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Retail Science: Accelerating Advanced Analytic Strategies

Dj O'Neil
Solutions Manager

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 Oracle Retail Sciencecomprehensive 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:

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. It also provides the foundation for pluggable science applications. The platform includes:

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

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