Wednesday Aug 28, 2013

Mobile Is Becoming A Catalyst For Commerce

Mobile phones have become almost ubiquitous in our daily lives. More and more people are relying on their smartphones to stay connected with their family, friends, co-workers, and the world around them. Armed with smartphones and tablets, consumers have access to much more product information and can compare, recommend, and share information from anywhere, at any time.

According to Internet Retailer, in the second quarter of 2013 U.S. mobile commerce grew faster than U.S. e-commerce sales via desktop/laptop computers. M-commerce represented 9% of all online commerce in the quarter, comScore says, with mobile shoppers buying more than $700 million worth of apparel and accessories in Q2.

A new report from Juniper Research expects mobile commerce transactions conducted through handsets and tablets will exceed US$3.2trn by 2017, rising from US$1.5trn this year. Research firm eMarketer reports that this year, 62.5 percent of all mobile commerce will come from tablets, despite the fact that they have a lower penetration rate than smartphones. However, lack of mobile site optimization remains a concern. Overseas in Europe, according to the latest statistics that have been released on the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index, last month, the sales over mobile commerce in the United Kingdom managed to grow by a phenomenal 129 percent when compared to the figures from the same time in 2012.

Smartphones enable customers anywhere to quickly research and evaluate products prior to purchase. 4G connectivity enables consumers to have faster access to mobile Web sites and apps. Tablets provide more real estate for customers and business buyers to view product information in order to make their buying selection. In June 2013, 91% of tablet users and 90% of smartphones users accessed a mobile e-commerce Web properties, according to comScore.

So companies need technology tools to help them understand the mobile universe and its impact on their businesses. Mobile commerce started in the retail industry and is permeating into other industries as consumer get more comfortable purchasing via their smartphone and consumers migrate from pure research to buying products and services on their phones.

An Oracle study found that only 37% of respondents indicating that their company has mobile commerce in place. You need to continually think about how your customers are engaging with you and your brand via smartphones and tablets, and build mobile into your company’s overall commerce strategy. Click here to learn more about Oracle Commerce.

Wednesday Aug 14, 2013

Master Data—and Delivering a Great Customer Experience

In the fast-paced world of the connected consumer, expectations run high. Every time customers interact with a company, they want a positive, relevant, and personalized experience. If they don’t get it, today’s empowered customers won’t hesitate to leave. Yet many companies can’t deliver great personal experiences to their customers because they are struggling with siloed information systems and processes that fail to provide complete and accurate data to sales, support, and marketing teams.

In the new white paper by Harvard Business Review Analytic Services, “Delivering on the Promise of Great Customer Experiences,” learn from several forward-thinking organizations—in industries ranging from travel to telecommunications—how to use Master Data Management (MDM) to collect and integrate all types of internal and external data and create the consistent, connected, and personalized experiences that customers want. Oracle Master Data Management offers the most complete product line on the market, enabling organizations to cleanse, centralize, and govern to create a “master” version of customer and business data—and the foundation for an improved customer experience strategy. Find out how your organization can enrich the customer experience.

Read the whitepaper today!

For more information on Master Data Management, visit us on oracle.com - www.oracle.com/mdm.

Commerce China Part 2:– ‘Talk to me in Internet’

China is booming - and merchants are using social media, multi-media and web sites in innovative ways to reach the growing potential consumer base.  All signs point to a market moving towards differentiation.

Our commerce sessions during Oracle Open World in Shanghai were chock-full.  The experience was surreal with what looked like a DJ box at the at the back of the room containing two humans, translating simultaneously to audience-members wearing headsets.  My only tip if you ever find yourself presenting in this situation is to avoid jokes – the timing is all off.

But I digress.  My greatest curiosity while interacting with the audience was – what are their end customers seeking today?

I found that the Chinese consumer wants to be transfixed and beguiled, all while in transit.  They seem to be the ultimate mobile users.

I was personally frustrated in Shanghai by being unable to post my beautiful and ‘bizarre-to-me’ meals on Facebook, leading me to understand why every one of the social media channels familiar to me in North America and Europe have a Chinese-specific counterpart.  Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Foursquare, Vimeo, Blogger, Blogspot, Hulu and Skype are all blocked in China.  This is leading to a China-specific tech boom as the local Chinese versions grow and prosper. 

Youku – Chinese Youtube - I should have been spending some of that down time visiting Youku, the Chinese version of Youtube. Youku has started  innovative methods of product placement in original videos.  Because of the relatively low number of home-owned recording devices and subsequent low volume of user-created content, much of the content on Youku is produced by brands.  

[Read More]

Monday Aug 12, 2013

T-Commerce - Revolutionizing the Omni-Channel Experience!

After months and months of watching my favorite host on my favorite guilty-pleasure television show give away the 100th Mazel sweatshirt, I finally decided I HAD to have one of my own! So, off I went to find my iPad to buy my own Mazel sweatshirt. As I placed my order through Delivery Agent’s Commerce platform, I was made aware that I had just experienced “The Next Generation of Commerce.” I actually hadn't, but it intrigued me enough to want to learn more!

I received my sweatshirt and fell in love! It really is as soft as the host and his celebrity guests swear it is. Not only that, I get tons of compliments, comments, and sometimes cultish references to the Real Housewives. It made me think - I should have bought this the first time I saw it. Imagine if it were as simple as pressing "Buy" on my remote, as Delivery Agent wants me to believe it soon will be. Would it have taken me that long? Or, would the ease of purchasing capabilities and my human need for instant gratification have made me push that button a long time ago? How many more products would I buy if it were always that easy? 



T-Commerce (TV commerce) had been missing from the omni-channel experience – until now.

The first T-Commerce enabled televisions have been developed!

  • The [t-commerce] application is pre-loaded into 2012 and 2013 Samsung Smart TVs. The platform offered by Delivery Agent is able to map over 1MM products to a given show, episode, network, ad, character or scene, and make them available for sale across hundreds of shows.
  • Samsung is the #1 brand of televisions.
  • North America is predicted to have a total of nearly 136 million “TV households” by the end of this year.

Imagine the possibilities! The typical process to purchase something you see on a television commercial, for example, is to use another device to go online and visit that brand’s page, usually to only then be redirected to a retailer's site. How much time and effort did that consumer expend just to buy a brand's product? Imagine if, instead, you simply hit a button on your remote and buy a product - without ever having to leave the comfort of your couch or transition to another device! Imagine the increase in conversion rates those brands will realize! Imagine the innovation in Customer Experience those brands will be recognized for!



American Express has also entered the T-Commerce space!

  • For years, marketers have dreamed of viewers who could buy products as TV shows are airing. As a viewer, I've imagined what it would be like to be able to buy a dress one of my favorite characters is wearing. 
  • American Express has been trying to make those visions come to life, partnering with Fox and NBC Universal.
  • "As viewer habits change and technology continues to evolve, and scale gets more elusive, context and impact mean everything," - Linda Yaccarino, president of NBC Universal.

Consider this untapped channel and the huge potential that exists!  Let’s examine the Kardashians as an example.  They are a brand in and of themselves and they also have a TV show. Imagine the revenue that the Kardashians could generate!  As their TV show is playing out, they are now able to naturally and easily position their products. Imagine the cross-brand selling potential for the phones they use, the cars they drive, and the clothes they wear! The marketing and selling potential is tremendous, especially considering that, if executed correctly, this is a subtle selling channel, driven by the customer.

So, let us not forget this very important channel. Be aware - T-Commerce is no longer missing from the omni-channel experience.

  • References:

Start-ups | Delivery Agent Inc. Introduces New T-Commerce App for ...

rightstartups.com/delivery-agent-inc-introduces-new-t-comme...

http://m.adage.com/article?articleSection=media&articleSectionName=Media&articleid=http%3A%2F%2Fadage.com%2Fmedia%2Farticle%3Farticle_id%3D240048

Additional Information: 

http://digital.licensemag.com/nxtbooks/advanstar/license0213/#/24

http://about.americanexpress.com/news/pr/2012/t-commerce.aspx

Friday Aug 09, 2013

Offer Your Customers Exactly What They Are Looking For

Product and customer data is changing at an unprecedented rate. And it’s not only what you collect but also what you input from third-parties, like your vendors and partners. Research shows that master data change at a rate of 2% per month and in 4 out of 5 instances the supplier data is often more accurate than the retailer’s own data. 

So how do you handle multiple versions of the truth, house your product and customer data centrally, and ensure that it’s the most accurate? Poor data quality can undermine your Web site usability and drive a poor customer experience. Companies need to support every stage of the customer buying cycle to ensure that the most accurate product, location, and availability data is available.

Great commerce experiences begin with the quality of the data. Accurate customer and product data is one of your most important assets – and you need both in order to provide your customers with the most personalized buying experience. You need to consolidate multi-structured data and sources into one repository, cleanse data by standardizing, error-correcting, and de-duping, govern data by definition, regulation, auditing, and access, and share master data for better insight to increase sales and trust.

To provide the most accurate search results you also need to standardize product attributes as much of your data may come from internal sources as well as third-party partners. This is critical when it comes to providing the best Web site search results. You don’t want your customers searching for “10 horse power” and “10hp” to have to sort throw two different search results.

By following these key commerce data principles you can provide your customers exactly what they are looking for on your Web site. Click here to learn more about Oracle Commerce and here to learn more about Oracle Master Data Management.

Monday Jul 01, 2013

What’s New for Oracle Commerce? Executive QA with John Andrews, VP Product Management, Oracle Commerce

Oracle Commerce was for the fifth time positioned as a leader by Gartner in the Magic Quadrant for E-Commerce. This inspired me to sit down with Oracle Commerce VP of Product Management, John Andrews to get his perspective on what continues to make Oracle a leader in the industry and what’s new for Oracle Commerce in 2013.

Q: Why do you believe Oracle Commerce continues to be a leader in the industry?

John: Oracle has a great acquisition strategy – it brings best-of-breed technologies into the product fold and then continues to grow and innovate them. This is particularly true with products unified into the Oracle Commerce brand. Oracle acquired ATG in late 2010 – and then Endeca in late 2011. This means that under the hood of Oracle Commerce you have market-leading technologies for cross-channel commerce and customer experience, both designed and developed in direct response to the unique challenges online businesses face. And we continue to innovate on capabilities core to what our customers need to be successful – contextual and personalized experience delivery, merchant-inspired tools, and architecture for performance and scalability.

[Read More]

Thursday Jun 27, 2013

Vision, Integration, Ability—Oracle is once again positioned as an E-Commerce Leader

The new Gartner report is the fifth successive Magic Quadrant for E-Commerce to position Oracle as a leader.

We’re proud of the result, but we’re not too surprised. Oracle Commerce’s functionality is uniquely aligned with a number of the major market trends Gartner describes in its report: from customers ‘expecting a seamless buying experience across all channels’, to organizations seeking to consolidate ‘B2B and B2C applications with a single underlying platform’.

What we think sets Oracle Commerce apart

Why are we a leader? We believe the key strengths of Oracle Commerce include:

Outstanding Scalability and Versatility
Oracle has a long and enviable track record of delivering B2B and B2C e-commerce solutions, and the Oracle Commerce solution supports a broad range of vertical industries – from retail to telecom, and manufacturing to distribution. Additionally, Oracle Commerce is engineered to scale simply and quickly to meet the changing needs of the enterprise.

Oracle Integration
Our commitment to seamless solutions integration allows customers to get the most from our ever evolving range of e-commerce and CX products—and deliver consistent, relevant, and personalized cross-channel buying experiences that drive customer satisfaction, and boost revenue.

Experience and Vision
Oracle has a long and impressive history of delivering B2B and B2C e-commerce solutions to the world’s best brands. We’re constantly putting this experience to good use, and making our solutions even smarter. With powerful merchandising and business tools, and advanced promotions capabilities, Oracle Commerce is one of the most forward-thinking e-commerce solutions around.

Read the report
You can read Gartner’s full report here, or click here to find out more about our celebrated platform.

[Read More]

Wednesday May 01, 2013

Join Us at Gartner Customer 360 in San Diego

Oracle is at the Gartner Customer 360 Summit in San Diego this week. One session you will not want to miss is Nicolas Draca from LinkedIn giving a talk on Sales Transformation Through Account Scoring. If you are looking to take lead scoring to the next level, this is the session for you! Nicolas will give great insight into how account scoring can bring sales and marketing together to increase conversion rates and drive more revenue. [Read More]

Tuesday Apr 16, 2013

Oracle Commerce Hosts 5th Annual EMEA Partner Conference, Awarding Top Partners in Business, Innovation and Customer Experience

The Oracle Commerce team is spending the week in Lisbon bringing together EMEA partners and commerce leaders to share best practices and real-world commerce experiences.   "Our partners deliver highly functional omni-channel customer experience platforms for the leading b2c and b2b businesses throughout the world, so they are vital to our customers’ success" says Frank Lord, Vice President, EMEA, Oracle Commerce. "This meeting of our partners allows us to bring them together to interact with our product development team, customers, and even each other to ensure that they are best positioned to make our customers successful."

This EMEA Partner Conference, which is being held April 14th-17th at the Four Seasons in Lisbon, is dedicated to exploring insights from technology and system integration Partners delivering solutions to B2C and B2B companies in EMEA.  Commerce leaders including Deutsche Telekom, Deli XL, Sonepar Netherlands will discuss the latest trends and share views about how to maximize the effectiveness of commerce channels: 


  • “The journey to e-Commerce for many companies can be a complex one,” says Rene van Gelderen, Director IT and Program Management, Deli XL. “Mindcurv has been a strategic partner for Deli XL along this journey and made it a smooth one. Thanks to this partnership, Deli XL has the technical and strategic foundation to enter a new e-Commerce era with unparalleled capabilities in our market.”
[Read More]

Wednesday Jan 30, 2013

Executive Q&A with John Andrews: Part II – A Deeper Dive Into the Data that Powers Personalization 


Part II of our interview on personalization and commerce with John Andrews VP of Product Management, Oracle Commerce.     



Q.  In Part I of your post you talked about having to have a good handle on your product and customer data to achieve personalization.  What if you are dealing with a new customer or have little profile data?  How do you personalize the experience? 

If yours is like most commerce organizations, you don’t have complete (or any) data of the vast majority of shoppers. New customers are the lifeblood of online storefronts, but building out profiles for every one can prove to be a near impossible task. The good news is that in addition to commerce platforms that can automatically collect this data, there are new ways to round out your customer information beyond how they interact with your site. Social data is a great way to take personalization to the next level and Facebook is the easiest – but certainly not the only place - to start. Facebook has loads of free, accessible information on their users like their demographics, even brands they like and their comments on products. Enrich product information and merchandising efforts by capturing Likes and user comments from the Social Graph. If appropriate for your business, get customers to log in with their Facebook account to leverage information to round-out user profiles and segments housed in your commerce platform.

While segments and personas help simplify the definition and delivery of tailored experiences, the reality is that no two members of the same segment have identical needs. This is why having scalable technology in place to deliver dynamic experiences that adapt to every visitor  - anonymous or loyalist – is critical.  With a solid base of customer profile information, segment information, and rich, well-attributed product information, the next step is having the right technology in place to put this data and content in to action.
[Read More]
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