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.

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. 

Manufacturing

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.

Transport

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

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.   

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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