The Oracle Retail Industry Forum – Retail technology at its best
By Sarah E Taylor-Oracle on Oct 26, 2011
Last week, we held the first Oracle Retail Industry Forum in Berlin, bringing together some of the most exciting and dynamic European retailers to share insights on the industry, how technology supports their businesses and strategies to drive growth.
We heard some excellent presentations from a number of Oracle Retail customers including Morrisons, Gucci, Republic, Shop Direct Group, Axstores, New Look and WE Fashion who were each able to showcase their recent experiences in areas such as e-commerce expansion, supply chain optimisation, IT system integration and cross-channel management.
We were also able to give our delegates exclusive tours of two of Berlin's most exceptional department stores, Galeria Kaufhof and Peek & Cloppenberg, with guided tours from the store managers and IT executives sharing their experiences in managing large scale department stores.
Networking was a key focus of the forum, providing delegates with the opportunity to discuss issues - and their solutions. A familiar theme emerging from these discussions included the priority for retailers in balancing the adoption of new consumer technology with maintaining a reliable core IT infrastructure.
With more and more consumers using smartphones and tablets to augment their in-store shopping experience as well as shopping online from home, retailers are under increasing pressure to manage their data more efficiently. Retailers need to maintain tighter stock levels at warehouses and in-store and find ways to optimize supply chain logistics to meet cross-channel consumer demands. At the same time, transparency around pricing is also becoming increasingly important for retailers, as consumers can now compare product prices online and in other stores to make sure they’re getting the best deals.
Grocery retailers are turning to technology to minimize stock waste from perishable items, using historical data from previous seasons to anticipate demand for certain stock and more closely monitor shelf lives. Meanwhile fashion retailers are meeting the challenge of e-commerce expansion head-on, with some innovative approaches to social media interaction as well as enriching the digital shopping experience to equal that of the in-store experience.
The forum was a great success and we’ve had some excellent feedback from the community of retailers that attended. We will be most certainly running another forum next year, so please keep an eye on the blog for more information.