Wednesday Nov 20, 2013

Showroom Your Way

We have come a long way from the 2008 Oxford English Word of the year “credit crunch” and last year’s “omni-shambles”. While “selfie” was crowned the 2013 winner yesterday, “showrooming” was a top contender.

This represents changing consumer behaviour and the role of technology in our retail experience.

Showrooming is a new shopping behaviour. 2013 is the year where a more confident, connected consumer is placing him or herself at the heart of the retail machine. People who may once have been considered “window shoppers” are now, armed with their smart phone, making the journey to the stores to look at goods while researching best prices online. Some retailers might view this as a problem, but it’s not something to fear.

Having confident consumers empowered by information on price and availability will require a re-engineering of some retail businesses. But an empowered, confident consumer operating across all retail channels is a better problem to have than a credit crunch. For retailers, this means showrooming your products your way, using the best available science to build your business in a confident way.

A Mobile Social Connected Experience

The selfie “trend” signals the strength of social media and technology in society and its mainstream prevalence.

2013 is the year that worldwide sales of smartphones exceeded those of regular phones. As of July 18, 2013, 90 percent of global handset sales are attributed to the purchase of Android and iPhone smartphones.

Taking selfies and showrooming are now entirely mainstream activities. According to a new eMarketer report, “Worldwide Social Network Users: 2013 Forecast and Comparative Estimates,” nearly one in four people worldwide will use social networks in 2013. The number of social network users around the world will rise from 1.47 billion in 2012 to 1.73 billion this year, an 18% increase. By 2017, the global social network audience will total 2.55 billion.


So what do retailers need to know about showrooming?

1. Enable and provide Commerce Anywhere

You need a digitally integrated marketing and delivery strategy. Once a consumer is engaged in showrooming they are engaged with your channel and you can only delight them. Innovations like click and collect are becoming standard – the next phase will be about delivering Commerce Anywhere, supporting every permutation of a customer journey, in real time.

2. Focus on cross channel availability

It is right to focus on price when your customer is focused on price. However, availability is just as important when it comes to showrooming. Offering reliable inventory availability across multi-channels in real time is something few retailers can offer yet because it challenges the integration of the channels and the systems. To benefit from showrooming you need to be opening up accurate inventory information to the shopper 24/7. This is something you need to get right as no customer will forgive an “omni shambles”. If you say an item is available now – it needs to be available for the customer now.

3. Assume every individual shopper carries their individual internet in their pocket

Your customer wants as much information about the product as is available. Jumping onto a mobile devices is reassuring, when we want to see my internet, my social media streams, my personalised experience. Once a customer is engaged across channels you can be strengthening their decision making using powerful science. We help people to build consumer decision trees, capitalise on search data and get the right product placement for the individual.

4. Differentiate the offer

If your in-store team are as wise as the internet, you can engage with customers in new and differentiated ways.


Today’s consumer needs Commerce Anywhere - you have to embrace the digital channels that are available on mobile devices. Retailers now need to deliver what the modern customer expects through powerful science, systems and social experiences.

Showroom your way, show your customers the best ways to engage with your brand and you will be heading for success.

Tuesday Nov 19, 2013

TOMS Uses Oracle Commerce to Drive International Expansion Strategy

TOMS is well-known for their One for One™ movement, providing people in need with a pair of TOMS shoes or eye care with every corresponding purchase made. The brand features numerous styles and colors in footwear, and has seen increasing popularity amongst consumers worldwide, both online and in stores.

To support its rapid business growth and international expansion, TOMS is using Oracle Commerce to personalize its online customer experience by delivering relevant content and recommendations to customers, providing a faster, easier checkout and a more visual, content-rich shopping experience with integrated ratings and reviews.

TOMS required the agile, scalable B2C eCommerce environment provided by Oracle Commerce, as it forms a vital part of its strategic initiative to deliver the One for One™ message to new markets and supports global demand for an ever expanding product line. The brand also benefits from the use of the Oracle Commerce integrated translation features, which has automated the translation process and simplified expansion into new markets dramatically.

Read the full press release: TOMS Drives International Expansion with Oracle Commerce

Monday Nov 18, 2013

Metra Chicago Deploys Oracle Retail Point of Sale Across its Network

Chicago’s commuter rail service provider, Metra Chicago operates over 1100 miles of track, and carries over 82.7 million passenger rides each year. The company was operating twenty three different systems, each with different maintenance partners, but wanted to consolidate these disparate systems into a single platform.

Since implementing Oracle Retail’s Point of Service solution, the company has seen a wide array of benefits. These have included speedier input of data into its foundation system that has had the added benefit of the provision of an enhanced customer dashboard to its user community. It has also been able to offer customers credit card use options, without the requirement of manual signatures by using an electronic signature capture device.

In this video, see how Metra Chicago is using the Oracle Retail Point of Service for its five downtown and 82 outlying stations to improve customer experience, data flow, and accounting management.

This video can also be viewed on the Oracle Media Network.

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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