Friday Sep 21, 2012

B2B Commerce Best Practice Round Table

Are you struggling with delivering customers a consistent B2B multi-channel commerce experience?

If yes, then you will want to join us for a panel discussion featuring Oracle customers and B2B commerce experts on Thursday, September 27th to learn how leading B2B companies are succeeding in the new age of commerce.

Topics of discussion will include:

  • Moving B2B data and content online
  • Multiple site management
  • Mobile platforms
  • Merchandising and personalization

Don’t miss this opportunity to learn more about the latest trends, challenges and successes in B2B multi-channel commerce.

Learn more and register!

Tuesday Jul 10, 2012

Oracle Unifies Oracle ATG Commerce and Oracle Endeca to Help Businesses Deliver Complete Cross-Channel Customer Experiences

Today, Oracle announced Oracle Commerce, which unifies Oracle ATG Commerce and Oracle Endeca into one complete commerce solution. Oracle Commerce is designed to help businesses deliver consistent, relevant and personalized cross-channel customer experiences.

“Oracle Commerce combines the best web commerce and customer experience solutions to enable businesses, whether B2C or B2B, to optimize the cross channel commerce experience,” said Ken Volpe, SVP, Product Development, Oracle Commerce. “Oracle Commerce demonstrates our focus on helping businesses leverage every aspect of its operations and technology investments to anticipate and exceed customer expectations.”

Click here to learn more about this announcement.  

Thursday May 31, 2012

“Big Data” Is A Small Concept Unless You Can Apply It To The Customer Experience

There’s been a lot of recent talk in the industry about “big data”.  Much can be said about the importance of big data and the results from it, but you need to always consider the customer experience when analyzing and applying customer data.

Personalization and merchandising drive the user experience.  Big data should enable you to gain valuable insight into each of your customers and apply that insight at the moment they are on your Web site, talking to one of your call center agents, or any other touchpoint.  While past customer experience is important, you need to combine that with what your customer is doing on your Web site now as well what they are doing and saying on social networking sites.  It’s key to have a 360 degree view of your customer across all of your touchpoints in order to provide that relevant and consistent experience that they come to expect when interacting with your brand.

Big data can enable you to effectively market, merchandize, and recommend the right products to the right customers and the right time.  By taking customer data and applying it to product recommendations, you have an opportunity to gain a greater share of wallet through the cross-selling and up-selling of additional products and services.  You can also build sustaining loyalty programs to continue to engage with your customers throughout their long-term relationship with your brand.

Tuesday May 15, 2012

Engage Customers At The Point Of Need

Where do people often turn to when they need immediate help on a web site?  As consumers spend more time online shopping and managing banking, bills and more, they want easy access to service and support. When they need to ask a question or solve a problem, consumers worldwide said they prefer to get help online, ranking Live Help options like Live Chat and “Click-to-Call” second only to toll-free 800 numbers.

A recent Oracle study found that consumers prefer Live Help for specific reasons such as convenience and the ability to multitask rather than waiting on the phone. Survey results suggest that the more consumers are online, the more comfortable they are communicating with companies there.

In addition, by next year, three-quarters of the online shopping population will have engaged in a live chat with a retailer, researchers predict.  A survey of U.S. and U.K. consumers conducted online by eMarketer researchers in partnership with the retail consultants at the e-tailing group found that 1 in 5 shoppers said they preferred live chat as their communication method of choice for contacting a retailer regardless of the circumstances.

Click to learn more about the study and Oracle's Live Help solutions.

Thursday Apr 05, 2012

Webcast: Leveraging Mobile And Social Commerce To Deliver A Complete Customer Experience

  Mobile and social media are emerging as new channels for customers to interact and transact with brands. Mobile users demand experiences that are relevant and engaging and are designed with the capabilities and constraints of devices in mind. Just having a mobile app or mobile-specific website is not a long-term strategy. Brands must invest in an optimized experience, especially as mobile becomes critical to an overall digital commerce strategy.

Debating the merits of using Facebook or not is missing the point when it comes to social media. True innovators are thinking beyond the social channel and are building programs that leverage Facebook data to drive conversions and engagement both on and off Facebook.  Learn how to be more strategic about mobile and social commerce in this informative editorial webcast.

Attend this webcast and you will learn:
  • How to leverage mobile and social touchpoints in digital commerce
  • Why having a Facebook page or a mobile app is not enough
  • The benefits of a consistent, personalized and relevant customer experience
  • Strategies for integrating mobile and social into an overall digital commerce strategy

Featured Speakers:

  • Peter Sheldon, Senior Analyst, eBusiness & Channel Strategy Professionals, Forrester Research
  • Brenna Johnson, Product Manager, Oracle Commerce

Click here to register.

Wednesday Apr 04, 2012

Attend This Webcast To Learn How CG Manufacturers Are Stepping Up Their Efforts to Sell to Consumers

Going Direct to Consumer is top of mind with executives in the Consumer Goods (CG) industry today. But are companies ready to engage? Recently, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) conducted research sponsored by Oracle to better understand how Consumer Goods companies are engaging directly with consumers today and in the future. The survey involved CG executives across the globe as well as in-depth interviews with corporate leaders in the industry to explore their direct-to-consumer initiatives. Some key findings include:

  • Pushing traditional media through new media channels is not enough to reach today's more plugged in, product-savvy consumer
  • CG companies are experimenting with new ways to establish and enhance direct, two-way relationships with their target consumers across multiple channels to enhance brand loyalty and drive product sales
  • Survey respondents and other CG executives see their nascent e-commerce efforts as complimentary to, not competing with, existing retail channels.

This webinar will review the results of the research and panelists will discuss what CG companies worldwide are thinking as they deploy their direct-to-consumer strategies in an effort to engage directly with today's empowered consumer.

Monday Apr 02, 2012

Transforming Customer Experiences Through Agile Commerce With Forrester Research’s Brian Walker – April 4th Webinar

eBusiness today has fundamentally changed. Platforms and technologies must be flexible to support a number of business functions - marketing, merchandising, shopping, customer service - across a variety of digital channels and provide customers with a seamless, well-designed brand experience.

Join us for this complimentary webinar on Wednesday, April 4th, 2012 at 12:00pm ET as Forrester Research’s Brian Walker provides expert insight on:
  • The latest innovations, best practices, and industry trends in agile commerce, and how brands can maximize efforts
  • How forward-thinking companies today are leveraging technology to deliver powerful customer experiences across touchpoints 
  • The future of eBusiness and agile commerce
Register Now!

Tuesday Mar 20, 2012

Stores Still Matter In The World Of E-Commerce

You may think that more and more consumers are moving their purchasing to the Web or mobile device.  However, according The NPD Group, Inc., a leading market research company, 15-20 percent of consumers in 2011 checked out products in stores before buying online, or called “showrooming”, for product categories like stand mixers, electric knives, sewing machines, and some floor cleaners. Other categories like power tools, hairsetters, and robotic vacuums are now beginning to show signs of the “showrooming” trend as well.

It is doubly important to present a consistent, personalized, and relevant shopping experience for your customers, no matter whether they interact with you in-person in your store, with your sales agents or call center agents, over the Web, or using a mobile device.  Your goal is to make that experience across touchpoints as seamless as possible.

Thursday Mar 15, 2012

Less Can Be More In E-Commerce

Today’s consumers are inundated with product choices and vendors. Visit your favorite electronics retailer and see the vast assortment of flat panel televisions. Or the variety of detergents at the supermarket. All of this can be daunting for the average consumer who is looking for the products and services that interest them.

 In a study titled “Choice is Demotivating: Can One Desire Too Much of a Good Thing”, the author, Sheena Iyengar found that participants actually reported greater subsequent satisfaction with their selections and wrote better essays when their original set of options had been limited.

The same can be said for e-commerce and your website. Being able to quickly convert shoppers into buyers with effective merchandising is what makes leading businesses successful. You want to engage each individual visitor with the most-relevant content to drive higher conversions and order values while decreasing abandonment, but predicting what will resonate with each customer is difficult.

In a world of choices, online merchandizing tools can help personalize, streamline, and refine what your customers view when they browse your online catalog. The key to being effective is to align your products and content as closely as possible with the customer’s needs.

The goal on the home page is to promote your brand and push visitors farther into the site. The home page is often the starting point for repeat customers as well as for new visitors hoping to address their current product needs. As the customer selects different filters and narrows the choices, valuable information is being provided to the retailer about the customer’s current need—regardless of previous search behavior or what other customers with a similar demographic profile have purchased.

Together with search pages, category browse pages are among the primary options available to customers as a means of finding products on your site. Once a customer reaches the product detail page, it is clear what that person desires, regardless of the segment the customer falls into. However, don’t disregard campaign-based promotions completely. A campaign targeted to all customers but featuring rule-driven promotions tied to the product can be effective.

Click here to learn more about merchandizing techniques so what your customer sees if half full and not half empty.

Monday Mar 12, 2012

Measuring Social Customer Service In The Contact Center

The emerging area of “social care,” which can be defined as the efforts employees make through social media to care for customers, is becoming a  reality of day-to-day business operations for many companies.  While many organizations recognize the tremendous opportunity for customer service with the adoption of social media, most are struggling to assess the qualitative and quantitative value of their social care efforts.

In response, TELUS International, in partnership with Oracle Corporation and Kenna Inc., has released a study entitled Social Care Metrics & ROI that outlines key performance indicators (KPI’s) and methods of calculating social customer service ROI.

Wednesday Mar 07, 2012

It’s No Longer Channels, But Customer Touchpoints

eTail West was a full three days last week of retail and commerce coming together in Palm Desert, CA.  There were lots of great keynotes, breakout sessions, and tracks. As I walked the floor and listened to presenters I got a sense that a lot of companies continue to talk about “cross-channel experience”.

Those of us in the commerce world and those dipping your toes into it must start thinking beyond individual siloed channels and start thinking about customer touchpoints.  Today, there are so many ways that customers engage with you, be it mobile, PC, social, kiosk, store, etc. and it’s so important to marry the customer experience – which needs to be consistent – to the specific device that the customer is using at that point in time.  And as that customer moves from one touchpoint to another, they expect that the company continues to know who they are and provides personalized, relevant content.

Wednesday Feb 29, 2012

Consumer Goods Companies Are Increasingly Going Direct To Consumers

Economist Intelligence Unit Survey Reveals Consumer Goods Companies are Experimenting More with Mobile and Social Media to Engage with and Sell Directly to Consumers

A recent study conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) and sponsored by Oracle Consumer Goods found that Consumer Goods (CG) companies are increasingly experimenting with new ways to establish and enhance direct, two-way relationships with consumers.

The report found that the use of social and mobile channels are increasingly helping CG companies become more comfortable with the direct-to-consumer selling model, with the number of companies selling products directly to consumers expected to increase from 24 percent to 41 percent over the next 12 months. In addition, 74 percent of CEO-level respondents say social media is a priority for increasing loyalty over the next 12 months.

Despite the growing social and mobile marketing trend, survey respondents and other CG executives see their nascent e-commerce efforts as complementary to, not competing with, existing retail channels, but are committed to expanding their direct-to-consumer strategies. A full copy of the results is available here: “New Directions: Consumer Goods Companies Hone a Cross-Channel Approach to Consumer Marketing” report

Read more perspectives about the study from Brandchannel and Oracle.

Friday Feb 24, 2012

REMINDER: If You're Attending eTail West Next Week, Learn How Mobile And Social Fits Into Your Commerce Strategy

Mobile commerce (or m-commerce) and social commerce are emerging as significant trends in the way customers interact and ultimately purchase from companies.  While mobile phone users have a tendency to purchase in a store, growing percentages use their mobile phones to comparison shop.  And social commerce is generating interest as well but the key is monetizing this new customer touchpoint.

If you are attending eTail Palm Springs, make sure you come to the February 28th session at 12:50pm (Track D: Optimizing The Mobile & Social Commerce Experience) to hear from Michael Hylton, Director, eCommerce Product Marketing at Oracle.  You will learn about trends in both mobile and social commerce and how you can address these important new ways customers interact with your brand.

Friday Feb 17, 2012

Why Consumer Goods (CG) Companies Must Act More Like Retailers

Pushing traditional media through new media channels is no longer enough to succeed in today’s Consumer Goods market. A new approach is needed - one that puts brands wherever consumers are, in a way that encourages consumer participation. CG manufacturers need to increase their engagement with consumers and improve their direct-to-consumer initiatives. They are now aggressively exploring ways to integrate new channels and adopting strategies, processes, and technologies so they can act more like retailers.

Sponsored by Oracle, The Economist published an Economist Intelligence Unit report titled New Directions: Consumer goods companies hone a cross-channel approach to consumer marketing.  The study is the result of a global survey of 221 consumer goods (CG) executives.

Brandchannel, an online exchange dedicated to branding, wrote their perspective on the study:

Consumer Goods companies need to think and act more their retail partners as their participation in social media and online storefronts increase.  The Economist Intelligence Unit report, New Directions, sponsored by Oracle, reveals that 41% of respondents surveyed plan to sell products directly to consumers in 2012, a 24% increase over those currently offering direct sales.

“Consumer goods companies can no longer merely push traditional campaigns through new media channels to reach today's more product-savvy consumer. They need to integrate multiple channels to put brands where consumers are, in a way that encourages a more interactive relationship between consumer and producer, not passive consumption of marketing messages.”

Key findings include:

  • The social media opportunity is finally catching the attention of senior management: 74% of CEO-level respondents say social media is a priority for increasing loyalty over the next 12 months
  • Nearly a quarter of CG executives envisage direct-to-consumer replacing retail.
  • Nearly half of survey respondents and other CG executives see their nascent e-commerce efforts as complementary to, rather than alternatives to, existing retail channels
Another perspective on the same study can be found here.

Thursday Feb 16, 2012

How To Provide A Lifeline To Your Customers?

When consumers are online, they want easy access to customer service representatives. A soon-to-be published Oracle study found that nearly 30% of consumers worldwide have connected with customer service using live help options like Live Chat and Click-to-Call. 57% say that better access to customer service via live help is among the most important features they expect from a Web site, along with ease of browsing and searching products and access to personal account information.

Global online retailers prefer live help over the phone using click-to-call when dealing with preferred customers and sensitive or complicated information, technical problems or when involving a large amount of money.  Live chat is the preferred customer service tool for simpler inqueries, such as those about order status, promotional information, shipping options or cheaper services.

No industry is exempt. One in three consumers say they want to reach financial services and health care providers using live help online as well as in person and via 800-numbers, compared with more than 40% that say they prefer live help for reaching communications service providers and travel and hospitality companies.  Click here to learn more about Oracle Live Help On Demand.

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