Monday Dec 21, 2015

Analyst Reports: IHL Market Studies Name Oracle Retail a Leader in POS Software for Hardgoods and Softgoods

Leading global research and advisory firm IHL recently released two new market studies (one focused on hardgoods and one focused on softgoods) and named Oracle Retail—specifically its flagship Oracle Retail Xstore Point-of-Service offering—the #1 overall provider for both types of retailers.

The studies examined specific aspects of point-of-service (POS) software used by hardgoods and softgoods retailers, including common core functionality, key economic and technological trends impacting the retail landscape, and vendor market share. They also looked at unique segment conditions affecting each type of retailer. Then, for the top 200 retailers, IHL identified and ranked their POS vendors in terms of total accounts, licenses, and revenues. This evaluation revealed Oracle’s leadership as a POS vendor for both hardgoods and softgoods retailers.

Commerce Anywhere and Oracle Retail Xstore Point-of-Service
With its acquisition of MICROS, Oracle inherited a wide range of POS solutions tailored to individual sectors and geographies. While continuing to support all of our stores solutions, Oracle Retail is investing in Oracle Retail Xstore Point-of-Service to help global retailers build strong customer loyalty in a commerce anywhere world. 

"Thanks to the easily scalable, extensible architecture of Oracle Retail Xstore Point-of-Service around the globe, retailers can speed upgrades and leverage deep integration with Oracle Retail's customer engagement, commerce platform, order brokering, store inventory management, and order management solutions," says Oracle Retail Senior Director, Stores Erick Rowe. 

Rich features and functionalities empower retail staff to provide memorable service levels, from seamless inventory visibility to the kind of customer insight that supports clienteling, gift registry, and targeted in-store promotions. 

Special Offer: Migration to Oracle Retail Xstore Point-of-Service
To help retailers adopt the next-generation Oracle Retail Xstore Point-of-Service, Oracle Retail is extending a special offer, available via sales representatives, that protects customers' current license investments, while speeding and simplifying the migration process. The program includes:

  • Licensing credits. Many retailers will be eligible to apply credits from their current licensing agreements towards adoption of Oracle Retail Xstore Point-of-Service.
  • Streamlined migration. Oracle Retail has worked with partners and its own consulting organization to create scripts and process maps to speed migration from retailers' transitional solutions to the strategic platform that Oracle Retail Xstore Point-of-Service provides.
  • Modular adoption. Oracle Retail Xstore Point-of-Service has been engineered to integrate with the other key Oracle Retail solutions that support commerce anywhere operations. Oracle is helping retailers build a modular strategy, beginning with addressing key pain points, as they move toward a comprehensive commerce anywhere solution.

Global Omnichannel Commerce in Action
To understand how Oracle Retail Xstore Point-of-Service fits into Oracle's larger strategy for global, omnichannel commerce, retailers can contact Oracle Retail to schedule a viewing of the new Oracle Retail global omnichannel demo. The demo will also be showcased at the National Retail Federation Annual Convention & EXPO in Oracle’s booth, #2521. 

The demo reveals the unified, state-of-the-art architecture that synchronizes all of the following solutions to support commerce anywhere:

Read the IHL market studies for hardgoods and softgoods

Learn more about Oracle's special offer to migrate to Oracle Retail Xstore Point-of-Service via your Oracle Retail sales representative.

Schedule a viewing of the Oracle Retail global omnichannel demo

Monday Feb 06, 2012

Reinventing Retail

Just like physicists are fond of saying matter is neither created nor destroyed it simply changes form, so goes retailing.  The industry has morphed from small independent stores, to chains, to big-box, to online, to mobile.  Consumers' tastes, habits, and preferences change over time, thus retailers must always stay in-tune.  Unfortunately, many don't.

The most recent whipping-boy of the industry seems to be Brian Dunn, the CEO of Best Buy, who's company was attacked in a recent Forbes article.  (A follow-up to that article, which includes an indirect rebuttal from Brian Dunn, is here.)  While not calling out Best Buy by name, Marc Andreessen also predicted Best Buy's forthcoming demise.  I just finished watching the show Best Buy: The Big Box Fights Back on CNBC, and was struck by the pessimistic future painted there as well.  But in my experience, Best Buy is one of the most innovative retailers in the industry.  Unfortunately, I think their problems are more a reflection of the products they sell rather than a lack of willingness to change.

So are all retailers in trouble?  Ron Johnson, who is credited with Apple Stores' success, recently said retail isn't broken, store are.  Now he needs to prove it as CEO of department store chain JCPenney.  His recently announced transformation plan includes "fair and square" pricing, but Apple was able to avoid discounting because of a lack of viable competition.  JCP doesn't have such an advantage, so it remains to be seen if that strategy will work.

Barnes & Noble did a nice job moving into digital books, unlike competitor Borders, but B&N is still in a fight for its life.  Now they are considering spinning the Nook business off.  While that might unlock additional value in the Nook business, any decoupling from B&N makes their stores less relevant, a step in the wrong direction.

And while physical stores are doing more to be connected to consumers online, there's a rumor that Amazon might just open its first physical store in Seattle, ironically in a former Borders location.

I hate to use this overused phrased, but I will... retail is at an inflection point.  Chains need to lighten the burdensome cost of physical stores, find a way to offer more value to in-store shoppers, or preferably do both.  It starts by building Your Experience Platform to support a strategy for empowering employees to delight your customers.  That includes making better product, placement, pricing, and promotion decisions on the backend, and delivering a unique shopping experience across all selling channels.

We're running fast toward the future of shopping, but only those willing to change will finish the race.

Tuesday Jun 14, 2011

Marks & Spencer on Facebook

Father's Day is coming, and if you're in the UK you can surf to the Marks & Spencer Facebook page to get some gift ideas. There, Zibaba has created a storefront showing lots of products appropriate for dads.  You can browse the products and "like" the ones that stand out.  If you click on the "shop now" button, you'll be taken the product page on the Marks & Spencer e-commerce site.

It seems the page can be easily updated for future events, so Father's Day is probably just the beginning.  Although Zibaba claims to handle orders, M&S decided to send the customer to their e-commerce site to add the product to the cart.  I guess this reduces the need for integration, and also allows the customer to purchase additional products not shown on the Facebook page.

I'm just not sure their 300,000 fans will really use the page.  Recreating a shopping page within Facebook just doesn't seem to attract shoppers.  If you want to catch up with friends, visit Facebook; if you want to shop online, visit e-commerce sites.  The best way to engage shoppers in a social setting is to post to their walls.  Even when I liked a product on the M&S page, I didn't see anything in my newsfeed.

Facebook isn't a place for shopping -- its a place for conversations.  And yes, some of the conversations can be about shopping, but that is better suited for the newsfeed.  I just don't think M&S hit the mark with their Facebook page, but I guess time will tell.


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