World Retail Congress in Review
By Sarah E Taylor-Oracle on Oct 25, 2011
Last month’s World Retail Congress in Berlin was an exciting event for Oracle Retail. As I’ve shared on this blog previously, Mike Webster SVP and GM of Oracle Retail presented the results of our Digital Natives research project to a packed auditorium at the ‘Retail Consumer in the Year 2025’ session on Tuesday morning.
Mike shared the research outlining the priorities for young consumers when deciding where to shop; the importance of multi-channels – stores included - in the shopping experience; how they react to the technology and marketing methods used by retailers and what influences their decisions around shopping.
While Mike only had time to discuss a few of the key findings of the research, Oracle has produced a white paper illustrating the research results in more detail and made it available to download here: http://www.oracle-retail.com/digitalnatives.
In addition to Mike’s analysis of the research findings, Mike was joined on stage by Jose Gomez, Vice President of Business Development at Mango; Bernie Brookes, CEO of Myer; and Gavin Sathianathan, Head of Commerce Partnerships EMEA at Facebook. They offered their own insights into how the retail consumer will behave in the future and how retailers need to adjust their strategies to appeal to them. Bernie Brookes highlighted the importance of gathering consumer data and managing it promptly and efficiently. Jose Gomez revealed that 80% of Mango customers come into the store knowing what they want to buy and the pricing of those items. He also revealed that online orders via iPhone have reached 120,000 euros per month –proving that cross-channel retailing is a valuable area of development for retailers.
Later in the day, Mike chaired a panel discussion session on ‘The multichannel world: How the rules of the game are changing’. Eric Broussard from Amazon, Burt Tansky from Neiman Marcus and Chris Aubrey from Adidas joined Mike on stage to discuss the impact that the growth in online retail and the development of the various channels are having on the retail industry, and what retailers can do to take advantage of these changes.
In addition to multi-channel, another key theme at World Retail Congress this year was international expansion, with many western retailers searching for new territories to expand into, and the conference saw speakers providing several different views on expansion strategies, from BRIC expansion to looking at the key possibilities offered by the growing African market. The World Retail Congress offered ideas and strategies to international retailers of all sizes to keep up to date with the latest market developments and stay abreast of new opportunities, whether they be technological or geographical.
Finally, I want to add that the Oracle World Retail Awards has gone from strength to strength, and this year’s winners and nominees raised retail standards yet further. It was great to experience the success and achievements of some of the world’s most innovative retailers.