There are many powerful forces driving change in the world of retail. One of them is the concept of distributed or “instant” commerce, where consumers make a purchase from any Internet-connected device, platform or application without having to visit the merchant’s site to do so.

This completely shifts the shopping perspective to consumers who shop – wherever they are, whatever they are doing, whatever device they are using – as part of the experience they are already having.

This concept is examined in a new report “When Every Touchpoint is a Transaction,” which looks as how retailers can adapt to the new non-linear route shoppers are taking on their way to a transaction.

Retailers need to enable purchasing wherever their shoppers choose to buy. That means social media, messaging apps and online marketplaces, search engines, even Internet of Things, augmented and virtual reality applications.

But how? At which interaction points? All of them? Is the approach the same for each? Which digital commerce platform will best help retailers enable consumers to transact wherever, whenever and however they please?

Given all these questions, it’s understandable that retailers are left scratching their heads and fretting about their ability keep up with consumer expectations. After all, it’s hard enough to manage merchandising, promotions and transactions successfully in store, mobile and Web.

The Demandware Commerce Cloud is the only enterprise cloud platform that enables retailers to extend commerce to multiple channels, all united by a central (and centrally-managed) commerce platform. For retailers, the beauty of this is that they can they use the same tools to manage these extended touchpoints as they use to manage their existing ecommerce.

And because retailers can leverage en extend everything they’ve already been doing with the Demandware platform, there is a consistency of messaging, brand and content across every touchpoint, regardless of what that touchpoint might be.

It is the very definition and the epitome of unified commerce.