In late March, retail executives gathered at Oracle Industry Connect 2015 to share
perspectives. Here is a glimpse of what you missed from the sessions....
Retailers at the recent Oracle Industry Connect sessions
talked about numerous “forces of disruption” that are changing their business
and creating new opportunities. Setting
the tone for two days of presentations by retailers, for retailers, Jill
Puleri, Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Oracle Retail Global
Business Unit, talked about what retailers are doing to thrive in the midst of
new market opportunities.
The most disruptive forces, said Puleri, are often
consumer-driven and offer subtle but important insights. Among them:
● People using their mobile devices differently: “Instagram
has a 25% greater engagement rate than Facebook, which tells you that visual is
more engaging than text on these devices,” said Puleri.
● Greater willingness of consumers to reveal where they are to
third parties: “People are using Uber to hail a cab, which says the ‘creep
factor’ about revealing their locations is lessening,” she said. “That’s
important because people are keeping their mobile devices within one meter of
their body for 23 hours a day.”
● However, people are still wary about data breaches, which
have not been limited to retail but have spread to health care and other
● With same-day delivery, “Amazon has set the bar,” said
Puleri. Even though the e-tailer loses money on many of its lower-value shipped
orders, it has raised consumer expectation levels about service. In addition,
the growth of third-party companies handling the “last mile” of delivery have
the potential to disintermediate the customer’s loyalty to the retailer.
Puleri revealed results from New Consumer Study: Retail Without Limits that surveyed 5,000 consumers in 10 countries: 83% insist on the
adoption of new technology by retailers, “Because they want to use that
technology in their shopping process,” she said. “In addition, 70% rate stock
transparency to be very important in e-commerce. Consumers don’t understand
that this is a hard thing for many retailers to accomplish; they just want it.
And 50% of respondents expect to use their mobile devices for product research,
which points to the need for responsive design” that provides optimal
experiences on different mobile devices.
More than 160 Oracle customers shared their success stories
at OIC. Apparel retailer Lilly Pulitzer’s CIO Keary McNew revealed that Oracle
helped the company implement responsive design for its e-commerce offerings
last year, and that the retailer would launch a new mobile app for iOS
integrated with the Oracle Open Commerce platform in May 2015.
For sports apparel retailer LIDS, the Oracle Retail Locate solution
provides visibility into 800 of its stores’ inventories to the retailer’s
e-commerce website, and also gives in-store associates tools to find items on
the shelves at other stores, and also to arrange for these items to be shipped
to different stores or to customers’ homes, according to Vice President of
Information Technology Larry Havlik.
Offering these customer-friendly services can create
additional challenges to how retailers operate. “In many cases, process changes
are harder than technology,” said Puleri. When instituting ship-from-store, for
example, “questions arise such as, Where do stores get packing material? What
happens when someone cancels an order? Oracle is documenting these processes
from retailers all over the world.”
In other remarks, Mike Webster, SVP and General Manager of
the Retail and Hospitality Global Business Units at Oracle Webster noted that
in addition to its technology offerings, Oracle has deep retail expertise that
it makes available to customers. “Omni-channel is an enterprise opportunity
that involves getting to a single enterprise view of inventory, customers,
orders, price, and promotion,” said Webster. “Focusing just around the edges
won’t help: the conversations now are about what retailers need to be thinking
about in planning, supply chain, e-commerce, point-of-sale, business
intelligence, and customer engagement to support omni-channel. We’ve built that
out into our Oracle Retail Reference Model.
“That’s important because ultimately omni-channel isn’t
about channels, but about how we bring the power and the process of the entire
organization to deliver a differentiated customer experience,” he added.
Dive into the research a little further: Read the full research report