Tuesday Jul 07, 2015

Would you pay for click-and-collect?

Last week, The Guardian reported that UK retailer John Lewis is going to start charging for click-and-collect services for orders under £30.

John Lewis processes more than 6m click and collect orders a year, compared with 350,000 when it launched in 2008, the article reported. The retailer found that it was not sustainable to continue offering the free service for small and inexpensive items.

John Lewis managing director, Andy Street, said: “We are sure customers will understand why we are doing this. There is a huge logistical operation behind this system and quite frankly it’s unsustainable. We consider ourselves to be leaders and we want to take the lead on this.”

There is no doubt that click-and-collect is here to stay; a recent survey by IMRG (IMRG eDigitalResearch eCSI Click-and-Collect Survey January 2015) suggests that 73% of UK shoppers have used in-store click-and-collect or reserve and collect, with another 10% intending to try it in the near future. Oracle’s own research report Delivering Retail has revealed a doubling of consumers who are buying online, and collecting in-store.

However, John Lewis is not in fact the only retailer that is currently charging for click-and-collect services. Out of 350 UK retailers with an online presence that we tested for our Delivering Retail report, 43% currently offer click-and-collect. 85% of this sample do not charge for this service. Surprisingly, 15% of the tested UK retailers do in fact charge.

Here is who charges what:

  • Abercrombie & Fitch - £10.00
  • Topshop -  £3.00
  • Boots -  £1.95
  • Camper -  £7.00
  • Carphone Warehouse -  £1.00
  • Claire’s Accessories -  £1.95
  • Direct Golf -  £2.99
  • Dorothy Perkins -  £2.95 (for Express)
  • Evans -  £2.95 (for Express)
  • Hollister -  £10.00
  • Paperchase -  £2.99
  • Pull and Bear -  £3.95
  • Sports Direct -  £3.99

In fact, 1% of the retailers we tested charge customers up to £14.99 to pick up their products. The vast majority of those that charge for click-and-collect (6%), however, charge up to £4.99.

According to our research, the 85% of retailers that offer the service for free is down from last year’s 96%, showing that more retailers are finding it difficult to offer the service for free. And as online and in-store shopping is converging, we can expect to continue to see a rise in the popularity of click-and-collect.

Considering the decline of the free service, what charges would customers deem acceptable and be willing to pay?

Those that order small items such as lipsticks for click-and-collect may not do so solely due to convenience, given they will still have to make the trip to the store. It is likely they order online due to a lack of availability of said product in-store.

This raises a question - should product availability be the customer's or the retailer's problem? Do you, as a customer, support John Lewis' vision for charging for the delivery of small items?

Monday Sep 09, 2013

Abercrombie & Fitch Chooses Oracle as Partner in Global Expansion

Abercrombie & Fitch, an American fashion retailer focused on high quality casual wear for consumers aged 18 to 22, chose Oracle Retail Merchandising in order to support its goal of high-growth and globalisation.

The company is on a focused path – and as a consequence needed support from a system and technology standpoint that enables and not hinders business processes, says A&F CIO, John Deane.

“Oracle is a member of a very select club of vendors that we are dependent on to make things work – a key member to help us enable what the business wants to do,” Deane said.

Oracle Retail was selected for a number of reasons, namely the maturity of the solutions, the global footprint Oracle Retail has, and the fact that the platform is solid, dependable and scalable.

In the below video, listen to Abercrombie & Fitch CIO John Deane discuss how the retailer has leveraged the Oracle Retail Merchandising Solution to speed the rollout of new stores and supported expansion of their global footprint.

The video is available on the Oracle Media Network.

Tuesday Apr 23, 2013

Evolution of Experience Retailing: Top 5 Lessons for Retailers

In August 2012, Oracle commissioned new research to help retailers identify what today’s consumer wants from a shopping experience. The research aimed to support retailers in creating strategies and setting business priorities to meet consumer demand and compete more effectively in the global market.

Below are the top five lessons that retailers can take from the research findings:

1. The People in Your Store Are Your Brand

90% of respondents said that service was important to them, and more than half of respondents defined “good service” as having knowledgeable store associates - this is something retailers must get right. Store associates who are knowledgeable and approachable are an excellent way for consumers to access persuasive purchasing information.

The store associate also plays a critical part in defining a negative service. An average of 70% of respondents aligned bad service with poor associate knowledge, unfriendly or unhelpful associates. Even in a digital age, consumers remain highly sensitised to personal interactions with store associates.

2. Meet Your Customers’ Needs

Consumers want a retail experience that is ‘good for me’, that meets their requirements and expectations. To achieve this, retail supply chains must be integrated effectively and capable of managing complex fulfilment options that typically include home delivery and click and collect.

Consumers don’t care how their needs are being met – just whether they are or not. They want their experience to be simple and easy, with 52% of research respondents stating a simple returns policy, 52% stating flexible delivery options, and 61% stating product availability at the time of purchase as indicators of good service.

3. Innovate with Technology

Consumers want to make use of the latest technologies available to them. This creates a challenge for retailers who must move with the times to provide an experience desired by their customers.

The Evolution of Experience Retailing highlighted examples of this interest in the latest technologies with 67% of respondents wanting a fast and easy payment process, with options available around mobile point-of-service and self-service. Social media is also playing an increasing role in the retail experience, with 26% of global respondents following retailer social profiles and a third use social media channels to share their experiences.

4. Offer "Commerce Anywhere"

Consumers want to shop anytime and place with a retail experience that is ‘good for me’ in every aspect.

The global marketplace has changed the retail environment and encouraged consumers to engage with retailers from all over the world, with 76% of respondents declaring that the Internet offers no barriers to where they can shop.

This has resulted in increased competition and further highlights the need for retailers to deliver an experience that meets the needs of individual consumers. As consumers use multiple channels to research, compare and purchase goods, they are less concerned which channel they use - rather that this process is connected across all touch points, indicating the importance of developing a single view of the customer.

5. Get Personal

Over half of research respondents (54%) stated that personalisation was important to them, primarily defining this as receiving offers and discounts based on preferences (39%) and having access to a single shopping basket across channels (36%).

If retailers can get personalisation right, they can differentiate themselves and build a lasting relationship with their customers. Personalising the retail experience can only be achieved if retailers have a consolidated view of their data and therefore, their business. Currently, too many retailers are struggling to remove data from the many siloes and utilise it to inform decision-making.

However, it’s not just the responsibility of the retailers to unlock the secrets of their data. If retailers can persuade consumers to share personal information, they can tailor their offer to meet individual preferences. 45% of respondents stated that they would be happy to share personal information with a retailer. However, in exchange customers expected lower prices, a safe and secure shopping environment and exclusive offers pertinent to them. 51% wanted to receive order and delivery updates, 50% to receive latest service and product information and 44% wanted interaction only when instigated by themselves.

Evolution of Experience Retailing Methodology:

Our research interviewed men and women between 18 and 60 years old in Brazil, China, Germany, Japan, Russia, the UK and USA on their views to fundamental retail principles, including customer service, overall experience, preferences and shopping trends and attitudes to technology in the retail process.

The full findings of research are available on the Evolution of Experience Retailing microsite, and can be accessed through a range of resources, including a whitepaper, byline articles and fact sheets. A research infographic is also available.

Wednesday Feb 20, 2013

Oracle Retail Merchandise Operations Management and Your Experience Platform

In this latest video, Lara Livgard, Director of Oracle Retail Strategy, explores how Merchandise Operations Management (MOM) lies at the core of Oracle Retail’s ’Your Experience Platform‘ message.

MOM connects interactions by aligning corporate, channel and category marketing strategies and providing accurate, timely stock information across the enterprise. It brings actionable insight to retailers through robust analytics on all core merchandising transactions and provides the mechanism to execute on the insights gained through the science-driven Oracle planning, forecasting and optimisation solutions. Operations are optimised as a result of the simplification and automation of key merchandising and supply chain processes.

Lara also introduces how MOM compliments other Oracle solutions, both retail and corporate in focus, including Oracle Financial solutions and Oracle Exadata Database.

Further information regarding Merchandise Operations Management is available on the Oracle Retail website.

Thursday Nov 22, 2012

Sam's Story: It's About Life

Oracle recently released a video illustrating how Oracle products and services impact people every day of their lives. This overview demonstrates just how many different industries rely on Oracle’s world-leading technology solutions to gather and process data, enabling them to engineer systems together in the cloud and in the data centre.

Watch Sam's story here

The video explores how Oracle solutions are impacting the retail, automotive, pharmaceutical, medical and travel industries. Through the central character, Sam, this video highlights how cross-industry solutions like collaboration software, data processing and business intelligence platforms can improve business performance, reliability and flexibility; lower the cost and complexity of IT implementation and management; and deliver greater productivity, agility and better business intelligence.

To find out more about how Oracle’s products and services can help you to deliver better results, visit www.oracle.com/retail

Friday Nov 02, 2012

Introducing Oracle Retail Mobile Point-of-Service

Oracle recently announced the introduction of Oracle Retail Mobile Point-of-Service, a mobile extension to the Oracle Retail Point-of-Service (POS) used by many retailers internationally. Oracle Retail Mobile POS offers wide ranging cost and efficiency benefits by allowing staff resource to be used more effectively whilst also reducing spend associated with fixed POS solutions.

For retailers utilising Oracle Retail Stores Solutions, additional benefits can be realised. Oracle Retail Mobile POS works with these solutions to allow store personnel to check in-store inventory, access product information and specifications, and perform tasks such as the printing or emailing of receipts and the activation of gift cards.

 As Oracle Retail Mobile POS is an extension of Oracle Retail Point-of-Service, retailers can benefit from seamless integration with existing systems, simple upgrade procedures and seamless delivery across the business. However, the solution’s scalable and flexible architecture also supports multiple mobile operators and systems, so retailers are not locked into particular vendors.

As well as being popular with retailers, Mobile POS has also proved to be well liked by consumers as it facilitates improved customer service levels. Retail staff are able to spend more time with consumers on the shop floor, access requested inventory information, and perform tasks that would traditionally have needed to be completed at a fixed cash register.

Additional information can be accessed on Oracle Retail Point-of-Service or read the press announcement Oracle Introduces Mobile Point-of-Service for Retailers.

Wednesday Oct 19, 2011

An interview with Li Zhi Gang, General Manager, Sinopharm Pharmacy

The following video is an interview with Li Zhi Gang, General Manager at Sinopharm Pharmacy in China. 

In the video, he talks about how the business has implemented Oracle and Oracle Retail Applications to support the growth of the Chinese pharmaceutical retailer. 


Everything Retail.

Principal contributors:

Sarah Taylor, Senior Industry Director, Oracle Retail.

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

Follow Oracle Retail:






Oracle Retail Microsite


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