Friday Nov 28, 2014

Black Friday with Very.co.uk

On this Black Friday, while you are all looking for the best deals online or in store, have a look at what it's like to be a Very.co.uk customer! This video explains how the multi-brand digital retailer Shop Direct fulfills the order you may be placing today and gives you a view from both the customer's and HQ team's perspective - starring Shop Direct's very own Head of Ecommerce, Paul Hornby.

Shop Direct and Very.co.uk are powered by Oracle Commerce solutions, which are providing the right insight for the team at HQ to anticipate what the customer wants, and allow them to present relevant products and offer information to customers while they shop. Shop Direct want their customers to feel that their shopping experience is personal to them! 

In order to do so, the Shop Direct team conducts experiments in their UX lab, rapidly testing and evaluating different methods of improving and personalising their customers’ online shopping experience. Their consistent effort to improve user experience enables shoppers to browse the online retailer’s huge product ranges with ease, selecting, purchasing and arranging delivery of their perfect product.

Happy shopping everyone!

Tuesday Jul 01, 2014

Guest Blog: Becoming a World Class Digital Retailer – by Shop Direct

I am delighted to present our first customer guest blog, written by Shop Direct's Head of Site Management, Rhys Billington. 

At the 2014 BT Retail Week Technology Awards, Shop Direct was awarded for their progress in becoming a world class digital retailer. Rhys Billington has now written about their journey with Oracle.

Many congratulations to the team at Shop Direct from us all at Oracle!

Now over to Rhys...

Becoming a World Class Digital Retailer
Rhys Billington, Head of Site Management, Shop Direct


A couple of weeks ago, Shop Direct received four awards at the 2014 BT Retail Week Technology Awards for our progress on our journey to becoming a world class digital retailer. We won the awards for BT Grand Prix Winner of Winners, Best IT Operations, Supply Chain and Fulfilment Excellence and Payment Project of the Year. Needless to say, the entire team at Shop Direct is delighted. This topped off a great financial year for us and is fantastic recognition of the work that's gone into shaping the future of the business and the retail sector as a whole.

Being awarded for the progress we've made over the last year is great, and also offers us an opportunity to reflect on how we've done it. In addition to all of the work put in by our own talented people, one of the other key factors in our success has been the partners we've carefully selected to support our business transformation. One of the key strategic partnerships we've developed is with Oracle and we've enjoyed their support at every step of our journey to world class.

In 2008, we outlined our plans to upgrade our technology to support our transition into a digital retailer. From our roots as a catalogue business, we've always stuck true to what makes us special in the fact that we make good things easily accessible to more people through our department store range and unique financial services offer. When evolving from catalogue to digital, we had to find the right kind of technology and the right kind of partnerships that would allow us to continue to deliver that customer promise while maintaining our brand values and driving future growth.

As a business, we've become truly customer-centric and are confident that our uniquely rich data set and the skill we have in analysing and using that data means we're extremely well placed to provide shoppers with the best possible digital shopping experience, no matter how, when or where they choose to shop with us. But it's only with partners like Oracle, who have the right level of technology and market experience to support us, that we're on track to achieving our world class ambitions.

We selected Oracle to provide the core technology infrastructure for our retail operations, investing in a variety of solutions including Oracle Retail Merchandising and Planning applications and Oracle Commerce to replace our legacy systems. These investments have allowed us to increase visitor numbers, improve conversion rates, enhance business visibility and optimise our department store websites for mobile commerce. This in turn has supported the expansion of our experimentation and personalisation programmes and driven continued innovation in the business.

Using advanced technology to drive our digital strategy has helped us to gain market share and grow profitability over the last couple of years. Investing in proven and advanced Oracle technology has placed Shop Direct in a better position to continue to drive innovation and hopefully to continue being recognised for our successes.

Shop Direct - Skyways House entrance

Tuesday Mar 11, 2014

Vince Cable & Shop Direct CEO Alex Baldock at Retail Week Live

The 23rd Retail Week Live is just around the corner. Tomorrow at the Hilton London Metropole, leaders from the retail sector are coming together to network and listen to the industry leading speakers presenting this year. Amongst them: Dr. Vince Cable, UK Secretary of State for Business & Innovation.

Make sure you also catch the following:

Alex Baldock, CEO, Shop Direct Group
In his first speaking engagement since joining Shop Direct in September 2012, CEO Alex Baldock will close the innovation stage by lifting the lid on the etail giant's digital strategy. Looking specifically at the mobile revolution, he’ll unveil some of the secrets that have driven the former catalogue retailer to become one of the UK’s leading m-commerce players, with fast-growing digital department store brands including Very.co.uk and isme.com. And with around a third of its £1.7 billion sales set to be made on mobile devices this year, Alex will address some of the challenges that lay ahead for Shop Direct in continuing to keep pace with today’s increasingly tech-savvy consumer.

Stuart Higgins, Director and Partner, LCP Consulting Ltd.
Stuart is a commercially oriented supply chain and logistics executive and consultant with a passion for delivering real business improvements in Retail, FMCG and 3PL sectors and across Global and European supply chains. He has held board level accountability for Supply Chain, Trading and Merchandising functions and has experience of operating in competitive and customer focused markets and in demanding and fast moving businesses within both “Blue Chip” and Private Equity ownership. Operational roles have included Supply Chain Director of a major food company, to Logistics Director of a high street retailer and many other operational/development roles. A recognized industry thought leader, Stuart is a frequent speaker at industry events and a regular commentator on retail issues in the Business media.

The event brings to life the market leading debate and analysis you see each week in the magazine and every day online. Make sure you stop by the Oracle stand (#17, see below) for a cup of coffee and a conversation. 


About

Everything Retail.


Principal contributors:

Sarah Taylor, Senior Industry Director, Oracle Retail.


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


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