmark provides retailers with a data-based roadmap to deliver a unified commerce strategy that makes it easier for both customers and store associates to reliably locate the right products online and instore.”

“The European benchmark findings illustrate progress and investment are being made in addressing table stake capabilities such as channel integration, efficient search, payment options, sustainability choices and fulfilment. However, retailers are lagging in adopting many high impact differentiating capabilities and driving operational excellence,” said Tim Stoddard, General Manager and Senior Vice President EMEA, Zebra Technologies. “The results underline the importance of real-time optimised inventory visibility, front-line associate engagement, and elevated customer experience as key pillars to the delivery of Unified Commerce.”

Amarjot Mokha, Chief Operating Officer at Incisiv added: “In a fast-paced European market, retailers must continually innovate and adapt if they are to keep pace shifting consumer trends. Retailers embracing a Unified Commerce approach are able to go beyond simply selling products, to a place where they can craft experiences that resonate beyond country borders. This type of customer connection drives strong business growth, up to 3X higher revenue opportunities and creates the type of brand connection and customer loyalty every retailer covets.”

Click here to view the complete 2024 Unified Commerce Benchmark for Specialty Retail in Europe.