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

Tuesday Jun 04, 2013

Oracle Retail Supports Australia’s Newest Home Improvement Offering from Masters

Home improvement retailer Masters completed a 13 month implementation of a broad set of Oracle Retail Merchandising, Supply Chain and Stores solutions in 2012. A new venture between Woolworths, Australia’s largest retail group, and US home improvement chain Lowe’s, Masters needed end-to-end solutions to underpin its new operation and enable it to launch in the market competitively and effectively.

As a start-up business, Masters identified Oracle Retail applications as providing the flexibility and scalability required to grow its organisation quickly. The solutions selected provided a solid foundation for the business launch, but is also supporting an aggressive expansion plan of over 100 stores over a five year period.

This video features Masters' Business Technology Manager, Warwick Jones, who shares how Oracle Retail provides both business solutions for running the backend operations and also within the store providing the point-of-service systems in place today.

Video also available at Oracle Media Network.

Further information on the Oracle Retail solutions utilised by Masters can be found on the Oracle Retail website:

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 May 07, 2013

Oracle ATG Web Commerce Enables Mr Price to Make Multi-Channel Move

Last year, South African fashion apparel retailer Mr Price implemented Oracle ATG Web Commerce to transition the business onto a multi-channel footing. Operating over 1,000 stores in South Africa and other countries on the continent, the launch of an ecommerce offering has provided customer access to the complete range of Mr Price products, previously available only in its largest stores.

With online shopping a growing trend in South Africa, it was becoming essential to provide a cross-channel offering and meet the needs of customers who wished to buy online, and Oracle ATG Web Commerce provided the capabilities to transform the shopping experience.

In this video, Donovan Baney, e-commerce executive from Mr. Price talks about why the organisation purchased  ATG Web Commerce to underpin their cross-channel growth.

Video also available at Oracle Media Network.

The Mr Price website now enables visitors to browse, shop, purchase, track an order, and collect and return items through this channel, and is fully integrated with the organisation’s social media channels.

Learn more about the Oracle ATG Web Commerce suite of solutions…

Thursday May 02, 2013

China’s Beijing Hualian Group Selects Oracle Retail

One of China’s largest retail enterprises, Beijing Hualian Group, has chosen Oracle Retail applications in conjunction with a range of Oracle solutions to create an integrated, scalable retail platform to support its goals to optimize operations and profitably grow its business across the region.

Beijing Hualian Group will utilise Oracle Retail Merchandising, Stores and the Oracle Retail Warehouse Management System to streamline inventory, supply chain and merchandise operations and underpin its growing network of outlets, including hypermarkets, supermarkets, department stores and commercial properties.

With Oracle Retail, Beijing Hualian aims to optimize its operations to enhance business agility and improve decisions on pricing, inventory, supply chain and transactional processes. The use of Oracle Retail Merchandise Analytics will also help provide more profitable actionable insight into the complex organisation, while Oracle Retail Category Management will align the product mix with local customer preferences.

Rising disposable incomes in China, a stable economy and increasing and rapid growth in the use of online shopping are all contributing to a healthy, growing retail industry. China’s embrace of new technologies and the consumer willingness to absorb information from every angle in support of a more complete shopping experience is virtually unsurpassed globally.

This thirst for knowledge, along with the Chinese consumers’ knowledge of product, price and brand reputation and their desire for commerce anywhere pose a considerable challenge to retailers. To combat this, retailers are looking to provide 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.

The press release announcing this news can be found on the Oracle website.

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.

Tuesday Apr 16, 2013

Oracle Retail: Supporting the Morrisons Supply Chain

Morrisons, the UK’s fourth largest grocery retailer, is undergoing a large scale implementation of end-to-end Oracle Retail solutions to streamline and improve its vertically integrated business from manufacturing through to store.

In this video, Adam Coy and Stuart Rowlings detail the process behind the selection of Oracle, the strategy taken around implementation and securing business support for the project. They also discuss the benefits Morrisons is starting to see throughout the supply chain including increased forecast accuracy, which is allowing users to focus on areas that provide value-add, such as promotions and pricing. Ultimately, Oracle Retail solutions are providing Morrisons with a single version of data and a more sophisticated system to manage its supply chain.

Adam and Stuart also reference the role the strong partnership with Oracle has played in the project success, particularly the support of Oracle Retail Consulting.

Video available at Oracle Media Network.

Further information about Oracle Retail Supply Chain solutions is available on the Oracle Retail website.

Thursday Apr 11, 2013

Italian Co-operative Retailer Selects Oracle Retail

Unicoop Firenze, an Italian retailer operating over 100 hypermarkets, supermarkets and stores across seven provinces in Italy, has selected Oracle Retail Stores and Inventory solutions. The company is Italy’s largest co-operative retailer, and has selected Oracle Retail solutions to enhance the customer experience through the streamlining of store and inventory operations.

With Italy’s grocery market adjusting to a reduced spending power of its consumers, retailers are increasingly looking to both enhance the customer experience and streamline their processes. Italian retailers have focused on promotional sales, which accounted for 70% of total sales volumes last year. Effective promotional activities rely on effective inventory control and data to be readily available to decision makers.

Unicoop Firenze is already a user of Oracle solutions, having previously implemented the Oracle Exadata Database Machine to improve data processing, leading to improved decision making and more efficient operations. The Store and Inventory solutions will now be implemented to complement existing Oracle assets, and will unify all processes within a single solution to give greater control over assets in store.

With greater control over store assets and operations, retailers benefit from a range of efficiencies in process and time which reduces costs and allows key staff to focus on areas of true value add, such as pricing and promotions. The Oracle Retail Store Inventory management solution will enable Unicoop Firenze to prevent stock-outs and overstocking, as the solution provides in-store location level tracking on inventory. Unicoop Firenze will also benefit from having simple access to cross-store and omni-channel inventory information.

Having all data in a single platform ensures data is linked and works coherently to give a single true vision of the business – something critical in providing a genuine view of performance and inventory.

Implementation and store roll-out is expected to be completed in September 2013, with Oracle Retail Consulting providing support throughout the implementation journey.

Learn more about Oracle Retail Stores Solutions, and Oracle Retail Store Inventory Management, or read the press release.

Tuesday Mar 26, 2013

John Lewis named Multichannel Retailer of the Year & Oracle Retailer of the Year at Oracle Retail Week Awards

John Lewis achieved a double success at the recent Oracle Retail Week Awards, being named Multichannel Retailer of the Year in addition to scooping the Oracle Retailer of the Year award. Getting the multi-channel experience right for the customer is a significant challenge in modern retail. Winning both of these awards compounds the importance of multi-channel in delivering a consistent, exceptional and individual experience in retail today.

British consumers expect value, choice and uninterrupted availability, whenever and wherever they choose to shop. John Lewis has recognised this and has ensured that their offering fulfills the requirements of their customers, whether shopping in-store, online or via mobile. The John Lewis approach to delivering commerce anywhere is exemplary.

In-store, John Lewis has worked to revise their store format to cater for today’s consumer whilst remaining true to their brand values.  British consumers see the store as a vital component of the retail experience. John Lewis has taken steps to make the store experience the differentiator, such as introducing kiosks and providing Wi-Fi for customers.

In terms of fulfillment and delivery, John Lewis offers a range of options, such as click and collect, as well as online and m-commerce with home delivery. The retailer has gone a step further, announcing last year that customers can take advantage of collections through a network of convenience stores, meeting a consumer demand for flexible delivery options. More recently John Lewis customers can now also benefit from a click and collect service where they can buy through John Lewis but collect in their local Waitrose store.

These initiatives also extend to returns, where items bought online or in-store can be returned for free through this network of locations. This offering fulfills the need for another requirement of the British consumer - a simple returns policy, which is seen as a key component of good service.

John Lewis has demonstrated an ability to adapt to changing customer requirements and has shown a strengthened focus to this recently by appointing its first Partnership Customer Insight Director. This focus on the consumer has allowed John Lewis to offer a seamless retail experience across all touch points, extending this into its partner Waitrose, allowing the company to develop their offering as their consumers’ requirements and demands evolve.

With an internet adoption rate of 81.4%*, British consumers have access to vast amounts of product information from multiple sources and consumers can compare retailers in seconds. As such, consumers expect high value, targeted assortments, competitive offers and uninterrupted availability from a retail brand, whenever and wherever they choose to shop. Retailers must therefore optimise their operations to fulfill on the complex supply chain flows to ensure that home delivery, customer pick up or any other option is available if the customer requires. The logistics behind the process matter little to the consumer, they just need to be right to support customer priorities.

John Lewis has shown that it is up to the challenge posed by the modern consumer and I congratulate them for being named both Multi-channel Retailer of the Year and Oracle Retailer of the Year 2013.

*The State of Broadband 2012: Achieving Digital Inclusion for All, The Broadband Commission for Digital Development, part of ITU and UNESCO, September 2012.

Monday Mar 18, 2013

Oracle Retail Week Awards 2013 – Media Response

Following last night’s Oracle Retail Week Awards ceremony, we spoke with two industry leading journalists from Retail Week. As avid watchers of the industry we were keen to hear their thoughts and feedback on this year’s event and winners.

Chris Brook-Carter (Editor-in-Chief) and Jennifer Creevy (Deputy Editor) shared their insights on a very exciting night for retail. In a complex retail eco system where customers browse and buy across numerous touch points, retailers are challenged with making every interaction feel personal and ‘good for me’. This is the new age of retail. Customers expect commerce anywhere, at every moment of their lives and retail experiences to be tailored specifically for their needs*.

In addition, we asked the press which award stood out and why. We were also interested to hear their views on the key challenges facing the retail industry over the next 12 months.

Take a look at the interviews here:

Visit the event website for more information on the Oracle Retail Week Awards, or take a look at the hashtag #ORWA for reaction to last night’s event.

* Oracle’s Evolution of Experience Retailing research outlines the key challenges facing retailers in the current global marketplace and seeks to help retailers identify what consumers really want from their shopping experiences, as well as how they can create strategies and business priorities to meet consumer demand. Visit the Evolution of Experience Retailing research website for a detailed whitepaper and other materials, as well as country specific results from the UK respondents.

Friday Mar 15, 2013

Sir Philip Green Scoops Biggest Prize in Retail - Simon Cowell Presents Oracle Retail Week Award

At last night’s Oracle Retail Week Awards, Arcadia Group owner Sir Philip Green received the biggest talent prize in British Retail - The Outstanding Contribution to Retail Award.  This celebrated distinction was given to Sir Philip Green in recognition of his brilliant and permanent impact on the British Retail industry. Honouring this level of retail talent, it was befitting that music industry mogul and X-Factor judge Simon Cowell presented the man of the hour with this accolade. The Oracle Retail Week Awards were held at The Grosvenor House Hotel in London with a gala dinner attended by over 1,500 leading British retailers and industry supporters.

Sir Philip Green has made his mark on British fashion with a keen eye for talent spotting. He has been instrumental, not only in the launch of the Fashion Retail Academy (FRA), but in its on-going success year on year. He is an inspiration and a hands-on mentor to the talented young people that are nurtured, promoted and launched out into the retail industry. Today he remains one of the FRA’s strongest supporters.

This is a commitment shared by Oracle Retail and many other leading British retailers. The organisation was the first National Skills Academy to be opened in the UK in September 2006 to educate and train budding young retailers for the modern workplace. The Academy has equipped many students with the necessary skills and best practice to launch their careers in the vibrant British Fashion Retail industry.

This video shows how the FRA is all about preparing young talented people to have a glittering career in retail. We at Oracle are very proud supporters of the Fashion Retail Academy - this video says it all. Warm Congratulations to Sir Philip Green and the staff and students at the FRA who work hard every day for the success of the retail industry.

Further information on Oracle’s involvement in the Fashion Retail Academy can be found at: http://www.fashionretailacademy.ac.uk/about/other-supporters/oracle.

The Oracle Retail Week Awards – Winners Announced!

The 2013 Oracle Retail Week Awards took place in London last night and proved to be a fantastic event celebrating the best in British retail. Over 1,600 guests saw Sir Philip Green collect the Outstanding Contribution to Retail Award and John Lewis named Oracle Retailer of the Year, during the ceremony hosted by impressionist, playwright and comedian Rory Bremner.

The full list of award winners is as follows:

  • Oracle Retailer of the Year – John Lewis
  • The Clarity Search Retail Leader of the Year – Stefano Pessina, Executive Chairman, Alliance Boots
  • Outstanding Contribution to Retail – Sir Philip Green
  • The Zolfo Cooper Growth Retailer of the Year – Aldi UK
  • The Wipro Retail International Retailer of the Year - Zara
  • Store Manager of the Year – Stephanie Hush, Hobbycraft, Dundee
  • International Growth Retailer of the Year – Debenhams
  • Retail Destination of the Year – St Stephen’s, Hull
  • Store Design of the Year – Fat Face, Chichester
  • Pure-Play Retailer of the Year – Asos
  • Speciality Retailer of the Year – Hotel Chocolat
  • Advertising Campaign of the Year – Sainsbury’s Winning in 2012
  • Multichannel Retailer of the Year – John Lewis
  • Customer Service Initiative of the Year – Majestic
  • Employer of the Year – Sainsbury’s
  • Technology Initiative of the Year – Debenhams, Endless Aisle
  • Product Innovation of the Year – Asda, Fish Made Simple
  • CSR Initiative – Marks and Spencer, Shwopping

Further information regarding the Oracle Retail Week Awards is available on the event website.

Monday Mar 11, 2013

The Oracle Retail Week Awards will soon be here

2012 was another challenging year for the UK retail industry, but the Oracle Retail Week Awards held later this week once again show that many retailers are rising to the challenges facing the industry and responding to the pace of change in the market place with innovation, creativity and excellence, that meets the demands of a new and complex breed of customer that is shopping across channels, across borders and across categories.

Oracle’s recent Evolution of Experience Retailing research highlighted the need for UK retailers to deliver a retail experience that is “good for me”, whereby the specific needs and expectations of the individual consumer is met. Companies shortlisted for these Awards demonstrate that many retailers understand this and are working to make every interaction good for each customer.

Whilst the winners won’t be announced until 14th March at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London, as a judge for the Awards, I can say that competition was fierce for many of the categories given the high caliber of entries. There was a lot of debate around which nominations should be shortlisted, let alone naming the winners for many of the awards. What the judging day did show was that British retail has some fantastic retailers that are winning consumer confidence, delivering on their promises to customers.

Categories for Awards include:

  • The Ashton Partnership Product Innovation of the Year
  • Pure-Play Etailer of the Year
  • Speciality Retailer of the Year
  • The Trinity Mirror plc Marketing/Advertising Campaign of the Year
  • Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative of the Year
  • The Brandbank Multichannel Retailer of the Year
  • The Serco Customer Service Initiative of the Year Award
  • The Deloitte Employer of the Year
  • Store Manager of the Year
  • The ReThink Retail Technology Initiative of the Year
  • Store Design of the Year
  • Retail Destination of the Year
  • International Growth Initiative of the Year
  • The Wipro Retail International Retailer of the Year
  • The Zolfo Cooper Growth Retailer Year Award
  • The Clarity Search Retail Leader of the Year
  • Oracle Retailer of the Year

The shortlist for the 2013 Oracle Retail Week Awards is available on the Awards website. It promises to be a superb night with over 1,500 British retailers in attendance.

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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Oracle Retail Microsite


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