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Oracle Retail Blog helps retailers stay current on customer successes, hot retail trends and industry best practices.

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Retail Science

Grocery Retail Science Study: Optimizing Endcap Promotions to Lift Sales

From in-store aisle displays to the checkout counter, one principle holds true for retailers: promotional displays are a major driver for impulse buying.   Another universal principle is that there’s only so much display space to go around. To maximize the opportunities presented by impulse buying, retailers have to decide on the best category, subcategory, and individual SKU to drive the desired outcome (i.e., revenue, profit, inventory sell-through). Perhaps the vertical in which this decision carries the most weight is grocery retail. Studies show that in a grocery store, placing an item on an endcap display can result in a 93% increase in exposure. This is compounded by the fact that more than 60% of grocery purchases are impulse buys, and the endcap display becomes a very important part of the store strategy. When retailers get it right, it can give them a big lift.  But How Do You Get It Right? The problem is, in a good-sized supermarket there are approximately: 18 freestanding aisles 36 endcaps 300,000 SKUs odds are 8,000 to 1 - against you In a recent Oracle Retail webcast, now available on-demand, Dr. Mark Ferguson, chair of the Department of Management Science at the University of South Carolina, described the project recently carried out to identify the most profitable item for a large New England grocery retail store to display on an endcap during a particular week. Parsing The Data The team conducted an exercise in business intelligence to sift through a large amount of data and identify, for the grocer, what they need to know in order to provide customers the best possible items. This project and methodology can be viewed in more detail in this Guidebook. For starters, the team began with two possible categories—laundry detergent and beer—and took an educated guess that beer is a more likely impulse buy category (safe assumption). The next question to be answered, of course, was what beer? Domestic, imported, craft? In this case, Dr. Ferguson and his students started with a whole year’s worth of national, transaction by transaction beer sales data. By analyzing that data, they identified first the optimum product category (premium beer), then the optimum subcategory (import), and finally the individual product in that subcategory that would provide the maximum sales and profit lift. The answer, for this store in the New England area was Heineken. Making Better Decisions Typically, this decision is made by the store manager based on the best-selling beer for that week, which (just by being on the endcap) would yield about a 32% sales lift for that particular SKU. But that may not be the best decision. With the application of advanced statistical models, the selection Dr. Ferguson and his team made, found a 2X greater improvement in incremental profit. Now multiply that, again and again, and yo start to separate yourself from the competition. Retailers have access to a staggering amount of data—on customers, on products, on pricing, on everything they do. It is virtually impossible to make the very best decision without some level of advanced statistical model, AI and machine learning. The Oracle Retail Science team collaborates with industry leaders to create retail software solutions to real-world problems. The Oracle Retail Science suite features the results of this research so that retailers can leverage advanced retail science at scale.  Contact us if you are interested in the Oracle Retail Science Customer Group or an upcoming joint research project. Download the Guidebook Today!  

From in-store aisle displays to the checkout counter, one principle holds true for retailers: promotional displays are a major driver for impulse buying.   Another universal principle is that there’s...

Best Practices & Trends

Orchestrate Backstage Integration and Bring Customer Service into the Spotlight

At NRF 2019 this January, Oracle will preview the latest features of its industry-leading Oracle Retail Order Management solution in Booth #2321. With holiday shopping upon us, shoppers are increasingly finding that they can get similar merchandise from multiple retailers, within the same delivery window and at just about the same price. So how does a retailer differentiate themselves while still being in harmony with their customers? A recent poll asked 1,000 shoppers about how their past shopping experiences would influence their 2018 spending. It found that consumers—battle-scarred by last year’s memories of long lines, aggressive crowds, out-of-stock items, and poor service—are more than ready to seek out stores and websites prepared to give them what they want, how they want it. Over 60% of holiday consumers said they are willing to change where they shop based on their negative experiences last year.1 In this “anywhere anytime” landscape, retailers’ best opportunity to shine often comes after the sale. With all the noise, I personally lean to those retailers who I can conveniently return an item to or easily resolve an issue, and those who value my business. This is where the role of customer service can set the bar. Central to customer experience is a sense that customer service representatives (CSRs) can identify the customer, what they purchased and when. They need to resolve issues quickly to keep the rhythm of retail and retain the customer. Do you have a store location nearby? Can store, live chat, and CSRs not only respond to questions but also provide the level of personalized service that is memorable? Center Stage Consumers not only want a physical store location at which to return items, they expect store associates, and CSRs to know their purchase history and to be able to respond to situations in a way that demonstrates that they value the customer and want their repeat business. I may only buy that item once every year for a holiday gift and having an associate be able to find that item is a huge timesaver. It also means I don’t have to ruin the surprise of the gift by asking the person what it was. Harvard Business Review shared a global study of over 1,400 CSRs that reinforces today’s customers are impatient, they easily frustrate, and the thought of having to deal with a service rep can easily send someone off tune. We’ve all shared stories of ill-fated customer experiences and have seen how quickly these tales go viral on social media. Retailers must take center stage by arming their staff with the tools needed to bring a harmonic balance. To do this, the CSR must have options. In the case of a damaged item, for example, the representative can offer a discount or award loyalty points as well as handling a return or exchange. How situations like this are resolved must become part of the transaction record, both to guarantee the solution and to protect the retailer from fraud. Backstage That kind of flexibility requires a lot of backstage coordination. How that integration is created and maintained determines the speed at which a retailer can accommodate customer needs, introduce new services, or simply better serve its best customers. Often the job of creating and maintaining links between order management and other systems consumes resources within the retailers’ IT teams, a cost that can quickly overshadow the original investment in a new application or upgrade. Order management solutions must gather information and insight from the full array of merchandising, ecommerce, store operations, customer loyalty, pricing and promotions systems that comprise day-to-day retail operations. The overall business goal is to make order management and issues resolution as easy as possible, not create another pain point. Bringing the Band Together Pre-integrated solutions and cloud service platforms are instrumental in helping to shift the burden of integration, updates, and upgrades, away from the retailer and lend predictability to the total cost of ownership. Creating this smooth harmony is the approach that Oracle has taken by making Oracle Retail Order Management Cloud Service a major component of its integrated service options for Empowered Commerce. Oracle’s order management solution is and has always been, thanks to its roots in catalog retailing, a robust solution that provides customer service representatives with a 360-degree view of customer purchases, loyalty points, returns, price, and promotion capabilities. Today, the solution is integrated with Oracle Commerce Cloud and the Oracle Retail suite of store solutions. Making Music The result is a comprehensive approach to customer service with a beat that encompasses all channels and transactions, and empowers associates to keep the rhythm by better satisfying customer inquiries, returns and exchanges. Features and functionality reduce the need for retailers to customize, and that “vanilla” approach to implementation allows for pre-integration to deliver its own added benefits in the near- and long-term. Ultimately, the benefits of fully-integrated, feature-rich order management extend from the supporting IT staff to the customer-facing service representative and customer experience. All of which is designed to enable a better customer experience and enhance customer loyalty. Customer problems are going to happen, and the volume of inquiries will spike following the hectic holiday season. It’s how retailers respond that moves it from a loss to a win. At NRF 2019, Oracle will demonstrate how order management solutions serve as the fulcrum for an excellent customer experience after the sale. I personally invite you to stop by booth #2321 to see what all the noise is about. Are you ready for center stage?  Demo Oracle Retail Order Management at NRF 2019 - Request a Demo Today! 1Holiday shoppers have no patience for bad in-store experiences  

At NRF 2019 this January, Oracle will preview the latest features of its industry-leading Oracle Retail Order Management solution in Booth #2321. With holiday shopping upon us, shoppers are...

Cloud

Maximizing Ugly Christmas Sweater (or Jumper) and Fruitcake Sell-through

The Competitive Advantage of a Forecast-driven Enterprise Most retailers are acutely aware: November and December have nearly twice the revenue potential as any other month, and the momentum continues to grow. According to research from the National Retail Federation (NRF) Holiday Headquarters, more than 165 million people shopped either in store or online during the Black Friday weekend and into Cyber Monday, and it is estimated consumers will spend 4.1% more than last year during the winter holidays. Studies report that 50% of shoppers say that limited-time sales and promotions convinced them to make a purchase and 77% have left a store on average four times during the holiday season when they couldn’t find what they were looking for. Delivering an effective holiday promotional strategy is key to driving traffic and accurate inventory availability is critical to converting that traffic to revenue. If your forecasts are not accurate, you are risking out of stocks, unhappy customers and long-term loyalty. Forecasting for the Holiday The fluidity and frequency of seasonal assortments and promotional events coupled with the high-stakes of peak season trading put even more pressure on forecast accuracy for multiple business units – from merchandising to marketing to supply chain. If you are attending NRF 2019 stop by and demo Oracle Retail Planning Solutions. As you prepare for your best season yet, here are some things to consider: Seasonal Assortments:  Retail is seasonal and the holiday high point aligns with the highest concentration of promotional activity. If the past can be any indication of the future, what sets promotions and seasonal demand apart? A highly accurate forecasting system decouples demand drivers with historical estimations of seasonal demand separate from causalities, to provide a foundation for optimizing accuracy over a suite of seasonal forecasting approaches that reflect everything from fast and slow movers to short and long lifecycle items.  Holiday Assortments:  From seasonal goodies to holiday sweaters holiday assortments are prevalent across all retail verticals and many times include new items that don’t have a history to draw upon, whether it’s a hot toy (e.g., last year’s Hatchimal) or the latest gadget. In this scenario retailers need a forecasting system that can leverage attributes, evaluate similarities against past performers and provide robust forecasts that reflect smart starting points for initial base rate of demand and a holiday lifecycle curves. Pricing and Promotions:  Advertising, display units, endcaps, personal offers, discount--whatever your marketing team cooks up--you need to be able to accurately anticipate demand drivers in aggregate. For example, Oracle Retail’s Demand Forecasting Cloud Service (RDF) mines for similar occurrences in the past to understand the net effect of overlapping promotions in the future. What about new items with no promotional history? RDF performs pooled pricing and promotional effect estimation over similar performing item-locations (detected using unsupervised machine learning and critical attributes) to provide accurate promotional forecasts in the absence of promotional history. Weather:  According to research done by Planalytics, a leading provider of weather-based predictive analytics, 4.2% of overall apparel stores’ sales are weather-sensitive during November. Impacts can fluctuate by over 35% across locations for key categories. For example, the weather in November when compared to the prior year drove a +17% increase in demand for boots in 'chilly' Knoxville while having a -19% decrease in 'warm' Denver. How do you capitalize on the uncontrollable, particularly for categories that are highly weather-sensitive? In partnership with Planalytics, Oracle Retail has developed approaches in RDF to incorporate weather analytics throughout the forecasting process – from de-weatherizing historical demand to reflect true trends and seasonality to incorporating imminent weather events into forecasting and exception-driven processes for weather-sensitive categories. Competitive Advantage of a Forecast-driven Enterprise Delivering on your holiday strategy depends on informed pricing and promotional decisions based on forecasting insights, efficiently coordinating those decisions throughout the supply chain and ultimately to sales execution: Convert up to 50% of shoppers into buyers during the holiday season with time-sensitive sales and promotions. Forecasts drive these decisions, from contextual what-if’s and predictive analytics to optimized and forward-looking prescriptive analytics. The forecast and corresponding pricing and promotional effects, paired with the underlying costs and inventory availability are the foundation for effective pricing and promotional decisions. Increase brand loyalty by up to 77% during the holiday season through higher in-stock rates. Forecasts drive replenishment and allocation processes, with automated intelligence at a massive scale. The forecast and corresponding statistical prediction intervals provided by RDF Cloud Service enable supply chain success of right product, place and time supported by forward-looking demand and statistical safety stocks balanced with minimizing inventory costs.  Maximize Your Holiday Potential The holiday season offers opportunity and the forecast-driven enterprise is key to unlocking that potential. RDF Cloud Service reflects the culmination of 15+ years leading the industry in demand forecasting with an integrated perspective across Oracle Retail’s enterprise portfolio and proven across 160+ retailers worldwide. You can learn more about maximizing your potential with RDF Cloud Service in our Guideb​ook: 3 Steps to Simplifying Retail Forecasting and Planning.  Demo Oracle Retail Planning Solutions at NRF 2019 - Request a Demo Today!  

The Competitive Advantage of a Forecast-driven Enterprise Most retailers are acutely aware: November and December have nearly twice the revenue potential as any other month, and the momentum continues...

Retail Science

Retail Science: Conversational AI and Enterprise Productivity

According to the RIS News / Gartner 2018 Retail Technology Report, “artificial intelligence (AI) skyrocketed from the bottom of the priority list in 2017 to number five for future investment (combining planned deployments within 12 months and planned deployments within 12-24 months). Gartner expects that “by 2020 retailers will be utilizing AI during many retail processes to make better and faster decisions.”   Smart digital interactions are an integral part of our everyday life as we query Alexa, Google Home, Siri, search Google to get quick and personalized information or accept Gmail’s quick reply recommendations. Conversational AI technologies have yet to go mainstream in business applications but much like mobile has become ubiquitous, personalized user interactions with core business systems is not a far-out concept. Most retailers think about conversational AI in the context of the store or ecommerce, but applying conversational AI to core operations, via voice or text, can accelerate and optimize processes. For example, the Oracle Retail Offer Optimization solution can now be directly integrated with Oracle Digital Assistant which uses natural language processing to understand human inputs (voice or text), applies context and provides intelligent next steps based on user prompts. Oracle Digital Assistant (ODA), is a comprehensive digital assistant that can be trained to support domain skills for several back office related actions.  Leveraging AI, Oracle Digital Assistant understands context, derives intent, and identifies and learns user behaviors and patterns to automate routine tasks proactively. Oracle Digital Assistant goes well beyond standard chatbots available today that provide simple, single skilled, linear responses. By applying AI for natural language processing (NLP), natural language understanding (NLU) and machine learning (ML), Oracle is in a unique position to leverage its breadth and depth in retail applications and offer a digital assistant that can optimize enterprise operations. A Deeper Look at Oracle Digital Assistant Models Oracle Digital Assistants are fast learners and improve dialogue flow over time with two methods (‘models') for classifying intent: Trainer HT and Trainer Tm. The Trainer HT model is optimal when you do not have a strong baseline of user utterances to train the model.  Trainer Tm uses machine-learning algorithms that can understand a broader, more diverse set of user utterances, while still accurately classifying intent. Case in point, maybe you’re rolling out a new line or applying a new promotional strategy or introducing a new brand to your portfolio. In this scenario, ODA recognizes intent using built-in rules and inferred rules from the utterance training set. The advantage of the rules-based approach is that training is very fast (about a second), only needs a small number of utterances per intent, and gives a high level of accuracy. On the other hand, in a case where a user is navigating through several queries, the model applies machine-learning algorithms that can understand a broader, more diverse set of user utterances, while still accurately classifying intent. Example queries:  “How well is store XX doing compared to store YY?”  “What promotions are running at store YY?”  “When was that promotion approved and how long has it been running?”  “Now let’s shift gears here and start running that promo at store XX – tell me what the lifecycle impact will be on the new jeans we have exclusively at store XX”.   In the case of Oracle Offer Optimization with ODA, areas such as location-specific sales forecasting, promotional deployment and performance, approval automation, target prioritization, to name a few, can be streamlined. Additionally, the solution allows managers and divisional leaders to be acutely in tune with business performance just by asking a question like, “what’s the current margin on our new BOGO offer for trendsetters?” Conversational AI can also give reprieve to understaffed IT departments by expediting basic, albeit time-consuming queries: Did my recommendations go through?, Did the batch process complete successfully? and Why am I getting this error? ODA will respond with a possible reason or recommendation to the user saving significant investigation time and effort.   The advantage of conversational AI integrated with an enterprise business solution and Retail Science are many and will continue to evolve with time. Shortterm, conversational AI drives better user engagement through personal interactions that learn from various user patterns. In the long-term, conversational AI shifts the paradigm from users seeing automation and intelligent technology as a threat to making them more efficient and effective. And making some new friends along the way. Related Articles Blog: The Oracle Mobile & Digital Assistant Blog Blog: Oracle Accelerates Data Insights for Retailers with Oracle Digital Assistant Blog: Accelerating Advanced Analytic Strategies with Retail Science Blog: Next-Gen Offer Optimization - Engaging Omnichannel Customers with Modern Retail Science Overview: Digital Assistant

According to the RIS News / Gartner 2018 Retail Technology Report, “artificial intelligence (AI) skyrocketed from the bottom of the priority list in 2017 to number five for future investment...

Planning & Optimization

How Retail CMOs Can Use AI to Drive More Personal Offers and Marketing ROI

Going into the holidays, one of the biggest challenges for retail CMO’s is overcoming the saturation of irrelevant and impersonal communications (especially via email). This coupled, with an acute concern over the handling and sharing of personal data by consumers, is something top of mind for brands world wide and accentuated by legislation like the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and California's 2018 Data Privacy Act. The emergence of an “opt-out” culture is very real and it's up to retailers to hone their offers to not only standout in the mountains of noise but also land relevant and highly personal offers to drive brand engagement.  If we take email out of the equation completely, how can customers be reached with new offers? And do retailers truly understand what led to each unsubscribe? It could be that their customer felt the email offers weren’t relevant enough for them or they stopped trusting in the brand. Or maybe they just signed up to get that onetime "opt-in offer". In the age of over communication, retailers need a new approach. Let’s explore how artificial intelligence (AI) can help deliver personalized offers to the right customer at the right time resulting in better marketing ROI. The Right Offers at the Right Time with AI Advancements in AI are helping retailers gain insights into what offers may influence a customer to buy. Oracle Retail’s Offer Optimization is a powerful AI application that personalizes promotional offers with un-rivaled accuracy to drive better results. When connected to Oracle Retail Customer Engagement’s vast storehouse of customer omnichannel purchase and promotion response data, Offer Optimization is continually learning what works for who.  It gains insight into which offers individual customers are most responsive to, and then generates truly personalized offers and posts them directly into each customer’s promotional wallet so they can take advantage of that customized and most relevant deal. One-to-one marketing just got a whole lot easier. When retailers offer up the most relevant offer to a customer that in turn improves engagement and overall customer loyalty. By Using Offer Optimization Retailers Can:  Engage customers with targeted and contextual offers that maximize redemption rates. Automatically evaluate the trade-off between temporary promotions and permanent markdowns. Ensure consistency between strategy and marketing execution teams, by incorporating markdown budgets, promotional campaigns, projected receipts and forecasted returns.  Simplify decision-making through high-automation, exception-driven processes and on-demand scenario-based optimization.  Maximize accuracy and scale using artificial intelligence, machine learning and decision sciences. Proof is in the Research Our global research report, The New Topography of Retail, found: 52% of global consumers are aware of GDPR  86% of global consumers would exercise their right to be forgotten  75% of consumers believe there is a distinction between ‘personalized’ and ‘relevant’ offers 22% of consumers state offers from retailers are always relevant, and only 21% think they are always personal The perception that communications are not personalized means retailers need to work harder to understand consumer preferences, all potentially with less data from the consumer as they exercise their right to keep details confidential. The opportunity here for retailers is to give consumers what they want – relevant and timely offers. In fact, if retailers can catch consumers at the right time, with the right offer, they can compel them to buy. Other Findings:  34% of consumers are browsing online every day 47% said it would be awesome to receive real-time offers based on browsing history The more retailers take the time to understand the customer, capture a 360 degree of engagement and invest in building a personal conversation, the better off they will be at impacting marketing ROI and the bottom line. Consumers will continue to demand convenient, personalized, and responsive shopping experiences that extends across all channels and sometimes it’s that perfect offer that wins the sale. To compete, retailers and associates need to develop a one-to-one relationship with consumers, anticipate their needs with relevant offers, and deliver a delightful experience—regardless of where shopping is taking place. Are you ready to win your customers over with a little help from AI? Watch 2-Minute Video - Right Place, Right Now

Going into the holidays, one of the biggest challenges for retail CMO’s is overcoming the saturation of irrelevant and impersonal communications (especially via email). This coupled, with an acute...

Cloud

Utilize All Your Stock with Intelligent Flexible Fulfillment

I’ll admit it, I do a lot of shopping but in my line of work I simply call it research. I can say that personally, I have high expectations for the retailers I shop. I am one of those shoppers that doesn’t stick to a single channel. Some things you just have to see and touch and others I am quite comfortable having just show up at my door. One thing is consistent though, buying online and returning in the store is the best option for me!   There are times when delivery is what I want. It may be that the store I like isn’t convenient for me to get to after work and I want to take advantage of a sale or the website offers items I may not find in stores. Store pickup is the way to go when I can’t wait for the noise cancelling headphones to be delivered because I fly out tomorrow and being a self-proclaimed last-minute packer, this works for me.  Retailers are evolving the way they handle consumers who pursue multiple shopping channels. As new shopping journeys continue to grow, retailers must ensure that they are meeting customer needs while remaining profitable in the retail game. Ask a retail CEO what their biggest cost issues are today, and chances are fulfillment will be somewhere near the top of the list. In fact, in a recent study, 67% say the costs to fulfill an order have increased over the past several years while the cost for a retailer to fulfill an order is a staggering 70% of the average order value.1 Some of this is due to retailers’ attempts to provide customers more paths to purchase and faster delivery. But by better defining fulfillment zones and prioritizing how inventory is assigned (such as moving clearance merchandise first), retailers can profitably fulfill orders and create memorable shopping experiences. Prioritize How Inventory is Assigned Winter is fast approaching here in the Northeast, which means all the swim suits are already marked down. But for our friends in the south, swim suits are still viable to purchase. Enabling rules for shipping priority, say ship it from the stores first, there is inventory, versus shipping from the DC, protects margins by preventing a further markdown. I do have to say as a bargain hunter, I miss getting the chance to snag these deals off the clearance rack though! Further, setting a location priority to look at proximity of inventory fulfills the order closest to the customer and saves shipping expenses. Let’s say the order is for a dress. There are 2 stores to pick from, both overstocked; one’s in Dallas and one’s in Chicago. The customer lives in Houston so ship out from the Dallas store location, right? You shorten the shipping distance by almost 800 miles. Call it a gift with purchase, you also get the added benefit of getting the order to the customer faster because it will be shipping from a closer location. This also gives you the opportunity to move out those customer returns that won’t perform well in a particular store. A Steeler’s jersey certainly won’t do well here in Patriots Nation where I am! Leverage Brokering Options A modern order management system profitably fulfills orders by leveraging brokering options such as: Limit the Geography: To control costs, look to fulfill from geographic zones that you have defined and look only to fulfillment locations in the zone nearest the customer. Weigh your Options: Weighted assignments allow you to use multiple criteria such as sale velocity, proximity, and margin, to make any given fulfillment decision. Make a U-Turn: Use probability rules to override your standard fulfillment rules for products or product classes when it makes more sense for the business. Prioritization: Take advantage of the various rules options to prioritize where you look to fulfill orders from. Enable One View: Empower associates and consumers with a 360° view of available to promise inventory. Faster Time to Market: Allow business users to roll out new journeys or journey changes by using predefined customer journeys with easy UI-based configuration. The Power of Retail Science For all of this to work smoothly, swift, seamless communication among all parts of the enterprise are essential. Today, doing that most effectively means harnessing the economic and computational capabilities of the cloud. Embedded within the Oracle Retail Order Management Suite, is the Oracle Science Engine, which uses mathematical modeling to do margin analysis and identify the most profitable location from which to fulfill an order—turning data into profit. Let us help you craft your winning game plan as the clutch play can make all the difference. The Oracle Retail Order Management Suite provides retailers with a flexible, effective solution that delivers a rapid return on investment and creates opportunities to build better customer engagement and earn increased customer loyalty. Customers are seeing the results: Check out the full infographic to learn how you can streamline omnichannel complexity with distributed order orchestration   1 Strategies for agile, profitable and secure omnichannel execution

I’ll admit it, I do a lot of shopping but in my line of work I simply call it research. I can say that personally, I have high expectations for the retailers I shop. I am one of those shoppers that...

Best Practices & Trends

Hamleys: Empowering Store Associates at the Point of Service

When London-based international toy retailer Hamleys transitioned their stores to Oracle Retail Xstore Point-of-Service (POS) from a legacy Oracle POS solution, the retailer’s vision was to empower business users with new payment, security, and customer service features, while simultaneously phasing out obsolete hardware. The project team drove an accelerated program to go live at more than 15 stores within eight months. Oracle hosted a webinar with David Oakley, Hamleys Head of Information Technology, where he shared the reasoning behind his company’s POS transition and the decision to go with Oracle Retail Xstore. Oakley also discussed the role a modern POS system in both associate empowerment and payment security, as well as the project management and staff training approach that enabled Hamleys to upgrade in eight months. We’ve captured the highlights of the conversation in a guidebook. Key takeaways include: Catalyst for Change: Improve customer and sales associate experience Maximize new system capabilities and introduce new payment methods Dynamic currency conversion and tax-free shopping Replace obsolete EMV devices Business Benefits: Hamleys deployed Oracle Retail Xstore Point-of-Service in under 8 months with Oracle Retail Consulting, on time and within budget to support the critical peak trading season Improved trading terms and increased cash flow through changing acquirers Met global organizational goals by introducing a PCI-compliant solution Success Tips: Engage highly experienced and expert IT professionals, not just on the Oracle side, but internally as well Involvement of store staff very early in the process Adoption of agile project management methodology rather than the waterfall model so you can fix/coordinate on the fly Download the guidebook for the full story.

When London-based international toy retailer Hamleys transitioned their stores to Oracle Retail Xstore Point-of-Service (POS)from a legacy Oracle POS solution, the retailer’s vision was to empower...

Best Practices & Trends

The 4 Must-Haves for the Modern Black Friday Shopper

Black Friday is quickly approaching - historically known as the largest shopping day of the holiday season - how ready are retailers this year to support infinite shopper journeys and give customers the best possible experience? We dug into our most recent consumer research, The New Topography of Retail, which asked 15,500 consumers about their feelings on privacy and personalization, supply chain visibility, sales assistants in retail and more, to see what four must-haves retailers need to keep shoppers satisfied. View the Infographic Our study found that 62% of consumers prefer to purchase in-store, and it’s estimated 57% of 2018 holiday dollars will be spent online. So what consumers do in between will vary from person to person, brand to brand. From our findings, these are the four most important things retailers must deliver to keep customers coming back all season long: 1. Fast, Impulse Buys Online  71% say a fast, responsive online experience is vital 55% feel an online checkout process shouldn’t require an account setup  In-store 54% desire staff that can process payments anywhere in store 55% want the ability to use self-checkout 2. Personalized, Real-time Offers 63% think personalized offers and promos are important 66% find offers based on purchase history appealing 47% feel real-time offers based on browsing history is awesome           3. Smart, Transparent Interactions 74% want to encounter knowledgeable in-store staff 72% of consumers expect granular tracking of their delivery status 4. Hassle-Free Returns 58% expect retailers to always know the reasons for their return 60% expect customer service to know the date of their original purchase  Other Trends From the Study Consumers feel a need for: Privacy and anonymity of their personal data Information – whether it’s on shipping updates, inventory accuracy, real-time offers or dealing with knowledgeable in-store staff – consumers want to stay informed and every little detail matters New retail experiences (both on-line and in-store) - which can be delivered with the right retail software technology So whether your customers are looking to score the next hot electronic or kid’s toy this Black Friday, make sure you are making things easy, personalized, transparent, and hassle-free. Give your customers the experience they are longing for this Black Friday, download our study and stay on top of emerging consumer trends.

Black Friday is quickly approaching - historically known as the largest shopping day of the holiday season - how ready are retailers this year to support infinite shopper journeys and give customers...

Best Practices & Trends

On-Demand Webcast: Perry Ellis International Gains a Holistic View of Customers in Less Than 7 Weeks

When it comes to retail experiences, for consumers, personalization is about being recognized as an individual, with a level of service that goes beyond a traditional brand experience – and it very much centers around two core ideas: connection and immediacy. The former is perceived by consumers to be a service that is valuable or relevant to them personally – they do not want to receive generic, cookie-cutter offerings; they want their uniqueness to be recognized. Immediacy is how can a service make everything about the consumer’s whole experience fast and easy (Source: The Loyalty Divide). How do retailers bring the two together? In a recent webcast, global apparel fashion house, Perry Ellis International (PEI), addressed the need for connection and immediacy. PEI manages multiple touchpoints across retail stores and ecommerce. These various points of customer engagement created complexities to understand their consumer behavior. PEI craved a comprehensive view of shopping behavior for their over 1 million loyalty members and sought a platform to leverage that information to personalize customer brand interactions across all touchpoints. In partnership with BTM Global, PEI embarked on a digital transformation project to gain a holistic view of their customer behavior to better serve and drive brand loyalty. PEI went live with Oracle Retail Customer Engagement Cloud Services in less than seven weeks. The Oracle Retail Cloud release supports their loyalty program that rewards and retains customers for their purchases while optimizing margins. Now available on-demand, Sandeep Baghel, VP of Information Systems, PEI, shares their story in this important chapter of their transformation, what they have accomplished so far and how this implementation will level up their brand experience. Kimberly Berneck, SVP Delivery Management, BTM Global co-presented on proven success and how tight alignment enabled PEI to achieve this fast implementation.  Key Takeaways Include: Best practices for launching a loyalty program Success tips for achieving a holistic view of customer behavior Recommendations for rapid deployment and lessons learned, in partnership with BTM Global   Watch the On-Demand Webcast   Sponsored by:

When it comes to retail experiences, for consumers, personalization is about being recognized as an individual, with a level of service that goes beyond a traditional brand experience – and it very...

Planning & Optimization

Oracle Accelerates Data Insights for Retailers with Oracle Digital Assistant

Integration of Core Retail Technology with Conversational AI Powers Targeted and Contextual Offers that Engage Customers and Drive Results. Enabling retailers to build personalized customer experiences as well as voice-enabled assistants to help employees work smarter and more productively, Oracle Retail solutions are now integrated with Oracle Digital Assistant. Together, these offerings empower retailers to find answers to critical business questions such as, “What’s the current margin on our new BOGO offer for trendsetters?,” faster than ever before. Announced at Oracle OpenWorld 2018, Oracle Digital Assistant leverages artificial-intelligence (AI) to understand context, derive intent, and identify and learn user behaviors and patterns to automate routine tasks proactively on behalf of the user. By integrating the technology with Oracle Retail Offer Optimization Cloud Service, analysts can easily streamline location-specific sales forecasting, promotional deployment and performance, approval automation and target prioritization. To see these technologies in action watch the video.  “Most retailers think about conversational AI in the context of the store or e-commerce, however, retailers can now apply conversational AI to their core operations, via voice or text, to accelerate productivity and optimize processes,” said Mike Webster, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Oracle Retail. “Smart digital interactions are an integral part of our everyday life as we query Alexa, Google Home and Siri for recommendations. This latest integration between Oracle Digital Assistant and Oracle Retail Offer Optimization Cloud Service brings the power and simplicity of voice to retail operations, speeding time to insight and action.” Built on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, Oracle Digital Assistant goes well beyond standard chatbots available today that provide simple, single skilled, linear responses. By applying AI for natural language processing (NLP), natural language understanding (NLU) and machine learning (ML), Oracle is in a uniquely positioned to leverage its breadth and depth in enterprise applications to offer a digital assistant that can truly span the enterprise. "Going forward digital assistants will transform how merchants, planners, and marketers collaborate, engage their company's information assets, and how they work," said Greg Girard, program director of intelligent product merchandising and marketing, IDC Retail Insights. "As digital assistants become more conversationally and analytically skillful and more aware of their users' intent and context we'll see more incisive decisions, made quicker, to deliver better business outcomes. Retailers should bring digital assistants into their digital transformation planning assumptions now."  In April, Oracle launched the next generation of promotion, markdown and offer optimization capabilities as a cloud service with the launch of Oracle Retail Offer Optimization Cloud Service. With these new updates retailers can analyze promotion and pricing decisions for the entire product lifecycle while providing consumers with targeted and contextual offers.  Next Steps Download Guidebook: How One Retailer Improved Profitability of Targeted Offers With Machine Learning      

Integration of Core Retail Technology with Conversational AI Powers Targeted and Contextual Offers that Engage Customers and Drive Results. Enabling retailers to build personalized customer experiences...

Best Practices & Trends

Go the Extra Mile: Customer Service is Your Best Differentiator

You expect your order management system to fulfill orders in a way that (a) provides exactly the experience your customer expects, and (b) delivers the best margin on each transaction, but it doesn’t always go to plan, does it? Packages get lost. Shipments get delayed. Somebody puts the wrong item in the box. Or they put the right item in, but it gets damaged in transit. My name on the personalized football jersey is misspelled and on top of that it arrived late. Follow the 80/20 Rule The question is, what do you do when things go wrong? Enter the 80/20 rule. If a retailer is managing 80% of their customer journeys well and profitably, the best thing to do, when trouble strikes, is to over-invest in making good on the remaining 20%. Retail is like football at times. If you’re quarterback Tom Brady with a third down…you either, make the play to get the first down to stay in the game or you turn over the ball to the opponent and head to the bench. A market study by NewVoiceMedia reports that 67% of customers have become “serial switchers”—people who will switch brands because of a single bad experience. Of the customers who switched because of poor service, 39% said they would never use the offending company again.1 Don’t encourage the “serial switchers”, give consumers a reason to come back and give you a second chance. Acquiring a new customer is anywhere from five to 25 times as expensive as retaining an existing one.2 So apply the 80/20 rule; use some of the profit from the 80% of customer journeys that go well to remedy the ones that go poorly. Leverage the Human Touch  What’s the saying, misery loves company? Before someone’s bad purchase experience makes social media headlines, give them someone to talk to and make right on the wrong. Enabling sales associates and customer service reps (CSRs) with visibility into customer orders, no matter how it was placed, can quickly appease a myriad of situations such as: Hi, I ordered this dress to wear to a wedding and paid for two-day shipping and it didn’t get here in time, and what are you going to do about it? The CSR should listen, sympathize and have the autonomy to take care of the problem on the spot. I’m so sorry. We’re going to give you a refund, and pay for the return, and (remember the 80/20 rule) offer you an additional $25 credit. This can go a long way toward salvaging—and often even strengthening—the customer’s loyalty to that retailer. I recently had a set of dishes that arrived smashed into pieces. When I called the contact center the CSR was easily able to ship out a new set to me free of charge and let me know that I could just throw out the damaged dishes. There was no need for me to pack them up and schedule a pickup or lug them back to the store. I am more than willing to give them another chance because they fixed my problem without making things difficult, costly, or time consuming for me. Global research, Topography of Retail, shares some interesting findings around “returns knowledge” and how much information consumers expect the CSR they are working with on a return order to have access to. Are your CSRs equipped to meet these expectations? Built-in Functionality By having a contact center built into your order management system, you empower sales associates and CSRs to fulfill the customer journey. Because the Oracle Retail Order Management Suite is specifically designed for retail, it is built to answer exactly the kind of customer service needs that help preserve the customer relationship while fulfilling orders as cost effectively as possible. It includes a full contact center suite, which allows the CSR to mend the broken relationship. At the end of the day, customers expect retailers will be able to execute on their requests to make the experience what they want both before, during, and after the sale. This can range from a price override to match a competitor’s price, discount a shipped line that had a flaw when it arrived, or refund the charges for expedited freight when the expected service level was not achieved. It is how you handle these situations will influence a customer’s perception of your brand. Think of this like a football game and make a playbook that has the options you need to win. These unexpected plays can help you win the game: Compete: Product and price aren’t the only key differentiators when it comes to customer retention. Customer experience is pivotal. Ensure that you have the systems to deliver the desired experience. Grow Loyalty: Studies show that dissatisfied customers who have their issues resolved are willing to give retailers a second chance. Own the issue and make good on it. Maintain Trust: Use built-in exception processes to deliver the customer expected experience by righting the wrong before the customer even knows about it.   Watch this short demo to see how built-in functionality empowers customer service: 1 NewVoiceMedia Research Reveals Bad Customer Experience Cost U.S. Businesses $75 Billion A Year 2 Harvard Business Review: The Value of Keeping the Right Customer  

You expect your order management system to fulfill orders in a way that (a) provides exactly the experience your customer expects, and (b) delivers the best margin on each transaction, but it doesn’t...

Best Practices & Trends

How to Rethink Back-Office Operations in the Age of Pop-Ups

With the pop-up shop industry valued around $50 billion1, retailers are experimenting with the new experiences pop-up shops and pop-in-stores deliver to draw customers to brick-and-mortar locations this holiday season. Key to this approach is rethinking back-office operations, from who they hire to the technology they use. Along with new forms of retail comes a new kind of store associate. Pop-up shops, which sometimes serve as a way to engage with a brand rather than a means to capture sales, require retail store associates to operate as brand ambassadors with supporting skills in sales and fulfillment. In the ‘war for talent’ to acquire a good store associate, if you’re not empowering employees with great technology and retail insights, then you could be losing brand ambassadors to neighboring retailers. When a sale does occur at a pop-up, retailers will need agile mobile retail and point-of-sale technologies to provide the best customer experience, and associates must be prepared with traditional sales skills and inventory insight. At the other end of the spectrum, as retailers leverage brick-and-mortar locations for ecommerce distribution, associates will also need fulfillment skills to ship orders out or prep them for in-store pickup. In a recent interview with Ancillary Retail (AR), I provided insights as we take a closer look at these retail staffing trends.  AR: How do retailers need to rethink back-office operations in the age of pop-ups? Pop-up shops are not just scaled down stores, these locations are often in new or unique environments ranging from outdoor venues to temporary spots or even within big box partner stores. This opens up opportunities to create foot traffic and connections with targeted consumers. Retailers should consider the physical surroundings of their new location as well as their goals for the pop-up, and use those as guides for what needs attention. An outdoor pop-up will require more rugged technologies that can withstand bad weather conditions. Pop-ups in more traditional environments, like indoor mall kiosks, also have new considerations to keep in mind. In a smaller footprint space, every inch is that much more critical, and pop-up retailers may not want to devote space for full-size workstations. No matter the environment, keeping the pop-up “on-brand” is critical for sales, and customer relationships. The experience at the pop-up should align with the rest of the brand. Retailers should invest in technologies that connect with in-store and back-office systems in real-time so they can maintain a single view of the customer, order, and inventory. Omnichannel retail requires store associates to operate as brand ambassadors with supporting skills in sales and fulfillment. AR: How can retailers prepare their employees to meet this challenge? Omnichannel excellence requires enterprise discipline, because without a single view of the customer, order and inventory associates are not set up for success. This is true regardless of the store format, but it's essential to plan for the primary purpose of each location. Temporary stores main purpose is usually to sell product and allow consumers to engage with the brand, which means that associates must be prepared to wear multiple hats — often all at once. Retailers should invest in training to ensure associates are ready for any task, have a solid sense of product availability and promotions, and empower them with easy access to information. To do this, retailers must have a seamless flow of data across core systems from customer to inventory — and they must make that information actionable for both employees and consumers. AR: Another challenge with pop-ups is the need for mobile retail and point-of-sale technologies to provide the best customer experience. What is the best way for companies to approach this aspect of pop-up stores? While a given pop-up may be designed to meet a specific need, shoppers may only see a familiar brand. In their eyes, the pop-up should offer the same service and experience promises as a full-size store, and retailers must meet these expectations. The best way retailers can accomplish this is by providing associates with the same tools to help customers that they would have in a traditional store. Pop-up retailers can also use mobile tools to drive a faster, more convenient experience for customers. The portability of a tablet and mobile POS solutions makes them ideal for line-busting, but with mobile POS you must allow customers to pay with cash. It sounds simple, but many retailers haven't designed for this level of service. Finally, the customer experience extends long after the customer leaves the pop-up. If a customer orders an out-of-stock item or opts to ship a gift directly to the recipient instead of taking it home, they expect reliable updates on their shipment. According to our research, 72 percent of customers expect real-time updates on the location of an item throughout the delivery process.    Discover 4 models to enable a frictionless customer experience with integrated point-of-service solutions. 1The Magic of Pop-Up Shop Marketing

With the pop-up shop industry valued around $50 billion1, retailers are experimenting with the new experiences pop-up shops and pop-in-stores deliver to draw customers to brick-and-mortar locations...

Best Practices & Trends

Oracle Empowers Global Retailers to Streamline Omnichannel Complexity

Better Inventory Visibility and Integration Across Transactions Enables Retailers to Improve Customer Experiences and Loyalty Recent enhancements to Oracle Retail Order Management System Cloud Service provide retailers with real-time visibility into inventory and customer activity throughout the transaction lifecycle, helping brands navigate omnichannel fulfillment complexity. By integrating all aspects of the transaction lifecycle across all channels and points of service, retailers open a wealth of opportunities to increase revenue, enhance customer loyalty, streamline operations, reduce markdowns, and cut costs. Oracle Retail Order Management System Cloud Service integrates with Oracle Retail Order Broker Cloud Service to manage not only order creation, tracking, and payment but also the steps of the fulfillment process. The Oracle Retail Order Management Cloud Service unifies order maintenance, customer notifications, contact center, and payment settlements, while Oracle Retail Order Broker Cloud Service handles enterprise inventory, the routing engine, drop shipments, and the store connection for the associates. “Oracle's OMS utilizes its Intelligent Order Routing to allow routing engines to make decisions as to the most profitable location to fulfill an order from while satisfying customers' requirement and still satisfying margin/profitability calculations via Order Broker,” said Victoria Brown, Research Manager, Global Supply Chain Strategy & Execution, IDC. “Oracle's users have found the system to have a tremendous speed to ROI and appreciate the speed to go live from the ease of configuration on the cloud.” “Oracle Retail is honored to serve as a strategic partner that helps a global community prepare for the next wave of omnichannel innovation,” said Jeff Warren, Vice President Solutions and Strategy, Oracle Retail. “By providing our customers with an enterprise view of inventory and order across our omnichannel suite of solutions, brands are able to create new business standards that enhance customer loyalty, streamline operations and maximize profitability.”   Oracle Retail Delivers a Prescriptive Approach to Order Management Open Integration: ​ In addition to pre-integration between Order Management and solutions within the Oracle portfolio, including with POS, CRM and ecommerce offerings, which work cohesively and solve end-to-end supply chain needs, open integration allows other third-party systems to handle the necessary business flows. User Experience: A modern contact center with a streamlined workflow allows a quick and easy way for customer service reps to leverage customer information more effectively throughout the transaction and as part of their marketing, merchandising, and customer service efforts. Globalization:  To support global retailers, the introduction of language translation and fiscal requirements enables users in new markets. With these enhancements, we can empower contact center agents in France, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Austria and Germany.  Modern Payments: The addition of a payment extension layer eases the integration with providers. A secure integration with Oracle Retail Customer Engagement for our gift card integration allows retailers to take advantage of additional features that are offered.   “The modern user experience present in Oracle Retail Order Management System Cloud Service empowers contact center agents to provide more thoughtful service by serving up all relevant information in a single, highly useable panel,” said Chris Sarne, Senior Director, Oracle Retail. “Visibility into order tracking and inventory location for service associates is critical to encourage customer loyalty as the omnichannel environment for retailers becomes more complex.” See how having a customer contact center built into your order management system, empowers sales associates and customer service reps to fulfill the customer journey. Watch the short demo. IDC MarketScape Names Oracle Retail’s Order Orchestration as a Leader for Midmarket AND Enterprise Retailers   

Better Inventory Visibility and Integration Across Transactions Enables Retailers to Improve Customer Experiences and Loyalty Recent enhancements to Oracle Retail Order Management System Cloud Service p...

Cloud

Yamamay Turns to Oracle Retail to Uncover Inventory Performance Insights, Localize Inventory and Optimize Margins

Top Italian Clothing Brand Deploys Oracle Retail Solutions Across Growing EMEA Footprint Leading Italian brand Yamamay, a part of Pianoforte Group, has invested in and deployed an Oracle Retail suite of solutions to help support its long-term global growth strategy.  The retailer has implemented Oracle Retail Merchandising Financial Planning, Oracle Retail Assortment Planning and Oracle Retail Xstore Point-of-Service solutions to localize offerings and personalize the customer experience as it expands the brand beyond an existing footprint of 680 franchise and owned stores in 39 countries across Europe and the Middle East. In a hyper-competitive market, Yamamay sought to deliver a faster sell-through of goods, drive more significant insight into customer preferences and inspire management to adapt to local market demands as the company continues to add new locations. By more effectively analyzing customer behavior with Oracle Retail technology, Yamamay empowers their planning team to create more localized assortments, and execute strategies to more closely match supply and demand to help optimize revenue and maximize margins. “Yamamay is pleased to extend the relationship with Oracle. Yamamay selected a suite of world-class retail solutions to enhance its retail business operational excellence and productivity,” said Roberto Villa, Chief Information Officer, Yamamay. “The Oracle Retail suite offers a vast choice of solutions that will boost Yamamay’s capability to interact with its loyalty-driven customers worldwide effectively. Oracle provides us with the strategic planning system that delivers immediate value and will scale to run our business.” “In our 2018 consumer research study The New Topography of Retail, we discovered that 72% of European consumers think knowledgeable in-store staff are important to their brand experience. A satisfying brand experience begins with smarter decisions in planning the assortment to executing flawlessly in store,” said Chris James, Vice President of EMEA, Oracle Retail. “Yamamay understands the importance of delivering the right inventory to the right customer from planning through the transaction. We are pleased they chose Oracle Retail to empower their planners and associates.” Due to the strategic importance of this investment, Yamamay branded their transformational initiative “Project Retail Evolution” around the imperatives of the assortment planning, the product collection and the retail experience. The brand began with the implementation of Oracle Retail Merchandise Financial Planning to gain control of the financial plan and strengthen the Open to Buy (OTB) process and systems and followed with the implementation of Oracle Retail Assortment Planning to reduce the number of SKUs per collection while opening new product streams in the product collection. Yamamay will also use these inventory insights to revise shop clustering strategy to improve their assortment and exposure. Use Our Calculator to Determine Your Savings by Moving to a Cloud Planning Solution  

Top Italian Clothing Brand Deploys Oracle Retail Solutions Across Growing EMEA Footprint Leading Italian brand Yamamay, a part of Pianoforte Group, has invested in and deployed an Oracle Retail suite...

Merchandising

Don't Get Tricked: Retailers Share Tips on Transforming Merchandising Operations

Worldwide we are seeing retailers transforming their fundamental (but not mission-critical) operations, starting with analytics, planning, commerce and others. Those that have made the shift to cloud are seeing the benefits, including faster go-lives, enthusiastic user adoption, and ‘always on’ access to upgrades. Yet until now retailers have been largely reticent to move their core merchandising operations to the cloud. Long the embodiment of a brand’s bedrock in terms of inventory operations, "secret sauce," data masters and strategy, merchandising operations typically remain moored in the category of big, scary, don't touch it in case you break it, in-house domain of on-premises systems. So what’s holding them back from making a move to the cloud? In conversations, retailers often point to three common concerns regarding cloud services. These concerns are voiced by their internal leadership and business teams when they discuss moving merchandising operations off aging legacy systems and onto a cloud services platform. Top 3 Concerns About Moving to the Cloud: Upfront costs of transitioning merchandising operations Perceived security risk around proprietary data Difficulty getting executive buy-in for the upgrade Changing the Conversation Around Cost Making transformational changes to a merchandising operation is a major undertaking, one that has traditionally represented years of planning and significant capital expense, staff time, consulting and solution costs. When retailers opt for a cloud merchandising solution, they often do so when they are on the brink of making this type of major replacement to an existing on-premises system. This is the juncture at which transformational costs are already on the table, and implementing a cloud solution can result in lower costs as well as being more predictable. Add in the prospect of avoiding being right back in the upgrade spot years down the road, and the cloud solution is even more compelling. Worth considering are the immediate and near-term needs of the business and what an existing system may be costing in terms of missed market opportunity, hiring/keeping those specialized resources who know the legacy system, and missed security updates to name a few. In our new Oracle Retail Guide, “Top 6 Reasons Retailers are Transforming Merchandising Operations,” we look at what retailers are saying about their merchandising projects. Retailers say that merchandising “impacts everything that we do.” Download the guide today and you won't get tricked this Halloween. Retailers say updating merchandising operations to a current solution allows for: Business growth Provides competitive advantage in customer journeys and sales Provides greater flexibility Brings industry best practices that help to drive better performance Securing Merchandising Data For many retailers, panic sets in and alarms bells sound at the thought of placing merchandising data anywhere other than a location they control – with a redundant system at another location. People often ask “Is my data secure in the cloud?” The short answer is yes. Moving to a cloud service avails the retailer of global, specialized security teams that are always on and singularly focused. Oracle provides the industry’s best cloud security services with multiple layers of security and multiple levels of defense throughout the technology stack. The current environment has changed the conversation around security, requiring a different approach – one that often is better addressed with cloud services than internal systems. Letting Executives Lead the Transition Securing support from executive leadership often depends on their area of responsibility. For chief merchandising officers, the ability to use cloud services to automate and streamline processes – and boost productivity – is a driving force. But chief financial officers may balk at the cost of moving to a new IT platform. However, the opportunity to remove capital expenditures associated with IT systems purchases is attractive. By moving to a cloud solution, the organization shifts the cost to an operational expense while making the line item predictable, avoiding unexpected or ill-timed hardware upgrades and working through the expense of large software upgrades. By reducing the cost of the data center, and moving talent to retail-focused initiatives, the CIO is able to shift emphasis to those initiatives that have business value, such as having IT focus on creating customer facing solutions. The cloud solution remains current, delivering steady upgrades, and eliminates the disruption and cost associated with significant “down the road” upgrades. Don’t be spooked by the move to the cloud. It may be less risky than trying to make your own Halloween costume with a glue gun and glitter.  Watch The Power of Exception Based Retailing Video  

Worldwide we are seeing retailers transforming their fundamental (but not mission-critical) operations, starting with analytics, planning, commerce and others. Those that have made the shift to cloud...

Supply Chain

October Brand Matters – How Retailers Can Easily Meet Ethical Standards

Supply chain compliance and lifecycle management is now key to ensuring retailers can fulfil upon their brand promises. Offering consumers assurance in quality, transparency, availability and sustainability whilst exploring support for Fairtrade, ethical standards, value and environmentally friendly initiatives is complex and difficult to control. Enter Blockchain with a range of promises based upon the simple concept of all transactions being securely deposited into a central data source for all to see. This is great if like the financial industry 99% of your transactions are digitally captured, but in the consumer goods market with very complex supply chains across many of the world’s poorest countries, this is many years from reality and in truth, what value does the contributor get? The challenge and answer lies in the data capture and the value exchanged in providing this. To encourage cotton farmers, rice growers and every player onwards to contribute they need to see the value in doing so. Retailers need to be enabled to collaborate with their entire supply chain in sourcing, development, selection, assessment, compliance, sustainability and transparency providing true value in efficiency, productivity and assurance to all involved. In this month’s Brand Matters blog we explore how the Oracle Retail Brand Compliance suite and the Supply Chain Network enables benefits in: Managing the lifecycle of your supply chain Providing the ability for developing a sustainable, reliable and ethical fulfilment Presenting the opportunity to promote, market and differentiate your brand Ensuring you are ‘Blockchain ready’ for the future Expert Insight - Brand Compliance: Know Your Supply Chain Julie Farrell | Senior Product Manager Retailers and brand owners face an ever-growing challenge to improve supply chain awareness, to ensure that products are sourced from reliable and ethical suppliers, especially as consumers across the globe become more conscious, with social responsibility in mind. Legislative requirements across various markets and categories have increased the focus on environmental compliance and ethical sourcing across the globe. Legislations such as Europe’s REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorization, and Restriction of Chemicals), and USA’s FSMA (Food Safety modernization Act), require companies to improve communication with suppliers on all aspects of policy, process and assessment and corrective action. Most recently, so-called ‘Conflict Minerals’ regulations are emerging in various geographies, to stop this trade being used to help fund conflicts and human rights abuse. Companies covered under these regulations are required to maintain approved supplier lists, capture details on the origin of materials, and gather information on supplier practices such as forced labour, trafficking and slavery. Oracle Retail Brand Compliance provides a suite of tools to handle all aspects of supplier assessment, management and review, with the ability to maintain a collaborative database of current, potential and past suppliers, including details of the head office and all applicable manufacturing and packing locations. Responsibility for entering much of the information lies with the supplier themselves, with system validation and notifications ensuring that they have completed all key set-up tasks and provided the required mandatory details. The site status enables the brand owner to identify the current approval and due diligence status of each location. Supplier and Site address details are captured, as well as key supplier and location information such as vendor codes. In addition, Brand Compliance promotes the maintenance of role-specific Supplier and Site contacts, which can be defined by the portal owner and can be mandated through routine prompts, to ensure these details are kept current. Each Site record captures the Product Categories which are manufactured at the location, enabling the brand owner to identify the presence of high-risk lines for the supplier. Site Risk Level identifies the overall risk assessment of the site location, which may be assigned based on various factors such as the product categories supplied and the overall competency and compliance of the Site.  Suppliers can list any location-specific References and Certifications that have been granted by approved third-party bodies. These details will support and complement the portal owner’s own verification programs, with scheduled reports alerting the portal owner to ‘Expired’ certificates. The assessment of new and existing suppliers is supported by Brand Compliance Scorecard functionality, with configurable questionnaires to handle both pre-verification of suppliers and ongoing supplier and facility assessment. Multiple types of scorecards can be configured to support multiple markets and categories, different aspects of the portal owner’s verification program and target suppliers with different risks. Each question response carries a weighting, so that a final Scorecard Score is automatically generated; the score can be used for assessment of the supplier against a specific brief or against their peers. Scorecards may either be issued to suppliers to complete or be completed by the portal owner on the supplier’s behalf. In either case, the retailer or brand owner will close out the final Scorecard. Scorecards can be automatically scheduled, based on a default frequency, with system notifications to alert users when the next Scorecard is due or overdue. Supplier and site inspections are captured using the Brand Compliance Audits and Visits functionality, providing ongoing visibility and maintenance of ethical and safety compliance for each location, with the current Audit status and Score contributing to the overall assessment of supplier compliance. Multiple types of audits or visits can be held against a single location, based on configurable templates, which can be created by the portal owner. The Audit record can be used for simple document collection, such as third-party accreditation, facility certification or vendor agreements. Alternatively, for extensive quality, safety and ethical audits, full checklists can be configured, which support automatic creation of non-conformances records. Details of any non-conformances can be captured within the audit, for monitoring and reporting. Corrective actions can be recorded, for collaborative review and sign-off with the supplier, and outstanding actions appear in users’ Task Lists and notifications. Both the portal owner and supplier have visibility of when inspections are due to expire, with future audits automatically scheduled and based on a risk-based frequency according to the Site Risk Level. Finally, the Brand Compliance Library facility provides a central repository for all documents that the portal owner needs to make available to suppliers, eliminating the need for a separate location to store these and ensuring that the most up-to-date versions are available to access. Importantly, for legislations such as FSMA, documents can be targeted to particular suppliers so that readership and acceptance of key documents is be mandated, so capturing suppliers’ adherence to policies, vendor agreements and other required standards. Readership and acceptance is fully tracked, so that exceptions can be followed up. Product News - Understanding Your Entire Supply Chain Network Jonathan Pickles | Director, Retail Strategy & Solutions Management Understanding your entire supply chain is becoming increasing important for retailers, from a supplier and product compliance perspective, to drive private label growth, underpin brand values and create brand loyalty, and ultimately drive revenue. The planned Brand Compliance Network platform brings together social, mobile, and cloud technologies to provide an extension to Brand Compliance. Enabling retailers to discover, connect, share data and collaborate with their entire supply chain network from suppliers and factories to industry bodies and ultimately consumers. The platform empowers retailers to achieve greater: Supply Chain Agility - Understanding the entire supply chain to be able to react quickly to market demands and drive growth and margin. Understanding supply chain resilience and exposure. Enabling responses to recalls quickly and efficiently. Supply Chain Compliance - Understanding the entire supply chain compliance and areas of product risk. Enabling verification of supplier and facility certifications to increase product safety and reduce liability. Supply Chain Transparency - Visualising the entire supply chain from ‘farm to fork’ and from ‘factory to consumer’. Better understanding a product’s point of origin and who supplies their suppliers, allows the surfacing of relevant data to consumers. Are You Blockchain Ready? Blockchain is one of the most hyped technologies of the last couple of years, and has been touted as the solution to everything including Brexit. Although hyped, Blockchain has the potential to change industries, and that includes retail. For Brand Compliance and the planned Brand Compliance network we see a great opportunity for Blockchain to enable industry-wide efficient and transparent supplier and product compliance. However, Blockchain is just one part of the equation. It’s a technology platform; an enabler. It is entirely reliant on the solutions and business processes which provide data to it (and ultimately the solutions which consumes it). That’s why Brand Compliance and the planned Brand Compliance Network are ‘Blockchain ready’ – designed to integrate with Blockchain solutions to capture and consume the right data at the right time through industry proven and adopted business processes.   Industry News – 86 Food Recalls in July - September of 2018 On a positive note, during July through September, there was a 4% decrease in the total number of food recalls, and 17% decrease in those items recalled for contamination when compared to the previous months. During this time, 86 food recalls were reported throughout the U.S., Canada and the U.K., with the majority coming again from the U.S. During this time, 56% of the total number of recalls were due to mislabelling, with 15 more cases reported than in the last 2-month period. Headline News Aldi suppliers are being required to enhance their ethical sourcing practices as the discount retailer shifts its focus to corporate social responsibility. Confectionery giant, Mars, plans to put smallholder farmers at the center of its ambitious strategy, which is broadly welcomed by peers and suppliers. We label fridges to show their environmental impact and – why not food? Mandatory environmental labels would change how we produce & consume The world’s most ethical retailer chains are revealed and includes many Oracle Retail customers   Read Blog: Protecting Brands From Counterfeit Through Transparency

Supply chain compliance and lifecycle management is now key to ensuring retailers can fulfil upon their brand promises. Offering consumers assurance in quality, transparency, availability...

Cloud

Oracle Delivers the Trifecta of Insight with New Cloud Service

Oracle Retail Insights Cloud Service Suite Delivers Descriptive, Prescriptive and Predictive Analytics to the Retail Enterprise Oracle Retail has combined three cloud services into a new Oracle Retail Insights Cloud Service Suite. By combining existing science and insight cloud services, Oracle can provide a spectrum of analytics that align to key performance indicators for the retail community. These metrics render in a beautiful user experience with dashboards organized by persona and organizational responsibilities in Oracle Retail Home to encourage more strategic decisions that drive growth and operational efficiency. Oracle Retail customers including Gap Inc., Lojas Renner and Al Nahdi have already experienced the benefits of Oracle Retail Insights and Science solutions and continue to inform their strategic decisions with in-depth insights and science-enabled analytics. "The Advanced and Predictive Analytics software market, which in 2017 reached $3.1 billion worldwide, is expected to grow at a five-year CAGR of 9.4%. Sophisticated analytical techniques are being embedded into more and more applications," said Chandana Gopal, Research Manager, Analytics and Information Management, IDC. "Forward-looking analytics is going to become much more mainstream, as enterprises are able to harness more and more data from a variety of sources." “We are working with several retailers who are anxious to adopt cloud to bridge the gap between operations and innovations,” said Jeff Warren, Vice President, Oracle Retail. “To capitalize on the surge of unstructured and structured data in retail, we have applied advanced techniques for analyzing retail data from multiple perspectives into a single cloud services suite that integrates with retail-rich applications and cloud services. With these tools we can deliver analysis on what happened (descriptive), what is going to happen (predictive) and what a retailer should do about it going forward (prescriptive).” The Trifecta: A Powerful Adaptive Intelligence Suite for the Entire Retail Enterprise With the new Oracle Retail Insights Cloud Service Suite retail organizations can experience benefits including: Enhanced User Experience and Relevance: The cloud suite leverages Oracle Retail Home to provide a single and modern access point to the data. The user experience streamlines and simplifies access to data and applications to provide relevant and actionable information based on roles and responsibilities. The federated user interfaces support integrated insights-to-action loops. Speed to Value: With one rapidly-deployed cloud service, the solution represents the application of Oracle's analytical core to modern retailing: a comprehensive big data warehouse founded on industry best practices and the scalability, reliability, and economy of a complete Oracle analytic tech stack in the Oracle Cloud. Better Understanding of Customer Context: Gain a better understanding of who your customers are, how they behave and why, so you can make the more intelligent product and promotion decisions. Leverage complete visibility into what motivates customers at each stage of their journey and how they are interacting with your brand across all touchpoints. Uncover Merchandising Intelligence: Identify actionable merchandising opportunities across touchpoints, including backorder and returns, top/bottom seller, demand/fulfillment and price and promotion analysis. Inspire Customer Loyalty: Leverage a highly visual, intuitive, end-to-end workflow to define and execute local market assortments, improve conversion of traffic into sales, and increase customer satisfaction. Leverage Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning: Retail business users can conduct advanced analyses to understand better and optimize affinity, store clustering, customer segmentation, consumer decision trees, demand transference, and attribute extraction. Unleash the Power of Flexibility and Ad Hoc Reporting: Business analysts and data science teams can leverage innovation workbench for additional ad hoc analysis. Leverage Common Foundational Data Architecture: The suite can exploit the logical value of the data generated by Oracle Retail's comprehensive application footprint, and surfaces properly-filtered and secured descriptive, predictive and prescriptive analytics to whomever, however, whenever and wherever desired. Drive Retail Investment: Optimize assortments to available space to maximize planogram performance, return-on-space, sales, revenue, and profits, while improving customer satisfaction with the optimal variety for each store. Improve Gross Margin: Drive optimal recommendations for promotions, markdowns, and targeted offers that maximize profits and sell through leveraging prescriptive analytics. See Retail Science in Action            

Oracle Retail Insights Cloud Service Suite Delivers Descriptive, Prescriptive and Predictive Analytics to the Retail Enterprise Oracle Retail has combined three cloud services into a new Oracle Retail...

Cloud

Alshaya Partners with Oracle Cloud to Accelerate Growth and Expansion

Multinational Franchise Operator Selects Cloud Suite to Arm Associates with New Tools to Personalize Customer Experience A leading Middle East retail franchise operator, M.H. Alshaya Co., has teamed up with Oracle as part of an enterprise transformation to improve operational efficiency and build a foundation for future growth and innovation. Alshaya’s digital transformation will empower its associates by introducing retail best practices to create a more responsive and personalized customer service experience across its portfolio of recognized global brands. For over 30 years Alshaya has been a pioneering force in retail as franchise operator of nearly 90 of the world’s best-known brands including H&M, Mothercare, Debenhams, American Eagle Outfitters, Victoria’s Secret, Starbucks, The Cheesecake Factory, Boots and Pottery Barn.  This diverse brand portfolio has provided Alshaya with a footprint including more than 4,000 physical stores and 53,000 associates across the Middle East, North Africa and Europe.​ To streamline omnichannel operations and support brand loyalty objectives, Alshaya will implement a suite of Oracle Retail, Oracle Customer Experience, and Oracle Cloud Applications.  These solutions will be provisioned on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure solutions. “Oracle is a proven, world-class retail solution provider with unmatched expertise and they will be a key partner in our transformation,” said Steve Marston, Chief Information Officer at M.H. Alshaya Co. “Alshaya has worked with Oracle for many years and we are delighted to extend our collaboration with them to modernize our operations, invest in our teams and foster future growth as we expand our omnichannel reach.”   Alshaya will work with Oracle Retail Consulting to implement applications and cloud services across the portfolio.  Alshaya associates will be empowered to segment and personalize the consumer experience and encourage loyalty with new customer relationship management capabilities.  Updated operational and financial systems will accelerate growth as Alshaya continues to expand. “Alshaya operates a complex global business model with an impressive brand portfolio. Our collaboration creates a unique opportunity to deliver long-term value for their customers,” said Mike Webster, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Oracle Retail. “Oracle is focused on innovation while uniquely helping our customers maintain a single view of customer, inventory, order and channel.” Alshaya has selected a powerful, end-to-end modern retail solution from Oracle including: Enabling a Modern Customer Experience with a Single View of Customer: Oracle Retail Xstore Point of Service, Oracle Retail Customer Engagement Cloud Service, Oracle Marketing Cloud and Oracle Service Cloud Driving Operational Excellence with a Single View of Inventory: Oracle Retail Merchandise Operations Management suite with Oracle Retail Store Inventory Management Modernizing Legacy Systems:  Oracle Fusion Procurement Cloud, Oracle Talent Management Cloud and Oracle EPM Cloud Delivering Innovation and Scale: Oracle Infrastructure as a Service, Oracle Platform as a Service, Oracle Integration Cloud Service, Oracle Mobile Cloud Service, Oracle API Platform Cloud Service      

Multinational Franchise Operator Selects Cloud Suite to Arm Associates with New Tools to Personalize Customer Experience A leading Middle East retail franchise operator, M.H. Alshaya Co., has teamed up...

Community

Highlights from ORUG Meetings in Minneapolis

Last month, around 30 global retail users of Oracle Retail solutions gathered in Minneapolis, Minnesota for three days to discuss top industry challenges and learn process improvements from one another. The 5th annual Oracle Retail User Group sessions, known as ORUG, was led by retailers such as American Eagle Outfitters, DTPM and Kroger. Attendees ranged from retailers in fast fashion, grocery, DIY, hardlines and more, all eager to tackle burning retail business pains around improving inventory, achieving plans and improving merchandising processes. Discussion Areas in Retail Planning Bill Boezinger, Merchandise Planning Systems Manager at DTPM, led the planning group’s conversations. Here were some topics that were discussed: Why should retailers be moving to the cloud? Retailers such as Orvis stated that they knew the future was moving to the cloud. “We didn’t want to be left behind, so we wanted to become an early adopter for planning,” said Gregg Alexander, Director of Merchandise Planning for Orvis What is better - upgrading on-premises solutions or moving to the cloud? One benefit to moving to the cloud is retailers are assigned a customer success manager (CSM) that works closely with them to plan continuous enhancements. Retailers can accept the solution changes every month or as they see fit, so changes are only happening when the retailer is ready, with the help of the CSM. How are retailers using retail science applications? Some retailers are using customer segmentation to cluster on customer attributes or shopping frequency. A round-table discussion on Merchandising Financial Planning Cloud implementations Retailers shared product hierarchies, planning organization structures and roles and tips on how they run their retail operations. For example, DTPM was able to move to the cloud in 15 weeks and had a great experience. Discussion Areas in Retail Supply Chain Lindsay Plagge, the Demand Planning Lead at Kroger, led the supply chain group’s conversations. With over 64 customer journeys to support, it’s no wonder inventory accuracy remains a challenge for retailers. Other topics the group discussed included: Retail challenges such as: Where is demand coming from? Structuring supply chains to meet customer needs Bringing together separate channels into one view Bridging the gap within distribution center teams - when replenishment, planning and warehouse receiving solutions don’t talk to each other. Ways to optimize solutions, calculate out of stocks and forecasting best practices Retailer views on inventory accuracy (industry average is 65%), the majority of attendees shared they were around 80% inventory accuracy.  Retailers shared science innovations related to supply chain One retailer will be piloting driverless car grocery deliveries Another retailer uses an in-house science team that blends forecasts from a home-grown solution with Oracle Retail Demand Forecasting to create the best forecasting outcome. This innovative approach resulted in a 1-2% improvement in errors. Innovations for process automation and efficiency including addressing the challenges of reducing SKU costs Use of RFID tags for inventory accuracy, tracking and loss prevention One retailer uses RFID tags on every item, to connect where the product is and feeds that back to planning Another retailer uses RFID tags on display shoes, which saved associates time each morning in locating misplaced display shoes A fashion retailer uses RFID zones (front of the store, back of the store, and the fitting room area) to better understand fitting room abandonment and purchases Key things retailers are asking for: Simplified and streamlined omnichannel fulfillment on the back of a centralized real-time view of discrete inventory The efficiency of store personnel to deliver value to our customers and right size inventory across locations Ways to future-proof their business Discussion Areas in Retail Merchandising Randy Bolette, VP of Global Logistics and Supply Chain Technology at American Eagle Outfitters led the merchandising group’s conversations. Retailer discussions were focused on: Wholesale, consignment and deals Retailers shared how they are using consignment and challenges around using more than one SKU for an item based on when it’s returned and may be considered a consignment piece (for example if a vendor hasn’t been paid yet) Another retailer shared that they may have two identical items in stock and one may be a consignment item, while the other is not, and it is tracked by in-store associates on paper. Insights on cloud journeys throughout the retail operation Retailers shared experiences around core areas they have already moved to the cloud. Areas ranged from data warehousing, product lifecycle management, retail demand forecasting, item and assortment planning, merchandising, replenishment and more. Best methods and new functionality and examples of how cloud solutions are enabling retailers to decrease the window of a batch run. Member Benefits of ORUG I sat down with the SIG leader for the supply chain group, Lindsay Plagge, the Demand Planning Lead at Kroger, to see what value she has gained from actively being involved in the user group over the past years. “I started attending the Oracle Retail User Group meetings several years ago during a new project implementation,” said Plagge. “There is a wealth of experience and insight to be gained through ORUG, and I certainly have found value from every event I’ve been a part of.” Plagge went on to say that, “it is not as much about sharing the ‘secret sauce’ that a company uses, but rather discussing business problems that are universal and sharing ways we have overcome those with the support of our systems and processes.” Plagge has found that the connections she’s made with retailers, as well as the Oracle support team, have been integral in her personal development over the years. She says, “even more importantly, I can help shape the future path for our company and continue to drive efficiency and positive change for my team.” Top Reasons to Join ORUG Build connections with other retailers you can call on for new insights and process improvements. Meet Oracle solution management and get your pressing solution questions answered. Be the first to see the product roadmap and know what is launching next. Offer suggestions on product enhancements and improvements. Your Next Action: Watch Video on the Benefits of ORUG Access ORUG Presentations Join the Oracle Retail Users Group      

Last month, around 30 global retail users of Oracle Retail solutions gathered in Minneapolis, Minnesota for three days to discuss top industry challenges and learn process improvements from one...

Cloud

Al Nahdi Leverages Oracle Retail Science Cloud Services to Identify Revenue Opportunities and Reward Customer Loyalty

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Power New Business Model That Correlates Customer Engagement and Efficacy of Marketing Campaigns Saudi Arabian pharmacy retailer Nahdi Medical Company has started utilizing the new marketing analytic models found on the Innovation Workbench, part of Oracle Retail Science Cloud Services, to develop customer churn analytics which will encourage repeat purchases.  With 85 million annual customers across stores in 125 cities, understanding customer churn and identifying revenue opportunities became more complex as Nahdi scaled operations. Al Nahdi has started creating a new business model incorporating artificial intelligence and machine learning to correlate customer engagement with marketing campaigns to identify low-churn customers and reward loyalty. The scale of the cloud-based Oracle Retail Science Platform, the flexibility of the Innovation Workbench and the power of artificial intelligence and machine learning allow Al Nahdi to posture for more strategic analysis of consumer behavior while minimizing manual queries as they continue to grow. With this new model, Nahdi can better understand campaign effectiveness and its impact on driving store traffic, increasing market basket size and encouraging customer loyalty. Nahdi can measure the likelihood of churn that helps define long-term retention initiative and campaigns.  When using predictive churn probability, the business can flag customers for upcoming email campaigns and define targeted offers strategically within promotional campaigns. A common cloud-based retail science platform has significantly increased the speed to operationalizing innovation using a comprehensive retail data model in conjunction with productized sciences and Oracle’s industry-leading data science toolkit.  These accelerators empowered the Nahdi team to focus on strategic initiatives that directly drive business growth, rather than spending cycles on technology, integration and data analysis. Nahdi has already implemented Advanced Clustering, Customer Segmentation, Customer Decision Trees and Demand Transference to optimize the performance and processes with Oracle Retail Category Management.   With Oracle Retail as a partner, Nahdi has all the tools necessary to focus on increasing value to their business through data science instead of building new solutions, algorithms, databases, and integrations. “The Oracle Retail Innovation Workbench will allow us to leverage the latest artificial intelligence and machine learning to build our own predictive and cognitive analytics," said Dr. Khalid Tadlaoui, Vice President of Information Technology, Nahdi Medical Company. “By taking the innovative Predictive models provided by Oracle Retail Science Cloud Service and couple them with our Analytics intellectual property, we’ll be able to understand and predict our guests’ behavior which will give us the opportunities to serve them better," said Dr. Ayman Abdalazem, Head of Business Intelligence and Analytics, Nahdi Medical Company. Selecting a cloud platform for data science has enabled us to quickly implement the solution while minimizing technical debt and accelerating the value we extract for Nahdi Medical Company. “Organizations are quickly understanding the value of the cloud to analyze consumer behavior as they wrestle with the complexity of their continued growth," said Mike Webster, senior vice president, and general manager, Oracle Retail. "Oracle Retail Science Cloud Services allow retailers to leverage AI, machine learning and decision science to detect trends, learn from results and increase their accuracy, adding contextual data to paint a clearer picture on what motivates consumers. Retailers can focus on increasing value to their business through data science instead of building new solutions, algorithms, databases, and integrations. Moreover, with a cloud delivery model, Al Nahdi can focus on driving a more strategic business while leveraging the latest industry innovations delivered by Oracle.” Oracle Retail at ORIF Dubai on Tuesday, October 16 At Oracle Retail Industry Forum, retail executives gather to share deep domain expertise and best practices on the mission-critical applications that are core to their businesses and their success. Program content is focused on customers providing perspectives on identifying and overcoming complex industry challenges. Join us in Dubai on October 16th. Registration is limited to retailers and our sponsor community.

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Power New Business Model That Correlates Customer Engagement and Efficacy of Marketing Campaigns Saudi Arabian pharmacy retailer Nahdi Medical Company...

Supply Chain

Inventory Accuracy – Driving Click & Collect, Customer Satisfaction and Margin Savings

Here’s a true story for you, from the customer of a highly regarded department store retailer with an excellent reputation for customer service, which proves that accurate information, is only valuable if the people who need it (store associates) have access to it. While preparing for a family vacation, the customer ordered a need-it-fast item online and arranged to pick it up in-store. A lot of people do Buy Online, Pick Up In Store (BOPUS) or click-and-collect and it’s one of today’s most popular customer journeys. An associate texted her to let her know the item was ready, whereupon she drove 20 minutes, parked right outside the store entrance — by the service desk — and went inside to pick up her purchase. It wasn’t there, and neither was the associate who had sent the text. The service desk sent her to the second floor, where she said the hunt continued. “I go to the second floor. Not there. I run an errand in the mall and come back to the second floor. Now they think it was sent to the first floor. So I go to the first floor. It’s not there, either. And I’m doing all this in the first place because I’m in a hurry: I need to get to the airport. I ended up coming back a week later and going through the whole thing again, because they could not figure out where my item was.” Was the elusive item actually there in the store somewhere? Probably. Was that enough to take care of the customer’s needs? Not even close. Inventory Accuracy and Complex Channels When retailers deliver a unique customer experience that is convenient and compelling across all channels, they often do so in spite of – rather than on the strength of – disparate data about inventory. The industry as a whole averages only about 65 percent accuracy when it comes to inventory data, according to the Auburn University RFID Lab. It’s higher than that for total investment, of course—they know how much money they’re spending—but they are only certain  where a given item is less than two-thirds of the time. The murky view of inventory happens because of the sheer number of items, the complexity of the supply chain, and reliance on traditionally manual inventory control methods such as quarterly cycle counting. On the back of these inefficient processes, replenishment and distribution becomes a problem, as stores order too much or in the case of too little, resulting in out-of-stocks, increased markdowns, customer disappointments, and missed sales opportunities. So when retailers talk strategic planning, personalized promotions, and enabling customers to do things like BOPUS, the lack of information about inventory is often what holds them back from satisfying customers. For a retailer to effectively leverage its investment in merchandise and deliver on promotions and other promises to customers, inventory accuracy needs to be at a much higher percentage - somewhere in the mid-90s. 3 Reasons Retailers Look to Improve Inventory Visibility into accurate, discrete inventory information to power your omnichannel operations An efficient spend of dollars, when you can trust that your inventory is accurate Empowers all customer journeys – the end-to-end process from customer purchasing to intelligent fulfillment, and last mile fulfillment executed by store associates There must be accurate inventory information all the way through the supply chain and down to the individual store and department level. The retailers that are able to satisfy customers with BOPUS options have the right inventory solutions in place to deliver on customer orders. Retailers have seen inventory improvements with solutions like Oracle’s Retail Store Inventory Operations Cloud Services, which when tightly integrated with core merchandising, point-of-service, order management, commerce, and call center applications, provides accurate and timely visibility into discrete store inventory positions. Deployable on Android, iOS, or Windows 10, it solves a major pain point by enabling the retailer to place inventory visibility and operations into the palm of each associate’s and manager’s hand to connect customers to inventory and last mile fulfillment brilliance. Improving Open-to-Buy In addition to facilitating omnichannel execution, this solution — along with data from third-party suppliers — can also be integrated with Oracle’s Retail Merchandising System to give merchants a clear, constantly updated understanding of their open-to-buy position, along with current visibility into product and item performance. Outbound orders allow the store associate to create, change, and approve orders to a supplier, warehouse, or other store to ensure efficient use of inventory that meets global objectives. It provides, for everybody who needs it — including our hapless customer who ran from floor to floor and didn’t leave with her BOPUS order — one source of the truth. Read More About Breaking Down Inventory Barriers Here

Here’s a true story for you, from the customer of a highly regarded department store retailer with an excellent reputation for customer service, which proves that accurate information, is...

Planning & Optimization

Retailer Example: How to Improve Profitability of Targeted Offers With Machine Learning

Using advanced machine learning, to spot influential retail customers for targeted offers, can improve your bottom line. The following research, conducted by MIT Sloan School of Management and Oracle Retail Science researchers, employs machine learning to identify and understand influential relationships between early adopters and later buyers of a product.  In this webcast, and now available as an infographic and guide, MIT lead researcher Dr. Georgia Perakis described how in the absence of costly third-party data (i.e., social) retail can leverage existing point-of-service (POS) data to understand the influence of a particular store on other stores, and effectively predict the course of future store performance. Even better, with the right targeting and promotions, retailers can drive faster trend adoption rates and sell through by focusing promotions on trendsetter stores and limiting the need to offer discounts to customers who are influenced by them. The Power of AI and Machine Learning Working with a Tier 1 fashion retailer, Dr. Perakis and her team gave it a try. Then they compared the results with results of the retailer’s own strategy, nationwide, for the same products.  The theory being tested was this: first, was there a relationship between one group’s purchases of a given item and those of another?  Was it possible, in other words, to regard one group as an “influencer” of another, even though they didn’t know each other and lived in different places? Second, would it be possible, by making very targeted offers to the influencers—the first movers, as it were—to accelerate the buying behavior of the later purchasers? As part of the test, the Oracle Retail and MIT Sloan research collaboration generated suggestions for promotions—targets, timing, and degree of discount, and compared them to the retailer’s own promotion/discount program. Some of the machine-learning-generated targeted offers were distinctly counter-intuitive, and overall, the suggested campaign was very different from the retailer’s strategy. Research Results Ultimately, the results indicated an average 9% improvement in profit.   To See More Details and the 3 Key Takeaways From This Research Download the Research Guide Now.  

Using advanced machine learning, to spot influential retail customers for targeted offers, can improve your bottom line. The following research, conducted by MIT Sloan School of Management and Oracle...

Planning & Optimization

On-Demand Webcast: Optimizing and Predicting Revenue Lift for Grocery Promotional Displays

Research has shown that promotional displays are seen by nearly twice as many store visitors as inner aisle locations, making them a critical aspect of impulse buying and basket size. In fact, Americans spend a whopping $324,000 on impulse purchases in their lifetime, that breaks down to about $450 a month. In a recent survey, 70% of respondents named food/groceries as their biggest impulse purchase.1  We know the number of displays in any store is limited, therefore decisions regarding which products to place in these high value locations need to be strategic and produce the highest revenue or profit lift. Is your team optimizing product placement in these critical positions?  The challenge of determining the best products for displays is the sheer number of items carried by a typical grocer, in many cases exceeding tens of thousands. Current research and software solutions that aim to improve retailer revenue or profit typically focus on choosing among a few hundred items. So how can we push the limits of current technology to address the need to choose one hundred thousand items, for each store, without using excessive computational resources? We recently co-hosted a live webcast with the University of South Carolina that examines advanced statistical approaches to optimizing grocery displays. During the event Dr. Mark Ferguson, Department of Management Science, Professor and Chair at the Darla Moore School of Business, University of South Carolina reviewed a specific project that had two objectives:  Help retailers estimate the revenue lift for specific categories, subcategories and/or SKUs Optimize store revenue and profit by picking the right products for displays    Listen to the replay for insight into our approach including: A hierarchical technique for choosing the best product, among the vast number of SKUs at a typical grocery store, for maximum revenue and profit margin Techniques for calculating and predicting profit and revenue lift A specific example of optimization results from applying these techniques to historical beer sales data collected by IRI Register for the Recording Today Sources: 1. US shoppers can't stop impulse spending

Research has shown that promotional displays are seen by nearly twice as many store visitors as inner aisle locations, making them a critical aspect of impulse buying and basket size. In fact, ...

Cloud

Oracle Retail Enables Retailers to Deliver Compelling Assortments at the Pace of Fast Fashion with New Assortment and Item Planning Cloud Service

Oracle Retail named as a Leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant Analysis of Retail Assortment Management Applications. Oracle Retail has introduced a new Oracle Retail Assortment and Item Planning Cloud Service for fashion and soft line retailers. Delivering an effective assortment and item strategy that engages the customer in an omnichannel environment requires a single view of customer, inventory, order, demand, pricing and promotions that is easily accessed in a cloud environment. Oracle Retail Assortment and Item Planning Cloud Service provides a framework of best practices for retailers while arming business analysts with advanced analytics and data science that improve the accuracy of assortment and item planning. Oracle has been named a leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant analysis of Retail Assortment Management Applications (RAMA), for the fourth consecutive year. “Oracle continues its relative placement in the Leaders quadrant,” said Robert Hetu, Research Vice President, Gartner. “Oracle has been the leader in providing all RAMA capabilities for several years. Its leadership in the Magic Quadrant also includes the use of all 13 advanced analytics types within its RAMA application.” “Oracle’s ongoing leadership in merchandising assortment solutions can be attributed to our extensive suite of modern technology, our focus on delivering innovation in the cloud and our growing community of retailers,” said Jeff Warren, Vice President, Oracle Retail. “The launch of Oracle Retail Assortment and Item Planning speaks to our continued commitment to innovation and leadership in retail, as demonstrated with our release of visual planning, and we appreciate that Gartner recognizes our leadership in their Retail Assortment Magic Quadrant.” Download Gartner's Magic Quadrant for Retail Assortment Management Applications. The new Oracle Retail Assortment and Item Planning Cloud Service provides retailers with a rich visual, end-to-end workflow to define and execute local market assortments. Retailers gain item level visibility across their brick and mortar footprint to improve traffic conversion in individual stores, while increasing gross margin and return on investment  Benefits of Oracle Retail Assortment and Item Planning Cloud Service include: Optimize Targeted Assortments:  Retailers can leverage embedded science and automation to drive an effective assortment strategy that considers historical data of assortment trends, attribute mix, style-color performance by location and special buys.  Create One Complete Version of the Truth: Through a common business process, calculations and smart starting points in a cloud native platform planners can easily review and update sales, promotions, and markdown plans. React to In-season Trends and Opportunities:  Retailers gain the agility to quickly and effectively react to season-to-date actuals and trends with exception management.  This drives an increase in profits while enabling a proactive in-season item management and exception-driven process. Increase Plan Accuracy While Reducing Markdowns: The reconciliation of bottom-up and top-down item plans includes an integrated financial plan reconciliation to prevent overstocks and enable an increased return on investment.  By leveraging natural scenario planning and what-if capabilities, planners are able to easily create and toggle between multiple scenarios; maximizing overall profitability. Recent Planning and Optimization Success Stories: STF GROUP, Owner of Brands STUDIO F and ELA, Implements Oracle Cloud to Optimize Inventory Planning Across Omnichannel Footprint in Latin America  Podruzhka Brings Strategic Pricing Approach to Russian Drugstore Market French Children’s Retailer ÏDKIDS COMMUNITY Chooses Oracle Retail Cloud to Make More Profitable Inventory Investments Brazilian Footwear Retailer Paquetá Shoes Creates Competitive Differentiation with Inventory Insights Russian Retailer O’STIN Turns to Oracle to Keep Shelves Stocked at the Speed of Fast Fashion River Island Creates Single View of Inventory with Oracle Retail Planning Groupe Dynamite Deploys Oracle Retail Planning and Optimization Cloud Services Next Step: Demo Oracle Retail Assortment & Item Planning Solutions at NRF 2019 - Request a Demo Today!  

Oracle Retail named as a Leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant Analysis of Retail Assortment Management Applications. Oracle Retail has introduced a new Oracle Retail Assortment and Item Planning...

Best Practices & Trends

One-Stop Shop to Enable Your Best Commerce Platform Yet

To meet consumer expectations, many ecommerce leaders have taken on replatforming initiatives to implement more robust commerce solutions. Their current platforms are brittle, do not offer business users the tools they need to deploy desired commerce experiences, and prevent agility with old business processes and complex deployment methodologies.1 Ecommerce platforms are among the quickest to reach obsolescence of any technology in the retail industry, which is a testament to the blazing speed of change that characterizes the online world.2 According to the 2018 RIS Retail Technology Study, year after year the survey finds that roughly a third of retailers believe their ecommerce platforms are up-to-date, a third are either updating them now or will start soon, and a third will begin within two years. As retailers strive to drive traffic, increase conversion and basket size, all while maintaining data privacy, it’s no wonder they are leaning on partners that can navigate this terrain and accelerate their time to market. What if you could partner with an experienced team whose been there, done that? What if this team gathered your business requirements, provided UI and UX design, development and QA, project management, and post-launch services? Sound too good to be true? Meet the Oracle Commerce Cloud Consulting Team Global customers benefit from working with the consulting arm of Oracle providing a one-stop shop for enabling Oracle Commerce Cloud (OCC) and full retail omnichannel integration.  The user experience (UX) team translates client business goals into usable customer-facing designs. The creative design group creates best-in-class web user interfaces (UIs), molding OCC to fit each client’s unique brand. Development expertise extends from the OCC back-end, including working through a wide-range of third party integrations, to the front-end UI, where the creative vision is realized.  End-to-end project management, through the design and build process as well as in ongoing maintenance. The Proof is in the Pudding By leveraging, Oracle Commerce Consulting, retailers like Lenox, the famous designer of fine china, tabletop, giftware and collectible products, moved from Oracle Commerce to OCC and saw significant improvements in conversion.  Mobile conversion up 50% “Oracle Commerce Cloud keeps us current in a rapidly changing consumer environment across online and mobile channels.” – CIO, Lenox PBS replatformed the storefront for their main PBS brand and Teacher Shop onto OCC to provide a modern shopping experience and has seen strong business results. Revenue up 25%, per visitor Vermont Country Store transformed their business from on premises to SaaS; linking marketing, commerce, and service to drive revenue and loyalty. Holiday sales up 10%, with particular improvement in mobile   Learn more about how the Oracle Commerce Cloud Consulting Team can drive your ecommerce needs. Sources: 1. The Value of Agile Commerce 2. RIS 2018 Retail Technology Study

To meet consumer expectations, many ecommerce leaders have taken on replatforming initiatives to implement more robust commerce solutions. Their current platforms are brittle, do not offer business...

Best Practices & Trends

Oracle Retail Industry Forum 2018 Convenes European Retail Leaders to Share Insights and Strategies for Continued Growth and Innovation

Over 110 European Retailers from 26 Countries Expected to Attend Conference in Budapest Next week Oracle Retail will convene a European community of retail leadership at the Oracle Retail Industry Forum (ORIF) in Budapest Hungary with a program tailored for retailers by retailers and an opportunity for strategic networking to continue discussions on strategies and successes. “Oracle Retail Industry Forum is about bringing together our retail community to foster continued growth and innovation. We are pleased to showcase local customer success stories. Within the forum, we highlight real software, delivering real value,” said Chris James, vice president of Europe, Oracle Retail. At Oracle Retail Industry Forum, retail executives gather to share deep domain expertise and best practices on the mission-critical applications that are core to their businesses and their success. Program content is focused on customers providing perspectives on identifying and overcoming complex industry challenges. Retail speakers include: Delphine Brabant, Head of Buying/Product IT Department, ÏDKIDS Community Bhavesh Chavda, Enterprise Architect, John Lewis Andrew Parr, IT Director, Wyevale Mathilde Paul, Chef de Projet Chez, Auchan Piotr Pawlowski, Strategic IT Director, CCC, S.A Retail continues to be mercurial as consumers react and adapt to technological developments, in order to help customers navigate shifting attitudes and customer behaviors Oracle will reveal the findings of a global consumer research report. “For us, the Oracle Retail Industry Forum is a critically important event because the focus on the European community. We view Oracle as an important partner and our collaboration with Oracle is a key part of our strategy,” said Platinum Sponsor Gabor Tozser, Chief Executive Officer, Quickborn. “Oracle’s solutions have the capabilities that we believe are supporting critical retail capabilities without which retailers will not succeed today.” Oracle will be joined by 11 strategic solution integrators as sponsors for ORIF in Budapest. These partners contribute to and help deliver success within our community. Our partner community includes platinum sponsor Quickborn; gold sponsors Accenture, Logic, Retail Consult and Veltio; and Adyen, Cognira, First Friday, HRS, OLR and SkillNet as silver sponsors.  For more information about how Oracle is committed to empowering organizations through best-in-class, industry-specific business solutions, visit oracle.com/retail. To learn more about Oracle Retail Industry Forum 2018, go to www.oracle.com/goto/orif18. Registration is limited to retailers and our sponsor community. About Oracle The Oracle Cloud offers complete SaaS application suites for ERP, HCM and CX, plus best-in-class database Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) from data centers throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia. For more information about Oracle (NYSE:ORCL), please visit us at www.oracle.com. About Oracle Retail: Oracle provides retailers with a complete, open, and integrated suite of best-of-breed business applications, cloud services, and hardware that are engineered to work together and empower commerce. Leading fashion, grocery, and specialty retailers use Oracle solutions to anticipate market changes, simplify operations and inspire authentic brand interactions. For more information, visit our website at www.oracle.com/retail. Trademarks Oracle and Java are registered trademarks of Oracle and/or its affiliates. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.    

Over 110 European Retailers from 26 Countries Expected to Attend Conference in Budapest Next week Oracle Retail will convene a European community of retail leadership at the Oracle Retail Industry...

Best Practices & Trends

Top 10 Requirements for Modern Retail Analytics

My last post (The New KPI’s of Retail) asserted that the KPI’s upon which retailers run their businesses must be modernized. This post broadens the position to retail analytics in general. The potential analytical value of big data has been booming, and related technology has evolved dramatically in recent years, so why are so many retailers so far behind in exploiting this?   The answer is simple – retail analytics has historically been both difficult and expensive, and for the most part still is. To the extent that hundreds of millions of historical sales and inventory transactions are housed, and that artificial intelligence and machine learning are applied, and that unstructured ‘big’ data is incorporated, the potential cost and complexity can simply be prohibitive. Truly modern retail analytics has indeed been an elusive goal for most. With that in mind, consider the following top ten requirements of modern retail analytics, followed by my recommendation for resolving all of these within a course of just a few months. Modern Retail Analytics Top 10 List Modern retail analytics must be: #10 - Comprehensive.  Both raw and aggregated data, along with the metrics and analyses that leverage that data, must go wide and deep, across the breadth of retail subject areas, with conformed dimensions to ensure consistent views across items, customers, suppliers, etc.   #9 - Open.  No matter how comprehensive your solution is per the graphic above, other “reservoirs” of data with potential analytical value are sure to exist. These could be spreadsheets on someone’s hard drive, flat file extracts from a third-party, or a legacy database in your data center. Your solution should be able to easily and quickly mash this data up for additional insights. #8 - Integrated.  From storage-to-scorecard (i.e. from cloud infrastructure to network to hardware to operating system to database to middleware to software) all components should be seamlessly integrated, and optimized to scale. After all, with analytics, performance is king! #7 - Secure.  Data is gold, so needs to be locked-up, and then locked again and again. Software security assurance processes, data encryption both in transit and at rest, advanced authentication, regular third-party security audits, PII/PCI/ISO/GDPR certifications. It also needs to be highly-available, with at least 99.5% system availability and full redundancy should there be a catastrophic failure of one instance. #6 - Trusted.  Analytics is a garbage-in, garbage-out concern. So don’t let the garbage in. This goes beyond data quality – data and business semantic governance is crucial as well. After all, even the highest quality of data and the most insightful analytics are worthless if users across LOB’s don’t have an accurate and consistent understanding of their meaning.  #5 - Timely.  Data pertaining to sales transactions, inventory movements, social media interaction, etc. needs to be consolidated for analytics as rapidly as is necessary to support related decisions. In some cases, next day should suffice. In other cases, real-time is warranted. #4 - Scalable.  Your users will expect at least the most recent 2-3 years of historical data to be readily available to analyze. And their queries, well, they need to be reasonable, but they need to be fast, and handle peak volumes like those often experienced on Monday mornings during the holiday season.  #3 - Scientific.  Artificial intelligence and machine learning are no longer “special” – they’re table stakes now for any modern analytics solution. And data science should not occur on its own data silo – the same data warehouse that supports descriptive analytics should also support predictive and prescriptive analytics, and the user experiences of all three types of analytics should be federated.       #2 - Economical.  The total cost of ownership of a bespoke solution, especially one that cobbles together components from multiple vendors, can take years to build and return meaningful value to your users, and can require an unacceptable investment in support and administration. Cloud services can be the most cost-effective and the most expeditious path to modern retail analytics, and further economies are enjoyed to the extent that one solution can address all of these requirements. And, drum-roll please... #1 - Adaptive.  Adaptive intelligence is where artificial intelligence and human judgement intersect. To that end, insights need to be surfaced, properly-filtered, to whomever, however, wherever and whenever desired, and the insights-to-action loop must be seamlessly applied within a framework that fosters continual improvement, through user-assisted machine learning. CONNECT users to applications and information that they need ANALYZE with dynamic dashboards, filter, drill, slice, dice EXPERIMENT with science and advanced analytics EXPLORE data with highly-visual and self-service data discovery ACT in an informed and timely manner   Oracle is in the very unique position to be able to satisfy all of these requirements with one cloud service subscription. Oracle Retail Insights Cloud Service Suite enables adaptive intelligence for the retail enterprise, and includes: Oracle Retail Home Oracle Retail Merchandising Insights Oracle Retail Customer Insights Oracle Retail Science Platform It is pre-integrated with key Oracle Retail applications like Oracle Retail Merchandising, Planning and Customer Engagement, and can be fully-deployed within just a few months (two points that, among others, tempted me to expand the list above to be a ‘Top 20 List’). With Oracle Retail Insights, there are no longer any excuses to not fully exploit the analytical value of your big data, and inform your decisions and innovations with modern retail analytics.   Request a 1:1 Demo

My last post (The New KPI’s of Retail) asserted that the KPI’s upon which retailers run their businesses must be modernized. This post broadens the position to retail analytics in general. The...

Cloud

How Healthy is the Heart of Your Retail Operations?

Breathe New Life Into Your Business With Merchandising In The Cloud.  Merchandising operations has been called the “heart and lungs of retail,” and it’s a pretty good description. Every business team touches the merchandising foundation in some form or another, from buyers that procure the items; to the supply chain that track items; the marketers that advertise and promote them; and the channel operations, stores and websites that sell them. In the midst of all this, the ‘merch’ team makes sure the product appears in the right store or on the website at the right time and in the right inventory quantities to gain customer confidence and entice a customer to buy. “Merchandising is the heart of our operations, in the sense that it enables us to deliver the right product at the right time to our customers, and to deliver a seamless experience between the channels.” – Bruno Mourao, Head of Business Demand and IT Architecture, Sonae The centrality of merchandising makes it one of the most important functions in the entire operation, and it is also one of the most data-intensive, driving everything from pricing to inventory to financials. Because it’s so important there’s a natural human tendency not to want to disturb it. After all, if it’s doing what it’s supposed to do, the thinking goes, let’s leave it alone and focus elsewhere. For that reason, retailers will often continue to rely on aging, on-premises merchandising systems long after (in some cases) they have moved functions like store operations, financials, loss prevention, and planning to the cloud. It’s not that retailers don’t recognize the potential operational and financial benefits of cloud-based computing for merchandising, it is that since ‘merch’ is the heart and lungs of the business, it can be scary to elect a system ‘transplant’. The problem though with not making the move is that the more cherished/loathed and relied upon a legacy merchandising system may be, the more likely it has been carefully tweaked and customized to meet the requests of the users (good or not so good). The more customized it is, the harder it is to update. It’s doable — we have many good customers who use on-premises merchandising, and we gladly help them stay up-to-date — but it’s not a trivial effort, and it’s not cheap. Nonetheless, it is essential because if the system isn’t being regularly updated, it’s getting old. The older the system gets, the more likely it is to impede  growth rather than enable it — especially in the world of 21st-century retailing — where the dominant competitive strategy is focusing on the customer experience. Facilitating the needed innovation for success is, beyond the financial and operational benefits, the primary reason we encourage retailers to move merchandising to the cloud. Cloud-based merchandising enables you to feed information — accurate, timely, consistent information — to finance, store operations, commerce, supply chain, planning, and anybody else that looks to merchandising for critical item and inventory data. It keeps merchandising modern, simple and most of all healthy. How We Can Help Oracle Retail Merchandising Foundation Cloud Services encompasses the heart and lungs (or core retail operations) capabilities into a single set of cloud services. Capabilities Include: Foundation data (items, locations, suppliers, HTS)   Purchase orders (domestic and foreign) Cost and deals management Estimated landed costs (ELC) Inventory (transfers, receipts, adjustments, stock counts) Allocation and replenishment Regular, clearance and promotion price management and execution Sales audit, invoice matching and stock ledger  Exception-based reporting, which enables retailers to find increased efficiencies and reduce cost. Oracle Cloud solutions provide installation, monitoring, patching, and upgrading of the cloud services, freeing retailers to focus on innovation and more important business initiatives like the customer experience. As one of our retail customers stated, “Think cloud first and get out of the data center business.” Now is the time to enable the heart and lungs of your retail enterprise to operate at full speed into the future with our Merchandising Operations cloud services. If you are interested in more, read my blog on '3 Innovations in Merchandising Operations - Why You Must Innovate or Die Trying'

Breathe New Life Into Your Business With Merchandising In The Cloud.  Merchandising operations has been called the “heart and lungs of retail,” and it’s a pretty good description. Every business team...

Cloud

Perry Ellis International, Inc. Implements Oracle Retail Cloud to Personalize Global Customer Experience

Expanded Relationship with Oracle Enables PEI to gain 360 Degree View of Over 1 Million Customers in Less Than 7 Weeks Global apparel fashion house Perry Ellis International, Inc. (PEI) has deployed Oracle Retail Customer Engagement Cloud Services to better personalize the shopping experience for customers across the United States and United Kingdom.  PEI’s brands Perry Ellis®, An Original Penguin by Munsingwear®, and Cubavera® manage a large international footprint with their own retail stores and e-commerce channels. These multiple points of engagement for consumers created complexity that made it difficult to understand consumer behavior. Oracle Retail Customer Engagement provides PEI with a comprehensive view of shopping behavior of over 1 million loyalty members and a platform to leverage that information to personalize customer brand interactions across all touch points. “Our goal with our digital transformation is to focus on the experience we provide for our customers. Customer Engagement was an important step in this transformation. We were able to quickly integrate to our legacy systems. Now we can move forward with our next generation Point of Service with the confidence to deliver a superior in-store experience for our customers and associates,” said Luis Paez, chief information officer, PEI. “We recognize Oracle’s continued investment in retail-specific solutions while providing lower cost of ownership with the new cloud service. For us the value is the robust functionality, scalability and speed to market.” “Having a holistic perspective of how consumers engage with your brand is critical to develop experiences necessary to compete and thrive in the retail community,” said Mike Webster, senior vice president and general manager, Oracle Retail. “With cloud technology, brands can begin innovating and refocusing their efforts to amplifying the customer experience at an unprecedented rate. This implementation represents the fastest go-live in the cloud to date for Oracle Retail Customer Engagement.” PEI and Oracle Retail have a long-standing relationship having previously implemented Oracle Retail Merchandising System, Oracle Retail Price Management, Oracle Retail Sales Audit, Oracle Retail Allocation, Oracle Retail Store Inventory Management, Oracle Retail Point of Service and Oracle Retail Central Office. The interoperability compelled PEI to replace their existing customer relationship management system and upgrade to the latest Oracle Retail Cloud release to support their loyalty program that rewards and retains customers for their purchases while optimizing margins. PEI is currently migrating to the latest version of Oracle Retail Xstore Point-of-Service. The implementation process was guided by IT leadership from PEI with a clear strategy that begins with executive sponsorship and concludes with rigorous testing of the solutions. This process was supported by BTM Global, a Gold-level member of Oracle Partner Network (OPN).  BTM Global has provided a full range of systems integration services including functional and technical design work, custom integration points, interface designs, development and testing, and scripting through training and user-focused testing for PEI for multiple Oracle solutions. PEI decided to implement Oracle Retail Customer Engagement Cloud Services after experiencing operational efficiencies from upgrading the enterprise suite of Oracle Retail Merchandise Operations Management in just six months with BTM Global. "In complex projects with fast timelines, collaboration and trust between the retailer and integration partner are required," said Tom Schoen, Chief Executive Officer, BTM Global. "This unique project was successfully and efficiently launched because of our history with Perry Ellis International. We were honored to be chosen once again by them as their implementation partner."  Watch On-Demand Webcast: Perry Ellis, shares their story of transformation and how they achieved a holistic view of customer shopping behavior to better drive engagement.

Expanded Relationship with Oracle Enables PEI to gain 360 Degree View of Over 1 Million Customers in Less Than 7 Weeks Global apparel fashion house Perry Ellis International, Inc. (PEI) has deployed Ora...

Community

STF GROUP, Owner of Brands STUDIO F and ELA, Implements Oracle Cloud to Optimize Inventory Planning

Trending Colombian Fashion Retailer Introduces Science to Inform Inventory Mix and Levels across 317 Physical Stores in Colombia, Mexico, Panama and Chile Colombian Fashion Retailer STF GROUP has deployed Oracle Retail Planning and Optimization Cloud Service to support the growth of channels and operations by introducing best of breed, advanced planning solutions with supporting retail science to optimize inventory and financial plans. STF GROUP curates a unique fashion shopping experience of high quality apparel, footwear, handbags, accessories through an online shop, boutiques and certified wholesalers that serve customers in Colombia, Costa Rica, Chile, Ecuador, Guatemala and Peru. After experiencing strong growth in recent years, STF GROUP looked to the cloud for a single source of performance, market and vendor data that will be critical to improving the accuracy and depth of inventory plans while maximizing margin potential and mitigating unnecessary markdowns. With a footprint including 317 physical stores across Latin America, 4,500 direct employees and producing more than 6 million pieces per year STF GROUP understood the need to invest in cloud technology to support continued growth and provide better service for their customers. “We knew we needed a modern solution that could scale and grow with our business to support our plans to close the year optimizing resources,” said Polo Marin, Operations Director, STF GROUP. “Oracle Retail Consulting helped us implement Oracle Retail Merchandise Financial Planning Cloud Service and Oracle Retail Assortment Planning Cloud Service.” “According to Euromonitor International, the middle-class of Colombia is consolidating and changing its relationship with retail brands and expecting more personalized service and inventory,” said Carlos Victoria, Vice President of Latin America, Oracle Retail. “Oracle is poised to help retailers like STF GROUP empower their teams to take advantage of new digital opportunities by enabling omnichannel strategies and support alliances with international competitors.” With Oracle Retail Planning and Optimization Cloud Service, STF GROUP can now take advantage of a proactive planning process that creates transparency of cost in the buying process and a consolidated view of key performance indications in one place. Merchandising planners can manage and organize their assortment plan in units with correct time to market and a structured process based on science that is key to evaluating what to replace first and keep on top of the latest fashion trends and consumer preferences. “STF GROUP is a dynamic fashion retailer. Throughout the implementation process, we appreciated the importance of the user experience and a robust solution that met their needs to better serve a sophisticated consumer,” said Lou Frio, Vice President Consulting, Oracle Retail. “Our teams worked closely together to achieve a common goal, better customer service.” STF Group implemented Oracle Retail Planning and Optimization Cloud Service in November 2017.   Use Our Calculator to Determine Your Savings by Moving to a Cloud Planning Solution  

Trending Colombian Fashion Retailer Introduces Science to Inform Inventory Mix and Levels across 317 Physical Stores in Colombia, Mexico, Panama and Chile Colombian Fashion Retailer STF GROUP has...

Best Practices & Trends

Your Digital Destination: The Commerce Site as the Epicenter of the Modern Shopping Experience Brings Consumers Full Circle

More than half of U.S. consumers begin the path to purchase by researching a product online.* A lot can happen from there—purchase in store, purchase online, pick up in one store, pick up at a different store, ship from an ecommerce DC, ship from a store, etc. Whatever the twists and turns in each customer’s journey, the ecommerce channel tends to be the place where most customers begin, reference, and rely on for support, product details and comparisons, order history, and future purchases. The Digital Identity of Your Brand Over the past 15 years retailers have proven ecommerce works as a selling channel, but commerce sites are so much more than just the place where consumers order goods online and have them delivered directly to their homes. Of course, the commerce site is still a place where conversion happens, and since the advent of personalization, AI and marketing automation, commerce sites do this in a significantly more efficient way. That said, however, over time they have morphed into much more. They are now the digital identity of the brand, and the always-connected destination of the retailer, that has an ability to change on-the-fly and dynamically adapt as the business requires. We know from research that in-store purchases still account for 90% of retail sales. This doesn’t mean that you should ignore ecommerce, and concentrate solely on your stores, because the digitization of the store and using your digital presence to drive traffic into the stores is one of the best ways to improve revenue. One of the major opportunities for retailers is to make that “pre-shopping” in the digital realm more meaningful. From the retailers’ perspective the quality of the “pre-shopping” really matters. If the retailer can engineer more engaging digital interactions, which will drive product or price comparisons instead of looking for a store’s location or hours, that will result in a higher level of engagement and higher conversion rates. Improving ecommerce conversion is a laudable goal by itself, and gives retailers a revenue bump, but if the retailer can use tactics that encourage customer collaboration via digital means in advance of purchase using strategies such as pushing customers to the store with BOPIS (Buy Online, Pick up In Store), endless aisle or being able to grab the ecommerce basket at POS and cash it out, retailers will see an even bigger bump. Your Commerce Site Faces High Expectations As the epicenter of the omnichannel experience, the commerce site faces high expectations. To be helpful and relevant throughout a customer’s individual shopping journey, no matter how circuitous or meandering, the ecommerce channel must be seamlessly integrated with the retailer’s point-of-service, order management, and customer engagement solutions. That integration, often achieved via a commerce cloud strategy, must enable transparency across channels, and accommodate a steady rate of change. For example, the most common omnichannel transaction today is BOPIS, or, known in Europe as click-and-collect.* For this to work, the ecommerce channel must first give the customer visibility into the retailer’s inventory (she sees it, she wants it), along with access to that inventory (she sees if it is available, and she can reserve the item for pickup or delivery). It must also integrate with the retailers’ order brokering system to ensure that the item is delivered according to the customer’s preference: in the case of BOPIS, it must be waiting for her at X store on Y date and time, as outlined in the confirmation email the retailer sends the customer. When the customer is not selecting a pickup location, the order brokering solution should be arranging delivery according to the retailer’s preference - considering distances, shipping and labor costs, inventory balance, and other factors. From there, ecommerce needs to enable real-time customer service support, via phone or chatbot, so that the customer is always aware of the item’s location, and the retailer is actively engaged, and able to expedite a resolution in the event of an issue. Consumers Rely on Brick and Mortar To highlight the importance of online/store/order and inventory coordination, recent statistics show that in any given month, 69% of U.S. internet users will make a bricks-and-mortar retail purchase, vs. 22% who will make an online purchase. However, 53% begin their product research online.* In other words, stores continue to be very important—but they don’t stand alone. While 82% of millennials think it’s important for a brand to have physical stores,** understaffing and long point-of-service lines are more of a turnoff than ever. That is why it is critical for these solutions to work together. Far too often customers experience the “BOPIS nightmare” where a customer arrives at a store to pick up their item and learns that the item isn’t there (or that the associate can’t find it). These journey failures are extremely frustrating to customers, and in a time where customer acquisition costs are at an all-time high, and consumer expectations are through the roof, a single failed experience can easily lead to losing that customer for good. Bringing it Full Circle For a growing number of retailers, delivering a cohesive omnichannel experience, and allowing for a steady state of change across retail processes, is achieved with a commerce cloud strategy that shifts the burden of functional innovation and integration to the service provider. At Oracle Retail, we’re focused on delivering cloud services that are pre-integrated across a full range of retail solutions. The omnichannel approach works from a single version of the truth that is accessible to everyone involved in the customer journey – including the customer herself. We believe that this is the key to empowering the retail enterprise and establishing the ecommerce channel as an effective epicenter of omnichannel retailing. See how Oracle Commerce Cloud ignites business innovation and rapid growth for today's modern omnichannel retailer.   Sources: * Typical Research and Purchase Process Among US Internet Users ** Why Millennials Think Brands Should Have Physical Stores    

More than half of U.S. consumers begin the path to purchase by researching a product online.* A lot can happen from there—purchase in store, purchase online, pick up in one store, pick up at...

Customer Success

New Eye-Opening Stats About Brand Compliance Adoption

Customers need to trust that retail brands are providing reliable information about product provenance. In this fast changing retail climate, to maintain trust in their brands, retailers must demonstrate due diligence in their collection, capture, and validation of supplier and product data. There is an obvious necessity for retailers to respond quickly to any issues by forensically interrogating the supply chain.   Many of the world's top brands are taking the necessary steps to protect their supply chain with Oracle Retail Brand Compliance. Brand Compliance enables private label product growth, anticipates and protects brands against supply chain risks, and maintains consumer trust during crisis. Read on for a collection of eye-opening stats.   Real Customer Examples After Brand Compliance Adoption: All 4 large UK grocery chains have seen significant growth in private label to over 60% of shelf  A leading Canadian grocery chain relaunched over 4,000 products to meet new labeling laws within 6 months   A major US family brand reduced the number of internal systems from 17 to 1, improving efficiency, accuracy and job satisfaction  Leading European cash and carry drove standardization, transparency and quality across 22 countries in 19 languages 5 Wow Factors Based on Latest Brand Compliance User Statistics: Nearly 70% of grocery retailers worldwide who have adopted software solutions to manage product specifications and supplier compliance, chose Oracle Retail Brand Compliance  Over 80% of the world's primary private label suppliers use Oracle Retail Brand Compliance for at least 1 customer Over 1 million products have been developed and protected through Oracle Retail Brand Compliance  Over 10,000 suppliers concurrently manage product specifications in Oracle Retail Brand Compliance each day  Over 1 million supply chain trading relationships are visible through Oracle Retail Brand Compliance  Sample of Brand Compliance Solution Benefits: Growth of private label brands from 10% to over 50% of market shelf Improved speed to market by 25% by reducing administration by 75% 12% increased revenue per product or portfolio growth of 1/3 more per year Connection to over 250,000 suppliers worldwide Reduced R&D costs by 10% by anticipating risk, simplifying processes and collaboration Increased confidence in product and supplier data to 95%, an 80% improvement Launch and protection of over 1 million products worldwide Reduction of food mislabeling recalls by 80%, saving on average $16M in risk Protects and builds trust through transparency of online brands With over 5,000 customers worldwide, Oracle is empowering commerce around the globe. Oracle Retail Brand Compliance sources, validates and continually checks all product attributes to ensure consumers have up-to-date transparent information, building trust in retailers’ online brands. See how you can protect your supply chain. View the Full Infographic and Learn More About Protecting Your Brand Integrity

Customers need to trust that retail brands are providing reliable information about product provenance. In this fast changing retail climate, to maintain trust in their brands, retailers must...

Community

Podruzhka Brings Strategic Pricing Approach to Russian Drugstore Market

Specialty Retailer Creates Market Agility with Oracle Retail Solutions and Veltio Integration Specialty retailer Podruzhka has deployed Oracle Retail Planning and Optimization to engage and grow a loyal customer base with competitive pricing. With the help of Oracle Partner Network Platinum Partner Veltio, Podruzhka streamlined a pricing process that offered automation, best practices and flexibility to respond to the market demand with Oracle Retail solutions.  Podruzhka had previously implemented Oracle Retail Demand Forecasting and Veltio Allocation and Execution solutions which led the retailer to further their investment as they sought to improve the accuracy and agility of their pricing strategy. Podruzhka is uniquely positioned within the Russian drugstore market with 210 stores catered to providing women with inexpensive personal care products, cosmetics, perfumes, jewelry, accessories and cleaning products. Each Podruzhka store carries up to 15,000 SKUs within a compact 140-180 square meter footprint in residential areas, establishing the drugstore as a local staple. “In the Oracle Retail 4-Dimensions of Retail research, we discovered that 84% of global consumers say that competitive pricing and promotions first and foremost are the most important aspect of their shopping experience,” said Chris James, Vice President EMEA, Oracle Retail. “In Russia, market conditions can change quickly and with Oracle Retail Podruzhka has created ability to manage multiple price zones that appeal to the consumer in the moment of intent.” “With our responsive pricing approach, we hope to increase customer loyalty through competitive pricing and selling opportunities while respecting the financial targets of the company,” said Alexander Golubev, IT Director, Podruzhka. “Oracle Retail provided us with an industry rich solution with flexibility and scale. Veltio delivered the implementation on-time and on-budget with a deep understanding our business needs.” “This project was a great milestone for Veltio in the Russian market by highlighting the opportunity of Oracle Retail solutions in regional context. Local market conditions and the crash of the ruble forced Russian retailers to start thinking more about the efficiencies offered by advanced pricing, assortment and supply chain management,” said Kostya Prays, EMEA Business Development Director, Veltio. “We are happy to help retailers like Podruzhka leverage this technology to find a competitive advantage.” Use Our Calculator to Determine Your Savings by Moving to a Cloud Planning Solution

Specialty Retailer Creates Market Agility with Oracle Retail Solutions and Veltio Integration Specialty retailer Podruzhka has deployed Oracle Retail Planning and Optimization to engage and grow...

Best Practices & Trends

6 Characteristics of an Adaptive, Intelligent Commerce Platform

The only thing not changing in ecommerce is its steady growth in sales and impact on performance across all channels. Ecommerce sales are on course to deliver double-digit growth for years to come, reaching 25 percent of retail sales by 2020, according to Forrester’s Online Retail Forecast. But even more important is the pivotal role that every ecommerce experience plays in determining a customer’s next purchase, inclination to visit stores, and long-term loyalty to the brand. In a new guidebook, Your Most Intelligent Associate: Ecommerce in Modern Retail, we’ve curated 6 characteristics that define today’s most compelling commerce environments, and how the right mix of adaptive, intelligent solutions can optimize performance and ultimately be your most intelligent associate, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, anywhere in the world. The guidebook looks at how your commerce platform can demonstrate that you, the retailer, understands your customers, remembers them and anticipates what they may need by adopting these key characteristics: 1. Continuously Learns More About Its Customers Your ecommerce platform should possess a single view of customer and learn more about them with every interaction, just like your best associates. Leading commerce solutions leverage the full knowledge contained within your customer and product information systems. Additionally, it’s important to connect your first-party data with valuable third-party data to understand shopper intent across all channels and interactions. 2. Is Fast and Responsive How long will a customer wait to have their question answered in a store? Now cut that time by 99% and that’s how long they will wait for your pages to load. In fact, 77% of consumers say a fast, responsive website is important* to their shopping experience. At this stage of the game, edge caching is essential to site performance and managing customer expectations. 3. Helps Customers Navigate and Discover New Things Placing the most appropriate product and pricing in front of a customer at the right time not only delivers a good CX, but it can also have a positive impact on a retailer’s ability to upsell. The dynamic content, delivered through applications and chatbots, could never be achieved offline or in the absence of embedded AI. 4. Iterates and Constantly Tests What Will Resonate Digital experiences are extremely dynamic. When the customer has one “next” move, digital leaders are testing to determine the most effective layout, offer, or call to action—just like great retail managers and sales associates have tested new approaches, tried new tactics, and uncovered winning strategies for decades. 5. Takes Data Security Seriously Retailers depend on their commerce solutions to connect with customers and sell products. If your data is compromised, your assets quickly become liabilities. Today’s consumers have a heightened sense of security, especially in the face of data theft across retail and banking systems worldwide. With these fears, 81% say they’d consider removing their personal information if they could.** 6. Brings the Customer Journey Full Circle As it’s the place where most customers begin their journey, refer to throughout their journey, and return to for support and future purchases, ecommerce is the epicenter of the omnichannel experience. A mere 13% of consumers find the ability to be able to research and reserve items online for in-store pick up unimportant.* See why savvy retailers are actively procuring commerce platforms that incorporate artificial intelligence, personalization, machine learning, and predictive analytics to deliver an unforgettable customer experience.   Download Your Free Guidebook: Your Most Intelligent Associate: Ecommerce in Modern Retail   *Oracle Retail 4D Research **Oracle Retail Loyalty Divide Research

The only thing not changing in ecommerce is its steady growth in sales and impact on performance across all channels. Ecommerce sales are on course to deliver double-digit growth for years to come, rea...

Best Practices & Trends

Oracle Study Reveals Global Retailer Anxiety towards Omnichannel Capabilities Ahead of Holiday Season

2018 Mobile Retail Insights Report reveals consensus around mobile strategies and emerging logistics and personalization concerns. Global retailers of all sizes have significant concerns over their ability to keep pace with new technologies and shifts in consumer behavior according to a new report by Oracle Retail. The 2018 Retail Mobility Insights report revealed that 60% of respondents believe that their organization will likely face disruption from more innovative, nimble and customer-centric organizations. While retailers believe their company embraces digital and mobile technology, 60 percent of respondents recognize that they are not investing quickly enough to keep pace with the speed of technology change and consumer expectations. The trends identified in the report highlight that retailers have been slow to realize mobile’s potential and question their logistical capabilities in the countdown to the busiest sales cycle of the year. “Despite a strong improving sales performance, retailers continue to feel overwhelmed by their infrastructure limitations, decision paralysis has further prevented them from realizing their omnichannel potential,” said Mike Webster, senior vice president and general manager, Oracle Retail. “Having a single view of customer, inventory and order is no longer optional for retailers to deliver their brand promise. Organizations that complete this journey first will create stronger relationships with customers, create space for new innovation projects and make more strategic decisions that maximize their growth.” Alignment on Mobile’s Role in Retail In the study retailers seem to have reached a general consensus around the role of mobile technology and opportunity for capturing sales and removing friction from the purchase experience. Conversion: Retailers affirm (47 agree) that their mobile strategy is to increase shopping basket size in store and online by catching customers at the point of intent. Productivity: Mobile also is impacting associate productivity, 45 percent of respondents note that they are empowering employees with mobile capabilities so they can perform their jobs regardless of where they are. Payments: New payment options like contactless checkout, self-checkout and mobile payments are either in use today or part of roadmaps for most retailers (54 percent).  Hardline retailers (less than 32 percent disagree) seem to be behind grocery and fashion brands (over 55 percent agree) in enabling these new payment options. Personalization Challenges Brands large and small have recognized the tension between consumers’ contradictory attitudes around privacy and their growing need for personalized engagement. Discounts: New policies around data privacy have impacted retailers’ growth potential, 62 percent believe that they may be leaving money on the table by offering general discounts to shoppers instead of tailored offerings. Forecasting: Despite this most retailers, 77 percent believe that customers expect them to anticipate their needs by analyzing their loyalty, purchase history and brand interaction data. Scaling Omnichannel Logistics Retailers have historically prioritized front-end aspects of the Omnichannel shopping experience and cobbled together backend infrastructure. Neglecting the merchandising, planning and supply chain aspects of Omnichannel retail prevents brands from being able to profitably execute, have clear visibility into their customers’ journey and inform new digital experiences like augmented and virtual reality.  Consumer Journeys: Less than half (46 percent) of retailers believe they are well positioned to support an Omnichannel shopping experience with distribution centers to fulfill orders placed online or through mobile for delivery to any preferred destination. Logistical Confidence: Increases with the size of retail organizations, 67 percent of respondents from organizations with more than $10B in sales and 52 percent of respondents from organizations with $1 to $10B in sales note this capability. Growth: Conversely logistical doubt trends towards major growth milestones, only 38 percent of respondents from organizations with $250 to $500 million in sales and 30 percent of respondents from organizations with $750 million to $1 billion believe they are well positioned. Retailers are invited to take the free assessment to see how their organization's mobile retail strategy ranks among global peers. Methodology The Mobile Retail Insights report was conducted in 2018 among 258 retail professionals from Fashion, Grocery, Hardlines and Specialty brands. Respondents represent an international perspective with responsibilities across North American (35 percent), LAD (6 percent), European (14 percent), JAPAC (2 percent) and Global (40 percent) retailers. Fifty-four percent of respondents are from companies with greater than $500M in sales and 67 percent hold a Director level and above title. Fifty percent of the respondents represent IT, while the other half represents business executives.

2018 Mobile Retail Insights Report reveals consensus around mobile strategies and emerging logistics and personalization concerns. Global retailers of all sizes have significant concerns over their...

Best Practices & Trends

Pay It Forward: Ecommerce Fuels the Omnichannel Journey

For retailers, the move from on-premises legacy business systems to an integrated, cloud-based, software-as-a-service solution can be not merely economical but transformative. It shifts the focus of the business team from the capabilities of legacy systems—given what we have, how do we add on another ability—to the core needs of the business: what do we actually want and need to do right now? Integrated Cloud Commerce Systems Drive Innovation Ultimately, an integrated cloud commerce system allows retailers to focus on their core competencies, creating a brand experience and growing sales. Doing those things requires innovation. With an integrated cloud commerce solution, a retailer can easily add features that benefit customers, such as personalized online offerings based on individual customer data. The retailer can also easily add features that benefit sales associates or customer service reps, giving them access to the customer or inventory data they need to smoothly finalize a transaction. In addition to an enhanced ability to innovate, a cloud commerce solution offers significant benefits in terms of total cost of ownership. In a SaaS solution, retailers are freed—entirely or largely—from paying for system development, hosting, or software maintenance (maintenance alone can run 18% to 22% of original system cost per year in a license-with-upgrades model). Retailers are also easily able to acquire tools that will help improve customer acquisition, brand affinity, and brand advocacy. To obtain most of those features with an on-premises legacy system, you would have to wait for—and then implement—a major system upgrade. In such a situation, you would be hampered from adding features you know you need as you need them, and you would be leaving money on the table in the meantime. This dynamic is particularly apparent in the omnichannel space. The three strategies we see retailers concentrating on in omnichannel are customer journeys, having one view of the customer, and the digitization of the store. These three areas are intimately related—they’re intertwined, really—and they are all made vastly easier with an integrated cloud commerce solution. (You can digitize the store, for example, but if your CRM and inventory can’t talk to each other and to the associate, all the mobile devices in the world won’t create a great customer experience.) Each Omnichannel Journey Should Finance the Next Well-executed omnichannel programs can reduce the cost of sale by fifteen to twenty percent; and being able to support the customer everywhere that the customer wants to be is a money-maker. One of the reasons it’s easy to convince a CFO or a board to invest in an omnichannel initiative like customer journeys is that they get payback in a matter of months. A study conducted by Harvard Business Review of 46,000 shoppers reveals the value of the omnichannel shopper. Key findings from the study include: Omnichannel shoppers spend an average 4% more every time they are in a brick-and-mortar store and spend 10% more when shopping online. Omnichannel tools drive loyalty. Customers who engage with retailers on multiple channels visited a brick-and-mortar store 23% more often over six months. The more channels, the better. Shoppers who interact with retailers on four or more channels spend 9% more in stores, on average, compared with those who use fewer channels or just a single one. The more entry points retailers use to reach shoppers, the higher the chance that these customers will spend more money. Because omnichannel capabilities drive the engagement of core shoppers with the retail brand, synchronizing the physical and the digital worlds to provide shoppers with a seamless, multi-channel experience is vital. As already noted, the systems behind these programs, especially CRMs and order management systems, often deliver payback in customer journeys in months. With this kind of return on investment, many retailers use Oracle Commerce Cloud to pursue a “one journey at a time” strategy in which each implementation of an omnichannel journey will pay for the next stage of the program. In other words, a phase one completion of a long-range omnichannel program can pay for itself and fund the next phase, and so on. Buy Online Pick Up In Store (BOPUS) is the customer interaction that most retailers find is best to begin with, and that funds the next journey, as the increased foot traffic typically brings with it a plus one purchase. Time to Consider a Fully-Baked Solution For many retailers, current commerce systems were implemented with a timeline in mind. Unfortunately, consumer expectations and competitors are changing faster than anticipated. The amortization timeline for an existing “sunk cost” system must be considered alongside the organization’s need for a platform that will better drive immediate sales growth. Moving ecommerce to the cloud provides a better opportunity to adapt to new consumer expectations, such as widespread adoption of new payment and mobile applications, and to innovate quickly and gracefully around customer journeys. Since omnichannel is today’s core retail strategy, it seems increasingly clear that an integrated SaaS solution is omnichannel’s key enabling technology, and that “fully-baked commerce” is the right business move for the future. To learn more about Oracle Commerce Cloud, request a 1:1 demo.

For retailers, the move from on-premises legacy business systems to an integrated, cloud-based, software-as-a-service solution can be not merely economical but transformative. It shifts the focus...

Best Practices & Trends

The New KPIs of Retail

How is your economy doing? Seems to be a pretty straight forward question, right? Well, of course, that depends on how you choose to measure it, based in part on your own situation. For example, if you're a US citizen and own a lot of stock, as the Dow is over 25k now, your sentiment might be more positive. If you don’t, it might not be as positive, as wages after adjusting for inflation have remained flat for quite some time. If you were asked to select 10 KPIs to quantify an answer to how your nation is doing, what would they be? Perhaps some financial measures, like GDP, debt, and unemployment rate, for sure. Maybe something pertaining to quality-of-life indicators like life expectancy, upward mobility, crime, and healthcare. Some might argue for including KPIs for carbon emissions or immigration rates, so there can be many different perspectives on KPIs. Measurement Doesn't Directly Imply Management Individuals, and groups of individuals, see things through their own unique lenses, reflecting their values, their circumstances and their views. Similarly, the KPIs that a retailer chooses for their balanced scorecards reflects their corporate values and identity - and how they hope to refine that identity going forward through clearly defined goals and objectives. The age old saying, you can’t manage what you don’t measure, doesn't go far enough in modern retail. Most retailers measure hundreds, if not thousands of performance indicators, but simply measuring liberally doesn’t imply managing, let alone managing optimally. Worse, as the business of retail continues to rapidly evolve, retailers often struggle to modernize not only what they measure, but also how they manage what they measure. So in this retail blog series, I will focus on essentially two sides of the retail metrics coin – measuring and managing. Now, keep in mind the difference between “leading” and “lagging” performance indicators, and that with a balanced scorecard approach to performance management, the former measures progress toward achieving strategic goals, while the latter helps explain the factors that underpin the former.  For example: That said, far too often, complex reporting gives only the illusion of managed retail intelligence. Wow, look at all those numbers and charts! But yesterday’s KPIs aren’t modernized for today’s business realities. Lagging indicators are confused for leading indicators of performance, or they’re not associated properly with business objectives. Complicating these challenges are several game-changing trends in the retail analytics space. Trends in Retail Analytics: The obsolescence of channels. Today’s retail experience is no longer about channels, it’s about customer journeys. For example, measuring store traffic and associated sales conversion in isolation to other customer touchpoints like social media, ecommerce and call centers implies that today’s retail customer experience is not as nuanced as it is. The often-referenced BOPIS (Buy Online Pickup In Store) is only one of many dozens of potential journeys that should be measured, with a direct line-of-sight through relevant KPIs, objectives, initiatives and strategic goals. But there are many other journeys, for example BCMPS (Buy from Call Center via Mobile Pickup in Store) or BMKW (Buy from Mobile Pickup in Warehouse). Rising consumer empowerment. An imperative in the age of the discriminating and smart-phone-wielding consumer is a deep understanding of what drives their behaviors and how to exploit that through more personalized shopping experiences, targeted assortments, offers, etc. These behaviors shouldn’t be limited to what they’re doing (their shopping habits), they should also include what they are saying (social media, contact centers, etc.). The age-old mantra “The customer is king!” is truer today than ever. Ubiquitous machine learning based on big data. Eclipsing the basing of decisions on groups of like stores, retailers today are basing more decisions on groups of like customers. I’m not talking about just grouping customers by demographics, or by past sales histories – who your customers are and what they’ve historically done is more informative when combined with what your customers are saying and what data science predicts they’ll do next.  Using Recency/Frequency/Monetary (RFM) Scores To illustrate this, while many retailers might have historically scored their performance with a focus on Comparable Store YOY Sales, a more meaningful approach today might be a mash-up of sales performance by journey, segment, and Recency/Frequency/Monetary (RFM) scores. Below is an image pulled from the Oracle Retail Insights solution to measure customer journeys and RFM. For example, a wider bar in green indicates high RFM for both fast fashionistas and affluent youth segments. Measuring Customer Journeys and RFM for Fast Fashionistas and Affluent Youth So we’re evolving from asking ourselves “how much has each store been selling” to “to what extent are we optimizing the customer journeys that are most potentially profitable for each strategic segment?” Perhaps the former could be considered a leading KPI, but retailers lack critical context without the insights from the latter’s lagging measures. I’ll close this post by asserting that identifying and deriving the right KPIs to shape a modern retailer’s identity and winning in today’s dynamic retail environment is only half the battle. What good are they if not properly put to use? You have to manage what you measure – that’s right, the other side of the coin that I spoke of earlier. So stay tuned for my next blog, when I cover how Oracle Retail Home can address this. Learn more about Oracle Retail Insights Suite, Merchandising Insights, Customer Insights and see why Gap Inc. has leveraged Insights.

How is your economy doing? Seems to be a pretty straight forward question, right? Well, of course, that depends on how you choose to measure it, based in part on your own situation. For example,...

Best Practices & Trends

IDC MarketScape Names Oracle Retail’s Order Orchestration as a Leader for Midmarket AND Enterprise Retailers

Oracle is positioned as a Leader in the 2018 IDC MarketScape for worldwide distributed order orchestration for midmarket AND enterprise retailers. Thank you Victoria Brown for the write up and partnership. We enjoyed working with you. As retail operations expand, the lack of visibility into all potential fulfillment locations (stores, warehouse, etc.) can impede control of inventory. With rising consumer demands for same-day, next-day delivery increase, retailers are turning to distributed order management to manage their omnichannel operations and exceed customer expectations. Putting this in context of a customer service representative (CSR) servicing a customer, if the CSR struggles to gather information and insight from the full array of merchandising, ecommerce, store operations, customer loyalty, pricing and promotions systems that drive day-to-day retail operations, they won’t be able to deliver exceptional service assumed by today’s shopper. Consumers expect to be treated as the most valuable asset a retailer has – they expect store associates and CSRs to be able to respond to their constantly changing demands, without hesitation or excuse. Global retailers have partnered with Oracle to realize the benefits of Oracle Retail’s fully-integrated, feature-rich distributed order management solution. Designed to enable a better customer experience and enhance customer loyalty, the pre-integrated solutions and cloud service platforms shift the burden of integration, updates, and upgrades, away from the retailer, allowing them to focus on innovation. As research tells us, 92% of consumers will go elsewhere if you don’t have the right product in the right place at the right time1, so focusing on key initiatives that drive customer engagement are a lynchpin to success and profitability. As reported in the IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Distributed Order Orchestration 2018 Vendor Assessment, Oracle is positioned as a Leader in the 2018 IDC MarketScape for worldwide distributed order orchestration for midmarket AND enterprise retailers. The two studies report that Oracle's Distributed Order Management strategy has two equally important facets that come together: Oracle Retail’s Order Management Cloud Service comes together with Order Broker Cloud Service to manage not only order creation, tracking, and payment but also the steps of the fulfillment process. The Oracle Retail Order Management Cloud Service consists of its order maintenance, customer notifications, call center, and payment settlements, while Order Broker Cloud Service handles enterprise inventory, the routing engine, drop shipments, and the store connection for the associates. IDC shares Oracle’s prescriptive approach to order management and current user feedback, including: Dashboard capabilities enable users to understand the varying decisions of their supply chain. Ease of use and quick implementations, quoting retailers report “faster ROI of any solution they’ve implemented across their solutions portfolio.” Pre-integrated solutions work cohesively and solve end-to-end supply chain needs. Ready for Real-Time Visibility? Leverage customer information more effectively with the real-time inventory visibility to complete transactions on demand using alternative fulfillment methods. Request a 1:1 Demo to see how Oracle’s Order Management solution can elevate a single view of your customer.   1 The Power and the Money

Oracle is positioned as a Leader in the 2018 IDC MarketScape for worldwide distributed order orchestration for midmarket AND enterprise retailers. Thank you Victoria Brown for the write up and...

Best Practices & Trends

Oracle Leads the Pack in The Forrester Wave: Point of Service

Oracle has been recognized as the leader in point-of-service solutions in the The Forrester Wave™: Point Of Service. Forrester’s recognition in point-of-service leadership and continued customer momentum demonstrate Oracle's unique position to provide retailers with the technology they need to innovate as they wrestle with new consumer expectations. Forrester reports that great store experience and highly effective POS applications: Drive online sales Deliver brand consistency across the empowered customer’s path to purchase Increase customer loyalty Boost associate productivity Furthermore, today’s POS leaders: Embrace sophisticated mobile cloud architecture Share common services with other customer-facing applications Plan integration with personalization and real-time interaction platforms In Forrester’s 25-criteria evaluation of POS application providers, they identified the industry’s significant players, shared how each provider measures up and guides digital business professionals to make the right solution choice. The criteria were grouped into 3 buckets: Current offering Strategy—including product road maps, vision of future POS, and strategy Market presence—including install base and geographic deployment Oracle Demonstrated Strength In: Mobile extensions Back-office functionality Architecture to deliver resilient, responsive, modern, cloud, and mobile POS deployments Oracle clients offered a positive view of Oracle’s global footprint, stability, and architecture Interested in Learning More? Oracle Retail Xstore Point-of-Service delivers robust functionality which enables retail associates to deliver on brand promise in store with inventory visibility, customer intelligence, and seamless transactions. See why retailers like Red Wing Shoes are selecting Oracle Retail Xstore Point-of-Service to move their business forward.

Oracle has been recognized as the leader in point-of-service solutions in the The Forrester Wave™: Point Of Service. Forrester’s recognition in point-of-service leadership and continued customer...

Best Practices & Trends

Oracle Retail Recognized as a Leader in Point of Service in Independent Research Report

Oracle Retail has been recognized as a leader in point of sale solutions by Forrester Research. “The Forrester Wave™: Point Of Service, Q3 2018” report recognizes Oracle Retail for, “…demonstrated strength in mobile extensions, back office functionality, and the architecture to deliver resilient, responsive, modern, cloud and mobile POS deployments. Oracle clients offered a positive view of Oracle’s global footprint, stability and architecture…Oracle is a best fit for sophisticated international retailers.” According to Forrester, “The POS market is growing because more digital business professionals see it as a way to address their top challenges. This is in large part because they increasingly trust POS providers to act as strategic partners that help them deliver compelling customer experience (CX) through the path to purchase, return, and repeat purchase.” “Omnichannel retailers are challenged with creating differentiated customer experiences that convert sales, drive loyalty and personalize service,” said Jeff Warren, vice president, Oracle Retail. “Oracle is uniquely positioned to provide retailers with modern POS infrastructure that arms associates with the tools and insights they need to offer the innovative brand experiences that customers expect.” Xstore Delivers Resilient, Responsive and Modern Cloud POS Innovation Optimized for Mobile Oracle Retail Xstore Point-of-Service delivers robust functionality which enables retail associates to deliver on brand promise in store with inventory visibility, customer intelligence, and seamless transactions. Here are some new advances with Oracle Retail Xstore Point-of-Service: Rapid Deployment. With Oracle’s pre-integrated omnichannel suite—which includes Oracle Retail Order Management, Oracle Retail Order Broker, Oracle Retail Customer Engagement, Oracle Commerce Cloud and Oracle Retail Xstore Point-of-Service—we’ve built in the integration, orchestrated the synchronization and engineered the hardware for the ultimate Omnichannel experience. Retailers can focus on configuring the system to meet their business needs/rules, instead of the building of the entire back-end integration. The out-of-the-box sophisticated customer shopping journeys can be implemented in weeks or months. Enabling Flexible Omnichannel Journeys. Associates are empowered to deliver an experience that matches customer expectations. Oracle Retail enables the consumer journeys required to deliver a superior experience. Associates are now able to add multiple order types in a single transaction and during fulfillment split line and split item to improve their ability to sell down to the last item. Single View of Customer. Today’s shoppers share personal interests to the extent where offers should be specific to them. First-hand data, together within Oracle Retail Customer Insights Cloud Service and Oracle Retail Customer Engagement Cloud Services help retailers understand what customers want, and when they want it. Personalization. Customer Entitlements are delivered as an out of the box component of this suite of solutions. And with the stronger integration between Oracle Marketing Cloud and Oracle Retail Customer Engagement Cloud Service, retailers can personalize offers. Thin Deployment with Oracle MICROS Hardware. Oracle software and hardware are engineered to work better together. Oracle Retail Xstore Point of Service has been engineered for smaller footprints and portability with the Oracle MICROS hardware. The software is now optimized to support sleek and slim hardware the 610 Series 700 tablet and the Compact 310. POS Integration that Streamlines Investigation.  A heightened degree of integration between Oracle Retail XBRi Cloud Service and Oracle Retail Xstore Point-of-Service further enhances the ability of XBRi’s embedded science to pinpoint new sources of risk and deliver purpose-build reports that streamline and support investigative activities while leveraging the best practices built into the Oracle Retail portfolio. Modern Retailing. Oracle Retail Xstore Point-of-Service delivers associate mobility that allows them to engage with their customers on the sales floor where the purchasing decision is made. Blurring the line between the shopping and the purchasing experiences, Xstore’s IP enabled store delivers shared peripherals (printers, PIN pads, and even the cash drawer) significantly increasing capacity while reducing the overall deployment cost.   Secure Payments. Oracle Retail Xstore Point-of-Service offers retailers a secure abstracted payment solution that enables the rapid uptake of emerging payment technologies while removing the burden of PCIDSS overheads. Supporting the Global Footprint. Through a combination of configuration and prepackaged accelerators all within the single code base, Oracle Retail Xstore Point-of-Service delivers a global solution that addresses the many and varying requirements for retailers’ operations around the world. Continued Global Customer Momentum Oracle Retail customers continue to augment their transaction experience, improve employee productivity and drive long-term loyalty with Xstore Point of Service: ABC Fine Wine & Spirits modernizes the customer experience with Oracle Retail Xstore Point-of-Service. Luxury Retailer Chalhoub delivers the first Middle East modern, mobile deployment of Xstore in six months. Helzberg Diamonds empowers associates to create meaningful customer experiences by upgrading Oracle Retail Xstore Point-of-Service solution while implementing Oracle Retail Order Broker and Oracle Retail Customer Engagement. Italian Fashion Company Miroglio offers customers a rich shopping experience with Oracle Retail Xstore and Oracle Retail Customer Engagement. Global luggage retailer Samsonite upgraded Oracle Retail Xstore Point-of-Service and Oracle Retail Customer Engagement while adopting Oracle Retail Order Broker Cloud Service. UK specialty retailer Wyevale deploys the latest version of Oracle Retail Xstore Point-of-Service, Oracle MICROS Hardware and Oracle Retail Customer Engagement with Oracle Retail Consulting.

Oracle Retail has been recognized as a leader in point of sale solutions by Forrester Research. “The Forrester Wave™: Point Of Service, Q3 2018” report recognizes Oracle Retail for, “…demonstrated...

Cloud

Retail Consult Becomes Oracle PartnerNetwork Platinum Level Partner

Oracle Recognizes Retail Consult for Their Track Record of Success to Deliver Global Retail Transformation Retail Consult, a highly specialized group focused on technology solutions for retail, has achieved Platinum partner status in Oracle Partner Network (OPN).  By attaining Platinum level membership, Oracle has recognized Retail Consult for its in-depth expertise and excellence in delivering the Oracle Retail Solution Portfolio. Retailers are under pressure to transform their business with solutions that will help them stay ahead of the competition. Retail Consult has demonstrated an extremely high success rate helping clients to successfully overcome the inherent risks with digital transformation projects.  Retail Consult provides solutions strategy, implementation, deployment, training and support services. These services combined with the depth and breadth of the Oracle Retail solutions has been a recipe for client success around the world. Retail Consult has established its depth and breadth of the expertise across the Oracle Retail portfolio including Oracle Retail Merchandise Operations Management, Oracle Retail Planning and Optimization, Oracle Retail Supply Chain Management, Oracle Retail Omnichannel, Oracle Commerce and Oracle Retail Insights. Many of Retail Consult’s resources are trained and certified to implement Oracle’s state-of-the art solutions that uniquely addressing the challenges of retailers today. “The breadth and depth of the Oracle Retail solution, combined with our retail business and technology expertise delivers an unbeatable combination for client success in their retail transformation projects,” Silvia Gomes, Partner, Retail Consult. “Retail Consult is a valuable partner to Oracle Retail. They have a proven track record of success delivery to our customer base,” Jeff Warren, Vice President of Solution Management, Oracle Retail. “Retail Consult consistently contributes to the growth and education of our community.” Examples of Exceptional Delivery of the Oracle Retail solutions by Retail Consult include:   Corporación GPF Optimized Inventory Performance Across Health, Wellness and Convenience Store Business with Oracle Retail Leader Grupo Martí Deployed Suite of Oracle Retail Technology, Improving Customer Experience Global Accessories Retailer Parfois Established a Foundation for Accelerated Growth with Oracle Retail With its Platinum status, Retail Consult, receives the high level of engagement, commitment and resources available to OPN partners. Platinum members receive dedicated virtual account management support to build joint development plans and help broaden Specialization areas and revenue opportunities.  Additional benefits include priority placement in the OPN Solutions Catalog, one free application integration validated by Oracle, joint marketing and sales opportunities, discounted training and more. For more information about the benefits of becoming an OPN Platinum level partner, please visit: http://www.oracle.com/us/partnerships/index.htm About Retail Consult Retail Consult is a group of professionals who specialize in technology solutions for retail, offering clients global perspective and experience with operations in Europe, North, South and Central America. Retail Consult provides solutions strategy, implementation, deployment, training and support services. They serve clients across a range of retail segments including fashion, grocery, pharmacy, do it yourself, telecommunications, and electronics. In size, their clients range from regional, privately held companies to global retailers deploying multiple brands.  Retail Consult is unique because they have an extremely high success rate for implementing Oracle Retail Solutions.  Their values and mission drive them to be a strategic partner to all clients.  http://www.retail-consult.com About Oracle Retail  Oracle provides retailers with a complete, open, and integrated suite of best-of-breed business applications, cloud services, and hardware that are engineered to work together and empower commerce. Leading fashion, grocery, and specialty retailers use Oracle solutions to anticipate market changes, simplify operations and inspire authentic brand interactions. For more information, visit our website at www.oracle.com/retail. About Oracle PartnerNetwork Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN) is Oracle's partner program that provides partners with a differentiated advantage to develop, sell and implement Oracle solutions. OPN offers resources to train and support specialized knowledge of Oracle’s products and solutions and has evolved to recognize Oracle’s growing product portfolio, partner base and business opportunity. Key to the latest enhancements to OPN is the ability for partners to be recognized and rewarded for their investment in Oracle Cloud. Partners engaging with Oracle will be able to differentiate their Oracle Cloud expertise and success with customers through the OPN Cloud program – an innovative program that complements existing OPN program levels with tiers of recognition and progressive benefits for partners working with Oracle Cloud. To find out more visit: http://www.oracle.com/partners.   Trademarks Oracle and Java are registered trademarks of Oracle and/or its affiliates. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

Oracle Recognizes Retail Consult for Their Track Record of Success to Deliver Global Retail Transformation Retail Consult, a highly specialized group focused on technology solutions for retail, has...

Cloud

Oracle Retail Breaks Down Inventory Barriers with Cloud Service

Inventory Cloud Services Enable Retailers to Connect Customers with Items, Sizes, and Colors, No Matter Where the Item Resides To empower retailers to more easily track, access and manage inventory in store Oracle Retail has introduced a new Store Inventory Operations Cloud Services. By providing the ability to view inventory by size, color and other key attributes, the Oracle Retail Cloud Services helps retailers improve customer satisfaction and fulfill demand regardless of channel. “With Oracle Retail Store Inventory Operations Cloud Services, we are providing retailers with the ability to have real-time inventory visibility to enable core merchandising operations, ecommerce and order management” said Jeff Warren, vice president, Oracle Retail. “The integration points provide the level of inventory visibility and fulfillment transparency that makes a tremendous difference to the customer and to the business.” For fashion retailers, customer satisfaction often comes down to simply being able to locate and deliver an item in the size and color that the customer wants. Traditionally, store associates endeavor to fulfill customer requests for an elusive size, or color, by looking online or calling fellow stores. This process can be time-consuming and ineffective, consuming resources across a business that already operates on narrow margins. Oracle Retail Store Inventory Operations Cloud Services solves this problem and provides the retail community with: “Store Up” Vs “Warehouse Down” Approach to Inventory Management: By providing the ability to have visibility into inventory at a detailed level within the store, combined with a view of warehouse inventory, Oracle Retail Store Inventory Operations Cloud Services enables stores to influence inventory sell through by requesting it directly from the warehouse. Item Visibility by Size, Color, and Location. Oracle Retail Store Inventory Operations Cloud Services is designed to address fashion or hardline retailers’ unique need for item visibility, and caters to them by enabling identifying items at the color and size level as well as by the item’s exact location within stores across the store network. Access to Item Inventory Positions Across All Locations, to Meet Fulfillment for All Channels. With visibility to where an item resides, comes the ability to drive increased customer satisfaction, complete customer transactions and fulfill orders quickly and efficiently. While retailers often are asked to find and ship an item to customers, the task can consume an inordinate amount of time and resources with a lack of connectivity and transparency. By streamlining inventory management at the store, the Oracle Retail solution helps retailers to improve customer service and drive increased profitability. Mobile, Intuitive User Interface Reduces Training for Store Associates. Oracle Retail Store Inventory Operations Cloud Services are designed to drive increased efficiencies across the store inventory processes. The intuitive user interface can reduce training time, and increases productivity and return on employee investment at a faster rate than ever before. Faster Rollout, Lower Total Cost of Ownership. Oracle Retail Store Inventory Operations Cloud Services provides retailers the ability to deploy the store inventory solution faster, while taking advantage of future investment through frequent service updates. Store Inventory Operations Cloud Services plays a key role in Oracle Retail’s overall commitment to ensure a timely, common view of inventory across the retail network – an imperative for successful Omnichannel fulfillment. Next Steps: Learn More About Store Inventory Operations Cloud Services Demo Oracle Retail's Solutions at NRF 2009 - Request a Demo Today!      

Inventory Cloud Services Enable Retailers to Connect Customers with Items, Sizes, and Colors, No Matter Where the Item Resides To empower retailers to more easily track, access and manage inventory in...

Best Practices & Trends

Five Essentials to Enable Omnichannel Retailing: Are You Covered?

The rules of retail have changed. Customer expectations have grown exponentially over the last decade. Your competition is no longer just your sector rival, but everyone in retail, hospitality, entertainment, telco, finance, healthcare and beyond.  As pressures grow to create seamless experiences, retailers are finding themselves investing heavily to support customer journeys, loyalty, and the digitization of the store. New experiences mean a higher demand for customer service and hence more expectations. Retailers are expected to have answers for the questions that are yet to be asked and to innovate with every opportunity possible. However, the challenge with delivering connected Omnichannel programs is time. There is simply not enough time to investigate and plan for every shopping journey, therefore making it important for retailers to listen to what customers want and understand what will drive loyalty. We’ve created a short brief highlighting five essential omnichannel strategies for retailers to consider. Take a look at our highlights below: Are you covering all the bases? 1. OMNICHANNEL JOURNEYS: CUSTOMER AND ASSOCIATE EXPERIENCE: Focus on journey based development by using one customer journey to pay for the next In the age of social media, retailers should be rewarding their best brand ambassadors. These loyal customers should be recognized for being ‘vocal’ about products and services, and rewarded for taking the time to promote on various social channels. A positive experience means a higher share of voice, which will likely benefit your brand with more sales. (The Loyalty Divide: 43% of consumers are likely to share photos of retail experiences on social media)    2. MODERN RETAILING: SCIENCE AND OPTIMIZATION: Use historic learnings to drive optimal experiences Retail science enables retailers to predict projected lifetime value customers, anticipating the next purchase by providing offers that make sense for that individual. Feeding this purchase information at customer level back into the algorithms that drive planning execution will optimize distribution.   3. ONE VIEW OF THE CUSTOMER / 1.1 INDIVIDUALIZATION: Increase loyalty by driving promotions tied to individuals Today’s shoppers share personal interests to the extent where offers should be specific to them. Considering millennials and centennials broadcast their whole life on social media, shouldn’t retailers be targeting them with purely relevant offers? First-hand data, together with retail insights and customer engagement solutions should help to better understand what customers want, and when they want it.     4. DIGITIZATION OF THE STORE / BLURRING THE LINES AND CAPABILITIES: Take advantage of the flexibility and possibilities when blurring the lines of channels and order types Consumers want to be noticed as individuals. Today’s shoppers share personal interests to the extent where offers should be specific to them. Considering millennials and centennials broadcast their whole life on social media, shouldn’t retailers be targeting them with purely relevant offers? First-hand data, together with retail insights and customer engagement solutions should help to better understand what customers want, and when they want it. (The Loyalty Divide: 50% of consumers only sign up to loyalty programs that are worthwhile and relevant)   5. JUST IN TIME INTERVENTION / DATA-LED RETAIL: Let the data come to you. Your user interface should surface exceptions and calls to action Put the work in front of the people responsible for examining data. Advanced science technologies deliver data where analysts need to make a strong strategic case, and then they are going and digging for data to substantiate that case. Retailers should strive to get to the point where the data drives the strategic decision-making process inside the organization.     We invite you to explore the full 2-page brief: Essentials to Enable Omnichannel Retailing

The rules of retail have changed. Customer expectations have grown exponentially over the last decade. Your competition is no longer just your sector rival, but everyone in retail,...

Best Practices & Trends

Q&A: How Consumer Expectations and Technology are Shaping Today’s Retail Store

We sat down with Oracle Retail’s Senior Director of Product Management Strategy, Chris Sarne, to discuss how consumer expectations and technology are shaping today’s retail store. Omnichannel has changed over time and while we’re all aware of the different rule, few retailers are doing it right in terms of innovation and technology. Sarne highlighted how retailers need to keep in mind real-life customer journeys and the moment-to-moment needs of the associate in order to keep the store alive. In a recent blog, 3 Innovations in Merchandising Operations - Why You Must Innovate or Die Trying, Lara Livgard, Senior Director Oracle Retail, mentioned how retailers are under high pressure to keep the customer experience consistent, fun, and on brand, while making use of opportunities to innovate. When asking Sarne how exactly stores are different nowadays, he stressed the same pressures. Retailers need to learn the store is no longer just a place to do cash or credit-and-carry. Instead, it’s a place where a differentiating service is provided; whether that being events, gatherings and community activities, or simply empowering associates with the technology to become a physical embodiment of the brand. Some key talking points from our conversation include: Q:  How do you view the climate of today’s retail environment? The retail environment is constantly evolving. When we look at how retailers are disruptively investing in point-of-service (POS), we can tell the store is still very much alive. However, we’re not talking about year(s)-long POS implementations; quick deployments are the only projects that are getting a green-light by the board of directors; it’s not your father’s POS system project anymore.   Q: How is today’s retail store different than it was a few years ago? Stores are serving as distribution hubs to service customers in whatever way possible to fulfil an order. Associates are now asked to pick, pack, and ship orders; these are skills that most associates in the store don’t typically possess. They are used to selling. This requires operational enablement to ensure that in-store personnel are performing appropriately to meet the service levels expected by the retail customer. Using the store as a primary source of distribution is now a standard. This will not only help with meeting customer expectation, it provides the CFO with the comfort of knowing that inventory is being directed immediately to where the demand exists.   Q: In what ways is technology influencing the workforce? User experience is very important as it pertains to retail applications. Today’s in-store workforce is comprised of millennials and the centennials, many of whom favor hand-held devices. Usability is expected to be just a touch away. Implementing great technology will help to ensure store associates are enabled to service the customer in the most effective way, while providing a strong employment experience.   Q: How is real-time access to inventory impacting the in-store experience? Modern retailers need to serve their customers in a consistent manner across all potential touchpoints. Retailers need to ensure that data is being provided in real-time so transactions can occur in a manner that can support the customer service experience that people have come to expect. Customer, item, inventory, and order data must be served up to all relevant solutions that are servicing the customer or supporting the associate in that endeavor.   Q: You’ve spoken about Omnichannel as a journey, can you provide further insights? Retail used to be strictly a merchandise business. The competition was strictly who was selling the same merchandise as you. And while merchandise remains critically important, the experience of buying is playing a greater role every day. But just as retail customers want to buy something, they also want to experience something. It’s not always about the transaction, it’s about the moment; which is the intersection of the need, the item, and the offer.   For the full story read: How Consumer Expectations and Technology are Shaping Today’s Retail Store

We sat down with Oracle Retail’s Senior Director of Product Management Strategy, Chris Sarne, to discuss how consumer expectations and technology are shaping today’s retail store. Omnichannel has...

Cloud

How Much Can Your Retail Business Benefit From Cloud Planning?

In the face of deeper integration of technology in all aspects of the modern life, the role of physical stores within the retail industry has significantly changed. To capitalize upon the opportunities arising from digital disruption rather than being marginalized by them, many retailers are looking to the latest cloud platforms and SaaS applications for planning to connect their business and get closer to their customers. So let’s explore the changing role of the physical store and the benefits your retail operation could realize by moving to the cloud. Historically, the bricks and mortar store has been a literal ‘one-stop-shop’ for consumers looking to purchase certain brands and products, but now retailers are having to reassess the position of in-person experiences and commerce in the wider context of retail. Online shopping, connected experiences, omnichannel engagement and a consumer base with easier access to a wider choice of goods and pricing have placed a new importance on the in-store experience. Weighing up the benefits of in-store vs. online is not an either/or choice for retailers. The key lies in creating digital experiences that are connected to the in-store presence and converting declining footfalls into an increase in the acquisition of e-commerce customers. Today we are seeing retailers who have traditionally only had an online presence now opening physical stores, such is the need to have a physical presence to cater for the demands of the modern consumer. Likewise, other retailers are closing a number of physical stores while making significant gains in e-commerce and maintaining revenue projections and targets. There is a need to readdress the success criteria for physical stores, and tie that into the results seen online. Many brands that have closed stores have also seen their e-commerce performance suffer, so it is not simply a case of picking one over the other and scrutinizing their traffic and sales figures in isolation. Connecting Your Customers to Your Brand Having the digital infrastructure to connect with an increasingly discerning consumer base and build an accurate picture of your customers’ habits and behaviors will be crucial to creating experiences that are timely, appropriate, connected and deliver the desired outcome for retailer and consumer alike. Informing that system needs to be data from stores, e-commerce platforms, industry trends, and customer engagement across all channels. The more you can predict behavior—both in-store and online—the better you can manage stock levels and distribution and maximize the return on your physical footprint by tailoring the in-store experiences to what customers seek to gain from their visits. Developing a digital arm of your retail business to mitigate declining footfall is not the only benefit of technological transformation. There are a number of efficiency savings that come from moving operations to a SaaS model, as well as a greater opportunity for continual innovation through the integration of new and emerging technologies on a cloud platform. Quickly Calculate Your Potential Savings with Cloud Planning To help retailers understand how much they can save on their operating costs and the amount by which they can increase profits by moving to a SaaS model, Oracle Retail has developed a Cloud Planning Solutions benefits calculator. By entering a few simple details about your business, such as revenue figures, you can instantly see how much your business could save by moving your retail planning solution to the cloud. The benefits calculator will show you savings results in these areas: Product Availability Gross Margin Return Rates Inventory User Efficiency When you use the calculator, you will be provided a download of your own custom report based on the business information supplied and also gain access to further resources including videos, blogs, guidebooks, infographics and more on retail cloud planning. Calculate Your Savings From Moving to a Cloud Planning Solution Now

In the face of deeper integration of technology in all aspects of the modern life, the role of physical stores within the retail industry has significantly changed. To capitalize upon...

Cloud

Oracle Retail Earns Top Ranking in IHL Group’s Worldwide Retail SaaS Market Report

Oracle has been ranked as a top retail technology vendor in IHL’s Total Retail software-as-a-service (SaaS) Market report. This report dives into market trends, drivers and possible barriers. It also includes market position maps for categories such as business intelligence, merchandising, supply chain and store systems. The IHL report looked at the total SaaS market across 13 segments of Retail and Hospitality, including retail segments in food/grocery, drug stores, superstores/warehouse clubs, mass merchants, department stores, specialty category stores like Dick’s Sporting Goods, convenience/gas and hospitality. IHL notes that the retail market is continuing to grow its use of SaaS offerings (defined as software accessed outside a retailer’s location), mainly to support ”unified commerce”. In fact, IHL estimates that the worldwide SaaS market will grow 213% from $10.6B today to over $33.2B in 2022. The report proposes that one of the main influences on retailers’ move to embrace SaaS is because the pay-as-you-go approach, allows scalability and added flexibility when compared to on-premises offerings. Oracle Retail cloud customers indicate that another significant benefit is always operating with the most current solution, which ensures a continuous stream of new innovations and the elimination of upgrades, patches and other low-value work freeing up IT resources to focus on more strategic projects. IHL Report Findings: Expected 2017 Store IT spend growth – 4.7% 63% of retailers are looking for OMS as base for next POS Best performing retailers have Enterprise and Store IT spend growth that is 131% and 48% higher than average retailers Oracle Ranked on Top For: Retail E-Commerce SaaS Retail supply chain management SaaS Retail merchandising SaaS Enterprise accounting, finance, HR, ERP SaaS Notable Company Strengths: Large install base, with worldwide presence Strong financials Loyal customer case Strong R&D Comprehensive solution portfolio Notable Customers: Lowe’s Kroger Gap Nordstrom Neiman Marcus Apoteket Tesco Key Acquisitions: MICROS NetSuite Endeca 360Commerce ProfitLogic Retek PeopleSoft Learn more about Oracle Retail’s continued adoption of cloud solutions among its global retail community.

Oracle has been ranked as a top retail technology vendor in IHL’s Total Retail software-as-a-service (SaaS) Market report. This report dives into market trends, drivers and possible barriers. It also...

Retail Science

Accelerating Advanced Analytic Strategies with Retail Science

Research shows that strategic investments in retail sciences distinguish retail leaders in the industry. The RIS News / Gartner 2018 Retail Technology Study found that retail leaders - those exceeding industry average revenue growth in 2017 - were nearly twice as likely to identify advanced analytical tools as top priorities over the next 18 months. These leaders understand that retail sciences drive sales and loyalty through better understanding and engagement of their customers, and increase profits through improved inventory productivity and operational efficiencies.  The report also reviewed the status of key analytic technology initiatives - spanning everything from customer behavior and social analysis to price and inventory optimization - and found that the majority of retailers plan to add these capabilities over the next 24 months. With 77% of retailers growing slower than the industry average, accelerating retail science initiatives is critical. To better serve retailers on this journey, Oracle Retail recently launched the Retail Science Platform, which is a comprehensive portfolio of productized sciences and advanced analytical technologies. This offering represents a common platform for retail sciences across Planning, Supply Chain, Merchandising and Omnichannel processes, enabling retailers to rapidly scale their advanced analytic capabilities to the enterprise. What Makes Up Oracle Retail Sciences? The Oracle Retail Science Cloud Services offering combines AI, machine learning, and decision science with data captured from Oracle Retail SaaS applications and third-party data. The unique property of these self-learning applications is that they detect trends, learn from results, and increase their accuracy the more they are used, adding massive amounts of contextual data to get a clearer picture on what motivates outcomes.   Oracle Retail Sciences are comprised of the following Cloud Services: Oracle Retail Science Platform Cloud Service Oracle Retail Assortment & Space Optimization Cloud Service Oracle Retail Offer Optimization Cloud Service The Oracle Retail Science Platform Cloud Service provides retailers with a data science toolkit that supports specific use-cases in planning, operations and execution and can be expanded to support broader retail uses. This includes Advanced Clustering, Customer Segmentation, Demand Transference, and Customer Decision Tree capabilities, as well as the recently introduced Attribute Extraction / Binning, Affinity Analysis and Innovation Workbench capabilities. The Retail Science Platform also provides the foundation for pluggable science applications. The Oracle Retail Assortment & Space Optimization Cloud Service (Shelf-Space or Micro-Space Optimization) is used to determine the optimal selection and arrangement of products within available store fixtures by optimizing the product assortment and product placement on a virtual planogram.  The Oracle Retail Offer Optimization Cloud Service reflects the evolution of price optimization capabilities into a lifecycle optimization solution that recommends promotions, targeted offers and markdowns.  Benefits to Retailers Oracle Retail Science Cloud Services enables retailers to: Understand customer behaviors, from market basket affinities and customer segmentation to customer decision trees and demand transference, to drive customer-centricity and accuracy into planning and forecasting.  Engage customers with profitable outcomes through optimized promotions, markdowns, targeted offers and assortment strategies. Increase productivity of space and inventory, including customer returns, and maximize the opportunity of buy/pickup/return anywhere Omnichannel channels. Extend platform sciences, workflows and data structures and apply artificial intelligence, machine learning and decision sciences to drive innovation into every retail process.   Drive growth and insight - see how from Al Nahdi's successful implementation. Accelerating the Scale of Retail Sciences As retailers focus on technology-driven strategies to expand Omnichannel initiatives, increase customer engagement and optimize pricing over the next 18 months, it comes as no surprise that nearly 50% of retailers identify advanced analytic tools as a top strategy. The demands of retail science are as pervasive as the diversity of modern retail priorities. While the market offers point players and open technologies, neither is adequate as stability and flexibility are indispensable, and implementing both increases the barriers to scale.  Accelerating the scale of retail sciences across the retail enterprise is the impetus of the Oracle Retail Science Cloud Services. With a single view of retail as the foundation, a single point of interaction for retailers and a single science platform delivering pervasive value across the retail enterprise, retailers can accelerate their science-driven initiatives while driving down complexity and total cost of ownership when compared to any hybrid approach. With advanced analytic tools, such as Oracle Data Mining and Oracle R, packaged with rapid application development tools, including Oracle Application Express, retailers have the flexibility to drive new innovation into their business leveraging their own data science talent. With stability and flexibility in a single platform, the trade-offs the market offers are eliminated.   See Examples of Machine Learning and Retail Sciences at Work with MIT University

Research shows that strategic investments in retail sciences distinguish retail leaders in the industry. The RIS News / Gartner 2018 Retail Technology Studyfound that retail leaders - those exceeding...

Planning & Optimization

Winning the Retail Final Mile - Strategies to Balance Customer Satisfaction and Profitability

Online Returns and Inventory Shuffling A sale is not a sale until the customer decides to keep it. Return rates have continued to increase across all channels but online sales have a higher return rate (more than 3X). Despite the operational impacts, retailers are liberalizing return policies: free returns, return in-store, return without limits basically, to reduce friction. This strategy has significantly increased operational cost. An online return to the warehouse includes shipping costs and restocking fees, an online back-to-store return also includes restocking fees but brings another layer of inefficiency, requiring the associate to handle the item, run it back onto the floor, ultimately distracting him/her from more productive customer engagements. Markdown rates are also climbing exponentially, due to incongruent on-hand store inventory and delayed returns. Returns are generally made weeks after the initial purchase, which means reduced time to resell at full price, particularly for fashion retailers. The effectiveness of localized assortment strategies is degraded due to buy online, return in store (BORIS). The BORIS journey creates incongruent inventory and cluttered sales floors. Two Ways Retailers Absorb Cost Taking one-off markdowns to clear the stock Transferring items back to the online warehouse or to another store with the item in its assortment, a.k.a. inventory shuffling While the practice of inventory shuffling (using transfers) used to be deemed costly, some retailers have decided this treatment is more sales effective than creating markdowns. Neither approach is optimal. Trade Regions: Measuring Tradeoff Between Cx And Gross Margin A focus on total trade region (online and stores combined) when developing Omnichannel strategies and the role of the store is critical to long-term success. Retailers need to consider all roles, including fulfillment, pickup, return, traditional sales or a showroom concept. Advanced analysis on departments and items that have high conversion rates need to be conducted to save sales and create new revenue opportunities. Integrating business insights, like customer loyalty, with POS or order system data will more effectively drive planning by customer and fulfilment channel. With improved weekly sales, stock and intake accuracy, and in-season projections by channel, retailers will be able to increase gross margin, and reduce markdown liabilities. The ability to track the effects of cross-channel returns can help limit under- or over-stock situations, plan return percentages by channel and customer journey and plan cross-channel sales fulfilment paths. Retailers intrinsically are bound by the bottom line and shareholder interest. However, the retail environment has changed significantly while the mindset around profitability has not. Including a customer experience measure (such as NPS) in the planning process can also help retailers understand a more holistic view of their business and ensure the plan’s relevance to both gross margin and customer service (t-NPS). Winning The Last Mile of Retail Report In conjunction with Retail TouchPoints, this Last Mile Benchmark Report, based on a survey of 146 retail executives, provides a snapshot of the challenges retailers face in managing the last mile, including shipping and delivery; post-sale services such as setup and installation; keeping customers informed; and product returns. Access your copy below. Download the Retail TouchPoints Report for More Insights.

Online Returns and Inventory Shuffling A sale is not a sale until the customer decides to keep it. Return rates have continued to increase across all channels but online sales have a higher return rate...

Best Practices & Trends

Converting Omnichannel Traffic on a Local Level

Most retailers know that they must create tailored and memorable experiences across all channels in order to drive sales. However, understanding increasingly complex shopper journeys and effectively personalizing multiple interactions across a range of touch points still remains a challenge. In partnership with Retail TouchPoints, this special report, Converting Omnichannel Traffic at a Local Level, highlights how retailers are taking new approaches to delivering seamless Omnichannel experiences and converting traffic from online to brick-and-mortar and vice versa. Key excerpts from the report include: OMNICHANNEL DATA EMPOWERS LOCAL STORE ASSOCIATES TO DRIVE WEB SITE, STORE TRAFFIC Every good retail strategy begins with understanding who your customers are; and converting traffic in an Omnichannel environment relies heavily on having access to that customer intelligence and data. While digital channels allow retailers to obtain customer information easily (i.e. location, order history, browsing history), new developments have made it possible for retailers to capture customer intelligence at the physical store level as well. Some retailers are entrusting this store-level data to those that can make fruitful use of it — local store management. MOBILE APPS CHANGE CUSTOMER BEHAVIOR AND DRIVE IN-STORE PURCHASES Mobile apps have proven to be a positive driver of in-store traffic, with brands such as Starbucks and Walgreens leveraging geolocation to send push notifications that trigger users to come into stores when they are in the area. LEVERAGE ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY TO SPEED OMNICHANNEL CONVERSIONS In order to boost traffic and conversions in an omnichannel setting, retailers must make the experience as convenient as possible for the shopper. This includes streamlining the buy online, pick up in-store (BOPIS) experience, which both Zara and Walmart have implemented in unique ways. IN-STORE TECHNOLOGIES PINPOINT CONVERSION ISSUES So, you triggered an online shopper to come into your store; now what? How do you know anything about them? In some cases, there are additional barriers to conversion that may not be apparent without applying analytics. Technologies such as beacons and RFID tags play an important role in tracking conversions. In an exclusive Q&A section, Christopher Sarne, Sr. Director of Product Management Strategy for Oracle Retail, discusses the role of data in an Omnichannel setting, and new technologies that will help convert traffic in the future. Chris shares some strategies that are shaping today's modern retailers, including: Personalization and relevance drive awareness, interest and action. Having visibility to the fulfillment side of the offers — knowing what happens after a promotion, email or ad is received — is key to measuring campaign results and creating the next offer. A 360-degree view of previous interactions, regardless of touch point, gives retailers the ability to see when the individual socializes with your brand. Empowering associates by giving them on-the-spot access to everything they need to successfully close a transaction is becoming table stakes. This includes customer history and preferences, accurate inventory data, and the entire range of shipping and fulfillment options, all via mobile device or through wearable technology. Download this must read report to see how retailers are converting traffic.

Most retailers know that they must create tailored and memorable experiences across all channels in order to drive sales. However, understanding increasingly complex shopper journeys and...

Supply Chain

June Brand Matters - Importance of Capturing, Verifying and Sharing Product Data

Welcome to the June edition of Brand Matters where the Oracle Retail Brand Compliance team takes a look at the importance of capturing, verifying, analysing and sharing product data. 65% of consumers today consider transparency important in their choice of brands and products. With Retailers also investing billions in ecommerce, the expectation that this data is readily available and accurate is vital to building and protecting brand trust. However, simply capturing data from the supply chain and making it accessible is not a sustainable solution. IT solutions need to offer value at each layer to encourage adoption, standardisation and the continued maintenance of the data. Solutions that help the efficiency of building this data and testing the accuracy at each step to provide insights to all parties involved are proving to provide true operational benefits whilst fulfilling on brand promises. Expert Insight - Best Practices for Managing Supplier Third Party Certifications Julie Farrell | Senior Product Manager With the ever-growing challenge to deliver legally compliant products, sourced from reliable and accredited suppliers, while reducing audit duplication and costs, the requirement for suppliers to comply with recognized global standards is now often a fundamental requirement of leading retailers. This may include third party accreditations such as BRC or GFSI global standards; quality, safety and ethical audits; and facility certifications such as Kosher, organic and allergen-free status. Oracle Retail Brand Compliance Cloud Service offers tools to handle all aspects of supplier assessment, review and approval. For detailed capture of on-site inspections, the Brand Compliance ‘Audits and Visits’ functionality is ideal for scheduling multiple types of audits or visits against supplier site locations. Details of non-conformances can be captured for each audit or visit, allowing visibility of corrective actions and notification of completion by the supplier. Checklist capability is available, allowing auditors to provide comprehensive details of the entire audit, and drives the automatic creation of non-conformances where applicable. For third party accreditations and certificates, the Brand Compliance ‘Site References’ enables simple capture of all certificates and references that are held by the supplier site location, including confirmation of the certificate number, certifying body and expiry date. The certificate itself can be attached within the site record in Brand Compliance; alternatively, a URL link can take the retailer directly to the certificate held in the third party certifier’s system. Scheduled reports enable retailer technical managers to receive routine notification of certificates which are expired, or are due to expire, based on the expiry date held in the references table. In turn, the report output populates an alert to non-compliant suppliers, ensuring ongoing compliance. Product News - Maximising Data Value Jonathan Pickles | Director, Retail Strategy & Solutions Management With the growing number of product recalls and government regulations to adhere to, the data held within Brand Compliance has never been more critical or valuable. The ever-increasing consumer and regulatory data requirements and initiatives, such as Public Health England’s sugar reduction reforms, and the US FDA targets for sodium reduction among many others globally; require retailers and brand owners to be able to track and validate their progress towards these initiatives both internally and externally. The requirements for robust KPI reporting to track operational status of new product launches, range refreshments, and recalls are also equally critical to retailers and brand owners as they look to maximise investment and market agility. And these are just a few examples. To provide a robust and flexible solution for the future, Oracle Retail is investing in a next generation reporting platform for Brand Compliance. The new platform, based on the latest Oracle analytics technology, is developed with our customers and will offer a wide range of specific business use case driven report queries to enable retailers and brand owners to gain competitive advantage. Industry News - 90 Food Recalls in April - May of 2018 During April and May, there was a 6% increase in the total number of food recalls when compared to February and March. During this time, 90 food recalls were reported throughout the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, with the majority coming from the U.S. During April and May, 58% of the total number of recalls were made up of contaminations, with 10 more cases reported than in the last 2-month period. Food and Legislation Headline News Lawsuits Filed As Deadly E-Coli O157:H7 HUS Outbreak Linked To Romaine Lettuce Grows To 172 Sickened Across 32 States The USDA and The FDA Have Issued A Report On Food Recall Trends From 2004 and 2013, Which Finds That Recalls Have Increased Significantly During This Period FDA Extends Nutrition Facts Label Compliance Dates Russia Plots Launch Of Traffic Light Nutrition Labels Private Label Headline News Brands Still Matter In The US – But Rules Of Game Have Changed Albertsons Ramps Up Own Brand Expansion The Next Wave Of Private Label Shoprite Launches Internationally Inspired Food Brand Biedronka Expands goBIO Product Range Aldi leads the Way at PLMA World of Private Label Excellence Awards Lidl Italia and Penny Market Expand Private Label Ranges Oracle Retail Resources & Events: Infographic: Protect Brand and Build Trust Through Transparency July SIG User Group Meeting ‘Introduction to Brand Compliance Integration – Using the APIs to drive efficiency and interoperability, and maximise data value within your organisation’ - Contact Jonathan Pickles for details The Oracle Retail Industry Forum – Budapest – 25-26th September October SIG User Group Meeting ‘Supplier Compliance Best Practice in Brand Compliance – Learn from your peers’ - Contact Jonathan Pickles for details

Welcome to the June edition of Brand Matters where the Oracle Retail Brand Compliance team takes a look at the importance of capturing, verifying, analysing and sharing product data. 65% of consumers...

Best Practices & Trends

5 New Threats of Omnichannel: What is Eating Your Profits?

Retailers are providing greater convenience, easier checkout, and more ways to shop and return items ordered online. But opportunities for theft grow with each new form of payment and channel of operation. Last week a group of industry professionals came together at the Oracle Retail Loss Prevention User Group meeting in Irving, Texas. They met to discuss the challenges the retail industry is facing in light of Omnichannel retailing and shared best practices on how to proactively protect the bottom line. I caught up with my colleagues who participated in last week’s session, loss prevention experts Bill Warrick and Rand Fernandes, to discuss the retail industry highlights and learnings from this community’s conversations. Below we share with you some key threats that are amplified by modern retailing.  Shrinkage: The Never-ending Problem A persistent threat to retail profitability—shrinkage—continues to take a toll. The most recent National Retail Federation security survey shows that in 2016 (the last year for which totals are available), shrink cost the overall U.S. retail sector $48.9 billion. Nearly half the respondents to the NRF survey reported a year-on-year increase in shrink—at a time when two-thirds of respondents’ loss prevention (LP) budgets are flat or declining. And nearly a quarter—23.1%—of respondents reported shrink levels of 2% or more of total sales. The sources of inventory shrinkage reported were shoplifting/external theft (36.5% of average total losses), employee theft (30.9%), administrative and paperwork error (21.3%), vendor fraud or error (5.4%), and loss from unknown sources (6.8%). Loss Prevention in the Omnichannel Landscape The combination of the move to Omnichannel retailing and a reduced availability of funds for LP creates some new opportunities for fraud and loss. Based on conversations with our retail industry leaders last week, as well as data gathered by some of the Oracle systems they have in place, here are five areas of operation to which we believe retailers, especially loss prevention professionals, need to be paying especially close attention. Threat #1: Returns (Buy online/return to store) A traditional return is pretty easy to control. The item came out of store inventory, the transaction was recorded by the POS system, and a receipt was issued; when the customer returns it, you reverse the process and have a record all the way. With buy online/return to store, this poses a concern if the POS does not validate the online transaction details when a customer returns the item to a physical location. For example, the store associate can say, oh, that’s my size, I’ll take it. The item may not even appear in that store’s inventory, which means—or can mean—that there’s no way to track it. According to the NRF security survey, the average instance of return fraud was $1,766.27 with a median of $171. In apparel, the average instance of return fraud—$968.81—was practically as high as shoplifting ($974.37). Threat #2: Sweethearting Sweethearting is what happens when an associate gives an extra discount to a friend (or just voids the transaction and gives the item away). Not all associates are standing behind a counter, physically handling goods. Some of them work in call centers. Some work as online customer service reps. Sweethearting may also be accomplished via a corrupt employee processing a shipment to their own residence or to that of an accomplice. The employee “stuffs” the shipment with high dollar items not included in the sale. Threat #3: Discount Stacking This is a variant of sweethearting. One by-product of Omnichannel marketing is the creation of multiple promotions around a given item. Employees are applying multiple discounts to the same transaction for a favorite customer. Employees who process Omnichannel orders are often experts in every possible discount and promotion available – some of which should have been discontinued, others that should not be combined but can be via manager override, others which may be discretionary, etc. This expertise combined with the anonymity of Omnichannel can result in employees manipulating promotional opportunities, resulting in large quantities of negative margin transactions. Threat #4: Gift Cards Online transactions used as a vehicle to mask physical location fraud, primarily via use of gift cards fraudulently issued at the store via fake refunds and/or price adjustments, can easily fly under the radar. Dishonest associates are known to attempt to mask their use of these fraudulently acquired gift cards by using them online, where their activity is anonymous to managers and coworkers who would normally be suspicious of these types of employee gift card purchases. Threat #5: Staff Undertraining As systems and procedures change on the road to Omnichannel, it is vital that the staff be trained on how to handle situations that used not to exist. While it’s true that dishonest associates are often the culprit in a shrinkage situation (see above), it’s also true that the honest ones are your first line of defense. If they don’t know what’s going on, they can’t help you. And if you don’t know what’s going on, you can’t help yourself. Perhaps the most troubling statistic in the NRF security survey is the increase in shrink due to administrative and paperwork errors, up 4.5 percentage points in a year. Measure Twice, Cut Once How do we recommend that you solve the threats? Oracle Retail offers solutions that help retailers quickly identify and investigate fraudulent activities across store and online transactions. With embedded science, retailers can detect new data anomalies and alert loss prevention analysts to potential risks and drive quick resolution by providing the transactional insight needed to investigate.       Omnichannel retailing is an exercise in inventory control and logistics—operating an entire retail enterprise as though it were one giant store. For that to work, there must be one source of the truth, and it needs to be timely. Inventory: how much of what do we have, right this minute? Logistics: on an item-by-item basis, where is it, and what will it cost me in time and money to get it where it needs to be?                                                                                      Clearly, this requires automation; there need to be systems that can keep track of the constituent parts of the giant store. The systems need to be capable of handling a great deal of complexity, they need to deliver useful information, and they need to talk to each other. To solve the returns problem described above, the loss prevention solution, the POS system, online ordering, and inventory need to share information. Again, useful information: what is this, how do I account for it, and where does it go from here? To Continue the Conversation At Oracle, we’re working very hard on this, particularly the talking-to-each-other part. Our overall goal is to make Omnichannel retailing as simple, as profitable—and as pilfer-proof—as it can be. If you’d like more information, or to discuss how what we do might fit in with your own loss prevention concerns, please email us: oneretailvoice_ww@oracle.com. You May Also be Interested in: Oracle Empowers Retailers to Detect Omnichannel Theft with Embedded Science The Evolution of Omnichannel: This is No Longer Your Father’s POS Project

Retailers are providing greater convenience, easier checkout, and more ways to shop and return items ordered online. But opportunities for theft grow with each new form of payment and channel of...

Cloud

Gartner 2018 Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce

Digital commerce platform choice has grown in complexity due to increased vendor choice and breadth of offerings, pricing model complexity and emerging managed service offerings. In their latest report, the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce, Gartner evaluates 18 vendors of digital commerce platforms to assist application leaders supporting digital commerce. Gartner outlined some eye-opening assumptions regarding the future of digital commerce: By 2020, smart personalization engines used to recognize customer intent will enable digital businesses to increase their profits by up to 15%. By 2020, more than 50% of online sellers will either list their products on marketplaces or sell third party products on their core commerce sites. By 2020, 25% of leading online sellers will have enabled first-generation "commerce that comes to you" capabilities. By 2022, at least 5% of digital commerce orders will be predicted and initiated by AI. By 2022, 10% of the organizations running digital commerce will build that into a platform business to transform into digital businesses, and 60% of those will use an open ecosystem to scale the growth. Today's modern retailers are looking to rationalize and simplify their IT environments. By removing the burden of infrastructure, custom development and costly upgrades, retailers can focus exclusively on optimizing and innovating their customer experience. See for yourself how the right digital commerce technology and CX strategy can transform your retail enterprise through innovation and AI-driven technology to help increase your profits toward 15% by 2020. View the full report to learn more. This graphic was published by Gartner, Inc. as part of a larger research document and should be evaluated in the context of the entire document. The Gartner document is available upon request from Oracle. Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

Digital commerce platform choice has grown in complexity due to increased vendor choice and breadth of offerings, pricing model complexity and emerging managed service offerings. In their...

Best Practices & Trends

Retailers Calculate Savings With Cloud Planning ROI Tool

Retailers are having to embrace digital to find new ways of understanding and reaching their customers to create experiences—both online and in-store—that meet ever-increasing expectations and foster brand loyalty. Consumers are seeing innovation today in malls and department stores in many ways. Some examples are life-size avatars of shoppers that allow them to visualize how garments will look on them; reserve online and try on in store; personalized shopping assistants helping you based on your online behavior; geo-fencing and mobile alerts when near stores that you've browsed online; AI and chatbots, and much more. These are just examples of what customers can see. If retailers and brands are to successfully bridge the gap between the digital and physical worlds of shopper behaviors, they need to be equipped to create the end-to-end view of their customers, connect their online and in-store environments with a digital thread, and ultimately develop greater loyalty. Crucial to delivering these experiences in a timely, cost effective and sustainable way is up-to-date planning and supply chain operations. And this needs to be informed by a holistic and detailed picture of the whole business. Connecting your planning with real-time insights detailing what customers want, when they want it and where they'd like to have it is possible, thanks to modern retail cloud planning solutions.   Benefits Cloud Planning Brings To Retailers While embracing digital may seem necessary to survival, it is not simply an exercise in self-preservation. There are significant cost savings to be made and opportunities unlocked for increased profits and customer experiences. Using this benefits ROI calculator tool can help you to visualize the monetary savings of moving your planning solutions to the cloud. By bringing a more detailed view of sales histories, weekly reporting and clearer forecasts, your planning accuracy will vastly improve. Accruing this granular level of detail and combining it with a greater understanding of customer habits enables bottom-up item planning to reconcile with top-down financial plans to prevent overstocks and reduce markdowns. Aligning weekly receipt flow planning and promotional activity with the strategic goals broken down across categories can yield an increased return on inventory investment. These all combine to support a much more proactive approach to retail management, resulting in fewer lost sales, excessive markdowns and costly exit strategies, while simplifying overall business processes through embedded science and optimization throughout the solutions. With a cloud continuous delivery model, retailers benefit from the latest application and platform enhancements, allowing the agility to adopt the latest innovations to support market and business changes. So whatever industry trends emerge, the configuration options tailored to retail businesses give the opportunity to shift strategies as needed. By moving to a SaaS model, the large initial capital investments can be moved to operational expense, freeing up budget to be invested in growth and innovation. How does this equate to your business? Quickly Calculate Your Business Savings Simply enter a few details into the retail planning benefits calculator to see how much your business could save by moving your retail planning solution to the cloud. The Oracle Retail Planning Cloud Solutions benefit calculator allows you to drill down to see possible: Improved Product Availability Impact of Granular Planning on Gross Margin Accounting for Return Rates Reduced Inventory Carrying Cost Impact of Increased User Efficiency In addition to the savings shown in the benefits calculator, you can download your own custom report and access further resources specific to the retail industry including videos, blogs, retailer successes, guidebooks, infographics and more. Calculate Your Savings Now

Retailers are having to embrace digital to find new ways of understanding and reaching their customers to create experiences—both online and in-store—that meet ever-increasing expectations and foster...

Best Practices & Trends

The Evolution of Omnichannel: This is No Longer Your Father’s POS Project

Patience for the dreaded multi-year point-of-service (POS) project is limited these days. Retailers are demanding quick return on even the most foundational technology project. In the most dynamic of consumer environments, brands need solutions with built-in best practices to gain agility and quick deployment. While a very important piece of the omnichannel puzzle, the POS project has evolved into an engagement that is meant to meld together the digital and in-store experience. Typically, a legacy POS is being replaced because of the closed nature of the prior generations’ systems. Today’s modern point-of-service solutions have an open architecture allowing critical data including inventory, pricing, promotion, customer and order information to flow freely through the enterprise. Offerings have become feature-rich in supporting the typical cash and credit and carry transactions as well as the store operational process. Forward thinking solutions must provide for out-of-the-box sophisticated customer shopping journeys that can be implemented in weeks, not years. The Clock is Ticking With all this technology available, retailers are still struggling to deliver seamless, connected shopping experiences. But the problem is bigger than the omnichannel programs themselves. Just prioritizing what needs to be delivered is a massive challenge, because there is simply not enough time to do everything your customers desire. Every retailer is at a different place in their omnichannel evolution, but regardless of whether a retailer is on the bleeding edge or a laggard, the pace of change has by far outweighed nearly every retailer’s ability to respond.  And where money used to be the number one challenge, time has now surpassed it to become the biggest barrier to success.   The Impetus for Change The impetus for POS change typically falls into the following categories: Increased Consumer Demands: Shoppers expect premium experiences but don’t want to pay for them. Nearly all shoppers in the US expect things like free shipping and store inventory online. According to research, 78% of those surveyed rank free shipping as important to their shopping experience (Source: Retail in 4 Dimensions). In addition, consumer experiences from other service industries, like banking and hospitality, are raising the bar in retail, creating additional pressures to deliver an exceptional customer experience. Lack of Flexibility with Disparate Systems: To keep up with the changing market, retailers are acquiring and bolting-on solutions atop or along-side of legacy POS systems to keep pace shopper demands, which accelerates omnichannel capabilities in the short term, but often leaves longer-term problems by reducing flexibility going forward. Retail leaders know the long-term solution is a full system re-platform. Rising Tech Costs due to Expensive Integrations: The result of cobbling together a variety of legacy systems is leading to broken experiences and expensive integrations. Because of these integrations, technology costs for digital commerce have doubled in the last 5 years. Growth is Digital: Even though retailers know bridging together store and digital experiences are critical, only 31% have technology in place to support the real-time inventory visibility need omnichannel shopping demands (Source: 2018 RIS Retail Technology Study). Consumers love features like buy online pick up in store, or viewing a store’s product inventory online before visiting. However, when inventory is not accurate and optimized, it leads to frustrating customer experiences and lost sales – and very often, it’s enough to lose a customer for good, in a time where customer acquisition costs are at an all-time high.   Omnichannel is a Journey not a Destination Retailers that build out their own omnichannel suites face the challenges of selecting all the components themselves, assuming the cost of the licenses and integration, and managing/funding the manpower needed for all the ongoing work that goes into making the solutions synch up and perform tasks seamlessly. And in this scenario, one or more products within the cobbled-together suite might roll out new functionality while other products may not, so the pieces no longer work well together. The result is a lengthy, labor-intensive, and costly integration. With Oracle’s pre-integrated omnichannel suite—which includes Order Management, Order Broker, Customer Engagement, and Xstore—we’ve addressed the issue of solution components not working together. We’ve built in the integration and made sure our products are synched up. We’ve eliminated the pain retailers are experiencing when building their own suites, taken care of the integration issues, and orchestrated the synchronization of all the pieces together in a package that delivers the ultimate omnichannel experience.  Retailers can focus on configuring the system to meet their business needs/rules, instead of the building of the entire back-end integration. They’re not putting it all together from the ground up. We offer retailers a faster, less painful, less expensive solution for achieving their omnichannel goals. To learn more about how you can exceed your customers shopping experiences, watch this 2-minute demonstration: Personalization of the Endless Aisle with Oracle Retail Omnichannel Suite

Patience for the dreaded multi-year point-of-service (POS) project is limited these days. Retailers are demanding quick return on even the most foundational technology project. In the most dynamic of...

Best Practices & Trends

3 Innovations in Merchandising Operations - Why You Must Innovate or Die Trying

It is striking to me just how much the retail industry is currently under pressure. I think about the news of Nine West filing for bankruptcy – a large contributor to my high school shoe collection – and I see the financial strain that retailers are under right now, more than ever before. Retailers are under high pressure to keep the customer experience consistent, fun and on brand, wherever they may be interacting. They are expected to react much faster, not just for delivery, but with bringing new items to market. I’d like to think this tension is giving retailers a real opportunity though to take time and innovate. In IBM’s Experience Revolution Study, it was clear that what retail executives think is driving customers versus what customers actually think is in many cases not aligned. Retailers tend to rank control and self-service higher than customers, whose top priority is speed, ease and convenience. There is also a significant gap between what retailers think and what consumers are thinking in Oracle Retail’s “Retail 2018: The Loyalty Divide” research study that was just released. The study found, for example, that 53% of retailers think consumers are more loyal these days, when only 35% of consumers agreed. Gary Vaynerchuk, who spoke at our Oracle Retail Industry event years back, says that you either “innovate or die.” In analyzing the Toys ‘R’ Us bankruptcy, he made a good point that Toys ‘R’ Us missed a huge opportunity to innovate – especially since they had already captured the imagination of kids and even adults. As a toy store, they could've built playgrounds or had countless child-focused interactive experiences in their stores, but it was a missed opportunity that unfortunately contributed to their closing. In terms of innovation, Oracle Retail’s core Merchandising solution, with embedded business analytics and adaptive intelligence, is offering a way for retailers to modernize and deliver on customers’ increased demands. We are taking retailers on a journey to the cloud and building innovation into our solution to keep up with the market’s changes. Here are a few ways that we have evolved our core merchandise operations management suite to support the needs of the modern retailer. Top 3 Merchandising Innovations #1 Voice and Collaboration RIS mentions that by 2020, 50% of all searches will be done by voice alone. We've embedded the ability to have voice within our merchandising platform. Similarly, we are embedding cross company collaboration tools like Slack as well. For example, you can capture a conversation about a delayed PO shipment, save it to a particular PO, and then access that data from a tablet or mobile device, across the company, anywhere. Now that’s modern, mobile retailing. #2 Retail Home Now available with the use of Oracle Retail Insights or Retail Science, is the newly launched Retail Home. Retail Home is a highly configurable entry portal to our suite of solutions and gives you a tile view of meaningful KPIs, specific to a user’s role. With Retail Insights, there are over 4,000 metrics integrated into Retail Home out of the box. It also gives you access to the applications right from the dashboard so that you can understand the issue and take action as efficiently as possible. Using Retail Home as your overall entry point, you can dive into the operational insights dashboards within the merchandising solution. We developed these point of view dashboards collaboratively with our customer community to make sure each dashboard is relevant and tailored to user roles like buyer, inventory controller, inventory analyst, data steward and invoice match clerk. More than just being informative, each dashboard gives you the ability to take immediate action from the dashboard itself. Buyers can perform common tasks like approving a submitted purchase order or cancelling an item, all without even having to launch into the merchandising application. Retail Home is the common access point tying together operational and analytical data and connecting it to action. In addition, relevant unstructured data, such as social sentiment, can be loaded into Retail Insights and used to influence your assortment decisions. With Retail Home, users have a relevant, personalized place to go that brings together all types of insights in a single place. #3 Retail Reference Library & Retail Learning Subscription The Retail Reference Library helps cut down on modifications and gives retailers an innovative place to start their implementation. Instead of spending time and money to build out to-be processes, you can easily leverage the Retail Reference Model, which contains over 800 best practice processes, across all Oracle Retail products. The Retail Reference Architecture provides detailed deployment models and integration flows, while the Retail Semantic Glossary makes sure that your team has a common language and understanding. The Retail Learning Subscription (RLS) provides access to educational content 24/7 in smaller video snippets, for better user engagement. You don't have to wait for a class to be offered, since this self-paced instruction is available as a subscription and can be accessed at any time. We are continually adding new videos to the RLS to keep it up-to-date and to provide content in a more agile way.  As we continue to evolve our merchandising suite to support retailers, our customer base also continues to grow. A few of our retail customers that continue to innovate with us on the latest Oracle Retail Merchandising release include Dubai Duty Free, Lululemon and The GAP. Resources News Article: Retail Sector Confronts IT Innovate or Die Challenge Oracle Industry Connect Presentation – Merchandising Roadmap Single View of Inventory Demo Video from OIC Take a Quick Tour of the Merchandising Buyer Dashboard

It is striking to me just how much the retail industry is currently under pressure. I think about the news of Nine West filing for bankruptcy – a large contributor to my high school shoe collection –...

Cloud

Oracle Empowers Retailers to Detect Omnichannel Theft with Embedded Science

New Innovations in Oracle Retail XBRi Cloud Service Reveal New Sources of Omnichannel Risk and Provides Investigators with Automated Alerts and Actionable Insights Today Oracle announced enhancements to Oracle Retail XBRi Loss Prevention Cloud Service that help retailers quickly identify and investigate fraudulent activities across store and online transactions. With embedded science, Oracle Retail XBRi can detect new data anomalies and alert loss prevention analysts to potential risks and drive quick resolution by providing the transactional insight needed to investigate. The Oracle Retail XBRi enhancements also include embedded science developed over 20 years of research and development in retail including more than 4,000 reporting metrics and attributes representing experiences and best practices of global retailers. “The opportunity for retail theft grows as retailers reach to meet customer expectations and struggle to manage individual channels of engagement,” said Jeff Warren, vice president, Oracle Retail. “The updates to Oracle Retail XBRi provide customers with the tools to protect their margins and is another example of the continued value we aim to deliver through cloud services.” “This new generation of cloud services accelerates the path to ROI within months of deployment,” said Chris Sarne, senior director of omnichannel strategy, Oracle Retail.  “The result is a smart, holistic approach to preventing fraud and saving money that scales to grow with your business.” Oracle Retail XBRi Loss Prevention Cloud Service provides the retail community with: Agility, Security and a Path to Lower Total Cost of Ownership. One of the goals of using embedded science is to clarify and lower the total cost of installation, set up, and maintenance of solutions by taking advantage of iterative cloud updates. The cloud-based solution offers even greater precision, building on existing knowledge and adding new features and analytics automatically. Prompt Investigation. Upon deployment, the solution immediately identifies exceptions and escalates them to analysts and investigators without requiring manual intervention to initiate the process. Comprehensive Discovery. The cloud service employs embedded science to quickly surface anomalous behavior and potential cases. With new insight to emerging fraudulent activities comes opportunities to help store managers train their associates to detect and avoid potential loss before it happens. Intuitive Configuration. The Oracle Retail XBRi interface allows analysts to easily configure reports that reflect the unique needs of omnichannel brands without incurring additional costs or relying on IT specialists. POS Integration that Streamlines Investigation.  A heightened degree of integration between Oracle Retail XBRi Cloud Service and Oracle Retail Xstore Point-of-Service further enhances the ability of XBRi’s embedded science to pinpoint new sources of risk and deliver purpose-build reports that streamline and support investigative activities while leveraging the best practices built into the Oracle Retail portfolio. Oracle will continue to add new knowledge from the Oracle Retail customer community to combat new patterns of fraud that emerge in the complex omnichannel retail environment. To join our retail community, please contact us.  

New Innovations in Oracle Retail XBRi Cloud Service Reveal New Sources of Omnichannel Risk and Provides Investigators with Automated Alerts and Actionable Insights Today Oracle announced enhancements...

Best Practices & Trends

GDPR Snuck Up on You? You’re Not Alone

To keep up with a worldwide pattern of increasing consumer privacy regulation, retailers need a global—and agile—approach to compliance. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) went into effect May 25, 2018, and as reported by the Wall Street Journal, only 12% of companies surveyed noted they are completely compliant and 57% reported it will take them over 6 months to be ready for GDPR. As retailers scramble to gain compliance, here are some things to keep top of mind. Consumer data privacy is a growing global concern. As the need for greater protection increases, regions worldwide are developing their own regulations — all of which global retailers must understand and address before selling to consumers. As new personal data privacy rules are enforced throughout the European Union, the changes not only effect European companies, but any retailer doing business, in person or online, with a citizen residing in any EU nation.  The challenge is complex, as unique as the national identification and address fields in each country, and subject to ever-changing rules. Retail data systems must identify and treat appropriately every data point including: a customer’s full name, home address, email address, national identification number (Social Security number, for example), passport number, IP address, vehicle registration plate number, driver’s license number, face, fingerprints, or handwriting, credit card numbers, digital identity, date of birth, birthplace, genetic information, telephone number, and login name, screen name, nickname, or handle. It is a challenge that will be repeated as regions worldwide develop new laws to protect consumer data privacy. Like the EU, governments around the world are addressing this issue by updating and adopting new privacy regulations addressing all forms of consumer data known as PII (personally identifiable information). How Countries Protect Consumers Today Jurisdictions in which detailed requirements about handling this sort of data have been enacted include: Australia. The Privacy Act of 1988 sets up a broad, principles-based regulatory model in which “personal information” includes information or an opinion, whether true or not, and whether recorded in a material form or not, about an individual whose identity is apparent, or can reasonably be ascertained, from the information or opinion. California. In 2003, California established the California Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), which was the first law in the U.S. to require operators of commercial websites, including mobile apps, to conspicuously post a privacy policy if they collect PII from Californians. Canada. The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act governs how private sector organizations collect, use, and disclose personal information in the course of commercial business. The act was partially intended to reassure the European Union that Canadian law was adequate to protect the privacy of European citizens. Massachusetts. Massachusetts regulations 201 CMR 17.00, which went into effect in March 2010, require that any companies or persons who store or use personal information about a Massachusetts resident develop a written, regularly audited plan to protect personal information. Switzerland. The Federal Act on Data Protection of 19 June 1992 prohibits virtually any processing of personal data which is not expressly authorized by the data subjects. Additionally, any person may ask in writing that the company managing the data correct or delete any personal data. Consumers Want Greater Control Over Their Own Data Virtually all PII regulations address to some degree the consumer’s right to know, and have a say in, what components of their personal data are retained, and by whom. At the same time that regulation is growing, consumers, somewhat paradoxically, say they increasingly prefer the kind of service that can only be provided by a retailer who knows them. Much depends on the source of the data. An Oracle-sponsored market research study, Retail in 4 Dimensions: Understanding Consumer Behavior in an Age of Relativity, showed that 50% of retailers would be attracted to personalized offers based on loyalty data, purchase data, and real-time browsing data. Nearly a third, however—29%—said they would find offers based on social media data “creepy.” The solution? Make an offer in return for personal data, and be a careful steward of it once you have it. Cloud Applications Help Retailers to Address Security Requirements Worldwide Cloud applications can help retailers to stay on track and comply with unique and ever-changing regulations across global markets. In solutions like the Oracle Retail Omnichannel suite, the data manager—the entity responsible for data storage, security, and compliance—can be updated and revised to address the requirements of obtaining consumer information and completing transactions in each market. Oracle is deeply involved in all aspects of information technology. Our knowledge of and commitment to data security is extremely strong. As we help our customers move to the cloud, they gain an improved ability to respond quickly to changing market demands; including changes in government regulations affecting consumer data privacy. Our retail customers can innovate faster by focusing on their businesses while Oracle focuses on delivering best-in-class hardware and software solutions. Contact Oracle Retail to learn more about Oracle systems, services, and GDPR compliance: oneretailvoice_ww@oracle.com You may also be interested in: Earning the Right to be Remembered: Reconciling Data Privacy Regulations and Consumer Expectations GDPR: How Oracle Retail Can Help

To keep up with a worldwide pattern of increasing consumer privacy regulation, retailers need a global—and agile—approach to compliance. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) went into...

Best Practices & Trends

Earning the Right to be Remembered: Reconciling Data Privacy Regulations and Consumer Expectations

As global privacy regulations become more stringent, so does consumers’ desire for highly personalized service; by offering choice and careful stewardship, retailers can provide both. For the past twenty years, jurisdictions around the world have been enacting regulations governing the collection and use of PII (personally identifiable information) data. Much of the discussion of these regulations centers around what is called “the right to be forgotten.” While there is no universal definition for this right, in general it refers to the idea that personal information should not be collected or disseminated without the owner’s permission. For about the same period of time, retailers have been collecting as much personal data about consumers as possible, in order to provide them with a smooth, seamless, and personalized customer experience. At first glance, it appears that there’s a large, serious conflict looming between personal privacy on the one hand and retailers’ strategies for the 21st century on the other. However, none of the regulations in place or being discussed forbid retailers to obtain and use personal consumer data. They just forbid them to do it without permission: you have to ask. A recent international survey, in fact, shows that retailers, when they handle this issue well, can easily obtain the consumer PII data they need to drive their CRM, loyalty, and promotion programs. By using it effectively, that can earn the right to be remembered—and well thought of—by their customers. Overwhelmingly, Consumers Say “Yes” When Asked In July of 2017, Oracle sponsored a survey of 15,000 consumers across four key global markets: Europe and the Mediterranean, North America, Latin America, and Asia/Pacific. This research was conducted by Morar HPI, an independent research and creative consultancy. Overall, the survey found that in today’s fast-paced world, a bespoke and balanced retail experience is increasingly more attractive to consumers. Customers from all over the world indicated a high comfort level with having their loyalty data, purchase history, and brand-relevant interactions accessed in pursuit of a personalized experience that anticipates their needs. However, more intimate data around people’s personal lives, social media networks, and browsing history are still deemed private, no-go areas. Here are a few highlights from the global consumer survey: 52 percent of consumers say they want to receive personalized offers based on data from their store loyalty accounts; 65 percent say personalized offers and promotions are “most important” to them in their shopping experiences; 87 percent would “mostly” give up their personal email addresses in exchange for offers (with a third saying they would “always” be willing to do this); and Half of all consumers want real-time offers based on what they are browsing at the moment. However, Maintaining Data Security is Key In other words, the data suggests that as long as you as a retailer are a careful steward of the data and provide value in return for it, you don’t really have to worry about the customer opting out of providing personal information—as long as you ask first and take no for an answer. A more pressing concern, however, is the danger of a data breach. The major worldwide data privacy regulations, such as the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, focus not merely on privacy and permission but also on data security. Cloud services providers such as Oracle help retailers address these requirements by housing PII data and providing security. All the layers of the system—applications, middleware, the database environment, physical transport—are protected by Oracle Cloud security and benefit from upgrades as regulations change and new threats appear. The ability of a cloud services provider to focus on security frees retail IT teams to focus on its core business opportunities. The key to earning the right to be remembered is empowering the customer by giving them access to and control over all relevant personal data. The customer is king, and Oracle’s goal is to provide the security and flexibility to allow him or her to say yes. For more information If you would like to know more about Oracle’s cloud-based retail solutions and how they can help consumers earn the right to be remembered, please contact us. You may also be interested in:  European Privacy Requirements: Considerations for Retailers

As global privacy regulations become more stringent, so does consumers’ desire for highly personalized service; by offering choice and careful stewardship, retailers can provide both. For the past...

Best Practices & Trends

Retail Reference Library: Best Practices from Decades of Retail Experiences

Accelerating your implementation and maximizing the value you derive from your retail systems is something we at Oracle Retail are heavily invested in. Over the past 10 years we have dedicated significant time and resources into building the Oracle Retail Reference Library (RRL): A tool that is free to our customers and System Integrator partners, is based on nearly 6,000 implementations across 95+ countries, and includes input from the top 20 grocers, top 10 fashion retailers, and top 10 hardlines retailers. It’s continuously updated based on new implementation information that we and our 12,500 business partners gather. It grants customers access to 787 detailed process workflows and answers the “big picture” questions of how systems and business units fit together, for the benefit of both executives and architects. On January 31, we released the latest edition of the RRL: version 16.0. This marks the 10th year that we’ve been supporting our retail community with process flows, architecture diagrams, and semantic terms representing the latest release of Oracle Retail applications. And with an evolving portfolio of application best practices supporting a SaaS or on-premises configuration, the RRL has experienced double-digit growth with every major annual release, continuing to build on the Oracle Retail omnichannel vision. Here are some of the benefits our customers are realizing with this unique resource: John Lewis, a leading fashion, home, and technology department store retailer in the UK, found the RRL invaluable in simplifying documentation, articulating business processes, and challenging potential modifications while implementing Oracle Retail merchandising, stores, and supply chain solutions.   charming charlie, a women’s jewelry and accessories retailer in the US, utilized the RRL to quickly become socialized on their Oracle applications, and also to quickly get testers online with an understanding of what they were testing and the results they should get. And charming charlie’s 3rd party implementation team used it to tie all deliverables together, all the way from the ‘as is’ to the ‘to be’ process during testing. Watch the on-demand webcast "charming charlie: Building a Foundation for Growth and Innovation with Oracle Merchandising" to hear first-hand from both the retailer and partner OLR on the value of the RRL or download the guidebook today. Our customers have shared with us the many benefits of the RRL as a starting point during an implementation: It simplifies the documentation process It can be used as a guide during high-level design workshops It helps identify and align ‘to-be’ business processes It can challenge potential modifications, allowing them to focus on solutions which have real business benefits It can reduce documentation time by mapping the RRL to existing business process models It provides organized content enabling the adoption of best business practices that both business and technical teams find very valuable The RRL’s collection of detailed implementation information for our partners and customers is available via My Oracle Support. This invaluable tool brings together three components that are vital to a successful implementation or expansion of Oracle applications: The Retail Reference Model (RRM): A comprehensive collection of established, industry-leading business processes to guide retailers and implementers on the use of Oracle applications. It’s based on the experience that Oracle Retail and our partners have gained in working with a broad range of customers. The Retail Reference Architecture (RRA): A collection of artifacts that describe the different views of Oracle Retail’s solution offerings, including contextual models, integration models, and deployment models. It helps implementers understand how enterprise systems fit together. The Retail Semantic Glossary (RSG): A single source for defining terms, metrics, and measures used by retailers. Users search for terms to understand their definition, calculation, synonyms, and context; thus helping to align departments and provide consistency. During our 30-plus years of working hand-in-hand with global customers on implementations, and from our ecosystem of business partners, we’ve learned of the challenges that arise, such as: large, potentially costly modifications identified with an implementation approach; limited business documentation and resources; as well as the need for assistance with determining data model, architecture, and integration requirements. The RRL was developed to mitigate such issues, which can impede a successful and timely implementation. We’ve harnessed the power of all of this combined knowledge for the benefit of our customers. Here are the highlights of the latest RRL release (16.0): In the RRM, new process flows for: Planning and Optimization Cloud Service solutions (MFP, AP), Xstore (Lane Checkout), Open Commerce Platform, and Order Management System Cloud Service​ In the RRA, a new omnichannel domain In the RSG, new terms supporting the following applications: Order Broker, Retail Extension Module, and Retail Merchandising System For a complete list of updates, current customers may refer to the RRL V16 Release Notes accessible in the RRL V16 library which is downloadable from My Oracle Support (https://support.oracle.com) using document ID 2221510.1. Also, for a brief overview of the RRL or access to any released RRL version, please visit the Retail Reference Information Center using Oracle Knowledge Base ID# 2058843.2. More on the Retail Reference Library  

Accelerating your implementation and maximizing the value you derive from your retail systems is something we at Oracle Retail are heavily invested in. Over the past 10 years we have...

Best Practices & Trends

Protecting Brands From Counterfeit Through Transparency

We know that consumers continue to rank trust very highly when it comes to important qualities in a brand. They want to trust that a retailer is providing an authentic quality product and that they are transparent in terms of the sourcing, manufacturing and labeling of that item. In Oracle Retail’s consumer Retail 4D survey report, it’s clear that consumers find product transparency important. In the Specialty and Fashion Retail Category - 60% of consumers find openness about product details, including where materials are sourced important, being most important to those with families (64%). In the Grocery/Pharmacy/Discount Retail Category - 65% of consumers find openness about product details, including where materials are sourced important, being most important to females (67%) and those with families (68%). Due to criminal and deceptive practices regarding products in the supply chain, retailers need the ability to verify the authenticity of its products to ensure what they are selling isn’t counterfeit and therefore harming their brand reputation. Not only have ebusiness brands been making headlines regarding counterfeit product sales, but recently L.A. has been under scrutiny in both fashion and cosmetic retail. Counterfeit Goods in the News Recently, reports of knock-off Gucci and Channel items have been reported being sold at a popular Fairfax district retail shop called Old School and the Kardashian’s have been speaking out about fake beauty products on the market, including $700,000 worth of Kylie Jenner’s cosmetic line that was counterfeit and contained harmful bacterial contamination. In this cosmetic case, fifteen vendors were served cease and desist orders, and six people were arrested. The only way to know you are buying the authentic product is when you buy from the Kardashian’s websites. So that case may seem simple for a consumer to avoid being deceived, but what about recent reports of Urban Decay’s brand being victimized? Their brand is not only sold on their ebusiness site, but in retail stores all over the nation. Brands like Urban Decay do have brand protection programs in place to ensure products are only sold through authorized channels, yet their popular items are targets of counterfeiting. Experts advise brands to make packaging less generic, so it’s harder for counterfeiters to replicate its look. What may seem interesting though to consumers is due to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, third-party ebusiness sites aren’t responsible for monitoring what’s being sold on their site, so that leaves the brands responsible for hunting down counterfeit items that violate trademarks and muddy their name. And although many brand names have specialists responsible for finding and removing counterfeit items from the marketplace, not all fakes can be caught. It may be obvious to some that when you are finding a new name brand item on a third-party site for significantly less than you can find it in the store, that it just may be counterfeit. I’ve even made the mistake of ordering a pair of Ray Ban’s listed on a nicely branded third-party site, to only find out once it was delivered that they were in fact fake and shipped from Asia. Even in Oracle Retail’s consumer survey report, 84% say that competitive pricing and promotions, first and foremost, is the most important aspect of their shopping experience. When price is driving such a high number of sales, how can consumers be confident in both paying the best price and getting the real deal? This really means retailers need to step up and protect their brands now more than ever. Four Tips to Protect Your Brand Integrity Centralize Product Data on a Single System Standardize Supplier On-boarding Processes to Include Product Data Collection Leverage the Cloud to Foster Transparency and Communication Create and Regularly Test Action Plans for Queries, Recalls and Other Potential Crises The Oracle Retail Brand Compliance solution provides retailers granular traceability and high levels of accountability to deal with crisis situations, such as product recalls or supply chain disruptions. It also provides the means to effectively communicate out to greater supply chains when problems arise. Having a brand compliance solution in place provides retailers with a framework to not only confidently see which ingredients or materials are being used for full transparency, but the ability to handle a full-scale product recall. Brand compliance ensures that the entire path of an item to the marketplace is clean. When retailers are able to track each piece of inventory in detail, they can then pass trust and confidence onto the consumer about their products, protecting the brand's integrity. Resources: Blog: Avoid the Headlines - 4 Tips to Protect Your Brand Integrity Point of View: Putting a Price on Brand Trust Blog: Mitigating Supply Chain Risk for Non-food Retailers Global Report: Retail in 4 Dimensions: Understanding Consumer Behavior in an Age of Relativity Solution: Oracle Retail Brand Compliance Management Cloud Service

We know that consumers continue to rank trust very highly when it comes to important qualities in a brand. They want to trust that a retailer is providing an authentic quality product and that...

Best Practices & Trends

European Privacy Requirements: Considerations for Retailers

When retailers throughout Europe adopt a new set of privacy and security regulations this week, it will be the first major revision of data protection guidelines in more than 20 years. The 2018 regulations address personal as well as financial data, and require that retailers use systems already designed to fulfill these protections by default. In 1995, the European Commission adopted a Data Protection Directive that regulates the processing of personal data within the European Union. This gave rise to 27 different national data regulations, all of which remain intact today. In 2012, the EC announced that it would supersede these national regulations and unify data protection law across the EU by adopting a new set of requirements called the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The rules apply to any retailer selling to European consumers. The GDPR, which takes effect May 25, 2018, pertains to any company doing business in, or with citizens of, the European Union, and to both new and existing products and services. Organizations found to be in violation of the GDPR will face a steep penalty of 20 million euros or four percent of their gross annual revenue, whichever is greater. Retailers Must Protect Consumers While Personalizing Offers GDPR regulations will encompass personal as well as financial data, including much of the data found in a robust customer engagement system, CRM, or loyalty program. It also includes information not historically considered to be personal data: device IDs, IP addresses, log data, geolocation data, and, very likely, cookies. For the majority of retailers relying on customer data to personalize offers, it is critically important to understand how to fulfill GDPR requirements and execute core retail, customer, and marketing operations. Developing an intimate relationship with consumers and delivering personalized offers means tapping into myriad data sources. This can be done, but systems must be GDPR-compliant by design and by default. A key concept underlying the GDPR is Privacy by Design (PBD), which essentially stipulates that systems be designed to minimize the amount of personal data they collect. Beginning this week, Privacy by Design features will become a regulatory requirement for both Oracle and our customers and GDPR stipulates that these protections are, by default, turned on. Implementing Security Control Features While the GDPR requires “appropriate security and confidentiality,” exact security controls are not specified. However, a number of security control features are discussed in the text and will likely be required for certain types of data or processing. Among them are multi-factor authentication for cloud services, customer-configurable IP whitelisting, granular access controls (by record, data element, data type, or logs), encryption, anonymization, and tokenization. Other security controls likely to be required are “separation of duties” (a customer option requiring two people to perform certain administrative tasks); customer options for marking some fields as sensitive and restricted; limited access on the part of the data controller (i.e. Oracle) to customer information; displaying only a portion of a data field; and the permanent removal of portions of a data element. Summary of Critical GDPR Requirements The GDPR includes a number of recommendations and requirements governing users’ overall approach to data gathering and use. Among the more important are: Minimization. Users are required to minimize the amount of data used, length of time it is stored, the number of people who have access to it, and the extent of that access. Retention and purging. Data may be retained for only as long as reasonably necessary. This applies in particular to personal data, which should be processed only if the purpose of processing cannot reasonably be fulfilled by other means. Services must delete customer data on completion of the services. Exports and portability. End users must be provided with copies of their data in a structured, commonly used digital format. Customers will be required to allow end users to send data directly to a competing service provider for some services. Access, correction, and deletion. End-user requests for data access, correction, and deletion for data they store in any service. Users may have a “right to be forgotten”—a right to have all their data erased. Notice and consent. When information is collected, end-user notice and consent for data processing is generally required. Backup and disaster recovery. Timely availability of end-user data must be ensured. Are you prepared? Oracle is prepared for the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that was adopted by the European Parliament in April 2016 and will become effective on May 25, 2018. We welcome the positive changes it is expected to bring to our service offerings by providing a consistent and unified data protection regime for businesses across Europe. Oracle is committed to helping its customers address the GDPR’s new requirements that are relevant to our service offerings, including any applicable processor accountability requirements. Our customers can rest assured that Oracle Retail’s omnichannel suite will empower them to continue delivering personalized customer experiences that meet complex global data privacy regulations. Contact Oracle Retail to learn more about Oracle systems, services and GDPR compliance: oneretailvoice_ww@oracle.com        

When retailers throughout Europe adopt a new set of privacy and security regulations this week, it will be the first major revision of data protection guidelines in more than 20 years. The...

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Corporación GPF Optimizes Inventory Performance Across Health, Wellness and Convenience Store Business with Oracle Retail

Ecuadorian Pharmacy and Convenience Store Giant Increases Operational Efficiencies and Store Productivity With New Inventory Insights  Today, Oracle announced that one of Ecuador's largest retailers, Corporación GPF has implemented Oracle Retail Merchandising and Oracle Retail Warehouse Management as part of a continued strategy to deliver innovative health and wellness solutions to consumers. Corporación GPF has expanded rapidly in recent years and recognized the need to replace its existing merchandising management, logistics and point-of-sale systems to position for continued growth across more than 600 pharmacies and convenience stores nationwide, three owned brands and $500 million in annual revenue. GPF turned to Oracle with the goal of unifying business processes and democratizing access to data insights across their business to empower teams to make proactive business decisions and enhance the customer experience. After analyzing various market solutions, GPF's leadership chose Oracle as the focal point of a transformational project after recognizing the ability of Oracle Retail solutions to adhere to business needs, integrate with existing systems and continued evaluation of best business processes. Retail Consult, an Oracle Platinum level partner, drove the implementation of Oracle Retail bringing their industry expertise and demonstrated success in optimizing Oracle technology and best practices. "Transformational products requires company engagement and the right partner for the success of the implementation," says Fernando Jacome, Technology and Process Director of GPF Corporation. "We have achieved success by creating multifunctional teams. Leaders must engage users from the beginning, allow enough time for testing, employ project governance, and rely on efficient risk management processes. With a clear mission established by the Executive Board, we created a culture of engaged and dedicated employees.” “We are proud to empower the operational transformation of Corporacion GPF,” said Carlos Victoria, Vice President Latin America, Oracle Retail. “With a full suite of Oracle Retail solutions, GPF now has increased visibility into out of stock inventory across stores and distribution channels and can more accurately plan and anticipate fulfillment needs.” "We are pleased to contribute with the ability to accelerate the growth of Corporación GPF through the implementation of Oracle Retail solutions, bringing well-structured processes and system integration," said Silvia Gomes, partner, Retail Consult. Corporación GPF adopted a phased implementation starting with Oracle Retail Merchandising System and Oracle Retail Warehouse Management solutions and a second phase including Oracle Retail Xstore and Oracle Retail Store Inventory Management. The project was supported by a diverse team with expertise in implementation, risk management, business process review and integration with legacy systems. With the completion of this project, GPF expects to optimize their core business processes and ensured data consistency across their enterprise. In addition, achieve comprehensive visibility into out of stock inventory in stores and distribution centers, analysis of daily inventory deliveries to stores, perspective on automatic orders and the ability to synchronize inventory and logistics to the point of purchase. GPF’s successful implementation was built upon a foundation of C-level sponsorship from the Board of Directors and CEO, down through the key business managers and IT, operational and tactical levels; a clear mindset on the importance of technology to support sustainable and continuous growth and a visionary perspective of the transformational needs and investments in people and technology necessary to maintain leadership in a highly competitive environment.

Ecuadorian Pharmacy and Convenience Store Giant Increases Operational Efficiencies and Store Productivity With New Inventory Insights  Today, Oracle announced that one of Ecuador's largest...

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Helzberg Diamonds Empowers Associates to Create Meaningful Customer Experiences with Oracle Retail

Holistic Infrastructure Upgrade Provides Store Associates with New Tools and Insights Today Oracle announced that Helzberg Diamonds, a member of the Berkshire Hathaway group of companies, has completed a significant upgrade to its Oracle Retail Xstore Point-of-Service solution while implementing Oracle Retail Order Broker and Oracle Retail Customer Engagement with the support of BTM Global. The upgrade has modernized Helzberg’s infrastructure and allows them to shift their focus to strategies that better support store operations and deeper customer interactions. The latest version of Oracle Retail Xstore Point-of-Service boasts an improved integration to Oracle Retail Order Broker and Oracle Retail Customer Engagement which together support revenue growth across more than 200 Helzberg stores throughout the United States. “The Oracle solutions enable our store associates to consult with shoppers throughout the store. The vision is to make it easier to complete transactions and allow customers to interact with us on their terms,” said Jeff Rohr, Chief Information Officer, Helzberg Diamonds. “The Oracle Retail Xstore Point-of-Service interface is intuitive for store associates helping to provide a seamless sales experience for customers, which is a priority for us.” Helzberg chose BTM Global, a Gold-level member of the Oracle Partner Network and premier provider of retail system integration and development services. BTM Global provides transition, life-cycle support, and payment integration and upgrade services. Additionally, Helzberg continues to integrate Oracle Retail technology with third party solutions to enhance a unified shopping experience across their brand. “Oracle Retail Xstore serves as an Omnichannel platform that empowers retailers, like Helzberg, to grow with a better understanding of the customers they serve with a key eye toward inventory visibility,” said Ray Carlin, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Oracle Retail. “Oracle values the long-standing partnership between Helzberg and MICROS. We look forward to building upon that relationship to continue to deliver innovation.” About Helzberg Diamonds Helzberg Diamonds, a retail and online jewelry store focused on customer service, was founded in 1915 and has more than 200 stores nationwide, featuring a wide selection of fine jewelry, including diamond engagement rings and wedding rings, precious gems and watches. Helzberg Diamonds takes pride in its history of offering exceptional value, exclusive designs and timeless jewelry. Helzberg Diamonds is based in North Kansas City, Mo., and is a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE symbols BRK/A and BRK/B). For the locations nearest you, call 1-800-HELZBERG (800-435-9237) or visit helzberg.com. About Oracle Retail  Oracle provides retailers with a complete, open, and integrated suite of best-of-breed business applications, cloud services, and hardware that are engineered to work together and empower commerce. Leading fashion, grocery, and specialty retailers use Oracle solutions to anticipate market changes, simplify operations and inspire authentic brand interactions. For more information, visit our website at www.oracle.com/retail. About Oracle The Oracle Cloud delivers hundreds of SaaS applications and enterprise-class PaaS and IaaS services to customers in more than 195 countries and territories while processing 55 billion transactions a day. For more information about Oracle (NYSE:ORCL), please visit us at oracle.com. Trademarks Oracle and Java are registered trademarks of Oracle and/or its affiliates. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.  

Holistic Infrastructure Upgrade Provides Store Associates with New Tools and Insights Today Oracle announced that Helzberg Diamonds, a member of the Berkshire Hathaway group of companies, has completed...

Best Practices & Trends

Your Outdated Retail Technology Could be Holding You Back

Wouldn’t you prefer to be in the ‘nothing holding me back’ camp? Particularly, when it comes to the core of your retail operations - your retail merchandising solution. Recent findings in the 2018 RIS/Gartner Retail Technology Study focus on how digital transformation is impacting retailers and how leaders are responding with investments in innovative technology to keep up with the fast-paced change, while laggards who have delayed (or stopped) critical projects, continue to rely on manual and inefficient workarounds - and are paying a far greater price. Such laggards continue to report store closings and bankruptcy, like April’s announcement from The Bon-Ton Stores, a 121-year-old, Milwaukee-based, chain that will close its 256 department stores. So far in 2017, more than 3,500 store closings by major retail chains have occurred. Could investment in current retail technology have been key to staying ahead? RIS/Gartner Retail Technology Study Findings: Approximately 70% of retailers plan to increase their 2018 IT budgets, and these planned increases are larger than seen in past years. Nearly twice as many leaders (184%) identify analytics as a key strategy in the next 18 months compared to laggards. More than twice as many retail laggards (224%) identify retiring legacy systems as a major problem to fix in the next 18 months. Twice as many retail laggards (192%) say optimizing stores as a growth channel is a major obstacle to work on over the next 18 months. The retail laggards in this study have delayed advancing their technology and are likely using outdated, inefficient software and systems to compete in today’s drastically changing retail landscape. So let’s take a closer look at some of the technology findings in this study related to merchandise management systems. Merchandise Management Technology Findings Real-time Inventory Visibility:  31% say up-to-date on technology 22% started upgrade 24% upgrading next 12-24 months 23% no plans to upgrade It’s alarming that only 1/3 of retailers surveyed have real-time inventory visibility, which is critical to supporting today’s customer journeys, like buying on-line and picking up in store. Replenishment: 38% say up-to-date on technology 10% started upgrade 28% upgrading next 12-24 months 24% no plans to upgrade Replenishment is an easy way to step into automation. You can take out the guesswork of what to order to keep the right level of stock on hand. Allocation: 33% say up-to-date on technology 7% started upgrade 34% upgrading next 12-24 months 26% no plans to upgrade Over 60% of retailers are pushing product to their stores using outdated technology. How much excess inventory is being allocated to stores? Where could you have sold more if you only had the items in stock? Price Management/Execution: 29% say up-to-date on technology 17% started upgrade 29% upgrading next 12-24 months 24% no plans to upgrade Maintaining accurate pricing is key in building your brand. Customers expect to be charged the right price regardless of channel. Are you confident in your pricing capabilities? Are you able to create compelling offers for your customers and accurately apply them? Trade Promotion Management: 22% say up-to-date on technology 10% started upgrade 20% upgrading next 12-24 months 47% have no plans to upgrade. Almost half of the retailers in the study are not upgrading their trade promotion solutions – so is money being left on the table? Are you sure you are tracking vendor deals and rebates accurately and recovering income that could directly affect your bottom line? Master Data Management: 77% of retailers are doing something with master data management, which raises a question, what are the other 23% doing with their master data? What could be more important than making sure you have accurate foundation data to drive your retail processes? Without reliable information, you won’t be able to realize the benefits of planning, replenishment or any kind of optimization. Are you part of the 23% doing nothing? Investing In a Strong Foundation for Today and the Future So although it varies by category, this study reports roughly 30% of retailers have no plans to upgrade systems like item master data management, replenishment, allocation, price management and trade promotion management in the next 24 months or ever. Does that mean those retailers may be left behind? Will they be able to adapt to today’s retail environment? Well retailers attempting to adapt existing solutions that have been modified repeatedly in the past, are finding it very difficult to attain the level of required accuracy. A retailer needs a fast, reliable, complete, and highly flexible merchandise operations system that is easy to use and that provides one version of the truth. Getting there often requires a new investment in technology and a renewed commitment to that technology investment. Achieving merchandising operational excellence is a major transformation – it cannot be optimized by just touching an independent variable in isolation – but it is worth it in order to build a solid foundation that will carry you through the retail evolution that is taking place.     Retailers that are looking to invest in their future, can turn to Oracle Retail's cloud-based solutions. One U.S. boutique fashion retailer recently deployed our Merchandising Cloud Services in just over six months. By paring this with Oracle Retail Merchandising Insights, customers are enabled to understand both current and historical performance for sales, inventory, pricing and more through the use of the pre-configured reports and retail specific metrics. One benefit to this is retailers can identify actionable merchandising opportunities across touch points, including backorder and returns, top/bottom seller, demand/fulfillment, and price and promotion analysis.  This aligns with the findings in this study where leading retailers identified analytics as a key strategy in the next 18 months, and Gartner expects that by 2020 retailers will be using artificial intelligence (AI) to speed retail decisions. We’ve seen through our own Oracle Retail Science applications that analytic tools tighten forecasts and improve productivity in ways that reduce expenses and discover savings by reducing inventory levels and improving promotional effectiveness.  Mobile In-Store Inventory Management Finally, in RIS/Gartner’s Top 10 Technologies for 2018 findings, 40% of retailers are investing in mobile devices for associates and managers as well as for managing in-store pickup and returns. Some retailers are leveraging such technology to truly enable associates to provide the best possible customer experience. Oracle Retail Store Inventory Management provides store associates with a simple and efficient solution that is tightly integrated with the merchandising system, ensuring inventory accuracy across the enterprise.  During this retail evolution, it seems clear that leaders will continue to see the value of innovative retail technology across merchandising operations, analytics and in store operations. They will use it to not only keep their brand in front of new and changing customer trends, but to maximize revenue opportunities and stay competitive. Now more than ever, survival means investing intelligently in a solid operational foundation.  Resources Webcast: Top 5 Technologies Where Retailers Are Placing Their Biggest Bets in 2018 Download the RIS/Gartner 2018 Retail Technology Study More about Oracle Retail Merchandising Cloud Services More about Oracle Retail Store Inventory Management More about Oracle Retail Merchandising Insights Cloud Service

Wouldn’t you prefer to be in the ‘nothing holding me back’ camp? Particularly, when it comes to the core of your retail operations - your retail merchandising solution. Recent findings in the 2018...

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Veltio Becomes Oracle PartnerNetwork Platinum Level Member

Global Partner Expands into Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Middle East Oracle announced that Veltio, a market leader in retail planning and optimization consulting, has achieved Platinum level member status in the Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN).  By attaining Platinum level membership, Oracle has recognized Veltio for its commitment to excellence in delivering complex planning, supply chain and optimization solutions on Oracle Retail Predictive Application Server (RPAS) and for uniquely addressing the challenges of joint customers both on premises and in the cloud. Veltio’s clients represent a wide range of retail companies, from tier-1 multinational corporations to smaller, privately held companies and across verticals including grocery, fast fashion and specialty retailers globally.  Veltio, one of the largest dedicated Oracle RPAS integrators worldwide, has recently opened a new office in Santiago, Chile, to further Oracle and Veltio’s success in the region. The combined growth and expansion naturally led to Oracle and Veltio strengthening their collaboration. “As an Oracle Partner for nearly 15 years and now one of the world’s largest Oracle Retail Planning and Optimization integrator, Veltio is proud to have achieved Platinum Level in OPN,” said Costas Malamas, Co-founder and Managing Partner of Veltio. “It is a significant milestone towards our global expansion into new geographies in Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Middle East.” “Solution oriented relationships like Veltio are crucial to the Oracle ecosystem. Veltio’s growth in this environment is a testament to their drive for cutting-edge technology and investment in high quality people,” said Jeff Warren, Vice President, Oracle Retail.   With its Platinum status, Veltio receives the benefit of developing specializations that will allow them to grow their business, increase their expertise, reach higher levels of customer retention, and create differentiation in the marketplace. Platinum members also become eligible to resell all Oracle Technology products and can apply to resell Oracle Applications and Industry Solutions. In addition, they receive access to Oracle account representatives and My Oracle Support updates for all products, discounts on training, limited free assessment/exam vouchers, reduced rates on the purchase of Oracle licenses for internal use, discounts on advances customer services and more.   For more information about the benefits of becoming an OPN Platinum level partner, please visit: http://www.oracle.com/us/partnerships/index.htm About Veltio In 2004, Veltio was founded by a team of highly respected retail and technology specialists who were intimately involved in the development and implementation of the Oracle Retail Planning and Optimization suite of products. This core group of leaders drives the ethos and direction of the business and is supported by an experienced pool of business consultants, technical specialists and scientists based in North America, Latin America, Europe and Russia. No matter who we work with, all our customers benefit from Veltio’s truly incomparable perspective on retail planning and optimization, as well as a passion for continuous innovation in retail technology. About Oracle Retail: Oracle provides retailers with a complete, open, and integrated suite of best-of-breed business applications, cloud services, and hardware that are engineered to work together and empower commerce. Leading fashion, grocery, and specialty retailers use Oracle solutions to anticipate market changes, simplify operations and inspire authentic brand interactions. For more information, visit our website at www.oracle.com/retail. About Oracle PartnerNetwork Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN) is Oracle's partner program that provides partners with a differentiated advantage to develop, sell and implement Oracle solutions. OPN offers resources to train and support specialized knowledge of Oracle’s products and solutions and has evolved to recognize Oracle’s growing product portfolio, partner base and business opportunity. Key to the latest enhancements to OPN is the ability for partners to be recognized and rewarded for their investment in Oracle Cloud. Partners engaging with Oracle will be able to differentiate their Oracle Cloud expertise and success with customers through the OPN Cloud program – an innovative program that complements existing OPN program levels with tiers of recognition and progressive benefits for partners working with Oracle Cloud. To find out more visit: http://www.oracle.com/partners. Trademarks Oracle and Java are registered trademarks of Oracle and/or its affiliates. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.    

Global Partner Expands into Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Middle East Oracle announced that Veltio, a market leader in retail planning and optimization consulting, has achieved Platinum level...

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Russian Retailer O’STIN Turns to Oracle to Keep Shelves Stocked at the Speed of Fast Fashion

Partner Veltio Parlays Data Science and Oracle Demand Forecasting to Automate Manual Inventory Fulfillment Process Today, Oracle announced that O’STIN has deployed Oracle Retail Demand Forecasting, Oracle Retail Planning & Optimization and Veltio APX Supply Chain Planning to create a product replenishment program that proactively anticipates customer demand. With the Oracle Retail and Veltio integration O’STIN sought to improve the effectiveness of inventory fulfillment across 700 stores throughout Russia to better meet customer demand while protecting profitability. Veltio, an Oracle Partner Network Platinum Partner, drove the implementation resulting in a more accurate planning process that can anticipate consumer demand. “Disparate silos of customer information, store and product performance prevent retailers from having accurate inventory forecasts,” said Chris James, Vice President, Oracle Retail. “Without this holistic perspective brands risk significant decreased margins by having to continually discount inventory to make room for new seasonal merchandise.” Prior to the upgrade, O’STIN merchants personally managed a 90,000 line product matrix that included the store, style and color. O’STIN management would manually calculate stock levels for each SKU at every store for the previous four weeks, magnifying a scalability problem as the brand operated at the speed of fast fashion. “The most effective stock level decisions are based on product performance and stock position. The combined Oracle Retail Planning & Optimization complemented by Veltio APX empowers our planning team to better forecast consumer demand and increase their productivity through automation and exception-based reporting. Now we can rely on data science to predict and automate replenishment based on future sales forecasts,” said Prosvirnin Nikolay, Head of Allocation and Replenishment teams, O’STIN. “By tuning the high-level replenishment parameters, we optimized inventory to hold the right amount of safety stock to meet consumer expectations and manage the end of season inventory,” said Grechin Sergey, Assortment and Planning Director, O’STIN. “In 18 months, we have rolled out the solution to all stores in Russia, Belorussia and Kazakhstan with Veltio.”  “With the ability to directly integrate with Oracle solutions like Oracle Retail Assortment Planning and Oracle Retail Demand Forecasting in a single deployment, Veltio provides clients like O’STIN with an easy-to-use tool that offers increased automation to help predict product lifecycles, size and store split, and initial allocation quantities to feed the supply chain,” said Costas Malamas, Managing Partner, Veltio. Implementation Benefits: Oracle Retail's Planning and Optimization suite empowers planning teams to combine disparate data sources, including performance, market, and vendor, and leverage retail science to drive intelligent and localized assortments without the increased overhead of full-time data scientists. Oracle Retail Demand Forecasting allows retailers to centralize demand forecasts for their omnichannel enterprise — from operations and vendor collaboration to planning and optimization to marketing and insights — accurately and efficiently. Veltio APX Supply Chain Planning is a set of Oracle Retail Predictive Application Server components developed that provide advanced allocation, replenishment and execution functionality.  Exclusive to Veltio, this cutting-edge retail science can allocate stock to stores using simple or complex packs while optimizing ROI. Veltio APX calculates order quantities at multiple tiers of the supply chain and can create purchase orders at all tiers to be executed by downstream systems.  About O’STIN O’STIN is European fashion apparel brand, offering products for women, men and kids. O’STIN operates more than 700 stores in Eastern Europe, Russia and Asia. O’STIN is a vertically integrated business that controls the whole value chain across product design production and retail sales. This allows us to assure high product quality at reasonable prices and to keep a direct communication with our customers. For more information about O’STIN, please visit ostin.com. About Oracle Retail: Oracle provides retailers with a complete, open, and integrated suite of best-of-breed business applications, cloud services, and hardware that are engineered to work together and empower commerce. Leading fashion, grocery, and specialty retailers use Oracle solutions to anticipate market changes, simplify operations and inspire authentic brand interactions. For more information, visit our website at www.oracle.com/retail. About Oracle The Oracle Cloud delivers hundreds of SaaS applications and enterprise-class PaaS and IaaS services to customers in more than 195 countries and territories while processing 55 billion transactions a day. For more information about Oracle (NYSE:ORCL), please visit us at oracle.com.

Partner Veltio Parlays Data Science and Oracle Demand Forecasting to Automate Manual Inventory Fulfillment Process Today, Oracle announced that O’STIN has deployed Oracle Retail Demand Forecasting,...

Best Practices & Trends

Food Recalls Up 93% Since 2012

Brand Compliance Market Flash for Feb. & March 2018 In this period’s Oracle Retail Brand Compliance Market Flash report, for February and March 2018, there was a 5% increase in the number of food recalls. During this time, 84 food recalls were reported throughout the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. Overall, there were 32 less recalls than the same timeframe in 2017. During this February and March period, there was an even 50/50 split of contamination recalls to mislabeling ones, with one miscellaneous recall noted. In terms of the types of recalls reported, contamination incidents were up 11% from last period. In the last period’s Market Flash Report, the U.S. took up 41% of the total recalls, but that has jumped up to 58% of the total number of recalls for February and March. Canada reported 27% of this period’s recalls, while the UK had the remaining 14% - where it reported six times more labeling recalls than in the last two-month period. Food recalls are on a steep rise, according to Food Safety Tech, food recalls overall are up 93% since 2012, and bacterial contamination and undeclared allergens are the leading cause. It’s believed that automation in food production and technological advances in food testing are contributing to this alarming rise. Also noted is that about 50% of the USDA’s recalled food has been a result of poor inspections, which can easily be improved. Prop 65 and FSMA Headlines Moving on to other pressing matters, many businesses are busy preparing for new Proposition 65 (Prop 65) regulations that go into effect in August. The National Law Review warns that there is now less than 6 months left to get ready. Prop 65 requires businesses to provide warnings to Californians about exposure to a list of around 900 chemicals that have been known to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm. This list is updated at least once a year and was first published in 1987. The regulation was first known as the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986. Many businesses have already started to change their operations to comply with the new Prop 65 requirements, which for example addresses the specific language used for warnings on labels and shelf signage. Businesses may need to create new product packaging and shelf tags to include the new safe harbor warnings on them and re-test products to confirm they are free of the chemicals regulated under Prop 65. The penalty for violating Prop 65, by failing to provide sufficient warnings, can be as high as $2,500 per violation per day. The FDA is also busy at work on the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), which will shift the American food safety system’s focus on preventing foodborne illness, which kills 3,000 and hospitalizes 128,000 people in the U.S. a year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Congress enacted FSMA in response to changes in the global food supply chain system. In addition, when these rules are followed properly, food contaminations can be avoided. Oracle Retail Brand Compliance offers an end to end compliance lifecycle management solution to enable customers to meet the FSMA and Prop 65 requirements. It includes a collaborative workflow driven working environment between the Brand Owner and their domestic and foreign suppliers, enabling the capture of a permanent and searchable record of all compliance activities and data. Brand Compliance Management Cloud Service v17.0               Oracle Retail Brand Compliance Management Cloud Service v17.0 is now available enabling businesses to react faster to changing legislation and requirements to avoid violation and related penalties. V17.0 includes: New Data Privacy API to help Brand Owners to meet data privacy requests Enhancements to the Product Specification module: Dietary & Allergy Dependent Claims Validation CNF Specification Countries of Origin Finished Product Standards - Default Physical and Chemical Standards Product Record Permissions for Suppliers Specification Allergen Override Validation If you are interested in learning more please contact Jonathan Pickles. Food Legislation & Private Label News FDA Updates Nutrition Facts Label Changes, Issues More Guidance For Industry Conad Relaunches Private Label Brands With 25 Million Euro Investment Aldi Expands Organic Food Ranges In Germany Private Brands Make Up 17% of Total Grocery Sales Related Resources More on Oracle Retail Brand Compliance Infographic: Brand Compliance Trends Blog: Blockchain Cloud and the Supply Chain Network Empowers the Grocery Industry from Farm to Store

Brand Compliance Market Flash for Feb. & March 2018 In this period’s Oracle Retail Brand Compliance Market Flash report, for February and March 2018, there was a 5% increase in the number of food...

Best Practices & Trends

Machine Learning Optimizes Pricing, Lifts Revenue and Market Share for Premium Products

There are some new challenges retailers face including heightened uncertainty for product lifecycle, limited inventory, and how to connect small data points, for example a new product that hasn’t been sold before, to historical transactional data. Being able to determine what the relationship is between historical data on similar items and the new product being sold can be achieved with machine learning. In a recent webcast with MIT we explored how machine learning can positively impact pricing, promotions and forecasting. The webcast is available on-demand or you can access a summary and key learnings in this guidebook. In this specific case, the Oracle Retail team was approached by a broad spectrum online retailer that was looking to not only increase revenue through price optimization but also drive market share. Collaboration partner, Professor David Simchi-Levi at MIT worked closely with our team and the retailer to implement machine learning across its pricing strategy for premium items such as mobile phones and high-end electronics. Case Details Customer: Large online retailer Goal: Simultaneously increase revenue, profit, and market share Challenge Areas: Demand Curve Generation: Historical data has multiple factors that influence quantity sold Learning via Product Clustering: Wide range of characteristics in which products differ Efficiently Solving Optimization Approach Each of the challenges above required its own solution. For generating the demand curve, the solution was to employ random forest, a machine learning method that offers more modeling flexibility than traditional approaches, like estimating price elasticity through linear regression. Random forests operate by constructing multiple decision trees using historical training data and estimating the demand based on the mean prediction of all trees. This decision-tree-based method is particularly useful when multiple factors besides price influence the quantity. The second challenge was to identify clusters of products with similar characteristics, which would be used to predict the demand for a new product with no sales history. The solution for clustering was to employ k-means clustering. K-means is a type of unsupervised learning, which is used when you have unlabeled data, for example, data without defined categories or groups. Finally, for optimization, that is, maximizing the revenue subject to a minimum margin constraint or maximizing margin subject to a minimum revenue constraint, the team was able to create an efficient algorithm that can be run daily and provide the optimal pricing policy for maximizing revenue or margin. This system runs twice a day, where typically the first few hours of the day generate the traffic prediction for feeding as an input to the random forest. The system requires no manual intervention, and the prices it produces are displayed directly on the website. After some interim testing, the retailer applied this system to its premium products, like smartphones and expensive televisions. Results The first-round of results were not promising—the algorithm was heavily outperformed by the control group. This happened because of the reduction in sales volume of some products as a result of price discounts of similar products, known as the cannibalization effect. So the team optimized what they were doing to account for cannibalization by considering all products across the category. In the follow up test, a mathematical optimization model was developed to take into account the cross effects of promotions of one product on the sales of similar products and maximized the profit for all products across the category. After this was done, the final results for premium product sales governed by the algorithm were spectacular. Recommended Revenue up 471% Recommended Profitability up 366% Estimated Unit sales up 391% Sold 40% more unique SKUs every day than the control group By leveraging machine learning you can determine on the fly how best to improve a forecast and then optimize it, taking into account cannibalization across competing products. From a competitive standpoint, dynamic pricing is a powerful tool for market positioning. In this case, the retailer was able to sell 40% more unique SKUs every day versus the control group of SKUs. The Oracle Retail team collaborates with retailers and leading research institutions to push the boundaries of innovation. As these innovations are proven effective in the market, using real-world scenarios and data, we introduce enhancements to our product portfolio. This model enables us to bring new innovation to the market at a steady pace. As we look to the future, areas of focus include: markdown promotion and offer optimization, returns optimization, store inventory rebalancing, social analytics, fraud detection, and loss prevention. If you are interested in participating in our program, contact me directly. To read more about this machine learning case study view our Innovation in Retail Guidebook. Resources: Upcoming Webcast: Spotting Influential Retail Customers For Targeted Offers with Machine Learning See the Guidebook With More Examples

There are some new challenges retailers face including heightened uncertainty for product lifecycle, limited inventory, and how to connect small data points, for example a new product that hasn’t been...

Best Practices & Trends

Spotting Influential Customers for Targeted Offers with Machine Learning [Upcoming Webcast]

Research tells us that 65% of shoppers rate personalized offers and promotions as important to their shopping experience [Source: Retail in 4D]. But with increased awareness and skepticism around data use and privacy concerns how can retailers deliver targeted promotions to customers that don't want to share their data and are not actively engaged in a loyalty program?  Identifying customers using social media and transaction data can help retailers better understand the network effect of trendsetters. In our research, retailers can see improvement in targeted offer efficacy by identifying trend-setting stores and allocating product based on their influence radius. We are co-hosting a webcast with collaboration partner, Professor Georgia Perakis at MIT Sloan School of Management, on May 9th. The webcast will focus on a detailed case study exploring how to leverage multiple data sources and machine learning to drive increased revenue through optimized promotions and targeted offers.  By attending this live webcast you will gain insights on:   Current research using machine learning techniques to determine trend-setting stores and customers How to identify trendsetters within transaction data to trigger pricing strategies Improving demand forecasting with transaction data The impact of social and transaction data on influential customer and store analyses including 'The Network Effect' and Targeted Offers    Can't make it live? Register and you will receive the recording. The Oracle Retail Science team and collaboration partner, Professor Georgia Perakis of MIT Sloan School of Management, are working on a joint research project to predict customer trends using sales transaction data. If you are interested in learning more about the Oracle Retail Science Customer Group & this research contact us today. You may also be interested in:  Innovation in Retail: Machine Learning guidebook Retail in 4 Dimensions: Understanding Consumer Behavior in an Age of Relativity   

Research tells us that 65% of shoppers rate personalized offers and promotions as important to their shopping experience [Source: Retail in 4D]. But with increased awareness and skepticism around data...

Best Practices & Trends

New Retail Consumer Research: The Loyalty Divide

Oracle Retail Report Highlights Four Consumer Typologies and the Role of Emerging Generations and Technology in Creating More Meaningful Consumer Interactions Oracle Industry Connect—New York, NY.—Apr 12, 2018—Oracle today announced the findings of a global study titled “Retail 2018: The Loyalty Divide” auditing consumer perceptions and brand realities of loyalty programs and influences. “Retail 2018: The Loyalty Divide” reveals that retailers are out of touch with consumers that demand more personalized experiences and discover brands and affirm purchase decisions through social influencers. “In our primary research, we have uncovered a disparity between consumer and retailer expectations. Retailers put significant focus on transactional activity metrics and less focus on emerging behavioral expressions of loyalty. We found that retailers are overly confident in their ability to deliver relevant incentives and consumers are demanding more personalized engagement,” said Mike Webster, senior vice president and general manager, Oracle Retail and Hospitality. “Retailers need to take a critical eye at the culture of shoppers that only engage based on convenience and price. Social influence brings an additional dynamic for retailers to navigate the loyalty paradigm as they reward brand advocacy and feed enthusiasts content to affirm their purchases.” The Oracle study was conducted in February 2018 among 13,000 consumers and 500 operators across retail, hotels and restaurants in five key regions: EMEA (France, Germany, UK and India), North America (USA), Latin America (Brazil and Mexico) and JAPAC (Australia and China). The Great Divide While 58 percent of retailers believe that consumers are eager to sign up to every loyalty program, 50 percent of consumers are much more selective only signing up to select, relevant programs and 19 percent of consumers rarely joining loyalty programs. Relevancy of loyalty incentives also further highlights the divide between brands and consumers: 58 percent of retailers believe their offers are mostly relevant compared to 32 percent of consumers believing those brand offers are relevant. Retailers continue to underestimate the impact of social influencers with only 45 percent of brands collaborating with influencers while consumers are more likely to trust brands reviewed by YouTubers (48 percent) and brands mentioned on social media (45 percent). Navigating the New Loyalty Paradigm The Future of Loyalty Despite the great divide, the future of loyalty is promising with younger demographics having a higher propensity to join loyalty programs and note their loyalty is growing. However a majority of retailers have a skewed focus on measuring loyalty with intrinsic values like brand perception and purchase history. 44 percent of millennials (25-34) and 43 percent of pre-millennials (18 to 24) note they are more loyal to brands than they were five years ago Baby boomers (55+) are discerning when it comes to signing up for programs with 56 percent of respondents noting they will only sign up to select, relevant programs The Rise of Social Advocacy Consumers have clearly indicated the necessity for retailer’s to have a strong social presence and the importance of social influencers in discovering new brands and affirming purchases. 53 percent of consumers are likely to research brands on social media before buying 46 percent are likely to save ideas on social media about products or retailers 43 percent are likely to share photos of retail experiences/products on social media 43 percent are likely to follow influencers that post about favorite retail brands 41 percent of consumers agree that YouTube reviews are more trustworthy than branded advertising or communications 37 percent of consumers agree that retailers used and recommended by social media influencers are more trustworthy than those recommended by celebrities Despite this trend, 28 percent of retailers will only take into account measures of loyalty based on activities such as loyalty card membership or transaction frequency Personalization: Connected and Immediate For brands to remain relevant they need to create loyalty programs that recognize consumers as individuals with a level of service that goes beyond the traditional brand experience. Connected 69 percent of consumers note personalized offers based on stated preferences as appealing 66 percent of consumers note personalized offers based on purchase history as appealing 58 percent of consumers note personalized content and communications as appealing Immediate 82 percent of consumers note store proximity is most important in driving loyalty 74 percent of consumers note immediate benefits are more appealing than accumulating points 72 percent of consumers note an effortless loyalty program with automatic offers is appealing “Retailers are heavily invested. The future of loyalty will be a balancing act between consumers desire for more anonymity, or at least direct control of their data, and an expectation for meaningful personalization that is targeted and timely,” said Webster. “Oracle Retail is helping our customers defend the right to be forgotten and pivot to earn the right to be remembered.  We believe the answer is a new approach to segmentation that integrates advanced algorithms and machine learning into the retail business process that govern planning, inventory and pricing.” The Right to Data and the Role of Technology Both consumers and retailers recognize that technology has a key role in driving connection and convenience in loyalty programs. Retailers, however, need to walk a fine line between enabling deeper connections without being invasive. 30 percent of consumers find receiving recommendations for products or brands based on social influencers subscribed to or followed as unappealing compared to 90 percent of retailers that think this would be appealing to consumers 26 percent of consumers find artificial intelligence on a mobile device that gets to know the user through voice recognition and is able to make intelligent recommendations based on this as unappealing compared to 91 percent of retailers that think this would be appealing to consumers 91 percent of consumers note being able to accept or reject offers so that the retailer loyalty program can learn what products and offers are of most interest as appealing 86 percent of consumers note a personalized experience with retail brands where staff and customer support know personal preferences to better service customers as appealing 52 percent of retailers think consumers are concerned about data being passed onto third parties while 81 percent of consumers say they’d consider removing their personal information if they could and 53 percent of consumers are concerned that their data is being passed onto third parties Four Loyalty Typologies Retail 2018: The Loyalty Divide uncovered four typologies of consumer behavior including: The Broadcaster who may flit between brands but shouts about their experiences good or bad; The Enthusiast an engaged retail brand follower who is loyal but not loud; The Lazy Loyal typically unengaged but tend to be loyal to brands because it’s easy to be; and, The Seeker who likes to shop around for the best value and holds little affinity to retail brands. The Broadcaster 32 percent of consumers will recommend to others the retailers they are most loyal to 41 percent would share photos on social media of great retail experiences in exchange for rewards 47 percent would feature the retailer or its products on their social media accounts in exchange for offers/rewards 42 percent would submit a product review through YouTube in exchange for an offer/reward The Enthusiast 43 percent of consumers are most loyal to brands that they have a high opinion of 1 in 5 consumers (20 percent) will follow their favorite brands on social media 71 percent say product quality and 59 percent an enjoyable shopping experience are most important to them 51 percent say it’s important that they can engage with new and exciting products from brands they are loyal to The Lazy Loyal 60 percent say convenient store locations are most important to them More than 1 in 3 (40 percent) will typically stick to the brands they like rather than shop around 1 in 4 consumers would not find a loyalty program that can be used across multiple brands appealing 72 percent think an effortless loyalty program where points are automatically redeemed is appealing The Seeker 66 percent choose a retailer because of competitive prices/promotions 56 percent would exchange personal details in exchange for a personalized offer or promotion 53 percent of consumers would always ‘shop around’ for different retailers to shop with Almost 1 in 5 (19 percent) would rarely sign up to retailer loyalty programs   Download the full report "The Loyalty Divide: Retailer and Consumer Perspectives"   About Oracle The Oracle Cloud offers complete SaaS application suites for ERP, HCM and CX, plus best-in-class database Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) from data centers throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia. For more information about Oracle (NYSE:ORCL), please visit us at oracle.com About Oracle Retail Oracle provides retailers with a complete, open, and integrated suite of best-of-breed business applications, cloud services, and hardware that are engineered to work together and empower commerce. Leading fashion, grocery, and specialty retailers use Oracle solutions to anticipate market changes, simplify operations and inspire authentic brand interactions. For more information, visit our website at www.oracle.com/retail About Oracle Industry Connect For more information about how Oracle is committed to empowering organizations through best-in-class, industry-specific business solutions, visit oracle.com/industries. To learn more about Oracle Industry Connect 2018, go to oracle.com/oracleindustryconnect. Trademark Oracle and Java are registered trademarks of Oracle and/or its affiliates. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners. Contact Info Matt Torres Oracle 4155951584 matt.torres@oracle.com

Oracle Retail Report Highlights Four Consumer Typologies and the Role of Emerging Generations and Technology in Creating More Meaningful Consumer Interactions Oracle Industry Connect—New York, NY.—Apr...

Omnichannel

Oracle Retail and Adyen Deliver Unified and Global Retail Consumer Payments

Adyen Becomes Oracle PartnerNetwork Gold Level Partner Extending Value of POS and Omnichannel Investments Oracle Industry Connect – New York, NY. – April 10, 2018 – Oracle today announced that it has awarded Adyen, the payment platform of choice for the world’s leading companies, a Gold level member of Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN). By attaining Gold Level membership, Oracle has recognized Adyen’s ability to deliver complementary and unified payment gateways for the Oracle Retail Xstore solutions. With this relationship, Oracle and Adyen now offer a best in class, global consumer payments solution to their retail customers. “In our global consumer research Retail in 4 Dimensions, we discovered that the global consumer has rising expectations for fast, smarter payment options. In fact, 57% of global consumers want instant one-click checkout online and 60% want mobile payment options in-store,” said Ray Carlin, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Oracle Retail. “Adyen delivers that customer experience and we are pleased to extend the Gold level member status after having successfully implemented Oracle and Adyen at multiple global brands.” The integration between Adyen and Oracle Retail is a great example of how Oracle is delivering additional value for retail customers through integrations that extend the value of POS and Omnichannel investments. In addition to providing multiple point-of-service hardware offerings, Oracle Retail offers a fully integrated portfolio of hardware and software solutions that enable retailers to streamline managerial tasks, increase speed of service and elevate the consumer experience. “Successful retailers should focus on delivering great customer experiences across all channels. With this partnership, retailers will be better equipped to meet rising shopper expectations wherever and however they want to pay,” said Roelant Prins, Chief Commercial Officer, Adyen. “The partnership enables a seamless end-to-end consumer experience anywhere in the world.” On April 10-11, Oracle will convene a global community of retail leadership at Oracle Industry Connect in New York, NY to discuss adapting to market changes, simplifying operations and empowering authentic brand experiences. At this event, Oracle and Adyen will present how this relationship will benefit retail merchants worldwide. Available Omnichannel Demonstrations: Promotions and Entitlements Across Channels: Oracle Retail enables a single view of the customer that can increase engagement in a loyalty scheme and enable effective marketing campaigns. In this demonstration, you can expect to see how our solution can be used to reward and delight with highly targeted promotions and loyalty awards that span channels. The demonstration is scheduled to start with a customer’s journey online where a purchase triggers a loyalty award that is delivered directly to their mobile device and concludes with an in-store experience where the customer can use their device to apply the award to an in-store transaction with Adyen payments platform. The demonstration features capabilities from Oracle Commerce Cloud, Oracle Marketing Cloud, Oracle Retail Customer Engagement, Oracle Retail Xstore and Adyen payments platform.   Innovation on the Cloud - Retail.com Chatbot: Understand how Oracle Retail is embedding artificial intelligence and machine learning into the customer journey in this innovative demonstration. You can expect to see a customer being re-targeted after abandoning a basket on-line and invited to a Facebook Messenger chat session with a chatbot developed using Oracle Mobile Cloud Enterprise with intelligent bots. The customer is rewarded with loyalty points for joining the chat, can understand further product and order details from the chatbot and finally can place an order with Adyen tokenization. Returning shoppers can pay securely with a tap of their finger in the chat session. This demonstration features capabilities from Oracle Commerce Cloud, Oracle Mobile Cloud Enterprise, Oracle Retail Customer Engagement, Oracle Retail Order Broker, Oracle Retail Order Management and Adyen tokenization. To learn more about Oracle Industry Connect 2018 and register to attend visit: www.oracle.com/oracleindustryconnect/ Oracle Industry Connect For more information about how Oracle is committed to empowering organizations through best-in-class, industry-specific business solutions, visit oracle.com/industries. To learn more about Oracle Industry Connect 2018, go to oracle.com/oracleindustryconnect. About Adyen: Adyen is the payments platform of choice for the world’s leading companies. The only provider of a modern end-to-end infrastructure connecting directly to Visa, Mastercard, and consumers’ globally preferred payment methods, Adyen delivers frictionless payments across online, mobile, and in store. With offices around the world, Adyen serves 8 of the 10 largest US Internet companies and many worldwide retailers. Customers include Facebook, Uber, L’Oreal, Casper, Bonobos, Netflix, and Spotify.                                                    For more information, visit our website at https://www.adyen.com/ # # # About Oracle The Oracle Cloud offers complete SaaS application suites for ERP, HCM and CX, plus best-in-class database Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) from data centers throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia. For more information about Oracle (NYSE:ORCL), please visit us at oracle.com About Oracle Retail: Oracle provides retailers with a complete, open, and integrated suite of best-of-breed business applications, cloud services, and hardware that are engineered to work together and empower commerce. Leading fashion, grocery, and specialty retailers use Oracle solutions to anticipate market changes, simplify operations and inspire authentic brand interactions. For more information, visit our website at www.oracle.com/retail   About Oracle PartnerNetwork Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN) is Oracle's partner program that provides partners with a differentiated advantage to develop, sell and implement Oracle solutions. OPN offers resources to train and support specialized knowledge of Oracle’s products and solutions and has evolved to recognize Oracle’s growing product portfolio, partner base and business opportunity. Key to the latest enhancements to OPN is the ability for partners to be recognized and rewarded for their investment in Oracle Cloud. Partners engaging with Oracle will be able to differentiate their Oracle Cloud expertise and success with customers through the OPN Cloud program – an innovative program that complements existing OPN program levels with tiers of recognition and progressive benefits for partners working with Oracle Cloud. To find out more visit: http://www.oracle.com/partners   Trademark Oracle and Java are registered trademarks of Oracle and/or its affiliates. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners. Contact Info Matt Torres Oracle Communications +1 415-595-1584 Matt.torres@oracle.com    

Adyen Becomes Oracle PartnerNetwork Gold Level Partner Extending Value of POS and Omnichannel Investments Oracle Industry Connect – New York, NY. – April 10, 2018 – Oracle today announced that it has...

Omnichannel

The Voice-Enabled Store

The term “conversational commerce” emerged about three years ago to describe exactly what it sounds like: doing business by having a conversation, either via a chat bot or simply by speaking aloud. Consumers began to get used to the idea with mobile phone features such as the iPhone’s Siri, and Amazon’s Echo Alexa, introduced in 2015, has taken voice-controlled commands, including internet browsing and buying, to another level. In a recent report by Mastercard and Mercator Advisory Group, 66% of U.S. consumers use voice or text agents in their daily lives, and 21% use voice or text agents to shop, pay bills, bank online or send money. This figure is likely to go higher, since consumer awareness of conversational commerce is climbing: 87% of shoppers are aware of these technologies and are beginning to grasp their benefits [Source: Retail Touchpoints]. How can retailers adapt to benefit from this significant shift in consumer behavior? Voice-Controlled Order Management Support At Oracle, we anticipate that retailers will embrace conversational commerce and make widespread use of it from an order management standpoint, specifically with order inquiry and order maintenance. At the recent National Retail Federation conference and exhibit, for example, we demonstrated the ability to ask Google Home to look up an order in our order management system and modify the ship-to location. This is the kind of request that customers make, and customer service representatives execute, countless times per day, and the ability to automate it in this fashion, would be a significant time-saver to both parties. By using a feedback loop to ensure details like address and delivery time are accurate, this technology is ideal for ordering staple or replenishment items and will soon do much more. Next, the technology will accommodate more complex requests, for example asking the assistant to “give me a pair of slacks that work with my oatmeal sweater, and have it to me by next Thursday.” New voice-control technologies will be rapidly adopted, given changing generational habits. My own young son, for example, stopped asking me questions about his homework some time ago; now he goes straight to Google to get his answers (faster and much more accurate). By the time he enters the workforce and has his own spending money, using a voice interface will be second nature to him, and artificial intelligence technology, presumably, will be much better at dealing with relatively unstructured requests. Empowering Associates with On-the-Spot Inventory Access Research tells us that 62% of consumers find the ability of store staff to source product stock from another location for delivery to home or local store as important to their shopping experiences. While 55% value the ability to check product stock on mobile while in store as desirable [Source: Retail in 4D]. These findings support the area of order entry where we see an almost immediate application for conversational commerce is the in-store exchange between a customer and an associate. One of the major trends in store systems in recent years—and certainly a major area of emphasis for Oracle—has been to empower associates by giving them on-the-spot access to everything they need to know to successfully close a transaction. This includes customer history and preferences, accurate inventory data, and the entire range of shipping and fulfillment options, all ported to a mobile device in the associate’s hand. It’s a short but potentially important step from the associate entering all the order information into a computer to his or her simply being able to say, “I’m looking for this style number in this size” into their headset and have the voice respond that it’s available in the distribution center or in this or that store To learn more about empowering your store associates on the sales floor, check out: The War for Talent: Store Associates Go Where The Technology Is

The term “conversational commerce” emerged about three years ago to describe exactly what it sounds like: doing business by having a conversation, either via a chat bot or simply by speaking...

Best Practices & Trends

Reducing Retail Fraud with Machine Learning

Retailer’s average shrink rate of 1.44% costs the U.S. retail economy over $48B, as reported by NRF (2017 National Retail Security Survey). The survey also notes that Loss Prevention staffs are not increasing, 55% of respondents expect staff sizes to remain flat, while another 21% anticipate staff cuts. Thus, retailers have less headcount now to tackle this age-old problem, making software aids increasingly necessary. The traditional software approach to fraud detection in many domains, including retail, uses rule-based filters to flag suspicious activity. There are several challenges to this approach: Flagging a large amount of activity frequently gives users too many cases to investigate and no way to decide which to investigate first.   Missing new types of suspicious activity that are very different from what the rules are looking for. The rules describe known types of suspicious activity, but the cleverness of thieves knows no bounds, and the ideal fraud detection system must have a way to flag their inventions without human aid.   Re-tuning when the business changes or when the environment changes. Enter Machine Learning Machine learning can help retailers detect fraud by working in concert with the techniques and principles used in detecting credit-card fraud. Taking a page from the detection of credit-card fraud, where rules-based approaches have similar deficiencies, we can apply machine learning to supplement the rules-based approach and conquer these challenges. Machine learning here is not a replacement for the rules-based approaches but rather works in concert with them, and in fact the rules are an integral part of training some of the machine-learning models. It is possible to employ multiple machine learning techniques, both unsupervised and supervised.  Unsupervised Machine Learning Techniques A prime candidate for an unsupervised approach is the 1-class Support Vector Machine (SVM)-based anomaly detection provided by the Oracle Advanced Analytics (OAA) engine. In this use of SVM, it becomes a detector of outliers, that is, of unusual behavior. While normally SVM-based learning is supervised, the 1-class implementation in OAA makes it unsupervised. In our particular use of the 1-class SVM here, it may be more accurate to call it a “partially supervised” approach, in that the training data has suspicious activity removed from it beforehand. And how do we remove the suspicious activity? We do not use human intelligence here but simply use the existing rules-based filters, and so the rules are still an integral part of our machine-learning based fraud detection.  This approach remedies some of the deficiencies of a rules-only approach by: Providing an anomaly score indicating how anomalous the case is, thus giving the user, an indication of which cases should be examined first. Again, this capability can be used in concert with rules, and allow the user to find the most suspicious cases within the suspicious activity identified by a particular rule via UI dashboards. Assigning anomaly scores to cases not classified as suspicious by the rules, thus allowing the system to detect new types of fraud which the rules may not catch. Periodic retraining of the anomaly detector allows it to accommodate changes in the retailer's business, such as if particular cashier activity became normal due to changes in the retailer's organization. The retrained models adapt themselves over time to this new normal, while rules-based approaches require manual re-tuning. Let's take a closer look. The figure below shows a portion of a report where in addition to the usual columns and a rules-based Risk Type, we have a numerical Risk Score between 0 and 100 generated by the anomaly detector (higher numbers indicate more anomaly). Thus, rules-based classification can be combined with the anomaly score in a single report. Also, the anomaly detector generates scores for accounts that were not identified by the rules as being risky. Supervised Machine Learning Techniques Together with 1-class SVM anomaly detection, we also can also employ supervised-learning classification algorithms. Here, we do rely on the user to explicitly flag historical cases that are known to be fraudulent.  In addition, the user may also assign a “degree of auspiciousness” to cases, ranging from “definitely fraudulent” for those cases that investigation showed were truly fraud, to “not suspicious” for those cases that the user knows for sure are not fraud. The classification algorithm will learn whatever classification the users have provided, whether it was simply a flag indicating “definitely fraudulent” or a more refined gradation of suspicion. A Tailored Approach This case-by-case method allows a per-retailer configuration of how supervised and unsupervised approaches are used. For example, at a retailer which has been adept at finding cases that were “definitely fraud,” we may configure the system to only run the anomaly detection on the cases that are not classified as “definitely fraud” by the supervised-learning algorithms, since the supervised algorithms marking activity as “fraud” is reliable enough in this case that it is unnecessary to also run the anomaly detection on the same activity. We can reserve the anomaly detection for the activity not classified as "definitely fraud". Thus, the anomaly detection for some retailers can be a kind of fall back, and overall the system is more reliable than if we were to rely only on the supervised-learning algorithms. The figure below illustrates how anomaly detection works. The red stars are the anomalies because they are away from the bulk of the black triangles. Thus the black triangles constitute normal behavior and the red stars are anomalies and could indicate fraudulent activity. In general, we can configure the weighting between supervised and unsupervised approaches, according to how effective the retailer believes its fraud detection processes are. Investigation of fraud requires human effort, and retailers may differ in the amount of effort they devote to it and how proficient they are in detecting fraud.  Another way in which fraud detection at retailers may be different from detecting credit-card fraud is the need to use different data for each of the broad classes of fraud. At the typical retailer, there are two:   Fraud committed by customers: uses data aggregated from transactions in customer accounts. Fraud committed by cashiers: uses data aggregated from cashier transactions.  We need to train separate models for account-level fraud and for cashier-level fraud. The cashier data poses an unusual data-science problem, in that it is limited to the number of cashiers at a retailer (whereas the number of customer accounts is unbounded). Thus, to obtain reliable models for the cashier case we greatly increase the number of cashier features that we use in the models, so that the amount of data fed into the model per cashier is increased. Making it Work for You While it is possible to adopt some techniques from credit-card fraud detection, fraud detection for retail has some significantly different requirements, and requires tailoring a machine learning approach specifically for retail. However, the extra development investment improves the usability of the system, its effectiveness at finding fraud, and its per-retailer configurability. To learn more about how machine learning helps retailers in all areas of the business, check out: LIVE Webcast [May 9, 2018] MIT Sloan: Spotting Influential Retail Customers For Targeted Offers with Machine Learning Case Study: Machine Learning Increases Revenue for Flash Sale Retailer By 22% Local, Social or Both? Spotting Trends and Influential Customers

Retailer’s average shrink rate of 1.44% costs the U.S. retail economy over $48B, as reported by NRF (2017 National Retail Security Survey). The survey also notes that Loss Prevention staffs are not...

Best Practices & Trends

Global Retail Community to Convene at Oracle Industry Connect Next Week

Oracle Industry Connect will take place from April 10-11 at the New York Hilton Midtown It can be argued that Retail is transforming and evolving faster than almost any industry, making it more important than ever to connect with industry peers for advice and best practices on how to embrace innovation and new technologies to create competitive advantage. As brands continue on their digital transformation journeys Oracle Retail convenes a global community of retail leadership to encourage adoption of cloud solutions and in turn drive industry innovation. Oracle Industry Connect, held in New York on April 10-11th, is an event for just that – with a program engineered for retailers to connect and collaborate with other retailers. At this year’s event, attendees can sit down with MIT’s Georgia Perakis to discuss how machine learning to can create targeted customer promotions, Gap Inc.’s Connie Santilli on redesigning retail through technology or PureFormula’s Daniel Moure to learn about tackling the rising demand for personalized and mobile offerings. Currently, more than 35 of the world’s largest organizations, including the renowned Walt Disney Company, Brazil’s Grupo Pao de Acucar, Global leader Gap Inc., Chilean Retailer Bata and U.K.’s John Lewis, will be presenting insights on their digital journeys and operational victories be available to share their best practices with attendees in the sessions and during round table discussions. With this many relevant authentic stories, it’s no surprise that 97% of last year’s attendees recommend Oracle Industry Connect. The customers are complimented by industry influencers like RIS News Joe Skorupa, Retail Touchpoints Debbie Hauss and retail futurist Howard Saunders. At Oracle Industry Connect 2018, Oracle Retail will present a full breadth of Omnichannel and enterprise solutions that demonstrate the opportunity to capture revenue, increase staff engagement, streamline operations and maximize margins with a single view of order, inventory, promotion and customer. Demonstrations will highlight Oracle Retail Merchandise Operations Management, Oracle Retail Planning & Optimization, Oracle Retail Supply Chain, Oracle Retail Home, Oracle Commerce Cloud, Oracle Marketing Cloud, Oracle Retail Customer Engagement, Oracle Retail Xstore, Oracle Retail Order Broker and Oracle Retail Order Management on Oracle MICROS Hardware. With over 20 sponsors of the retail program, we are proud to bring a thriving community together to celebrate. The Oracle Retail ecosystem will also be on display as we showcase payment providers like platinum sponsor Adyen complemented by global integrators including Accenture, BTM Global, Deloitte, Logic, and Retail Consult to name a few. Oracle Industry Connect 2018 will conclude with a keynote from Mike Webster, senior vice president and general manager, Oracle Retail on the future of customer loyalty with insights from global consumer behavior and guidance for brands of all sizes to foster more meaningful interactions. The Oracle Retail program at Industry Connect is prepared to give over 230 retailers the knowledge they need to not only survive, but thrive, in this ever-changing environment. Customer-driven presentations include:   Spotting Influential Customers for Targeted Offers with Machine Learning Identifying influential customers using social media and transaction data can help retailers lift revenue. Research shows that retailers can also see improvement in targeted-offer efficacy by identifying trend-setting stores and allocating product based on their influence radius. In this session Oracle Retail science collaboration partner Professor Georgia Perakis at MIT Sloan School of Management shares a case study on how to leverage multiple data sources and machine learning to drive increased revenue. Determine trend-setting stores and customers, identify trendsetters within transaction data to trigger pricing strategies, and improve demand forecasting with transaction data. Understand the network effect and targeted offers. Gap Inc. Panel: Merchandising in the Cloud As a long-standing customer of Oracle, Gap Inc. sought to build on its experience and maintain a consistent merchandising platform to simplify operations for the fashion-forward brand Intermix. Intermix began its journey to the cloud while leveraging a common platform and interface of the global brands. The cloud deployment offered faster access to newer functionality and technology without the time and cost of upgrading an on-premises solution. In this session learn how the Gap Inc. team empowered Intermix to synchronize end-to-end merchandising operations including sales auditing and trade management, driving to a single version of the truth in less than six months. Groupe Dynamite: Planning in the Cloud In this session learn how Group Dynamite deployed Oracle Retail Merchandise Financial Planning Cloud Service to propel teams forward with an integrated, science-based cloud planning solution. Groupe Dynamite operates more than 400 stores and online shopping experiences in 10 countries and employs more than 6,000 people with brands Garage and Dynamite. As a fast-fashion retailer, Groupe Dynamite delivers creative and fresh merchandising to drive customer engagement across multiple touch points. Learn how Groupe Dynamite deployed Oracle Retail cloud services with Cognira in record time. Aritzia: Empowering Exceptional Service through Technology Aritzia, an innovative design house that started in 1984 with a simple idea: offer beautiful clothes in aspirational spaces with exceptional service. Aritzia focuses on individual style treating each brand as an independent label with its own creative team and aesthetic. To zero in on their target consumer’s individuality, they needed to replace their aging and unsupported legacy POS platform to a modern, robust solution that is innovative, scalable and flexible to support their growing business needs. Zoe Inglis, Project Manager of Aritizia will take us through their journey implementing Oracle Retail Xstore, Customer Engagement and Order Broker to provide stores with increased capabilities and even more exceptional experiences for every woman. Casey’s + Deloitte: A Fireside Chat About Digital Retail In this session learn about Casey’s General Stores Oracle Cloud and Oracle Retail digital transformation journey. At Casey’s, the transformation is built on a desire to drive growth via customer-centric experiences, and a need to innovate across their value chains. Be part of the discussion and learn about the trends, challenges, and opportunities that may affect your business and influence your strategy over the next 18 months.  

Oracle Industry Connect will take place from April 10-11 at the New York Hilton Midtown It can be argued that Retail is transforming and evolving faster than almost any industry, making it more...

Best Practices & Trends

Blockchain Cloud and the Supply Chain Network Empowers the Grocery Industry from Farm to Store

Take a minute to visualise all the people involved in bringing a food product to market - farmers, agents, buyers, chefs, designers, technologists, planners, drivers, warehouse teams through to the end consumer. Now consider this - for every person involved in bringing a product to market, and for every customer they serve, there are different systems being used across buying, sourcing, assessment, shipments, quality, formulation, labelling, packaging, promotion, pricing, inventory, replenishment and compliance. As you can imagine, this adds complexity, inefficiency and risk to every product lifecycle.  Wouldn’t it be ideal to have a central platform where everyone can collaborate, communicate and interact with each other? A platform where all of these systems, data pools, mobile apps and digital devices can securely share and synchronise on common sets of reliable data, removing duplication, error and providing an irrefutable audit. Or even better, a common dashboard of all of these transactions enabling you to anticipate risk, take effective action and learn for the future. Good news is this isn’t a pipe dream any longer. Oracle is helping the grocery industry with the Supply Chain Network, an initiative focused at empowering the digitization and common protocols across the entire market. This requires attention on what each layer of the supply chain needs to increase, improve and protect trading relationships. Meeting Everyone’s Needs Farmers ultimately need to grow and sell all of their crops for the most money. Producers and manufacturers need to increase margin and productivity. Retailers are seeking to grow and protect their brands. Consumers want to trust the safety, availability and quality of their food. To meet these multiple demands and inspire a common platform of data, the industry needs to embrace IoT and micro apps that simplify the capture and provide business benefits across all layers. The Supply Chain Network & Oracle Blockchain Cloud The Supply Chain Network is a platform that enables IoT, micro apps and business systems to connect and exchange transactional data in an open and protected environment. This inspires the industry to create and market exception based tools for the capture of transactions utilising common sets of data to improve efficiency, remove duplication, improve quality and ultimately digitise the market. This then enables the layering of dashboards, analytics and science across the platform to help the industry work better together in anticipating risk, analysing market dynamics and managing crisis. Integration with the Oracle Blockchain Cloud can then be incorporated to lock and secure selected transactions providing irrefutable evidence to support traceability. If you are interested in finding out more about how Blockchain is improving the supply chain, contact Jonathan Pickles, Solutions Management, Oracle Retail.

Take a minute to visualise all the people involved in bringing a food product to market - farmers, agents, buyers, chefs, designers, technologists, planners, drivers, warehouse teams through to...

Cloud

Oracle Retail Demonstrates Continued Adoption of Cloud Solutions Among Global Retail Community

Implementation of Best-in-Class Solutions Fuel Operational Efficiency, Better Forecasting and Maximized Margins for Retailers Oracle Retail announced the successful implementation of Oracle Retail cloud services and solutions across six global brands. Oracle Retail cloud services and solutions continue to be adopted for their ability to streamline operations and provide a more accurate view of price, promotion and demand with a single view of inventory across locations, brands, channels and geographies. Oracle Retail’s continued cloud first product strategy has resulted in the launch of over 30 cloud services delivered in the last 18 months. “Adopters of cloud solutions develop a significant edge over their competitors by creating a single view of order, inventory, promotion, price and consumer and faster access to innovation,” said Jeff Warren, vice president solutions and strategy, Oracle Retail. “With cloud infrastructure, brands can dedicate resources to act on insights instead of maintaining legacy systems. Retailers that innovate will continue to widen the gap between their peers with lower operating costs, improved customer experience and maximized margins.” Noted brands that have recently implemented Oracle Retail cloud solutions: Gap Inc. launching Oracle Retail Merchandising Foundation Cloud Service, Oracle Retail Merchandising Insights Cloud Service, Oracle Retail Integration Cloud Service and Oracle Retail Store Inventory Management running on the Oracle Cloud to drive end-to-end operational efficiencies and empower the business teams of the INTERMIX brand. Groupe Dynamite deploying Oracle Retail Merchandise Financial Planning Cloud service to accelerate international expansion with a single view of inventory. Moleskine implementing Oracle Commerce Cloud in 35 countries, 10 languages and 15 local currencies. Samsonite Europe implementing Oracle Retail Order Broker Cloud Service to enable more consumer shopping journeys. Saudi Arabian pharmacies’ retailer Nahdi Medical Company deploying Oracle Retail Advanced Science Engine Cloud Service, Oracle Retail Merchandising Solutions and Oracle Retail Category Management to put powerful scientific insights delivered in a digestible format for business users. Wyevale investing in Oracle Retail Stores Suite and Oracle Retail Customer Engagement across 149 garden centers in the U.K. Oracle will convene a global community of retail leadership to share insights from their digital transformation journeys at Oracle Industry Connect April 10-11, 2018 in New York, NY. Oracle Industry Connect provides attendees with intimate peer networking opportunities enlisting over 36 retail thought leaders across presentations and interactive panel discussions on adapting to market changes, simplifying operations and empowering authentic brand experiences. To learn more about Oracle Industry Connect 2018 and register to attend visit: www.oracle.com/oracleindustryconnect/ About Oracle Retail Oracle provides retailers with a complete, open, and integrated suite of best-of-breed business applications, cloud services, and hardware that are engineered to work together and empower commerce. Leading fashion, grocery, and specialty retailers use Oracle solutions to anticipate market changes, simplify operations and inspire authentic brand interactions. For more information, visit our website at www.oracle.com/retail. About Oracle Oracle offers a comprehensive and fully integrated stack of cloud applications and platform services. For more information about Oracle (NYSE:ORCL), visit www.oracle.com. Trademarks Oracle and Java are registered trademarks of Oracle and/or its affiliates. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners. Contact: Matt Torres Matt.torres@oracle.com 4155951584

Implementation of Best-in-Class Solutions Fuel Operational Efficiency, Better Forecasting and Maximized Margins for Retailers Oracle Retail announced the successful implementation of Oracle...

Community

A Closer Look at Oracle Industry Connect in NYC

Join Oracle Retail April 9-11th in New York City for a program of thought leadership and best practice sharing that will prepare you to lead, plan, navigate, and execute your business strategies. Gain a worldwide perspective from our global retail speakers and learn from industry peers through exclusive customer stories. Top 4 Reasons to Participate at Oracle Industry Connect 1. For Retailers, by Retailers Delivered by retailers, for retailers, our program features more than 30 retailer speakers of all scopes and sizes to focus on anticipating market changes, simplifying operations, and empowering your team to inspire authentic brand experiences. We have stellar customer-led presentations lined up including: Gap Inc.: Reimagining Retail through Technology Groupe Dynamite: Planning in the Cloud  Camping World: 100 Days to Go Live See the full agenda 2. Relationship Building Networking opportunities for all tastes—from an early-morning run or yoga at Central Park to topical lunches to late-night conversations and cocktails—you'll have unprecedented access to retail executives, implementation partners, and Oracle Retail experts from around the world. On Tuesday, April 10th, our guests will unwind after a full day of customer-led content at the Edison Ballroom in the heart of Times Square. Enjoy fine cuisine and cocktails, and make new connections with retailers from around the globe. Check out the venue 3. New Innovations and Solution News Guided by a leadership team dedicated to retail with more than 200 years of combined experience, Oracle Retail is built and developed for retail. Oracle Industry Connect is the best forum to stay informed about the latest available and upcoming innovations. Oracle Retail maintains a steady pace of innovation with more than 40 new cloud services available. 4. Access the Oracle Retail Ecosystem Connect with implementation partners from around the world and learn how their latest innovations in delivery can help you reduce implementation costs and total cost of ownership. Find out how our partner ecosystem empowers customer success. At the Retail General Session, Adyen will join us as one of the keynote speakers and Platinum-level Sponsor for the Retail Industry Track: From Lost Sales to Loyal Shopper. Other sessions led by our Gold Sponsors include: Bata and Retail Consult: An Omnichannel Case Study Casey’s + Deloitte: A Fireside Chat about Digital Retail Helzberg Diamonds and BTM Global: Driving Growth with Stellar Customer Experience If the above isn't enough to convince you to join the retail community at Oracle Industry Connect, see what attendees took away from last year:   Learn more about Oracle Industry Connect and register today!

Join Oracle Retail April 9-11th in New York City for a program of thought leadership and best practice sharing that will prepare you to lead, plan, navigate, and execute your business strategies. Gain...

Best Practices & Trends

Social Selling and the Evolving Role of the Store

Last month Nike announced a partnership with Snapchat, Shopify and Darkstore becoming the first brand to sell through the social channel. The launch proved so successful that Nike was able to sell out its pre-release of the Air Jordan III "Tinker" in just 23 minutes. All shoes were delivered by 10:30 p.m. the same night by Darkstore which provides physical locations for store inventory and ensures quick fulfillment via simple mobile engagement, leveraging robotic automation and AI.   The utilization of both online/social media and physical locations enabled Nike to deliver the ultimate customer service experience. While each channel serves a unique purpose, it is the ability to deliver a unified experience for the customer that drives success. The Evolving Role of the Store As retailers continue to evolve their businesses to put the consumer at the center of every business decision we are seeing an overall shift in priorities around the concept of convenience. Retailers worldwide are updating their return policies to reduce friction and compete more effectively which creates new customer buying journeys: Buy Online, Pick Up In-Store Buy Online, Return In-Store Buy In-Store, Ship From Online/Vendor While these multi-channel journeys introduce a level of complexity to understanding a single view of inventory and increasing operating costs, the increased foot traffic is an opportunity. Each in-store return or in-store order pickup increases overall foot traffic by introducing customers to store locations where they may not have normally shopped before. It is important for retailers to begin to implement strategies to convert this growing traffic into additional sales and future loyal customers. Retailers need to adapt store formats to lower friction and increase conversions. Recently, we have seen a multitude of new store formats emerge within the retail marketplace. The role of a store has expanded beyond sales transactions to experiences with fulfillment centers, showrooms, pop-up shops, and theme stores. Even traditional big box locations are being transformed into a smaller footprint, enabling the physical store to better serve customer demand by playing a specific role - whether it is a strong returns location or top fulfillment location for online orders. The value of a physical location goes beyond sales per square feet. Despite rising real estate costs, it is important to keep physical store locations to help complete the full ecosystem surrounding each customer. If your end goal is to maintain loyal engagement with customers and deliver memorable experiences, it is more important than ever to understand your customer demand from a holistic trading region perspective. Retailers need to utilize their data to the fullest to understand a single view of their customer to effectively engage with customers on all channels and evolve their stores and fulfillment options. Hear from retailers around the globe as they share real-life stories of enterprise transformation and the evolving role of the store. Join us at Oracle Industry Connect, April 9-11 in New York City. Related Resources Blog – Single View of Customer: Driving Experience & Top Line Growth Research - Retail in 4 Dimensions: Understanding Consumer Behavior in Age of Relativity Video – Hit the Sales Plan with Oracle Retail Planning & Optimization

Last month Nike announced a partnership with Snapchat, Shopify and Darkstore becoming the first brand to sell through the social channel. The launch proved so successful that Nike was able to sell...

Best Practices & Trends

Case Study: Machine Learning Increases Revenue for Flash Sale Retailer By 22%

In a recent webcast with MIT we explored how machine learning can positively impact pricing, promotions and forecasting. The webcast is available on-demand or you can access a summary and key learnings in this guidebook. Maximizing First-Exposure Opportunity One of the cases we examined was an online retailer that specializes in flash sales of high-fashion apparel, accessories, and home goods. At any given time on the website there are multiple sale events running in tandem; for each event, the site will display: images of the products, price at which each is being offered, manufacturer’s suggested retail price for that item, number of days and hours remaining in the sale. Fashion designers do not want their products to be discounted too frequently, so the retailer’s contracts with its suppliers stipulate a period—sometimes as long as seven or eight months—between the first and any subsequent offering (“exposure,” in the trade). To avoid having capital tied up in temporarily unsaleable inventory, the retailer’s goal was to maximize first-exposure sell-through—percentage of inventory sold—in each of the five product categories. Sell-through projections are largely based on price, which in turn is normally based on demand, i.e. the way a product performs in the market. However, flash-sale specialists constantly have to establish a price for a product with which they have no information about consumer interest; since they have never sold it before. They don’t want to underprice it and leave money on the table, and they don’t want to overprice it and have to sit in inventory for six months or more. Challenge: How to set price to maximize the opportunity during a product’s first exposure Goal: A Model That Optimizes Price Information Gathering on 5 Product Categories: Internal information - if the new product was a ladies’ running shoe, the retailer would have sold other ladies’ running shoes, and would have information about color and size popularity. External information - brand popularity, discount relative to the manufacturer’s recommended price, and information about other products on sale at the same time that could cannibalize sales of this particular product. Timing of the sales event - the effect of year, month, day of the week, and start time of the event, all of which could have an impact on customer participation and traffic to the website. This collected data was subjected to analysis by a machine learning algorithm called a regression tree, which is essentially an overlay of scenarios. You begin at the top of the tree with an assumption—say, a starting price of a hundred dollars. Then you move down through a series of possible modifying factors—other products on sale at the same time, for instance—branching out to the left (price goes up) or the right (price goes down) as you go. At the same time, you are calculating and re-calculating the effects of this or that not only on price but on demand. Pilot For six months, the team ran a field experiment with two objectives: Impact on revenue Price increases with no negative effect on market share Methodology 6,000 products for which the tool recommended a price increase Divided into five categories: Category A (least expensive products) through to E (most expensive) Half were in a control group whose pricing was not directed by the machine algorithm Other half, the algorithm generated forecast and price and pushed them into the website Results Revenue Impact: Increase in Revenue with 90% Confidence Interval Machine Learning Pricing Outcomes by Category: To read more about this machine learning case study or others download the Guidebook today. Resources: See the Machine Learning Guidebook With More Examples Listen to the Machine Learning Webcast Replay

In a recent webcast with MIT we explored how machine learning can positively impact pricing, promotions and forecasting. The webcast is available on-demand or you can access a summary and key...

Community

30+ Retailers Secured for Oracle Industry Connect 2018

Oracle Industry Connect hits New York City April 9-11, 2018.  Retail is an industry that never stops and never sleeps. Neither does New York or my team apparently. We pivot from the National Retail Federation directly into one of our favorite global forums, Oracle Industry Connect. Oracle Retail is excited to host our most immersive customer event, Oracle Industry Connect, this spring and help retailers make new connections and solve complex business challenges. It is my honor and extreme please to announce the retail speaker line-up.  The Oracle Retail program is designed and delivered by retailers from around the globe including: Sandeep Baghel, Director, Perry Ellis International Bill Boezinger, Manager, The Walt Disney Company Rachel Callan, Business Lead ERP Project, John Lewis Keith Costello, Executive Director IT, Estee Lauder Lora Croslin, Product Manager - Inventory Management, Gap Inc. Julie Fillion, Senior Director of Planning, Groupe Dynamite Debbie Hauss, Editor in Chief, Retail Touchpoints Zoe Inglis, Senior Project Manager, Project Management Office, Aritzia Robert Kagenski, Director of Business Systems, Kirkland's Paul Lamoureux, Senior Director, Gap Inc. Scott Logan, Vice President of IT, Camping World Laurent Kamiel, Director Demand Planning, Grupo Pao de Acucar Russell Kolb, Senior Director of Pricing Operations, Retail Merchandise Systems, and Master Data Management, Academy Sports + Outdoors Luis Malave, Vice President Information Technology and Applications, Lucky Brand Chris Metcalf, Merchandise Planning Programme Manager, ASOS Paulo Miranda, IT Senior Manager, Grupo Pao de Acucar Daniel Moure, Chief Marketing Officer, PureFormulas Jennifer Myerberg, Vice President, Intermix Ramesh Nagarajan, Senior Technical Manager, Gap Inc. Nick Oswald, Associate Director - Demand Planning & Forecasting Operations, Best Buy Eder Padillo, Gerente de Supply Chain, Bata Retail Lucy Partridge, Subject Matter Expert, ASOS Bryan Podgorny, Senior Manager, Global Store Operations, Deckers Martin Rodgers, Head of Supply Management, Argos Sainsbury Jeff Rohr, Chief Information Officer, Helzberg Diamonds Fabio Salvotti, DSI, Adeo Connie Santilli, Vice President, Gap Inc. Howard Saunders, Retail Futurist Joe Skorupa, Editor-in-Chief, RIS News Eduardo Smaniotto, Supply Chain Director, Paqueta Chad Stroup, Senior Manager, Merchandise Business Insights and Analytics, The Walt Disney Company Rick Whicker, Senior Director, Gap Inc. Susan Young, Infrastructure Engineer, John Lewis View the details of our program.  Don't listen to me, listen to our customers who come year over year. See why 97% of last year’s attendees recommend OIC The hotel room block ends this Friday. Take the next step and register today to reserve your spot.  I sincerely hope to see you next month!   

Oracle Industry Connect hits New York City April 9-11, 2018.  Retail is an industry that never stops and never sleeps. Neither does New York or my team apparently. We pivot from the National Retail...

Customer Success

Chalhoub Group Mobilizes Associates to Accelerate Customer Loyalty

In the Middle East, as everywhere else in today’s world, customers expect a more personalized shopping experience and faster, more flexible access to items they want. Leading luxury retailer Chalhoub Group, which operates 470 retail outlets in 14 countries, is responding by equipping store associates with access to better, more accurate customer and inventory information and the ability to move throughout the store to help customers find items, complete transactions, even purchase items from other locations. In a recent presentation, Kenza Rekik, Chalhoub Group IT Business Relationship Manager, shared their journey. To achieve their goals, Chalhoub Group implemented Oracle Retail Xstore Point-of-Service (POS) with mobile associate access in its landmark store Level Shoe District in Dubai. Chalhoub Group completed the implementation, from kick-off to go-live, within just six months. Xstore helps their store associates provide better, more convenient service through a very large, complex retail environment. Chalhoub’s Level Shoe District, which at 96,000 square feet is arguably the world’s largest shoe store, is divided into 40 designer boutiques and four multi-brand areas: women’s designer, contemporary, mens, and trend. It features a VIP lounge, designer restaurants, a cobbler, and individual shoe stylists. Striving to Meet the Demands of Today’s Shopper “Fifty percent of our guests,” said Rekik, “expect to buy online and pick up in-store, and 51% say they expect to have the same experience online and offline. Today’s customer expects convenience, consistency from one channel to another, and to have real-time, personalized interactions, as they become more and more comfortable sharing personal data for tailored offers.” Increasingly, the Chalhoub Group was finding that its POS configuration and checkout process was failing on several fronts. First, the fixed POS terminals required customers to wait in line to check out. The wait was exacerbated by the system’s slow navigation and invoice printing. Second, customer credit cards had to be entered manually. Moreover, many purchases were handled as cash transaction in which customer data was not captured. Finally, staff executives and associates lacked information to better engage and assist customers, due to a lack of both customer and item data on the shop floor. Time for Transformation Early last year, Chalhoub Group management decided to select and implement a new POS system. The field of possible contenders was narrowed to three candidates which were evaluated on user experience, features, adaptability, regional presence, customer references, cost of implementation, licensing cost, and integration complexity. “We selected Oracle Retail Xstore,” said Rekik, “based on three criteria: it has the best features, it’s intuitive and easy to use, and it is flexible, adaptable, and easy to roll out.” Specifically, says Rekik, the things the Chaloub Group found most appealing about Xstore included: Intuitive user interface makes it easier and faster for store associates to complete tasks and reduced the time to train new associates; Provides store associates quick and easy access to relevant customer information, such as purchase history and comments, so that they can provide better assistance and service; Connects with any order management/CRM/gift card management system, so it reduces the need to switch between systems and ensures associates can do more for customers; Mobility and integrated card payments of Xstore simplifies, speeds, and improves the transaction process. 6 Months from Kick-off to Go-Live Working with systems integrator Logic Information Systems, Rekik and her team deployed Oracle Retail Xstore at Level Shoes under six-months as a pilot project. The initial rollout, which is the first implementation of Oracle Retail Xstore in the Middle East, includes 37 stationary terminals and 30 iPhones. When the full implementation is completed later this year, it will include another 30 iPhones. The implementation is very much a success story, says Rekik, “This is a significant improvement from the way we were doing things in our store,” she says, “and the customers are happy. Our guests love the fact that invoices are sent by email. They are very excited and intrigued about mobile transactions and payments, and they enjoy the faster and smoother checkout process.” Learn more about Chalhoub Group: You may also be interested in: Q&A: How Consumer Expectations &and Technology are Shaping Today’s Retail Store   Oracle Retail at NRF 2019 Oracle Retail will be showcasing the full suite of Oracle Retail solutions and cloud services at the National Retail Federation Big Show Jan. 13-15, 2019, in New York City at the Jacob K. Javitz Convention Center. Book a demo today.   Subscribe to our once a month blog digest email.

In the Middle East, as everywhere else in today’s world, customers expect a more personalized shopping experience and faster, more flexible access to items they want. Leading luxury retailer Chalhoub...

Planning & Optimization

Retailers Win by TKO Against $90B in Returns with Inventory Lifecycle Planning

In terms of retail sales, the 2017 holiday season was a solid knockout. The National Retail Federation reported total November-December U.S. retail sales of $691.6 billion, up 5.5% from the same period in 2016 and significantly higher than NRF’s earlier prediction of a 3.6% to 4.5% increase. Customers used all available channels and shifted more than ever to online purchase options; Deloitte’s 2017 Holiday Survey showed that for the first time, shoppers’ expectations of online spending (51% of budget) exceeded in-store spending. That's all fantastic but the reality is that a substantial portion of holiday-season purchases will be returned and many of these, including those purchased from online, will be returned directly to brick-and-mortar stores.  Let's use my love for boxing for the blow-by-blow detail of what this means for retailers in terms of inventory management, revenue and profitabilty.  Returns Scorecard The Wall Street Journal estimated a total of $90 billion in returns will occur through the end of February 2018 The digital consultancy SUMO Heavy reported: 64% of consumers prefer to return or exchange gifts in-store 85% feel that retailers should allow in-store returns and exchanges of online purchases This stick and move approach means inventory is constantly moving and not necessarily coming back to the place it was purchased from. From a customer service perspective, retailers are well-accustomed to accommodating their customers when it comes to returns. What remains a challenge for many retailers though is how to fully and accurately represent the return activities in both inventory management and in future planning cycles. So what can retailers do to roll with the punches of high returns? Pound-for-Pound Planning While in-store returns create an opportunity for retailers to satisfy customer service expectations, they also present challenges for inventory and product lifecycle management. According to the Wall Street Journal, returns to a store cost a retailer an average of $3 per item in administrative expenses and are available for resale within a day. While items shipped back to a distribution center or third-party logistics provider cost roughly $6 or more per item to process and take at least four days to become available for resale. The upside is in-store return policies for online purchases increase foot traffic, sales opportunities and customer loyalty. However, it is our experience that most retailers, even the largest ones, are not adjusting their merchandise financial planning in a manner that allows them to take advantage of this main event opportunity. For one thing, even in the age of omnichannel consumer behavior, retailers’ online and in-store operations often operate in silos. With the bulk of returns going to stores, from the viewpoint of the ecommerce team everything is great. You sold a lot over the holidays and haven’t seen that many returns, so naturally you're going to keep rolling and buying to replenish your online channel inventory.  Unfortunately, the ecommerce team doesn't see the left hook coming their way on the store side, returned merchandise stacking up in every corner. When not planned for, this can creates bleeders in your inventory management. You’re not only taking a salesperson off the floor to repackage items, steam them, or whatever may be necessary, you’re also taking in items that your store may not have in its localized assortment. Now you have to figure out what to do with this in-congruent item, like deeply discount it or ship it back to a warehouse. What if these low blows could be avoided? Unanimous Decision: One Version of the Truth Wins Every Time By eliminating silos on the inventory management level, and focusing on an enterprise-wide planning process, retailers are making tremendous strides in better managing a product lifecycle that includes inevitable returns. The resulting planning steps are adapted to reflect the individual retailer’s needs, but the process begins with having insight into the makeup of overall inventory, and from there a decision on what strategies need to be developed for an unanimous decision. For example, as some retailers consider reducing their number of stores based on underperformance, they may elect to retain hubs that play a big role in fulfillment. By transition select physical locations from traditional formats to hubs for customer returns, they can also generate extra foot traffic and convert new sales. Whatever plan for returns management a retailer may make, it should be based on a complete, unified picture of the organization’s inventory: one version of the truth. The key is staying agile and understanding your customer and return journeys in the pre-season plan to help react effectively. Oracle Retail’s Merchandise Financial Planning solution has built-in functionality that reflects best practices used by retailer champions worldwide. Keep yourself in the ring and on your feet with Oracle Retail Merchandise Financial Planning and Oracle Retail Merchandise Financial Planning Cloud Service. Related Resources Video: Paqueta Customer Success Blog: Fit and Focused Wins the Retail Race: How Planners are Gearing Up for 2018 Blog: River Island Creates Single View of Inventory with Oracle Retail Planning

In terms of retail sales, the 2017 holiday season was a solid knockout. The National Retail Federation reported total November-December U.S. retail sales of $691.6 billion, up 5.5% from the same...

Best Practices & Trends

Food Recalls Down 13%, But Beware of Contaminated Valentines

In this latest Oracle Retail Brand Compliance Market Flash report, for December 2017 and January 2018, there was a decrease in the number of food recalls, for a total of 80 reported throughout the US, Canada and the UK. The good news is that’s about a 13% decrease compared to the recalls reported in the October-November Market Flash Report and an 18% decrease from a year ago. Overall, contamination incidents were down about 5% when compared to the October and November timeframe. And although the US made up 80% of the contamination recalls during that same period, in December and January it made up only about half, while recalls increased in both Canada and the UK. Analyzing the data a little further, the UK tripled its total number of recalls during this period when compared to the last report, and mislabeling made up 67% of their recalls. From about April 2017 to January 2018 mislabeling errors have caused the majority of recalls, consistently recording between 46-51 total recalls each time. Although the total number of contamination incidents were down, they do continue to make global headlines. Peanut, Salmonella and Listeria Contamination Headlines Just in time for St. Valentine’s Day, a recall from Palmer Candy Company was reported on their Sea Salt Caramel Hearts when a worker packaging the product found a protruding peanut, which caused alarm since the product was declared to be nut-free. Luckily there haven’t been any illnesses reported. A couple contamination recalls in Canada have also been making waves. A recall of sesame seed for potential Salmonella contamination has been reported and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is conducting a food safety investigation to address the recall concern. And another recall of Coconut Tree branded frozen coconut has been linked to Salmonella infections in both the U.S. and Canada, with 25 outbreak victims in the U.S. There was also a recall from National Frozen Foods Corp., which involved several brands of individually quick frozen green beans and mixed vegetables because they were potentially contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.   The Popularity of Private Labels Headlines Moving on from food recalls to private labels, it’s clear that the private label industry continues to boom in the U.S. with leaders like Trader Joes and Whole Foods capitalizing on the consumer appeal, and now it's reaching highs in Europe. The Private Label Manufacturers Association International Private Label 2017 Yearbook statistics revealed that private label’s market share has reached all-time highs in these nine European countries: Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Belgium, Poland, Austria, Sweden, Norway and Denmark. The PLMA is the international trade organization that promotes private label brands, and it represents over 3,500 manufactures and suppliers worldwide. Since consumers can easily buy quality products, at a savings that is backed by a trusted retailer, when compared to a full-priced manufactures brand, it’s no surprise the global popularity of private labels is soaring. It is said this market will reach $220B by 2020. Sales of Clean Label Products Also on the Rise In addition to private label popularity, according to Nielsen, sales of products that are clean, sustainable and free from artificial ingredients are also on the rise. The increase of clean label products is also changing the assortment on retailers’ store shelves. And this shift isn’t’ just for specialty retailers, since 93% of U.S. households have purchased a clean label product at grocery stores, 70% have purchased at a mass merchandiser/supercenter and 31% at club stores. What is interesting though is studies are finding that Millennials and Generation X consumers are more likely to seek out clean and sustainable products than other generations. As seen in Forbes, Millennials are guiding the trend in the general market and also tend to stay loyal to brands that they feel are open and transparent. In fact, Label Insight’s Transparency ROI survey revealed that 94% are likely to be loyal to a brand that offers complete transparency. As retailers look to grow their clean label and private label products they expose themselves to risk if they do not have a strong brand compliance strategy and system in place. Check out more information on Oracle Brand Compliance Cloud Service and read this related blog. Other Notable Headlines Kroger’s Fair Trade Product Expansion Leads Industry with 300 Fair Trade Certified Products Study: Nutrition Ratings Can Boost Sales For Grocers The Next Wave of Private Label If you find this market update useful, subscribe to our blog where we post bi-monthly Market Flash reports. See the previous report here. In addition, if you are interested in discussing the latest technology innovations in brand compliance, drop me an email or plan to meet up with me at any of the below events. Upcoming Events You Can Find Me At: GFSI: 5th March - Tokyo Expo ANTAD: 8th March - Mexico

In this latest Oracle Retail Brand Compliance Market Flash report, for December 2017 and January 2018, there was a decrease in the number of food recalls, for a total of 80 reported throughout the US,...

Best Practices & Trends

Local, Social or Both? Spotting Trends and Influential Customers

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and various other social media platforms have been exalted for identifying key influencers that drive retail sales. The premise being social engagement helps spot early trends that will help drive retail sales. But is social the most reliable option for identifying trends? Noise in social media data is prevalent and there are many schools of thought on how to break through the noise in search of true, actionable data. Effectiveness of such tools and methods remain to be proven. What if we change the paradigm of where we search for these hidden data gems? There is a well-known saying “All politics is local,” so let’s borrow a page from that. Data Considerations What if we consider that all data is local? What if the wealth of concentrated, actionable data lies within the retailer’s own sales transactional data? Identifying Trends From Data to Drive Sales Retailer’s data offers fresh ground to mine for key patterns, including trends that could result in actionable sales strategies. Identifying trendsetters within a retailer’s data might serve as key triggers for pricing strategies and shelf space optimization. Furthermore, this allows the retailer to customize offerings within a geographic locale thereby being more relevant to the population that it serves. Trend-spotting within retailer’s data opens a myriad of options to drive sales. Say for instance we recognize a consistent pattern among trendsetters within a retailer’s data in Boston and the retailer’s data suggests that sales of those goods spiked in the broader Boston metro area. Following these trendsetters within the retailer’s data might result in more meaningful ways of driving revenue, rather than just mining social media data for example. The Oracle Retail Science team collaboration partner, Professor Georgia Perakis from MIT Sloan School of Management, is working on a joint research project to predict customer trends with using retailer sales transaction data. If you are interested in learning more about the Oracle Retail Science Customer Group & this research please contact us today. Three Benefits to Identifying Retail Trends Network Effect – retailers can target trendsetters with followers that can help spread the ‘trend’ and accelerate sales.  Maximized Inventory – pricing and inventory placement at key stores where trendsetters shop and at the best times, so there isn’t a rush to clear inventory. Targeted Offers – identify brand-loyal customers based on purchase behavior and provide targeted offers. Real-world Examples and Data Points of Interest The following example is from a particular retailer for a few stores based in the same metro area, where a particular style started selling around week 15 of 2014. The plot shows the percentage sell-through over time. The percent sell-through is the percent of cumulative sales units observed until that week compared to the total sales units for all weeks. Even though the products in three stores (480, 498 and 2045) were introduced to the market at the same time, with the same location-based effects, and similar pricing strategies, some store’s sales picked up rapidly compared to other stores. After a lot of data mining using customer data we concluded that store 2045 was the trendsetter, whereas stores 480 or 498 are the followers. Social Media Data Insight on Dresses Based on posts in social media channels like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram we can also get insights that could help in understanding a customer’s interests. The below example is on woman’s dresses. The first graph below shows the weekly total activity related to the word “dress.” The weekly activity includes any fashion-related posts, comments and reviews that mentioned the keyword “dress.” The second graph below shows the share of activities with positive sentiments about dresses. Finally, the third graph shows unit sales for two categories of women dresses for a retailer. We see similar trends between positive sentiments and the sales for these two categories, which indicate a potential correlation between social sentiments and customer purchase behavior. While this is an example of interest in dresses, decreasing interest in a color, style or brand in a social media channel could be a signal for retailers to adjust plans. These signals could be used for “proactive” planning, and may clue retailers to adjust replenishment quantities, assortments or even pricing. These are just a few examples of how social media and retailer transaction data can identify trends and influence customers to help increase sales. The Oracle Retail Science platform enables retailers to uncover insights. What’s more, plug-and-play solutions like offer optimization empowers retailers lacking dedicated data science teams with price recommendations and options for targeted offers so that you can leverage the power of retail science without specialized teams. Reach out if you are interested in the Oracle Retail Science Customer Group or the joint research project to predict customer trends with using retailer sales transaction data. You May Also be Interested In: HuffPost's Article on Detecting Customer Trends Without Social Media Data On-demand webcast - Analytics and Machine Learning in Retail: Demand Forecasting & Price Optimization - MIT Professor David Simchi-Levi Blog - Escaping Cannibals and Forecasting the Unknown: Machine Learning Applications in Retail Pricing and Forecasting Blog - R374IL 4N4LY71C5: Transforming the Retail Enterprise

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and various other social media platforms have been exalted for identifying key influencers that drive retail sales. The premise being social engagement helps spot early...

Customer Success

Leader Grupo Martí Deploys Suite of Oracle Retail Technology, Improving Customer Experience

A Leading Provider of Sporting Goods in Mexico Gains Single View of Inventory and Operations Oracle announced that a leading provider of sporting goods in Mexico, Grupo Martí has deployed Oracle Retail technology to make goods available to consumers in stores faster. As part of their implementation project, Grupo Martí has implemented Oracle Retail Merchandise operations management suite, Oracle Retail Store Inventory Management and Oracle Retail Allocation. With Oracle Retail at the core, Grupo Martí can enhance inventory control to drive better merchandise decision-making and improve the experience for consumers, helping ensure the right products are in the right stores at the right time. Grupo Martí operates over 200 stores under seven brands including: Tiendas Martí, Martí Outlet, Martí Digital, Clubes Sport City, Restaurantes City Café, Emoción Deportiva y Smart Fit. As a leading sporting goods retailer in Mexico, Grupo Martí’s business model is highly dependent on managing large volumes of inventory. Prior to deploying Oracle Retail, Grupo Martí was managing merchandise through their ERP system, but found that it could not scale to meet the demand of today’s omnichannel environment. Grupo Martí started an evaluation of solutions to support retail business with minimal operational changes. Grupo Martí selected Oracle Retail for their ability to deliver an easy to implement solution with breadth, depth and retail rich business capabilities for a modern, digital organization. Retail Consult, Oracle PartnerNetwork Platinum level member, was a key player in the success of the Martí Lombardi project. “One of the most important outcomes of the project was simplifying our business processes with a flexible and powerful tool – made possible with a seasoned implementation partner. The combination of Oracle Retail solutions with Retail Consult skills helped to empower the Martí team and made the project viable,” said Alejandro Oropeza, CIO of Grupo Martí. As a result of a successful implementation with Retail Consult and Oracle Retail, Grupo Martí is experiencing positive impacts in budget optimization, order tracking, vendor communications, as well as allocation of products in the right sizes, colors and quantities to stores. Accelerated purchase process and optimized product delivery is key: historically it had taken three to four months to get products into stores and this can now be accomplished in a matter of weeks. Martí’s information is now organized to provide better visibility to make more informed decisions that impact operations and inventory. “Martí immediately noticed positive results, due to more efficient processes, control, and visibility. Budget optimization, order tracking, and vendor communications have all improved,” said Manuel Martin, CEO, Grupo Martí. “From day one, we experienced an accelerated purchasing process to get the right product into our stores in weeks instead of months.” "The Oracle Retail suite of solutions was a perfect fit for Grupo Martí because they needed broad, Retail-specific functionality that could be implemented quickly and integrated with their existing ERP system.  As well, Oracle's technology platform has rich capabilities that make the integrations easy to implement and help keep them protected for future upgrades,” said Silvia Gomes, partner, Retail Consult. “With Oracle, we are confident that we can deliver all aspects of a client's solution to make them successful." “Offering the right product, at the right moment, in the right time is key for driving loyalty. Inventory control is crucial to offer consistent customer shopping experience and engagement,” said Ray Carlin, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Oracle Retail. “We are seeing sports retailers worldwide looking for improving their operations and we are proud to work with Grupo Martí in Mexico in this transformational journey.”

A Leading Provider of Sporting Goods in Mexico Gains Single View of Inventory and Operations Oracle announced that a leading provider of sporting goods in Mexico, Grupo Martí has deployed Oracle Retail...

Customer Success

Webcast Sneak Peek: Delivering a Highly Personalized, In-Store Mobile Customer Experience

According to recent research, over 50% of shoppers rate in-store staff with tablets as important in their checkout experience and 71% are likely to continue shopping with a specialty retailer that delivers fast checkout in store. Are you meeting these expectations? On Tuesday, February 20th at 8:00 a.m. EST Chalhoub, one of the leading luxury retailers in the Middle East, will share their approach to mobility and high-end customer experience orchestration in a live webcast; Delivering a Highly Personalized, In-Store Mobile Customer Experience. Kenza Rekik, IT Project Manager, Chalhoub, will share how customer expectations drove their decision to upgrade their POS to Oracle Retail Xstore Point-of-Service at the world's finest shoe metropolis, Level Shoes District. With Level Shoes massive footprint (96,000 square feet), Chalhoub was faced with challenges similar to all retailers: Slow cumbersome checkout process Staff executives not empowered to engage with customers Inaccurate customer data collection Static POS and registers Understanding their customers crave a convenient, personalized experience, Chalhoub embraced the opportunity for change. After a prudent solution assessment process, Chalhoub chose to partner with Oracle Retail based on key criteria including: best features, easy to use UI, and mobility. Within 6 months, Chalhoub deployed 100 registers in its Dubai flagship location, 60 of which are mobile. Benefits gained in the early stages of deployment include: Seamless and expedited guest mobile checkout experience Associates engage in a personalized approach driving customer loyalty Visibility into guest purchase history “With the help from Logic and Oracle, we migrated from the Oracle Retail Point of Service to latest version of Oracle Retail Xstore Point-of-Service. We can now deliver a modern mobile experience to our customers. By implementing Xstore, we are also empowering our store associates. The goal is to provide a highly personalized and engaged customer experience at the world's finest shoe metropolis, Level Shoes,” said Olivier Leblan, Group Chief Information Officer, Chalhoub. Register for our webcast on February 20th at 8:00 a.m. EST to learn how you can deliver the ultimate in-store customer experience. Learn more about the Oracle and Chalhoub partnership: Luxury Retailer Chalhoub Modernizes the Customer Experience with Oracle Point of Service Read more about Chalhoub and Level Shoes  

According to recent research, over 50% of shoppers rate in-store staff with tablets as important in their checkout experience and 71% are likely to continue shopping with a specialty retailer...

Community

River Island Creates Single View of Inventory with Oracle Retail Planning

Fashion Retailer Aligns Planning Practices Across its Business Models Today, Oracle announced that River Island deployed Oracle Retail Merchandise Financial Planning to support their Omnichannel growth and digital transformation. River Island operates a global portfolio of over 320 stores across the UK and Ireland and internationally throughout Asia, the Middle East and Europe. With a global footprint and multiple web, franchise and wholesale operations River Island required new tools to make more accurate and impactful inventory decisions for continued growth.  River Island had the vision and courage to become an Omnichannel retailer before it was vogue. River Island operates an award-winning online fashion retail site, employs one of the biggest in-house design teams on the British high street and maintains a deep commitment to nurturing new talent which have enabled the brand to become one of the most successful fashion retailers in the UK. As River Island experienced continued growth in the UK and internationally they understood the value and necessity of a single view of order and inventory to scale their business. “We knew that Omnichannel was the future and had to make a strategic move. We partnered with Oracle to get there. A single view of inventory is the key to fulfilling demand and operating more effectively,” said Doug Gardner, Chief Information Officer, River Island. “Through this transformation, we needed to change the way our business worked. People had to come together and properly go through the design of the implementation.” As an early adopter of Omnichannel planning, River Island partnered very closely with the Oracle Retail Consulting team to align towards business objectives correctly. Together, River Island established more-consistent and accurate planning processes to better understand how merchandise was performing across channels. “Sometimes you have to have the courage to level set in the middle of an implementation. You want to get it right because you need a foundation to operate with going forward,” said Gardner. “By implementing Oracle Retail Merchandise Financial Planning correctly, we are now about to evaluate profitability, reduce markdowns and follow a single version of the truth for the whole business.” “In our 2017 global consumer research ‘Retail in 4 Dimensions,’ we found that 43% of consumers are now shopping both online and in-store every week. The multichannel shopper spent nearly twice as much as a single channel shopper this fall. River Island took notice of these trends early and shifted their strategies to be more nimble and agile in the face of shifting consumer demands,” said Ray Carlin, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Oracle Retail. “Retail has advanced at an unprecedented pace with an evolution of strictly brick and mortar retail to a complex Omnichannel world where purchasing online and collecting orders how, where and when one wants has become the standard.”   Related Content River Island CIO Doug Gardner's Interview with the Retail Bulletin Watch Video Oracle Retail at NRF 2018 Oracle Retail will be showcasing the full suite of Oracle Retail solutions and cloud services at the National Retail Federation Big Show Jan. 14-16, 2017, in New York City at the Jacob K. Javitz Convention Center. Oracle Retail will be located at booth #3521. For more information check out: www.oracle.com/retail

Fashion Retailer Aligns Planning Practices Across its Business Models Today, Oracle announced that River Island deployed Oracle Retail Merchandise Financial Planning to support their Omnichannel...

Omnichannel

Oracle Celebrates Continued Hardware Innovation with New MICROS Compact Workstation 310 Point-of-Sale

New POS Engineered for Smaller Footprints and Portability to Join Existing Portfolio of Workstations on Display at NRF 2018 Oracle today introduced the new Oracle MICROS Compact Workstation 310 point-of-sale (POS) terminal. A high-performance, cost-effective workstation built with superior durability in a sleek, compact form factor, the Oracle MICROS Compact Workstation 310 is ideal for hospitality and retail applications that feature a limited menu or assortment and require a smaller footprint, terminal portability or additional capacity during peak trading or a sporting event. The Oracle MICROS Compact Workstation 310 will be available to demo at the National Retail Federation conference in New York and joins Oracle’s existing hardware portfolio on display at booth #3521 including Oracle MICROS Workstation 6 and the Oracle MICROS Tablet 720 showcasing Oracle Retail Xstore Point-of-Service with our Oracle Retail omnichannel cloud services. Oracle MICROS Compact Workstation 310 The Oracle MICROS Compact Workstation 310 runs Windows 10® IoT Enterprise with Oracle Hospitality Simphony 2.9.2 HF6, 2.9.3 HF1, 2.10, Simphony FE 1.7.3, and RES 5.5.1, and Oracle Retail Xstore Point of Service v17 software. The all-in-one thin client and 10.1” display is designed to accommodate limited counter space and afford maximum portability. Its connectivity and operating system enable ease of provisioning and management for IT, while delivering a fast, rich, familiar Windows 10 user experience. “Guest services and the shopping experiences are changing in the hospitality and retail sectors, with consumers demanding more speed and convenience. Oracle is extending our hardware portfolio so that our customers can adapt to those changes,” said Mike Webster, senior vice president and GM Oracle Retail and Hospitality. “The Oracle MICROS Compact Workstation 310 delivers a portable, rugged and intuitive experience that is perfect for scenarios with high volumes of customers and limited menus or assortments including stadiums, pop up stores, mall kiosks, theme parks, sidewalk sales and promotional events.” Key features of the new Oracle MICROS Compact Workstation 310 include: Best Price Performance: Purpose-built to help ensure businesses aren’t over paying for the best customer experience, the 310 is engineered end-to-end for stress free administration and includes a powerful dual core processor and integrated graphics engine for an exceptional user experience. Built To Last: The 310 is built to withstand extreme temperatures for outdoor use and is protected against impact, dust, grease and grime build up. The long product lifecycle and low meantime before failure (no moving parts) aims to lower total cost of ownership, by reducing the number of refresh cycles. Elegant, Simple Design: Made with a sleek, industrial design and small footprint, the 310 is aesthetically pleasing and maximizes counter space. Its portability also allows for anywhere, anytime transactions to capitalize on profitable locations, and its intuitive user interface is easy-to-use for full-time or seasonal employees. Easy to Set Up: End to end ecosystem: Hardware, Software, Cloud, and Services enables easier solution set up and support.  Client applications manager (CAL), advocated offering and oracle validated SW updates allow easy device provision and administration The Oracle MICROS Compact Workstation 310 joins Oracle’s existing portfolio of POS workstations, including the Oracle MICROS Workstation 650, the Oracle MICROS Workstation 620 and the Oracle Workstation 610 and complements the Oracle MICROS Tablet 720 Series 7 inch Tablet. Continued Retail POS Momentum “Oracle Retail is extending our hardware portfolio to deliver the innovation of the Oracle Retail Xstore Point-of-Service Platform with omnichannel cloud services. The Workstation 310 has ample connectivity for multiple peripherals, and is fully supported beginning with Oracle Retail Xstore Point-of-Service,” said Jeff Warren, Vice President Strategy and Solutions, Oracle Retail. “This allows the retailer to have a consistent software implementation with the benefits of Xstore in a portable small footprint point of sale workstation.” Global customers continue to adopt Oracle Xstore POS with Oracle MICROS hardware including: UK neighborhood retailer McColl’s UK specialty retailer Wyevale Oracle Retail at NRF 2018 Oracle Retail will be showcasing the full suite of Oracle Retail solutions and cloud services at the National Retail Federation Big Show Jan. 14-16, 2018, in New York City at the Jacob K. Javitz Convention Center. Oracle Retail will be located at booth #3521. For more information check out: www.oracle.com/retail

New POS Engineered for Smaller Footprints and Portability to Join Existing Portfolio of Workstations on Display at NRF 2018 Oracle today introduced the new Oracle MICROS Compact Workstation 310 point-of...

Best Practices & Trends

Store Associates “Work the Way They Live” with Oracle MICROS Retail Hardware

Full and Compact Workstations, Tablet and Handheld Devices are “Purpose-Built” For a Better Customer Experience, Across Any Store Format New retailing is about creating a frictionless experience with more touchpoints throughout the store and enabling customers to engage immediately, without moving to a checkout line, and to handle any transaction request, much as you would online. Whether those touchpoints are portable workstations at a sidewalk sale or a kiosk in the store, the experience is one of convenience and immediacy. With this in mind, Oracle has developed a generation of Oracle MICROS retail hardware solutions built expressly for the purpose of catering to today’s shopper and providing retailers the flexibility to think differently about store formats, locations, and presence. On display at NRF 2018 in New York City this month, and already in use with selected retailers, are the Oracle MICROS Workstation 6 Family, Oracle MICROS Tablet 720 or handheld device, and the new Oracle MICROS Compact Workstation 310.  Hardware and Software Engineered to Work Better Together The concept of being “purpose-built” for retail encompasses several key aspects. Among them, the Oracle hardware and software solutions are designed to work together, taking the job of integration off the plate of retailers and reducing the time and cost to deploy the new systems. The software design also showcases an intuitive user interface that is robust and consistent across devices, enabling store associates to more easily move between work areas throughout the store and across locations. The hardware multi-form factor creates what we call an “Internet Protocol (IP) Enabled Store.” By breaking down traditional barriers between point-of-service, PED, printer, cash drawer, and tablet, this allows the associate to service the customer in a way that’s right for them. See the IP Enabled Store in Action Customer Success Based on recent deployments of this generation of Oracle MICROS retail hardware solutions, here is a look at what retailers say they value most about the devices already in place and those, like the new compact workstation 310, that they plan to deploy next. Pre-Integration Reduces Costs, Speeds Implementation Retailers adopting the pre-integrated Oracle hardware and software solution report that they are stripping time and cost from their implementation schedules. Oracle Retail Xstore Point-of-Service is pre-tested and certified on Oracle POS hardware and peripherals “out of the box” allowing retailer to get there faster. Built by retailers for retailers, the Oracle MICROS solutions deliver peak performance, rich functionality, and an intuitive user interface across the full family of devices. Compact “Fixed” Workstation Bring Full-Functionality to Pop-Up Stores Among the most exciting trends in retailing today is the growth of “pop-up” stores that take the form of anything from a golf cart equipped with point-of-sale, to a kiosk set up at sports, campus, museum or other special events where merchandise caters to team, theme, time and place. These temporary stores allow retailers to connect with new and existing customers and provide convenient, in-the-moment access to merchandise. The pop-up formats inspired the new compact Oracle MICROS Compact Workstation 310 that joins the family of solutions this year. The 310’s 8-hour battery means no power cord issues. It is designed for line-busting, “concierge” sales, inventory lookup, and wireless inventory management. For one highly-regarded boot maker that rolls “stores in trucks” to provide boot repair and new boots to customers at work sites, Oracle MICROS retail hardware solutions help to support transactions, manage inventory, ship products direct, and completely fulfill the customer’s shoe requirements on the road. It is a personalized, high-service approach that many retailers are modeling by moving their merchandise to the customer. No matter where they set up shop, Oracle solutions are designed purposely to not only support the sale but also capture and share the full range of customer, promotion, and sales data that will inform future merchandising operations. Not Every Location Needs a Full-Size POS Workstation The Oracle MICROS family of solutions, including the compact workstations and tablet solutions, provide retailers an alternative that can reduce costs associated with deploying only full-size workstations. By adopting the same user interface, functionality, and features now popular across Oracle’s MICROS retail hardware solutions, this generation of Oracle solutions offers the opportunity to right-size solutions to meet the format, traffic, and transaction needs of each location. At the same time, these solutions provide the level of security and data exchange found in like-minded full-size workstation solutions. Retailers Reduce Abandonment with In-Aisle Mobile Checkout The flip-side of consultative selling is the high rate of abandonment that can happen when the customer loses enthusiasm as they leave the store associate and move toward checkout. At one major wine retailer, store associates that help customers select wines are also completing the sale in the aisle. Equipping associates to complete the sale has helped to reduce abandonment rates while improving service. We are excited to demonstrate the full line of Oracle MICROS retail hardware solutions at NRF and other industry events throughout the year, including Oracle Industry Connect April 9-11 in New York. Come and take a look at the products, and watch here for more insight as we share the stories of our customers worldwide. Read the Press Release: Oracle Celebrates Continued Hardware Innovation with New MICROS Compact Workstation 310 Point-of-Sale

Full and Compact Workstations, Tablet and Handheld Devices are “Purpose-Built” For a Better Customer Experience, Across Any Store Format New retailing is about creating a frictionless experience...

Customer Success

Luxury Retailer Chalhoub Modernizes the Customer Experience with Oracle Point of Service

Oracle Retail Xstore Point-of-Service Delivers a Highly Personalized, Mobile Customer Experience In-Store NATIONAL RETAIL FEDERATION ANNUAL CONFERENCE – New York –  Today, Oracle announced that luxury retailer Chalhoub has successfully deployed Oracle Retail Xstore Point-of-Service to modernize its customer experience. Chaloub’s Oracle Retail Xstore implementation is the first in the Middle East and the result of a six-month installation process in partnership with Logic Information Systems. The project for the Dubai storefront included deployment of more than 100 registers, 60 of which are mobile, bringing mobile checkout, integrated payment systems and improved store operations to the brand. Chalhoub started as a family business licensing foreign brands in Damascus, Syria in 1955. It now runs a network of 650 retail stores with fashion and cosmetic lines including Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Christian Louboutin across the Middle East. Today the Chalhoub Group employs more than 12,000 people in 14 countries. “With the help from Logic and Oracle, we migrated from the Oracle Retail Point of Service to latest version of Oracle Retail Xstore Point-of-Service. We can now deliver a modern mobile experience to our customers. By implementing Xstore, we are also empowering our store associates. The goal is to provide a highly personalized and engaged customer experience at the world's finest shoe metropolis, Level Shoes,” said Olivier Leblan, Group Chief Information Officer, Chalhoub. “The Point of Service system must allow retailers to transact and interact with consumers as they choose. Whether using a traditional register, portable solution, tablet or handheld, it's point of service.,” said Ray Carlin, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Oracle Retail. “As our Retail in 4D research shows, more than half (52 percent) of retailers said they are arming their store employees with mobile technology. Congratulations to Chalhoub for deploying a modern customer experience.” “We are thrilled to partner with Chalhoub and Oracle. Together we delivered on the vision to drive a better customer experience for Level and to establish a foundation to support Chalhoub,” said Saad Khan, General Manager of the Middle East, Logic Information Systems. “We look forward to the continued momentum for the Oracle Retail Xstore platform across the Middle East and Asia. We found the solution to be a great fit for the region.” Learn More To learn more about Chalhoub’s implementation of Oracle Retail technology register for a webinar replay here. The webinar is called Chalhoub: Delivering a Highly Personalized, In-store Mobile Customer Experience Oracle Retail at NRF 2019 Oracle Retail will be showcasing the full suite of Oracle Retail solutions and cloud services at the National Retail Federation Big Show Jan. 13-15, 2019, in New York City at the Jacob K. Javitz Convention Center. Book a demo today.   Subscribe to our once a month blog digest email.

Oracle Retail Xstore Point-of-Service Delivers a Highly Personalized, Mobile Customer Experience In-Store NATIONAL RETAIL FEDERATION ANNUAL CONFERENCE – New York –  Today, Oracle announced that luxury...

Cloud

Samsonite Europe Extends Alliance and Upgrades with Oracle Retail

Global Luggage Retailer Begins the Journey to the Cloud with Order Broker Oracle announced that Samsonite Europe is extending their alliance with Oracle Retail to adopt the Order Broker Cloud Service to enable more consumer shopping journeys. Samsonite will also take advantage of the innovation in the latest release by upgrading Oracle Retail Xstore Point-of-Service and Oracle Retail Customer Engagement. Samsonite is the worldwide leader in travel bags, luggage, and accessories. Samsonite sells products in over 100 countries in Asia, North America, Europe and Latin America through authorized resellers, company-operated stores and online through a spectrum of global brands including Samsonite®, Tumi®, American Tourister®, Hartmann®, High Sierra®, Gregory®, Speck® and Lipault®. “As our direct-to-consumer channel sales continue to grow, we want to ensure we can meet the rising expectations of our customers across our multi-brand and multi-channel portfolio. These new journeys will allow us to convert sales at the point of intent and deliver the product how the customer chooses,” said Dirk de Smyter, IT Director Europe, Samsonite Europe. “The Oracle Retail solutions provide us a path to seamlessly integrate online and instore channels.” With this new functionality, Samsonite Europe will be able to support key retail buying behavior and preferences including buy online pick up in store, in-store ordering and buy online ship from store. Oracle Retail Consulting has teamed with Samsonite to implement Order Broker Cloud Service while upgrading the Oracle Retail Xstore and Oracle Retail Customer Engagement solutions.   “Samsonite is a long-standing customer of Oracle Retail through the acquisition of MICROS. We sincerely appreciate the relationship and look forward to continuing to support their business as they expand the direct-to-consumer channel,” said Ray Carlin, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Oracle Retail. Oracle Retail at NRF 2018 Oracle Retail will be showcasing the full suite of Oracle Retail solutions and cloud services at the National Retail Federation Big Show Jan. 14-16, 2017, in New York City at the Jacob K. Javitz Convention Center. Oracle Retail will be located at booth #3521. For more information check out: www.oracle.com/retail

Global Luggage Retailer Begins the Journey to the Cloud with Order Broker Oracle announced that Samsonite Europe is extending their alliance with Oracle Retail to adopt the Order Broker Cloud Service t...

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