Oracle Analytics in retail

September 30, 2021 | 5 minute read
Jake Krakauer
Oracle Sales Strategy and Business Development, Industrial Manufacturing
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For retailers and the consumer packaged goods industry, it can feel like the market is radically different compared to just 18 months ago. “Supply chains and consumer demand still seem unpredictable. Baseline performance, though recovering, had transformed into high peaks and low valleys, and all predictive models that retailers once relied upon have been shown to be weak at best and useless at worst. Fashion and retail saw declines of up to 30 percent, per Gartner; grocers on the other hand, experienced foot traffic transforming into a stampede. We’ve been living through the greatest economic disruption in more than half a century.” ¹

Changes have been dramatic, with external forces having “accelerated the digitization of companies’ operations. In a matter of months, next-generation operating models were implemented that improved both the efficiency of the business and customers’ experiences, and resulted in new revenue streams for many companies.” ² “Traditionally the role of the store was pretty simple: to display products, aid in a customer’s selection (through assortment curation, visual presentation, sales help, etc.) and consummate the transaction….(but now)… they are increasingly powerful sources of brand advertising that are critical to overall brand success in the local trade area, regardless of transactional channel.” ³

The new challenge for retailers is to “bring the best digital insights into their physical spaces, and to integrate both for a seamless customer experience.” ⁴, yet “the basic truths about data analytics and their powers for intuitive insights and management still hold true. The old data strategies don’t work, but the power and potential of data itself is unchanged.”¹  Retailers are looking for ways to quickly analyze data from multiple internal and external sources, understand and improve operations across functions from sales to supply chain to finance, and dispense with time consuming and error prone spreadsheets. Retail companies around the world are using Oracle Analytics solutions to address these challenges, to innovate and excel. Here are the stories of a few of our customers.

Maxiconsumo

Created in 1993 from the merger of two supermarket chains, Maxiconsumo is one of Argentina’s largest retail chains, with 35 locations throughout the national territory, including the capital Buenos Aires. With more than 1,500 employees, the company offers its consumers a wide variety of products, from food and beverages to cleaning and personal hygiene items.

One of the biggest challenges Maxiconsumo’s BI team faced was related to large-scale data analysis for different departments within the organization, such as management, trade, logistics, and human resources. The process was carried out via an open source PostGres database on-premises system, which had slow performance and complex tools.

Maxiconsumo decided to migrate its BI platform from an on-premises environment to the cloud. The selection team chose Oracle Analytics Cloud and Oracle Autonomous Database, which offers faster time to market, greater performance and scalability with less administration, combined with a set of advanced resources for data preparation, analysis, and visualization, as its cloud solution. The dashboards and reports from Oracle Analytics Cloud are also much easier and friendlier to use.  Business users in sales and staffing can perform their own multidimensional analysis on key performance indicators to visually identify trends and patterns over various time periods and locations, as well as drill deeper in the data.

“Bringing our processes to Oracle Cloud helped us make our operation more agile and decentralized. We have gone from delivering data and analytics in several hours to just a few seconds for faster, more accurate, and secure insights.” - Sergio Silva, Head of Systems, Maxiconsumo

Yescom USA

Yescom USA specializes in home outdoor, sporting goods, commercial tools, and beauty salons. In 20 years, the company has expanded its operations outside the US to Canada, the UK, Australia, and Japan by launching its products on Amazon, eBay, Walmart, Wayfair, Wish, Houzz, and Catch. Apart from its presence on third-party ecommerce sites, Yescom has an in-house end-to-end ecommerce operation that includes marketing, channel expansion, supply chain management, and customer service.

Yescom USA needed to quickly, efficiently, and cost-effectively analyze data and understand the needs of its customers. It also wanted to optimize various business operations to provide more suitable product offerings, better customer experience, gain supply chain visibility, and improve sales performance. However, the company’s data was scattered across at least six major platforms, including various ecommerce platforms, Oracle’s NetSuite, warehouse management systems, advertising systems, independent stations, and logistics systems.

After evaluating Google Big Query and Tableau, the company realized Oracle’s Autonomous Data Warehouse and Oracle Analytics Cloud were the best fit. “With Oracle Autonomous Data Warehouse, we can safely and reliably store all business information on a unified data platform. In combination with Oracle Analytics Cloud, we can extend data analysis capabilities to sales, HR, supply chain, CX, logistics, and many other business areas.” - Amy Chan, General Manager of China, Yescom USA.

Dou Yue

Dou Yue’s 30 restaurants across China are committed to serving traditional, honest Chinese cuisine on premises and for takeout. Amid intense competition, especially from caterers and internet-based food service providers, Dou Yue needed to establish a standardized business model that would enable it to expand rapidly while enhancing its high-quality fare and the experiences of its customers. Improving its ability to analyze data to support marketing, sales, finance, purchasing, and customer service was key.

However, Dou Yue’s multiple, isolated legacy data platforms prevented the company from gaining the comprehensive, real-time insights it needed. For example, if Dou Yue executives wanted to get a view of the entire business, they had to export data sheets from various systems one by one and manually calculate them, a process that was outdated and error-prone.

By deploying Oracle Autonomous Data Warehouse and Oracle Analytics Cloud on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, Dou Yue integrated the data from multiple business systems onto a single, cloud-based platform. The financial team can now pull revenue, inventory, and other data—by restaurant—for company executives to act on.

Using the data analysis and reporting functions of Oracle Analytics Cloud, Dou Yue executives can quickly select any metric for analysis. For example, when a restaurant posts a revenue decline, Dou Yue execs can analyze the environmental conditions (traffic, weather), sales model (dine-in or takeout), as well as menu and pricing in the region where the restaurant is located to determine the root causes and adjust strategy.

“Oracle Cloud provides us an excellent solution to consolidate and use business data, helping us adapt to the trend of internet-based operation and scientific decision-making.” - Yuejun Yang, Chairman, Dou Yue

Unicomer

Throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, retail outlets from Unicomer combine high-touch service with repair and financing services that help the company grow deep relationships with its customers.

The challenge has been to gather and analyze data from myriad different retail businesses—from small appliances to autos to electronics—that has traditionally resided in separate data centers in nearly all the countries where Unicomer operates. That challenge continues to accelerate as the company grows through acquisition, a process that has left the IT team to manage over 60 different systems that generate data for analysis.

Oracle Cloud Infrastructure offered Unicomer an autonomous transaction processing database that integrated seamlessly with an autonomous data warehouse and a powerful Analytics Cloud service. With this integrated and highly scalable cloud-based system, Unicomer could significantly lower costs compared to running numerous data centers, while also giving the company a secure, centralized computing platform to consolidate and analyze data across the entire business.

The consolidation process has given the company’s decision makers better data to work with. For example, they’ve been able to bring a very useful data analytics process into its Caribbean region that previously only worked in its Latin American region.

The new system has caught on with leaders and analysts throughout the company. The analytics team reports fielding three times more requests for advanced analytics and forecasting than with the old system, with requests coming from a wider range of groups within the company, such as HCM, supply chain, credit, and others.

“With Oracle, we’ve reduced our costs by centralizing information and making it visible across the company, rather than having it compartmentalized by country or region.” - Francisco Alas, Business Operation Manager, Unicomer.

NilsonGroup

Established in 1955, NilsonGroup is Scandinavia's leading company for the design, manufacture, and distribution of shoes. It is known for such retail brands such as DinSko, Nilson Shoes, Skopunkten, and the franchised ECCO stores. Through some 200 shops in Sweden, Norway, and Finland, the family-owned company generates an annual turnover of US$270 million and employs about 1,000 people.

Considering the seasonality of the shoe business and the on-premises systems that were already sized for covering peak demand, NilsonGroup required a flexible computing solution to allow for higher or lower load, and that would scale according to volume. The retailer also wanted to migrate core applications to the cloud—its custom-built enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, an analytics application used to monitor sales performance, as well as a data warehouse management system used for controlling stocks. Through this migration, the company aimed at reducing hardware administration and the complexity of IT operations, while also optimizing data security.

NilsonGroup selected Oracle Cloud following a successful proof of concept with Oracle Analytics Cloud. After seeing the results, NilsonGroup leaders decided to move all their workloads to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) with Oracle Autonomous Database. “We already have lower costs and a much better analysis of what we consume in terms of hardware resources. It’s also easy to scale the solution up and down. We shut our development platform down when it’s not being used, which saves us money.” - Johan Holmström, IT Operations Manager, NilsonGroup.

Read the Maxiconsumo story

Read the Yescom USA story

Read the Dou Yue story

Read the Unicomer story

Read the NilsonGroup story

Understand how retailers can adapt to the new norm.

 

To learn more about Oracle Analytics visit the website here. Follow us on Twitter @OracleAnalytics and Connect with us on LinkedIn.

End Notes

¹ https://blogs.oracle.com/analytics/post/retailers-need-to-adapt-their-analytic-strategies-to-the-new-norm

²  https://home.kpmg/xx/en/home/insights/2021/04/ceo-outlook-pulse-survey-consumer-and-retail.html

³ https://www.forbes.com/sites/stevendennis/2021/06/30/the-new-era-of-retail-hybridization-creates-unparalleled-opportunities/?sh=21d61d9813f6

https://www.ibm.com/blogs/industries/retail-cloud-hybrid-shopping-customer-and-employee-experience-transformed/

 

 

Jake Krakauer

Oracle Sales Strategy and Business Development, Industrial Manufacturing


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