Tuesday Feb 12, 2013

The Evolution of Experience Retailing: Russia Results Now Available

Today saw the unveiling of the Russian results from Oracle Retail’s Evolution of Experience Retailing global consumer research. Anton Pershin, Regional Director of Oracle Retail in Russia, announced the results at today’s launch event in Moscow.

Russian findings indicate that consumers in the region value their store experiences highly and place importance in the product showcases delivered through this channel. While store-based retailing continues to dominate, Russian consumers indicated a willingness to shop via mobile or social channels, though were less keen to shop online, contrary to other countries targeted in this research. This research formed part of a global survey undertaken by Oracle Retail to explore the Evolution of Experience Retailing investigating consumer perceptions of retail in Russia, the UK, Germany, USA, China, Japan and Brazil.

Key findings from the Russian research indicated:

  • Russians rate the importance of the shopping experience at 77%, less than Brazil and China but more than the other regions surveyed
  • 87% rate good service as important, equally valuing the availability of products at the point of purchase, alongside a quick and easy payment process
  • Despite the importance of social networks to Russian consumers, they are unwilling to share negative experiences via these channels
  • More than any other region, Russians want retailers to interact with them only at the consumers’ instigation and in relation to products or order updates

With a population of 141.9 million, Russia is expected to become Europe’s largest consumer economy, making it a priority for retailers, who must ensure they can deliver cross-channel integration to enable consumers, who have indicated a willingness to shop via mobile and social channels, in the way they want, that is ‘good for me’. Retailers need to focus on collecting consumer data and utilise it to gain actionable insights into customer behaviour, which can then be applied across all touch points.

Visit the Evolution of Experience Retail research website and download the research whitepaper as well as a range of further resources in Russian including byline articles, a fact sheet and an infographic showcasing the key global results.

Tuesday Feb 05, 2013

UK Results of The Evolution of Experience Retailing Unveiled Today

UK results from The Evolution of Experience Retailing research were unveiled today during a breakfast roundtable event in London. Sarah Taylor, Senior Director EMEA & JAPAC of Oracle Retail, took delegates through UK findings, looking at comparisons with results from other countries and what the findings means for UK retailers in the current global marketplace.

The Evolution of Experience Retailing research asked consumers in the UK, USA, Germany, Russia, Brazil, China and Japan on their views to fundamental retail principles, looking at issues such as customer service, overall experience, preference, shopping trends and attitudes to technology. The global results of this research were recently announced at the Oracle Retail Exchange event held in January in New York.

British consumers have unprecedented options in a highly competitive domestic retail economy, in addition to the global environment. With access to vast amounts of product information from multiple sources, consumers can compare retailers, brands and products in seconds. As such, they expect high value, targeted assortments, competitive offers and uninterrupted availability from a retail brand, whenever and wherever they choose to shop. This was reflected in the aspects of the research that looked at experience, with 66% of British consumers listing ease of use as the best definition of the term “shopping experience”, followed by the ability to shop anytime, anywhere (59%).

In the current economic environment, it was unsurprising that price remains a priority when shopping, however 90% of respondents also stated that good service was important, or very important. Store associates were identified as the primary cause of bad service, followed by poor fulfillment, but British consumers did not react as strongly as other nations to a bad experience, and were less likely to switch to an alternative retailer, or to actively recommend others from using one.

Some of the research findings were:

  • British consumers want what the global marketplace has to offer with 76% stating that the internet offers no barriers to where they can shop
  • 76% list price as the priority when shopping, followed by choice and convenient store locations
  • Although British consumers are relatively open to sharing information with retailers, in comparison to other mature economies, there is an expectation for lower prices and exclusive offers that are 'good for me' in return for engaging in a more collaborative relationship with a retailer
  • While respondents prefer not to shop on their mobile device, interpretations of personalisation relate most strongly to receiving offers and discounts to their mobiles (21%), followed interestingly by a willingness to be identified when shopping online (13%)

To fulfill on British consumer expectations, retailers must optimise their operations to fulfill on the complex supply chain flows to ensure that home delivery and customer pick up 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.

UK results from The Evolution of Experience Retailing can be downloaded from the research website, where you can also access the global results. Available resources include a whitepaper and byline articles, as well as a research infographic and fact sheets on country and global results.

Wednesday Jan 30, 2013

Record Number of Delegates Participate in the Oracle Retail Exchange

This year’s Oracle Retail Exchange took place in New York from 13-16 January with a record number of delegates attending. 137 senior retail executives, from 66 companies across 25 countries convened at Le Parker Meridien to meet and discuss the issues facing the global retail marketplace, and take in the highlights of the NRF Big Show taking place at the same time.

Oracle runs the Retail Exchange programme each year, facilitating networking between an exclusive group of senior retail business and IT executives. Delegates gain access to high-level business content designed specifically for our audience, including presentations from some of the leading players in the market who share how Oracle is supporting their businesses to succeed.

As part of the programme, delegates also attend a series of exclusive events, dinners and social gatherings, and this year were taken to The American Museum of Natural History for a VIP reception, providing the focal point for the launch of “The Evolution of Experience Retailing” research.

Oracle Retail commissioned this research, interviewing consumers from Brazil, China, Germany, Japan, Russia, the UK and USA, to help retailers identify what consumers really want from their shopping experiences and how they can create strategies and business priorities to meet consumer demand and compete more effectively in the global market. The results of this research are available to download on our Evolution of Experience Retailing microsite, where you can access a range of research resources including a whitepaper and an infographic showcasing the key results.

A further highlight of the Retail Exchange programme are the Store Showcase visits to New York retailers, where delegates are able to see best practice retailing in action. This year, delegates visited Deckers Outdoor’s UGG Australia store on Madison Avenue to hear about the journey Deckers is taking to develop a globally consistent consumer-direct operating model that unifies the customer experience across all touch points, streamlines operations, drives sales and improves profitability. The group learnt how Deckers is using Oracle Retail Point-of-Service, in addition to Oracle Retail Merchandise Operations Management and Oracle Retail Merchandise Planning and Optimization. Take a look at the recent press release detailing this journey.

In addition to events and visits to retailers, the Retail Exchange programme offers a rich and engaging series of presentations from Oracle customers, who share their experiences of how Oracle Retail solutions are supporting their retail businesses. This year, delegates heard from:

  • Simon Russell, Director Retail Operations Development at John Lewis in the UK: Oracle Commerce: Supporting the Omni-Channel Journey at John Lewis
  • Chris Mangham, CIO at M.Video in Russia: Developing a Complete Customer Experience with Oracle Commerce
  • Dimitrios Bairaktaris, General Manager Merchandise and Logistics of IT from Coles in Australia: Optimising Replenishment at Coles to Improve the Customer Experience
  • Jeremy Spencer, Regional Vice President Consultingat Oracle Retail EMEA; Marion Marees, Program Manager Retailbox Core, Senior Business Consultant at Ahold IM Europe; Mario Torres, Head of Delivery at Oracle Retail EMEA Consulting; and Andre Weigandt, CEO and Founder, Weigandt Consulting: The Changing Role of Oracle Retail Consulting in Supporting Customer Deployments in EMEA, with a focus on Ahold
  • Frederieke Ubels, Manager IT Innovation and Feike Groen, Manager IT Architecture at bol.com from the Netherlands: Oracle Commerce – Supporting Growth, Customer Service and Market Share at bol.com

These sessions focused on how each organisation is working with Oracle Retail and Oracle Commerce solutions and the impact that each implementation is having or has had.

If you are interested in attending a future Oracle Retail Exchange event, please join our group on LinkedIn, where you can keep up to date with news and updates from Oracle Retail. This year’s attendees included:

A5, Academy Sports + Outdoors, Åhléns, Ahold, Al Nahdi Medical, AOKI Holdings, Auchan, Azizia Panda, Benetton, bol.com, Boulanger, Breuninger, Carrefour, Celio, Coles, Computer Plaza, Coop Switzerland,  Darty, Dixy, Ecco, Euroset,Farmatodo,  Fashion Continent, Gerry Weber, Gucci, ICA, John Lewis, Konzum, Lego, Leroy Merlin France, Leroy Merlin Vostok, M.Video, Manor AG, Marks & Spencer, Milan Zao (Izhtrading), Myer, NBTY Europe, Nilson Group, Norman Vivat, Pandora Jewellery, Peek & Cloppenburg, Pharmacor, Rewe, Rogers Communications, Scandlines, Siam Makro, SPAR Middle Volga, Sportmaster, Sprint, Teknosa, The Aldo Group, The Body Shop, The TJX Companies Inc., The Warehouse Group, TOP-TOY, Vodafone, Waitrose and WM Morrisons. 

Thursday Jan 24, 2013

The Evolution of Experience Retailing: Japanese Results Unveiled

Japanese findings delivered by The Evolution of Experience Retailing research were unveiled in Japan today by Steve Ouzounian, Group Vice President of Oracle Retail.  Following last week’s announcement of the global research, this regional roll out revealed that consumers in the tough and mature Japanese economy provided some of the most extreme results contrasting significantly with global average responses.

The Oracle Retail research, conducted in August 2012, interviewed men and women between 18 and 60 years 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.

These regional findings emphasise that while the Japanese may not be so keen to interact with the global market place at this stage, there is no doubt that it will infiltrate the local market in the future. Retailers also face challenges in engaging better with this group of consumers and facilitating seamless commerce anywhere fulfilment.

Some of the research findings indicated:

  • 50% of Japanese consumers identify with the concept of there being no barriers to shopping in an online retail world, which was a much lower level than other countries surveyed
  • More Japanese respondents want access to a single shopping basket across channels
  • Japanese consumers are not as unforgiving as other regions, when faced with poor service, and although almost 60% would immediately transfer their custom to another retailer, they were less likely to broadcast a negative experience, particular on social media platforms

These results reveal that price, choice and availability are very important factors in the selection of a retailer, and the consolidation of commerce anywhere merchandising and inventory information combined with the support of efficient transaction systems to move products to fulfil consumer demand, is no longer optional, but rather a necessity.

Download Japan specific results from the research, as well as global results, at The Evolution of Experience Retailing website, where you will find a whitepaper as well as a range of other research resources.

Click here to access a Japanese language infographic, showcasing the results.

Wednesday Jan 16, 2013

Oracle Retail Exchange: Daily Review of Activities on Wednesday 16th January

Today was the final day of Oracle Retail Exchange in New York and ended an event that saw some great discussion and networking between retail executive delegates  from around the world, as well as visits to a number of New York’s finest retailers, and culminated in the launch of Oracle Retail’s The Evolution of Experience Retailing research.

In our last Customer Showcase, attendees heard from Frederieke Ubels, Manager IT Innovation of bol.com, an organisation with over 3.4 million active customers in the Netherlands and Belgium, making bol.com the largest online retailer in the region and a market leader in the field of online sales of books, entertainment, electronic devices and toys. Ubels discussed bol.com’s longstanding use of Oracle Commerce products – Endeca Search and ATG Commerce - and how these have supported bol.com’s growth and strategies to improve customer service and market share.

A digital retailing roundtable concluded activities for the morning, featuring input from Teknosa, bol.com and Computer Plaza, on the challenges and opportunities facing ecommerce and traditional retailers as they seek to gain marketshare in this dynamic and competitive retail sector.

In addition, delegates recounted their perspectives on last nights VIP reception at the American Museum of Natural History, where Mike Webster, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Oracle Retail, launched The Evolution of Experience retailing research, and our guests were enthralled by the exclusive space show at the Hayden Planetarium.

Download the research now and understand how the results will impact your business strategy. A range of research resources are available including a comprehensive whitepaper.

Oracle Retail launches global consumer research: “The Evolution of Experience Retailing”

Oracle has launched its new research entitled “The Evolution of Experience Retailing”, examining the views of consumers on the global marketplace and what this means in terms of meeting their needs, to help retailers to define their strategies and key business imperatives and enable them to compete more effectively.

Oracle recognises that the pace of change in the global marketplace is unprecedented. The view we have is that consumers are now in charge, demanding the provision of commerce anywhere, the benefits of the competitive marketplace and the latest technologies to enhance their shopping experiences. This is the age of the individual that wants every retail interaction to be ‘good for me’, to be defined and dictated by ‘my’ preferences.

Consumers between 18 and 60 years old from Brazil, China, Germany, Japan, Russia, UK and USA were interviewed in August 2012 for the ‘Evolution of Experience Retailing’ survey on their views to fundamental retail principles, including customer service, overall experience, preferences and shopping trends and attitudes to technology in the retail process.

This new piece of research was officially launched last night at a VIP reception at the American Museum of Natural History, by Mike Webster, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Oracle Retail.

Some of the key findings of the research include:

  • Consumers want retailers to co-create interactions that are ‘good for me’ - that meet local and cultural expectations and are appropriate in terms of the level, frequency and intimacy of the interaction between the retailer and the consumer
  • Led by price, product and choice, the Amazon effect is driving growth, acceptance and demand for the global marketplace
  • The importance of service indicates retailers must empower their associates and operations to deliver accurate and connected, information-driven interactions at every touch point
  • There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to meeting customer expectations of a good experience – these differ culturally, regionally and across touch points
  • Delivering a poor service and experience is damaging to your business – you will lose customers, reputation and diminish your brand value
  • Retailers are missing vital opportunities to personalise communications, as they fail to engage appropriately with customers
  • Retailers should ignore the growing importance of mobile and social at their peril
  • Consumers are demanding that this ‘good for me’ experience be consistent across multiple touch points, driving the need for retailers to deliver commerce anywhere

Download the global results from the “Evolution of Experience Retailing” research now, and access the free whitepaper detailing the insights gained from the research and a range of other resources.

Country specific results will be announced over the following weeks – stay tuned for further updates.

Thursday Jan 10, 2013

“The Evolution of Experience Retailing” set to be launched next week

Next week during our Oracle Retail Exchange event in New York, Mike Webster Senior Vice President and General Manager, will unveil new global research from Oracle Retail, during a VIP reception at the American Museum of Natural History on Tuesday 15th January.

Oracle recognises that the pace of change in the global marketplace is unprecedented. The view we have is that consumers are now in charge, demanding the provision of commerce anywhere, the benefits of the competitive marketplace and the latest technologies to enhance their shopping experiences. This is the age of the individual that wants every retail interaction to be ‘good for me’, to be defined and dictated by ‘my’ preferences.

To substantiate these views, Oracle undertook a global survey in August 2012 looking at the views of consumers in Brazil, China, Germany, Japan, Russia, the UK and USA about the global marketplace and what this means in terms of meeting their needs. The findings of the research entitled ‘The Evolution of Experience Retailing’ will help retailers to define their strategies and key business imperatives and enable them to compete more effectively in an increasingly powerful consumer-led world.

This new research explored the views and expectations of consumers on:

  • Attitudes and preferences around shopping globally and locally
  • Which retail attributes matter to consumers
  • Getting the most from interactions with retailers
  • Understanding what service, experience and personalisation mean to consumers
  • The importance of service, experience and personalisation in the shopping process
  • Consumer reactions to poor retail experiences and service
  • Use of mobile and social media in the shopping process
  • The factors that drive consumers to make decisions around shopping with particular retailers
  • Acceptance and interaction with the global marketplace
  • The imbalance in the retail market and how traditional retailers are competing effectively or otherwise in the global landscape

Further details regarding the Evolution of Experience Retailing research will be announced on this blog over the coming week. Visit again, or subscribe to our blog RSS feed to receive future posts.

You can also join Oracle Retail online communities to hear what your peers have to say about the research and for details of how to download it following the launch.

Tuesday Jan 08, 2013

It’s Oracle Retail Exchange 2013 next week!

Oracle Retail is once again running the Retail Exchange programme next week alongside the NRF Big Show in New York. This invite only event brings together a select group of retailers, providing access to a unique set of events specifically designed for an international audience, ensuring attendees get the very most from the BIG Show programme as well.

Oracle Retail Exchange gives retailers the chance to network, learn and share ideas with an exclusive group of senior business and IT executives, alongside the Oracle Retail executive team. Attendees will hear from leading retailers on how Oracle solutions support their businesses.

This year the following retailers will be presenting:

  • Simon Russell, Director Retail Operations Development, John Lewis: Oracle Commerce: Supporting the Omni-Channel Journey at John Lewis
  • Chris Mangham, CIO, M.Video: Developing a Complete Customer Experience with Oracle Commerce
  • Dimitrios Bairaktaris, General Manager Merchandise and Logistics, Coles IT: Optimising Replenishment at Coles to Improve the Customer Experience
  • Jeremy Spencer, Regional Vice President Consulting, Oracle Retail EMEA; Marion Marees, Program Manager Retailbox Core, Senior Business Consultant, Ahold IM Europe; Mario Torres, Head of Delivery, Oracle Retail EMEA Consulting; Andre Weigandt, CEO and Founder, Weigandt Consulting: The Changing Role of Oracle Retail Consulting in Supporting Customer Deployments in EMEA, with a focus on Ahold
  • Frederieke Ubels, Manager IT Innovation, bol.com: Oracle Commerce – Supporting Growth, Customer Service and Market Share at bol.com

In addition, delegates attend exclusive events, networking dinners and store showcases at some of New York's most celebrated venues.

One of the event highlights is the VIP reception at the American Museum of Natural History, where Mike Webster, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Oracle Retail, will unveil new global research entitled ‘The Evolution of Experience Retailing’  from Oracle Retail. Further details will be announced in due course.

If you are interested in learning more, please join our Retail Exchange LinkedIn Group, where we will post event updates and details of “The Evolution of Experience Retailing” research following its launch on 15 January.

Watch our video “What's in store for Oracle Retail Exchange 2013, New York”.

Tuesday Nov 29, 2011

Is there a low carbon future for the retail industry?

Recently Oracle published a report in conjunction with The Future Laboratory and a global panel of experts to highlight the issue of energy use in modern industry and the serious need to reduce carbon emissions radically by 2050.  Emissions must be cut by 80-95% below the levels in 1990 – but what can the retail industry do to keep up with this?

There are three key aspects to the retail industry where carbon emissions can be cut:  manufacturing, transport and IT. 


Naturally, manufacturing is going to be a big area where businesses across all industries will be forced to make considerable savings in carbon emissions as well as other forms of pollution.  Many retailers of all sizes will use third party factories and will have little control over specific environmental impacts from the factory, but retailers can reduce environmental impact at the factories by managing orders more efficiently – better planning for stock requirements means economies of scale both in terms of finance and the environment. The John Lewis Partnership has made detailed commitments to reducing manufacturing and packaging waste on both its own-brand products and products it sources from third party suppliers. It aims to divert 95 percent of its operational waste from landfill by 2013, which is a huge logistics challenge.  The John Lewis Partnership’s website provides a large amount of information on its responsibilities towards the environment.


Similarly to manufacturing, tightening up on logistical planning for stock distribution will make savings on carbon emissions from haulage.  More accurate supply and demand analysis will mean less stock re-allocation after initial distribution, and better warehouse management will mean more efficient stock distribution.  UK grocery retailer Morrisons has introduced double-decked trailers to its haulage fleet and adjusted distribution logistics accordingly to reduce the number of kilometers travelled by the fleet.  Morrisons measures route planning efficiency in terms of cases moved per kilometre and has, over the last two years, increased the number of cases per kilometre by 12.7%.  See Morrisons Corporate Responsibility report for more information.


IT infrastructure is often initially overlooked by businesses when considering environmental efficiency.  Datacentres and web servers often need to run 24/7 to handle both consumer orders and internal logistics, and this both requires a lot of energy and puts out a lot of heat.  Many businesses are lowering environmental impact by reducing IT system fragmentation in their offices, while an increasing number of businesses are outsourcing their datacenters to cloud-based services.  Using centralised datacenters reduces the power usage at smaller offices, while using cloud based services means the datacenters can be based in a more environmentally friendly location.  For example, Facebook is opening a massive datacentre in Sweden – close to the Arctic Circle – to reduce the need for artificial cooling methods.  In addition, moving to a cloud-based solution makes IT services more easily scaleable, reducing redundant IT systems that would still use energy. 

In store, the UK’s Carbon Trust reports that on average, lighting accounts for 25% of a retailer’s electricity costs, and for grocery retailers, up to 50% of their electricity bill comes from refrigeration units. 

On a smaller scale, retailers can invest in greener technologies in store and in their offices.  The report concludes that widely shared objectives of energy security, reduced emissions and continued economic growth are dependent on the development of a smart grid capable of delivering energy efficiency and demand response, as well as integrating renewable and variable sources of energy.

The report is available to download from http://emeapressoffice.oracle.com/imagelibrary/detail.aspx?MediaDetailsID=1766

I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on the report.   

Tuesday Oct 25, 2011

World Retail Congress in Review

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. 

[Read More]

Wednesday Oct 05, 2011

Digital Natives Demand a Better Multi-Channel Experience

In an earlier blog post we announced that we were surveying over 1,500 young consumers and would be publishing the results at World Retail Congress in Berlin.  Mike Webster from Oracle presented the results to a busy room at the conference last week and the results have been hugely popular both with retailers and with the press. 

You can download a white paper of the results at http://www.oracle-retail.com/digitalnatives/ for your own perusal, and please see the official press release below for the key information.  If you're interested in looking at the raw data then please get in touch. 

Digital Natives Demand a Better Multi-Channel Experience, Reveals Oracle Research

Price, Product, Choice, Promotions and Technology are Key to Creating a Winning Shopping Experience

Redwood Shores, Calif. – September 27, 2011

News Facts
Oracle’s latest research on the future of retail in 2025 according to the digital native generation born after 1980, reveals that the shopping experience of the future needs to be connected, fit-for-purpose and always available.
Oracle commissioned the survey in July 2011 to examine the views of digital natives to current shopping needs and their expectations of these needs in 2025 as they come of age, interviewing 1,514 young consumers between 19-23 years from the UK, Germany and France.
Results revealed that digital natives love to shop but they are discerning, wanting differentiated products, pricing and services based on their preferences, to interact with retailers when and how it suits them, and for this experience to be seamless and connected whatever channel they choose.
Technology is the key to expediting the shopping experience, whether in-store to facilitate a sale, or using online channels to research and compare price, promotions and choice, suggesting that retailers must optimize their operations in support of customer priorities and operate in a connected 24/7 environment.
German consumers are the most internet savvy using online channels to shop and research more than their international counterparts, while British digital natives are more likely to use self-service technologies in stores, and in particular are keen to be given the opportunity to do so in fashion stores.
Findings also reveal that stores remain the channel of choice for digital natives and will remain critical to the shopping experience of the future, which has meaningful impact for bricks and mortar retailers.
When it comes to online shopping however, this group prefers pure-play internet retailers over multi-channel retailers who have expanded their businesses online, illustrating that the latter must continue to invest in developing their multi-channel strategies from an organizational, operational and technical perspective to meet the growth of online commerce.
Price is the most important purchasing criteria for this group and is perceived to remain so in 2025 along with promotions; and while product range is also a key motivator, brand appears to be less important than price, range and assortment.
Retailers appear not to be targeting this group correctly with personalized promotions, indicating that there is opportunity for retailers to make better use of actionable insight and create a winning shopping experience for all.
A whitepaper titled: ‘The Future of Retail: Through the Eyes of Digital Natives’ providing key findings and analysis on the results is available to download at: www.oracle-retail.com/digitalnatives.
Key findings of the research were announced by Oracle® Retail’s Senior Vice President and General Manager, Mike Webster, at a session on The Retail Consumer in the Year 2025 at the World Retail Congress in Berlin today.

Supporting Quote

“This research presents a number of interesting findings for retailers outlining considerable opportunities,” said Mike Webster, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Oracle Retail. “To drive long-term growth, retailers need to provide superior experiences that consumers are demanding. The research supports the importance of creating a solutions platform that provides a connected multi-channel shopping experience.”

Notes for Editors

to The Future of Retail: Through the Eyes of Digital Natives survey were generated from 1,514 European consumers aged between 19 and 23. The two-part survey covering retail today and perceptions and expectations of retail in 2025 was conducted using Redshift Research in July 2011 using its online consumer panel. The study compiled online responses from 506 respondents in the UK, 503 in Germany and 505 in France.

Supporting Resources

About Oracle Retail

Oracle provides retailers with a complete, open and integrated suite of business applications, server and storage solutions that are engineered to work together to optimize every aspect of their business. 20 of the top 20 retailers worldwide - including fashion, hardlines, grocery and specialty retailers - use Oracle solutions to drive performance, deliver critical insights and fuel growth across traditional, mobile and commerce channels. For more information, visit our Web site at http://www.oracle.com/goto/retail

About Oracle

Oracle (NASDAQ: ORCL) is the world’s most complete, open and integrated business software and hardware systems company.  For more information about Oracle, visit http://www.oracle.com.


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Thursday Sep 01, 2011

Digital Natives – the evolving consumer

Tim Berners-Lee launched the first World Wide Web server and browser in 1990.  It opened for commercial use in 1991.  In 1994 German company Intershop pioneered the online shopping system and Amazon followed hot on their heels in 1995.

In 2012, children born in 1994 will turn 18, becoming the first adults to have lived their entire life in the presence of online retailing.  Of course, many consumers both older and younger than 18 have grown up with the internet and computers being an inherent part of their social development.  Known as ‘Digital Natives’, these consumers are driving the way that retailers adapt the way they sell their products.  They represent an ever growing proportion of the consumer population, particularly those with disposable income.  Between now and 2025, the population of Digital Natives in Britain alone will have increased by roughly 9.5 million people (based on figures from Office for National Statistics).

So what do these Digital Natives expect from their shopping experience?  They have grown up in a world where they can find an answer to any question in less than ten seconds on Google; they can research products online before deciding what to buy; they are used to a marketplace vastly larger than their local high street; they share their likes and dislikes with hundreds (or thousands) of people through social media, and in turn depend more and more on social trends to generate demand rather than just advertising.  How will these trends develop in the next 14 years?  Where will the retail world be in 14 years’ time?

Oracle Retail is currently conducting a survey of about 1,500 Digital Natives aged 18-23 across three countries to explore how they perceive the retail world and what they expect from their shopping experience.  We will be finding out how they make their purchasing decisions, how price-conscious they are, what media they pay most attention to and how they use social media and mobile technology to shop. 

The results of the Digital Natives survey will be launched at a special seminar at this year’s World Retail Congress in Berlin by Mike Webster, Oracle Retail’s Senior Vice President and General Manager.  In this session, Mike will explore the implications of the research and pose questions on how retailers in 2025 will have adapted their business models in response to the development of digital technology and social media.  The presentation will take into account the impact of Digital Natives on stores, commerce, price, communication, marketing and promotions.  To find out more about the session and how to book your place, visit the World Retail Congress website here: http://www.worldretailcongress.com/programme-day-three.cfm

We will also be publishing our findings on this blog.  Subscribe to the blog to stay up to date with the findings.  

Tuesday Aug 30, 2011

World Retail Congress – What’s in store?

It’s just under a month until the next annual World Retail Congress in Berlin.

The World Retail Congress is the culmination of global retail development, and each year hosts the retail industry to share experience and insight from around the world with other businesses and experts. 

The past 11 months have seen some landmark developments in the retail industry, as well as some exciting advances in retail technology and the way people shop.  This year has seen the rise of ‘multichannel’ as a retail imperative  to become the number one target in boardroom agendas.  Mobile technology has finally been embraced by mainstream retailers and shopping by mobile device is a fast evolving consumer trend.  As a result of this, retailers are experiencing an increase in operational complexity that they have had to meet head on in order to maintain logistical efficiency.

All of these advances have been driven by the increased perception of data as a valuable commodity within a business.  Encouraging consumers to use technology to shop – whether on the high street or online - is not only a strategy to increase sales across all channels, but it is also a way to gather a greater level of understanding about how each shopper behaves.  The analysis of this data will in turn drive a retailer’s ability to anticipate supply and demand, assist product development and optimize the way the product is priced and marketed. 

In turn, the consumer is becoming more data-savvy.  Shoppers are more regularly comparing prices of products online before they buy.  Price comparison websites are driving the trend, but smartphone apps that scan barcodes and offer reviews and prices in various shops are also making it easier for consumers to ‘shop smart’.  This is putting extra pressure on retailers of all sizes to become more aware of their competitors’ prices and ensure that their inventory is available across more channels. 

This evolution is what is driving developments in retail across the world, and we will many examples of how businesses are adapting to this change of pace at World Retail Congress this year.  The key topics of the 2011 Programme are ‘Understanding Multi Channel Retailing’, ‘The Rise in Mobile Communications’ and ‘How to deliver international growth through an understanding of shopper behaviour both on and offline’.

It will be very exciting to see what insight the different industry experts will have to offer on these topics, and how pioneering retailers are meeting the challenges head on.  Oracle Retail will also be presenting some research we are conducting on the growth of the technology-savvy consumer and what it means for businesses.  Stay tuned to the blog for more information about this research. 

If you’re heading to the World Retail Congress then make sure you book yourself in for our sessions.  Our Digital Natives session will be at 7.45am on Tuesday, and we’re hosting a discussion on Multichannel Retailing at 3.30pm, again on Tuesday. 

We will also be hosting the presentation about the winners of the Oracle World Retail Awards on Wednesday morning.

Other key speakers we’re looking forward to include:

Alex Cara, Former Group Franchise Managing Director, New Look

Joseph Gromek, President and CEO, Warnaco

Tommy Hilfiger, Founder, Tommy Hilfiger Group

Ian Moir, CEO, Woolworths SA

Eric Broussard, Vice President – International Seller Services, Amazon

We look forward to seeing you there!  For more information, go to http://www.worldretailcongress.com/programme.cfm


Everything Retail.

Principal contributors:

Sarah Taylor, Senior Industry Director, Oracle Retail.

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

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