Monday Jun 17, 2013

Quiz: Customers Are Looking for More... Are You Delivering?

Delivering a positive online customer experience is more critical today than ever before. With the marketplace becoming more global, consumers now have the power to shop from a wider range of retailers.

A disappointing web experience can seriously harm your business: The Oracle Retail research - The Evolution of Experience Retailing – showed that consumers are not tolerant of retailers who fail to meet their expectations. Only 39% of survey respondents were willing to give a retailer a second chance and over half (53%) switched to a rival retailer straight away.

Given these findings, retailers are having to re-consider how they conduct their business on the web. The customer experience is now defined by the consumer - but are retailers recognising this?

To help you understand whether your website is truly optimised, Oracle Retail has launched an interactive quiz, which looks at whether your site is making use of the top 10 features that increase attraction, decrease bounce, and ultimately drive customer conversion.

Complete the quiz and gain insight into what improvements you can make to provide a more successful customer experience.

Take the quiz now…

Thursday May 16, 2013

Chinese Evolution of Experience Retailing Results Unveiled

Today saw the unveiling of the Chinese results from Oracle Retail’s Evolution of Experience Retailing research. Sarah Taylor, Senior Director EMEA & JAPAC, and Allen Miao, General Manager Greater China, hosted a media roundtable event in Beijing, where Chinese results from the research were discussed and compared to other country findings.

Oracle’s Evolution of Experience Retailing research asked consumers in the UK, USA, Germany, Russia, Brazil, China and Japan on their views to fundamental retail principles. The research looked at issues such as customer service, overall experience, preference, shopping trends and attitudes to technology. Global results of this research were announced at the Oracle Retail Exchange event held in January in New York. Mike Webster, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Oracle Retail, introduced the results at the event and a video of his presentation can be seen on our YouTube channel.

Chinese consumers proved to have a strong desire for knowledge around product, price and brands. There was a clear desire for an integrated and flexible approach across all channels, which poses a considerable challenge to retailers in the country.

Results also showed that Chinese consumers are very much open to retailer initiated interactions, when those interactions involve latest information and offers that are targeted and relevant.

Additional key findings from China include:

  • Chinese consumers have embraced new technologies such as mobile and social, and have a willingness to source and share information from every avenue in pursuit of a complete shopping experience – more so than any other region surveyed.
  • 98% of respondents value the importance of service. Chinese consumers were also the most vocal respondents when it comes to poor service.
  • Brand reputation is key in terms of deciding which retailer to visit, although price, choice and a secure transactional process are also important.

Retailers in China need to provide customer experiences that are superior to that of their competition and align them with smarter internal decisions and processes to ensure they market, interact and transact consistently across touch points, whether the consumer is online, in the store or on the go.

Chinese results from The Evolution of Experience Retailing can be found on the research microsite, where you can also access global results, as well as those from the UK, Germany, Russia and Japan. Research resources include a comprehensive whitepaper, byline articles and a key results presentation deck.

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.

Friday Mar 08, 2013

Mike Webster Introduces the Evolution of Experience Retailing research

In this video, Mike Webster, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Oracle Retail, introduces the Evolution of Experience Retailing global research, filmed at the Oracle Retail Exchange event in New York in January. The launch took place at The American Museum of Natural History with the research presented to a packed room of leading retailers from around the world.

As detailed in previous posts on this blog, the Evolution of Experience Retailing research was commissioned in order to help retailers identify what consumers really want from their shopping experiences and how they can create strategies and business priorities to meet consumer expectations and compete more effectively within in the global market place.

A range of research resources, including a whitepaper, byline articles and country fact sheets are available on the research website, along with an infographic, showcasing key results.

Visit the Evolution of Experience Retailing website now…

Thursday Feb 28, 2013

The Evolution of Experience Retailing: Results from Germany Now Available

Today saw the German findings for Oracle’s Evolution of Experience Retailing research unveiled by Sarah Taylor, Senior Director EMEA & JAPAC in Frankfurt. Results highlighted that retailers targeting the German retail market face a challenge in understanding their customers, and that to better engage with them, it is essential to deliver a consistent experience across all channels.

In the research, which evaluates consumer perceptions of customer service, overall experience, preference, shopping trends and attitudes to technology, overall German respondents did not provide particularly extreme reactions to survey questions, generally giving a broader range of feedback and views than their counterparts in the UK, USA, Russia, Brazil, China and Japan. Price and choice were key influencers in determining where to shop, and while German consumers generally agree that the global marketplace offers advances in these areas, a large number stated that the Internet was “neither important nor unimportant” in facilitating these benefits, despite a high degree of respondents shopping online for fashion and speciality items.

In general, German consumers did not value social media within their retail experience, with 56% of respondents not using social networks when shopping and over a third not perceiving recommendations on social channels to be important or valuable.

Other research findings included:

  • 81% of consumers rate service as fairly or very important, with unfriendly (75%) or unhelpful (68%) store associates being determined as the cause of bad service
  • When it comes to experience within shopping, 59% of respondents rated this as being very or fairly important – compared to 72% globally
  • 43% of respondents only wanted to receive contact from retailers when they instigate the interaction, while only 27% of consumers were willing to share personal information with a retailer and in return, expected better services and offers
  • Social media has a smaller impact on the German consumer, with only 15% of respondents following a retailer on social networks (29% globally) and 23% actively seeking out reviews of brand/products on social media (37% globally)

For further insights into the German consumer, visit the Evolution of Experience Retailing website and download a range of research resources, including a whitepaper analysing findings from around the world. Global results from the Evolution of Experience Retailing were launched in New York in January, with Japanese, UK and Russian results having since been made available.


Everything Retail.

Principal contributors:

Sarah Taylor, Senior Industry Director, Oracle Retail.

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

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