Monday Apr 27, 2015

Retailers, ADAPT!

Last time, we spoke about the importance for retailers to LEARN from their customers. Next, it's time to ADAPT.

The process of interacting with and serving modern consumers is no longer one that is exclusively face-to-face. Consumers now define their own service expectations, and what matters to them is a connected, relevant and simple interaction, each and every time. In order to keep up with the rapidly changing retail landscape and global consumer expectations, retailers need to pay attention to the market and what consumers want.

Here are highlights of what retailers need to focus on in their journey to ADAPT! To read the full report, click here.

Monday Mar 30, 2015

New Oracle Consumer Research "Retail Without Limits" Challenges Retailers to LEARN...

Last week, we launched our latest consumer research "Retail Without Limits - A Modern Commercial Society", based on a survey of 5,000 consumers in Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, Russia, the UK and USA. We asked global shoppers what matters to them when shopping, and are now challenging retailers to Learn about, Adapt to, and Execute in a border- and limitless retail market that is driven by the "invisible hand" of the now: convenience through technology.

Our modern interpretation of Adam Smith's age-old theory that self-interest drives the market states that convenience is now the force that dictates consumer shopping journeys. Consumers want a converged commerce experience, in which retailers combine the best of digital and in-person resources. Advancements in technology are very much influencing the need for convenience, as they facilitate and enhance consumer experiences. With technology, and especially mobile technology, now playing such a large part of everyday life, we are accustomed to getting what we want, when and how we want it. Retailers have no choice but to adapt to the expectations and lifestyle of the modern consumer.

We are hence asking retailers to follow three simple principles: Learn, Adapt and Execute. Let's start with #1...

LEARN

Today’s retailers must listen and learn from their customers in order to gain competitive advantage in a retail markets that is removing borders or limits.

For the full report, or to learn more, please visit: http://bit.ly/1BtBtDL.

Monday Feb 02, 2015

Australian Pharmacy Chemmart Triples Average Order Size

We love seeing our customers do well. Last week, Australian Chemmart Pharmacy announced it tripled its average order size and has seen a significant increase in the sale of high value items by extending its business online with the Oracle Commerce solution.

Chemmart Pharmacy attributes this incredible increase in sales to customers having access to a wider range of products online as well as a better understanding of each item’s availability. This strikes a perfect chord with the findings of our New Retail Democracy research last year which showed that choice and availability were key consumer concerns.

In order to extend its localised approach, Chemmart Pharmacy developed an innovative, decentralised e-commerce model that allows each pharmacy to manage its online store, including range and pricing of prescription items, ensuring revenue is directed back to each store, rather than head office. This focus on localising the customer experience is resulting in a significant adoption of click and collect: over 40% of their customers chose to fulfil their purchases in this way.

For more information click here.

Chemmart Pharmacy

Thursday Jan 29, 2015

Big Announcements @ NRF 2015: Oracle Retail V14.1 and MICROS Portfolio

Our big news at this year's NRF BIG Show in New York were two things: we announced the release of Oracle Retail V14.1, the latest upgrade to our Retail solution suite, and talked about our strategy to combine existing functionality with additional resources of the recently acquired MICROS.

While V14.1 brings exciting new features and sports a heavy focus on user experience, the addition of MICROS solutions to our already strong product footprint will help our clients produce a more profitable commerce anywhere strategy. We have expanded point-of-service functionalities, developed a cloud-based commerce solution and expanded our customer relationship management portfolio. 

We are bringing Oracle Retail solutions to the cloud - we want to give retailers a speedy and cost-effective way to develop applications and achieve maximum business value with low risk.

Here is what Mike Webster, Senior Vice President and General Manager for Oracle Retail and Hospitality, has to say about the latest enhancements: “Oracle is committed to supporting our retail customers who need to be operationally fit and efficient to continue to adapt in a rapidly evolving marketplace, manage ever-changing customer expectations, and increase revenue”.

You can find our press release here.

For a more detailed view on what's new with V14.1, have a look at our latest solution briefs:

Merchandise Operations Management
Merchandise Planning
Supply Chain
Stores
Commerce
Retail Analytics
Technology

Tuesday Jan 06, 2015

John Lewis Warns on Black Friday, Highlights Importance of Store

Yesterday in an interview with the BBC, John Lewis managing director Andy Street questioned the benefits of the Black Friday sales frenzy for the UK retail market. The famous US shopping event, which traditionally takes place the day after Thanksgiving, could have a negative effect on the Christmas sales period as well as put retailers’ back end operations, such as online deliveries, under pressure, he says.

Black Friday definitely became ‘a thing’ in the UK this year. On Friday the 27th of November, shoppers across the country pushed their way into stores in pursuit of the hottest deals – some more vigorously than others. Whether this type of sale brings out the best in humanity is an entirely different question - from a retail perspective, the results stood out: John Lewis reported its biggest trading week on record, with sales up 22% on last year.

Sales in the week of Black Friday outpaced the week of trading in the run-up to Christmas for John Lewis. The overall total sales in the five weeks to Christmas fell by 1.4% compared to 2013. Online purchases rose by 19% in comparison with 23% in 2013, suggesting Black Friday did indeed play a role in the fall.

However, these figures in no way suggest that Britons’ shopping habits are shifting away from the high street, as suggested by the Daily Mail. Black Friday highlighted the importance of the store (or how not to behave in one), and Andy Street believes that “the role of the shop is absolutely critical in providing the online sales.” In fact, click-and-collect represented 56% of online sales, overtaking home delivery, and pointing to the significance of the store in both online and offline sales.

The lesson we need to take from these statistics is that the key to driving retail sales lies not in one channel, but in the convergence of all. Andy Street believes having a store presence is key to winning internet customers, as they would often browse products in store before placing an order online. Or, as proven, purchase online but pick up in store. The experience of visiting a store and being able to feel and try products will not go out of fashion, however an increasing number of options and convenience means consumers don’t HAVE to decide on a purchase right away. Commerce anywhere, in our definition, is being able to blur the lines between a consumer’s digital and physical shopping journey.

"My personal hope is that this is the high water mark for Black Friday”, said Andy Street. “I don't think we can put the genie back in the bottle but do we need to stoke that fire anymore? I personally hope not," he added. It will be interesting to see how UK retailers respond to Andy Street’s warning. Already, googling “Black Friday” results in a message from Argos encouraging you to sign up to their email list to make sure you don’t miss out on 2015 Black Friday deals – crafty!

What do you think? Do we need Black Friday in the UK? 


Wednesday Dec 17, 2014

Weather The Storm: Data and Insight for Successful Fashion Planning

As changing weather continues to play havoc with expected retail forecasts, it becomes clear that retailers need science and analytics, flexibility and dynamic management of information in order to understand the wants and behaviour of their customers.

The 2014 Forrester Wave report on Retail Planning Solutions states that “the number of new product introductions and line extensions of promotional variants continues to grow at a furious pace, with apparel brands like Zara managing 22 collections each year rather than the more leisurely four seasons of yesterday’s couturiers.”

Meeting this challenge is the key to success amid the rapid turnover of collections in fashion retailers’ product lines - accurate forecasting and assortment decisions as well as making the right in-season adjustments are critical. Why? 92% of consumers polled in our 2014 research ‘The New Retail Democracy’ indicated they will simply not wait for the desired products to come into stock.

Retailers need to make it a priority to understand and track demand origination via all touchpoints: store, online, social, mobile, kiosk, and catalogue. Especially social and mobile channels are driving the ever increasing pace of changing trends, and are incredibly valuable channels to gain insight from. Most merchants however do not possess the tools to gather and make sense of these huge quantities of data.

We can help. Watch out for what's new in Oracle Retail Planning solutions with our upcoming V14.1 release, announced at the NRF BIG Show 2015 in New York.

Friday Nov 28, 2014

Black Friday with Very.co.uk

On this Black Friday, while you are all looking for the best deals online or in store, have a look at what it's like to be a Very.co.uk customer! This video explains how the multi-brand digital retailer Shop Direct fulfills the order you may be placing today and gives you a view from both the customer's and HQ team's perspective - starring Shop Direct's very own Head of Ecommerce, Paul Hornby.

Shop Direct and Very.co.uk are powered by Oracle Commerce solutions, which are providing the right insight for the team at HQ to anticipate what the customer wants, and allow them to present relevant products and offer information to customers while they shop. Shop Direct want their customers to feel that their shopping experience is personal to them! 

In order to do so, the Shop Direct team conducts experiments in their UX lab, rapidly testing and evaluating different methods of improving and personalising their customers’ online shopping experience. Their consistent effort to improve user experience enables shoppers to browse the online retailer’s huge product ranges with ease, selecting, purchasing and arranging delivery of their perfect product.

Happy shopping everyone!

Thursday Nov 27, 2014

Why Your Supply Chain Needs Science

Consumers today have more than one option in completing their shopping journey. With retailers increasing the number of touchpoints available to their customers, the importance of managing their supply chain simultaneously rises. Oracle Retail’s 2014 global consumer study, The New Retail Democracy, pointed to the fact that consumers are using new ways to shop, suggesting there is a growing understanding of the value of multiple touchpoints.

In the last year, 53% of respondents of the survey for the first time made a purchase on a PC or tablet and this figure is sure to continue to grow. Retailers now have no choice but to be ready for the influx of consumers that want to shop where they want and how they want. Hence, supply chain capabilities will play a key strategic role in meeting these increasingly diverse shopping habits. With greater visibility of their supply chain and improved analytics, retailers can ensure that a greater quantity of their stock is consistently available to targeted customers whilst decreasing spending on overstocks.

Managing inventory investment using science and optimisation increases customer satisfaction, organisational profit and results in a healthy cash flow. This type of precise management helps retailers better understand and manage their supply chain capacities and constraints, anticipating and eliminating potential disruptions.

For more information on the science of supply chain management click here.

Wednesday Oct 29, 2014

Commerce Anywhere Video Scribe Series – Two More Added!

We have added two more video scribes to our Commerce Anywhere series - now available to view are our videos on Category Management and Supply Chain! 

Commerce Anywhere: Making The Right Assortment Decisions with Advanced Retail Science details the importance of assortment in regards to consumers' decisions on where to shop. Retailers need to be able to cater for the broad selection of products consumers demand - however be able to identify the best items to hold on to or discontinue when reviewing stock. 

Commerce Anywhere: Meet Customers' Flexible Fulfilment Needs highlights the importance of delivering a seamless experience for customers, allowing them to engage with retailers at the touchpoints that they find convenient. As Amazon announce the introduction of same-day delivery, retailers need to examine how they fulfil shoppers' orders.

Wednesday Oct 22, 2014

Amazon’s Same-Day Click and Collect & John Lewis Railway Stores – How Retailers Are Responding To A New Retail Democracy

Online retailer Amazon announced its partnership with newspaper and magazine wholesaler Smiths News last week, in order to launch a same-day click and collect delivery service for its customers. The new service will allow customers to collect orders placed in the morning after 4pm in the afternoon on the same day, at one of 500 locations.

Next-day delivery has been a standard industry offering for some time but by presenting customers with the opportunity to collect their purchases the very same day, Amazon has demonstrated a commitment to facilitating customer choice and convenience by providing the ‘always available’ option.

Offering a same-day collection or delivery service requires sophisticated operational organisation and investment- every aspect of the supply chain has to function in seamless unison to enable rapid order fulfilment.

The significance of Amazon’s new service is clear - if consumers can receive an item from an alternative supplier on the day of purchase then they will certainly shop elsewhere. In the modern retail industry, the connection between supply chain and execution must be fast, integrated and customer-focused to avoid losing out to the competition.

John Lewis is also listening to consumers’ needs for convenience in their shopping journey and has ventured into new territory with opening its first ever railway station store at St Pancras International in London. John Lewis and Amazon are demonstrating that the ability to provide a variety of convenient purchase channels and delivery options is now common place.

The challenge for retailers that want to be successful is to recognise that consumers want options when it comes to collection or delivery of their orders. In our 2014 research report “The New Retail Democracy”, we saw that 93% of UK respondents will not wait for an out-of stock item and 90% will source the product elsewhere.

To deliver democratic retail, a retailer’s priority is to provide commerce anywhere. To enable this, retailers must focus on integrating business processes and aligning their operations with the needs of the individual consumer, in order to stay relevant, competitive and deliver on the brand promise.

To learn more about our New Retail Democracy research please visit here.

Thursday Sep 25, 2014

The New Retail Democracy: What Russian Consumers Want

Last week the Russian results of Oracle’s New Retail Democracy global consumer research were published.

The Oracle research surveyed 500 consumers in nine countries around the world, commissioning leading market research firm RedShift Research to undertake the research. It explored consumers’ views on shopping preferences, retail interactions and define the challenges retailers face in not only understanding consumers, but empowering and representing them across all touch points.

Highlights from the Russian consumer research include:
  • 93% find information important - information about the availability of goods affects loyalty and costs
  • 73% say it is important that any interaction with a retailer is individual to them
  • 60 % do not want to buy a product if they do not see it in the store
  • 58 % believe that availability of goods is a higher priority than price
  • 52% believe that accurate information about availability and location of goods is important for a positive customer experience

To access the specific Russian consumer results and insights, please go to www.oracle.com/newretaildemocracy.

The findings from the global research, as well as from other countries surveyed as part of the New Retail Democracy are also available.


Monday Sep 08, 2014

Commerce Anywhere: Cross-Channel Merchandising Supports Consumer Journeys

The second video scribe in our Commerce Anywhere series is now live!

Commerce Anywhere: Cross-Channel Merchandising Supports Consumer Journeys explains why merchandise operations management (MOM) is the foundation for commerce anywhere. MOM manages retail operations from start to finish, or in other words: from foundation management to financial control.

Today’s consumers no longer think in terms of individual channels and isolated interactions – they think in terms of their experience with the brand. Retailers need a global, cross-channel merchandising system that supports their unique business and the individual journeys of their customers – giving them access to endless aisles.

Monday Sep 01, 2014

Commerce Anywhere: Meaningful Interactions With Consumers

What is Commerce Anywhere really? And more importantly, how do you implement true Commerce Anywhere in your retail business? 

Today's retailers need to blur the lines between their physical and digital presence and support modern shoppers by offering insights that transcend shopping channels. 

The first in our series of video scribes - Commerce Anywhere: Meaningful Interactions With Consumers - takes you through the retail journey of today's consumer. Learn what you as a retailer need to consider if you want to offer your customer the best experience possible, and why it is so important to make sure your systems are aligned so your customer's experience is seamless.

Wednesday Aug 27, 2014

Case Study: Vodafone Group

Vodafone Group is one of the world's largest mobile communications companies with a retail presence in 30 countries across five continents. To continually provide a better shopping experience for its 436m customers, the group wants to enhance the performance and effectiveness of its retail channel by optimising its inventory processes to enable rapid deployment of new products.

In the following interview from the Oracle Retail Industry Forum, Europe 2013, Justin Bushby, Global Head of Technology at Vodafone, explains how the communications giant has partnered with Oracle Retail to drive its ambition of becoming an extraordinary retailer by creating a fantastic customer offer in store.

Monday Aug 18, 2014

New Quiz! Is Your Business Set Up For Commerce Anywhere?

We have a fun new quiz available that allows you to test whether your retail business truly delivers commerce anywhere!

(How do we define commerce anywhere, you ask? Have a look!)

The quiz assesses how your retail business is set up across the four pillars we believe are essential in providing your customers the shopping experience they require. It will allow you to understand how you need to align your systems in order to succeed at commerce anywhere.

A few questions we ask: Do you individualize the shopping experience for each customer? Do you empower your business users with the right tools and insight, so they in turn can serve your customers better? Is your platform flexible and does it, for example, support both B2C and B2B business models from a single solution?

Take the quiz now and find out!

About

Everything Retail.


Principal contributors:

Sarah Taylor, Senior Industry Director, Oracle Retail.


Marie-Christin Hansen, Senior Industry Campaigns Manager, Oracle Retail.


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