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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Wednesday Feb 15, 2012

Telecommunications - Boost Online and Cross Channel Revenue – February 23 Webinar

Consumers expect a personalized customer experience in which communications service providers (CSPs) act more like retailers.  As a result, CSPs must streamline sales and marketing tactics to provide a consistent brand and service-focused sales culture.  Tune into this informative webinar to explore successful  e-commerce strategies for telecommunications that can:  

  • Increase conversions of visitors to customers by 16%
  • Increase online orders by more than 50%
  • Greatly reduce the cost of processing online orders

Featuring distinguished presenters from Analysys Mason and Oracle, this webinar will reveal cross-channel marketing and sales strategies for providing a uniform, personalized buying experience. It will also explain how CSPs can easily adopt sound retail standards. Presenters include:

  • Mark Mortensen, Principal Analyst, Analysys Mason
  • David Fan, Senior Director, CRM Product Management, Oracle
Clock here to watch a replay of the webcast..

Wednesday Feb 08, 2012

Consumer Goods Companies Hone A Cross-Channel Approach To Consumer Marketing

Consumer goods (CG) manufacturers are aggressively exploring ways to integrate new channels such as social media and mobile into the marketing mix to attract and engage consumers. However, they are not ready to abandon traditional approaches to consumer marketing. CG marketers say they want to increase engagement with consumers and improve their direct-to-consumer initiatives—but are they really ready to do so?

Perhaps CG companies looking to get closer to consumers ought to think more like retailers, which have made significant investments in understanding consumer behaviour and sentiment across physical and digital environments. New directions: consumer goods companies hone a cross-channel approach to consumer marketing, an Economist Intelligence Unit report sponsored by Oracle, draws on a survey of 221 CG executives as well as in-depth interviews with corporate leaders in the CG industry to explore the changing face of consumer marketing.

Monday Feb 06, 2012

Learn How To Power the Cross-Channel Customer Experience with Oracle’s Complete Commerce

Today’s customers are more information-enabled and mobile than ever before. This growing trend creates a double-edged sword to offer a consistent brand journey while also keeping them loyal and happy.

Customers expect instant gratification, whether it stem from their pc, smartphones, tablets or retail kiosks. They may begin the buying process in a retail store, but complete it from the comfort of their couch. And through it all, they expect their journey to be personalized, relevant and consistent across all of these touchpoints.

So, how can your company hope to deliver on its brand promise beneath such lofty expectations?  Read this white paper and gain an understanding of Complete Commerce and how it can change the way you interact with your customers. You will understand how Complete Commerce can help you unify the customer experience, personalize their journey, maximize the engagement, and optimize the execution.

Wednesday Jan 11, 2012

Attending eTail Palm Springs, Learn How Mobile And Social Are Impacting Commerce

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 12:40pm (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.

Wednesday Jan 04, 2012

How Are Your Customers Doing?

Over the holiday break I decided to install a barcode reader/price comparison app on my smartphone.  While I had a number of choices – ShopSavvy, RedLaser, Google Shopper, etc. – I realize the power and control I now have in the palm of my hand.  It is now even more imperative to ensure you have the right products, at the right price, at the right point of customer interaction.

Take a step back from your day-today commerce tasks and ask yourself “How are customers perceiving my brand and am I doing everything I can do to keep them loyal and continuing to buy from me?”  Armed with the answers, you will have a better perspective to ensure the optimal cross-channel commerce experience for your customers.

Wednesday Dec 21, 2011

Mobile Couponing Is Only One Part Of A Continual Customer Dialogue

So I was reading an article from yesterday’s Wall Street Journal titled “Procter & Gamble Cuts Mobile Coupon Deal” and it got me thinking that presenting a coupon on a smartphone is neither the beginning nor the end of the customers’ journey with a brand.  Engagement begins with strong insights of your customer, either implicit or explicit, by collecting and holding customer data across all systems and customer touchpoints into one central location.  And relying on that centralized data across all interactions with customers.

The next step is to provide a consistency customer journey, whether they begin researching a product on your website, have a conversation with a call center agent, go into your store or field office, or engage with you via a smartphone or tablet device.  Once the customer places the order, it follows that the order and fulfillment should be visible to the customer as well as any of employees.  And finally, couponing, like in the Procter & Gamble example, is only one piece of customer loyalty as it’s broader than that in order to maintain a continual, ongoing relationship with them.  You can read more about Oracle’s vision around Complete Commerce by reading this white paper titled “Deliver a Superior Cross-Channel Commerce Experience”.
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