Thursday May 19, 2016

Five Eye-Opening, Cloud-Related Predictions for 2025

Today’s economy is one of “short-term gratification,” Hurd said, driving many companies to cut costs—particularly in IT—as a means of compensating for slowing revenue growth. Cutbacks in corporate IT spending also mean companies are stuck with an aged and brittle legacy environment. “Pre-search, pre-mobile, pre-everything we know is when most of these applications were built,” Hurd pointed out.

It all adds up to an “incredible need for innovation, very old infrastructure, and there's no money,” he said. The cloud will be the only way for companies to leapfrog from where they are today to the speed, innovation, and cost control they desperately need.

“Being able to move quickly, being able to adjust to market dynamics, and being able to do it fast and do it while you deliver, is what's on CEOs' minds,” he said. Oracle, he said, is “going to lead [this] ten-year transition to the cloud.”

Oracle CEO Mark Hurd provides five eye-opening, cloud-related predictions for 2025.

1. Eighty percent of all production apps will be in the cloud. “Today it’s about 25 percent,” Hurd said.

2. Two software-as-a-service (SaaS) suite providers will have 80 percent of the cloud enterprise application market. “I volunteer us to be one of them,” Hurd quipped.

3. One hundred percent of software development/testing efforts will be conducted in the cloud. “The days of having servers and operating systems and databases and doing all this on premises are gone,” he said.

4. All enterprise data will be stored virtually in the cloud. “More data is in the cloud now than in traditional storage systems,” Hurd commented.

5. The enterprise cloud will be the most secure IT environment. “We are fully patched, fully secured, fully encrypted—that’s our cloud,” noted Hurd.

The economic environment all but dictates that these changes will take place, and quickly. Oracle Retail is striving to keep pace with this expectation. In the last year we have launched several cloud services to solve complex business issues to provide you choice, speed and innovation. 

Best-in-class retail solutions now available in the Oracle Cloud

Oracle Retail provides retailers with a fast and cost effective manner to deploy our solutions, the ability to achieve maximum business value with minimal risk, and improvement in their overall retail operations. Click here to learn more: 

Combined with key applications in the cloud:  

Monday Mar 21, 2016

Special Offer: Fast, Cost-Effective Path to Cloud-Based Ecommerce

Oracle Commerce Consulting has announced a special offer to implement a fully functional ecommerce site on Oracle Commerce Cloud at a fixed price of $150,000 and with a start-to-launch implementation period of three months. The offer is aimed at mid-market direct-to-consumer brands that want to move from an on-premise or conventional hosted solution to Oracle Commerce Cloud in a cost-effective and expedient fashion, yet with the quality and backing of Oracle. Oracle Commerce Consulting has a long track record of working with retailers such as Kohl’s, Tesco, and Eddie Bauer, and now brings those credentials and expertise to bear in Oracle Commerce Cloud.

Templated Approach Enables Rapid Implementation

To facilitate speed of implementation, cost-effectiveness, and quality, Oracle Commerce Consulting has developed a template service for Oracle Commerce Cloud. On the front end are about 25 different widgets that enable customers to display products and enhanced navigation features within their website.

For example, a set of faceted navigation widgets help make the site more navigable by users performing searches, with an eye to making it operate like some of the more sophisticated on-premise solutions that use Guided Search. The solution features built-in and tested integration with the Jagged Peak order management system as well as integration with Google Analytics, Live Chat, Easy Store Locator, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. On the payment management side, it includes pre-configured, tested integration with CyberSource and PayPal.

Easy Transition to the Cloud

The vast majority of retail websites, especially for mid-market brands, are still using some form of on-premise or traditional hosted model. Oracle Commerce Cloud offers retailers a fast, affordable way to realize the operational and upgrade benefits of moving to the cloud, and eliminates the need to make a capital investment in an ecommerce solution.

Implementation of the new site by Oracle Commerce Consulting goes through four phases, beginning with discovery, which involves creative design to help the client understand how they want their site to look. The user interface is designed according to that creative direction, followed by integration with outside services, and testing/launch – all scripted into a three-month engagement.

Oracle Commerce Consulting anticipates that many customers will want a certain amount of enhancement and tailoring beyond the templated implementation. “We welcome the opportunity to work with those customers and are well positioned to do so as the factory consulting group for Oracle Commerce” says Oracle Commerce Consulting Director Mark Knisely. “Whether we are building additional integrations or more complex functionality on the User Interface, it will still fit within the same paradigm from a customer perspective, and they get the peace of mind that comes with an Oracle-led implementation.”

To Learn More About the Offer

For more information about Oracle Commerce Cloud and the fixed-price, three-month accelerated implementation from Oracle Commerce Consulting, please review the offer summary sheet, reach out to your Oracle sales representative, or drop an email to

Wednesday Mar 16, 2016

No Time to Lose: The Power of Omnichannel and Customer Knowledge

Retailers in Latin America seek integrated solutions that get quick results in order to speed up their omnichannel activities

It is impossible to speak about the retail Latin America market as all companies in all countries of the region were at the same stage of development. On the other hand, this heterogeneity offers the possibility of an intense experience exchange among retailers from different sectors and countries.

According to Carlos Victoria, Vice President of Oracle Retail for Latin America, although the scenarios are quite different in region countries, they have many common issues. “Latin American retailers face challenges such as optimizing inventory and anticipating demand, which are basic issues, but that continue to offer opportunities for increasing efficiency”, he said.

The growth of e-commerce and its integration with other sales channels has also been opening up business opportunities, both for Oracle Retail as well as for retailers that get their staff better trained and processes changed in order to get in the top of consumer expectations.

“We have been noticing a continually increasing interest for our e-commerce solutions, as a part of a retail movement to increase revenue, and most of all, to extend the contact base with customers”, says Victoria. “In the last two years, omnichannel has become relevant around the world, and with the reach we already have on a global level, customers request support to help them improve this cycle and capitalize much more quickly on its benefits”, he explains. It is a little shortsighted to see ecommerce as a one channel more to generate new revenue.

The best examples are those who understand that e-commerce and mobile applications are an additional omnichannel point of contact, to maintain in an integrated way the consumer experience with the store. The most important thing is to attract the customer to the physical store to complete your experience and your purchase.

Know Your Customers 

It is proven that consumers that interacts through multiple channels plus the physical store is a customer whose average sale is higher. A customer who starts their online interaction or in an application and completes the transaction in the physical store, just add other items of physical store. The key is how to attract the customer to the physical store. Oracle Retail can help retailers through science and technology better understand this client with Oracle Retail Customer Engagement Cloud Service, allowing promotions and concrete and custom actions that attract the customer back to the physical store.

The need to increase speed of implementing and obtaining results in order to optimize return on investments has brought on changes to the structure of the solutions and market approach. “Today, our solutions focus on practical and concrete issues, so that the retailer can implement and obtain a more appealing ROI”, according to the executive. This approach involves shorter cycles of solution implementation; and allow quickly and appealing results, turning business more attractive to the shareholders. 

Drive Incremental Revenue and Profitability 

One example are loyalty programs that for many years was considered a great opportunity for retail, but until now with intangible results. “That is because our competitors were concentrating on completely transforming companies, introducing impressive monolithic CRM solutions without worrying about retail strategy. Why did the company want a loyalty program? What was the purpose? This question was not usually asked”, Victoria recalls. “Our approach is more consultative. We seek to understand what the intention of retail is with the loyalty program, and then build the ideal solution. As a result, companies have found ways of making their programs more appealing to consumers, who notice this personalized and relevant attention and return to the sales outlet to buy more. “By working with retail, we create solutions that strengthen their relationship with customers and accelerate return on investments”, explained the executive.

In order to speed up ROI for customers, Oracle Retail has invested in cloud services and embedded science in retail solutions. “The idea is to provide solutions based on the scientific analysis of the information and that through alerts and exceptions support decisions that should be taken by the executive, in a relatively simple but robust way”. These insight are now available as cloud services for quick and easy deployment. 

Our global customer community will convene in Orlando, FL on April 11-13, 2016 at the Oracle Industry Connect. We will feature over 30 global retail case studies talking about omnichannel success including Big 5 Sporting Goods, Decathlon, Falabella, Livraria Cultura, Kohls, Nordstrom, PacSun and several others.  


Global Research: Retail Without Limits - A Modern Commercial Society

Drive Incremental Revenue and Profitability with Oracle Retail Customer Engagement Cloud Services

Gain Visibility into Consumer Preference with Oracle Retail Customer Insights Cloud Service

Thursday Mar 03, 2016

Speed, Security, and Best Practices in the Cloud: Oracle Releases Market-Leading Retail Demand Forecasting Solution

Oracle Retail Demand Forecasting enables retailers to accurately and efficiently maintain a single projection of forecasted demand across all Commerce Anywhere operations, increasing revenues and margins while lowering overhead through reduced inventory. Now, this market-leading solution is available to retailers as a cloud service, providing implementation speed and lower total cost of ownership.

The ability to accurately project and manage inventory requirements has become significantly more important in today’s Commerce Anywhere environment. It has also become significantly more difficult, due to ever-changing assortments, promotional tactics, and evolving flexibility in points of fulfillment. In this environment, retailers need stronger forecasting tools and optimization science than the spreadsheets and ad-hoc mechanisms still often being used.

Market-Leading Capabilities with Simplified Approach and Lower Cost

Oracle Retail Demand Forecasting is used by hundreds of retailers around the world to accurately predict consumer demand. The new Oracle Retail Demand Forecasting Cloud Service delivers science-based demand forecasting to an even wider community of retailers at a price point and in a delivery package that will enable them to quickly take advantage of a proven, market-tested solution that produces significant operational and economic benefits.

“Inventory is the number-one cost center for any retailer. By having an accurate forecast, retailers, now even mid-tier and growing retailers, can make certain they will strike the right balance of inventory levels to meet their customers’ needs, while minimizing the effects of excess inventory, such as markdowns and wastage,” says Mike Johnson, Oracle Retail Solution Director, Supply Chain.

Speed to Value and Ease of Implementation

Oracle Retail Demand Forecasting Cloud Service provides high speed to value by leveraging the operational advantages of cloud technology. Retailers can have the forecasting tool up and running, and their users proficient with it, in a matter of 12 to 16 weeks. To facilitate ease of implementation, the solution is prepackaged with a best practice-driven workflow and the best in retail science, requiring very little configuration.

With accurate product demand projections, Oracle Retail Demand Forecasting Cloud Service enhances the business management and decision-making processes in both planning and execution activities. The service not only streamlines processes but provides actionable insights and a view of customer demand that retailers can drive financial planning, purchasing, allocation, or replenishment decisions from.

To delve deeper into the specifics of Oracle Retail Demand Forecasting Cloud Service, check out:

You may also be interested in learning about our Retail Reference Library, a collection of implementation information for Oracle Retail customers and partners, featuring the power of:

  • 12,500 business partners +
  • 5,750 customers in 96 countries =
  • 681 detailed retail process flows

When you invest in and trust the solutions of Oracle Retail, you buy the power and knowledge of our ecosystem.

Wednesday Mar 02, 2016

Four Reasons to Attend Oracle Retail Industry Connect 2016

This is my favorite time of year. This is the season of the customer.  We are in the process of preparing our community for Oracle Retail Industry Connect, an exclusive retail executive event hosted on April 11-13, 2016 in Orlando, Florida. I have the privilege of talking to customers nearly every day about their experience with Oracle Retail. I learn something new everyday. The people I work with are the reason I love my job.

We are excited to host this unique and exclusive gathering at our valued customer Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. Oracle Industry Connect brings the Oracle Retail community together to collectively solve the complex business problems of the dynamic retail industry.

Here are some reasons you won’t want to miss this event:

#1 For Retailers, By Retailers: The Oracle Industry Connect retail program is predominantly delivered by retailers, for retailers. The sessions highlight how global retail companies of all scopes and sizes are embracing technology, adopting cloud services, and executing commerce anywhere to address business pains and solve complex problems.

#2 Vision, Innovation, and Execution: In the last 12 months, Oracle Retail has launched 16 new cloud services of our retail applications. Come to learn about the latest developments in our roadmap and explore the innovations in our solutions. Begin to map your journey to the cloud while protecting your existing investment.

#3 Applicable Learning: Each session is designed for peer knowledge sharing with tangible strategies, best practices, and recommendations that you can apply to your business. Learn from retailers of all segments and sizes including A’GACI, Big 5 Sporting Goods, Decathlon, Falabella, Gap, Inc., Lenox, Lucky Brand, lululemon, Neiman Marcus, PacSun, Red Wing Shoes and more. View the retail program.

#4 Relationship Building: Mix and mingle with 275+ retail executives, 25 of our best implementation partners, and Oracle Retail experts from around the world. Invest in new contacts and relationships that can help you succeed on your journey toward commerce anywhere. Each year we continue to enhance the networking opportunities. This year we add Oracle Retail User Group pre-conference sessions, athletic endeavors to like yoga with lululemon ambassadors and a fun run sponsored by Big 5 Sporting goods.

I love the open and provocative discussions that happen in our retail community in the welcoming environment of this event. I would be happy to make introductions across the community of retailers, partners, analysts, press friends, and Oracle experts. This is where the magic happens. After all, isn't that what Disney is known for?

I am personally very proud of the heritage and history of this event. We began the program in 2006 as CrossTalk. By 2009, we evolved the CrossTalk program to be 90% delivered by retailers, for retailers. The event grew by word of mouth over the years, thanks to the willingness of our customers to share their successes, challenges, lessons learned, and triumphs. Our customers provide tremendous value to one another in this forum. We are lucky to work with some of the most innovative retailers on the planet. Due to this value, the event has been adopted more widely and expanded to foster communities across Communications, Hospitality, Financial Services, Utilities, Health Sciences, Primavera, and Education as Oracle Industry Connect.

I sincerely hope you will join us. Please confirm your participation in the retail program today by registering at Oracle Industry Connect. Attendance is limited to retailers and our program sponsors to ensure that the focus remains on retailers learning from one another. If you have any questions, send me a personal email

Wednesday Feb 24, 2016

Minding the Gap in Retail

In the demanding world of retail, the CIO faces a delicate balancing act between maintaining smooth operations and innovating to meet consumer demand.

By Jeff Warren, Vice President, Oracle Retail

A few years ago, retailers spent a lot of time talking about the challenge of multichannel operations: how to provide the same merchandise and the same level of customer experience online as in the store. Then the use of smart phones exploded, adding in effect a third channel, mobile. Even as retailers were scrambling to deal with this complication, they realized that the boundary lines between one channel and another were vanishing. Customers walk into the store with a phone in their hand, buy things they see on the sales floor, accessorize them with items from the website, and expect it all to be handled as a single, on-the-spot, totally personalized transaction. The expectation is very clear: give the consumer what she wants and how she wants it, and in as close to real time as possible.

Meeting this expectation is essential. In a market in which any advantage in price point and selection can be countered by a dozen competitors, the key differentiator has become customer service. Retailers are striving not only to meet consumer demand but to anticipate it, and to provide an ever smoother and more personalized shopping experience. To do that successfully, retailers are looking to their CIOs to evaluate, adopt, and integrate new technological capabilities as soon as they become available.

But innovation, of course, is only part of the CIO’s job. IT is a cost center, and retail, for all its glamour, is a brutally competitive, low-margin industry. CIOs have to innovate, but they also have to keep the lights on—if the system’s down, you’re out of business—and they have to stay within the budget. How does a CIO create more capacity?

Changing the rules

One way—perhaps the key way—is by moving to the cloud or to a hybrid model that leverages the cost advantages of the cloud while retaining local IT control of core assets and operations. In a recent Forbes article on top strategic CIO issues, Oracle’s Bob Evans noted that “Before cloud computing, the #1 enemy of the CIO was the economic reality that 80% of his IT budget would be consumed by low-value maintenance and integration. Because cloud computing pushes that burden over to cloud vendors, CIOs can liberate huge portions of their budgets and reallocate them to projects centered on growth and customer engagement.”

Once the IT budget is liberated, it stays liberated. The cloud, whether as a total IT environment or as part of a hybrid system, makes it possible for retail organizations to keep abreast of business and technological developments without having to make unexpected investments in IT infrastructure.

The shift to the cloud also enables the continuance of a deep and ongoing change in the role of the retail CIO. A decade ago, retail IT was essentially seen as a cost center. While the CIO was responsible for enterprise-level IT, market-driven functions like ecommerce frequently reported to someone else. This pattern clearly required a change; retail IT broke out of its silo and began working more closely with functions like marketing. Now, with some routine maintenance and upgrade issues moved off their desks, the industry’s CIOs are shifting to become key innovators who work hand in hand with all the organization’s business stakeholders.

In this transition, retail CIOs may find themselves needing to evaluate the cloud and, as it stabilizes, to advocate for it. While the cost benefits more or less make the case for themselves, it may be necessary to explain, and where possible to demonstrate, the redundancy, functionality, security, and scalability advantages of the cloud to executives not versed in IT issues. Trust and performance must be proven.

The end goal is enablement. Today, organizational survival—especially in an industry like retail—depends on embracing new technologies at an unparalleled pace. More than ever before, CIOs need to create capacity and lead—to reach into the cloud and bridge the gap between operations and innovation.

Friday Jan 15, 2016

Retailers Expand Commerce Faster with Oracle Cloud

Oracle Cloud serves every aspect of retailers’ business needs, from enterprise financials to customer marketing to e-commerce. The cloud is the most effective way for any retailer, big or small, to expand and update its retail operations to roll out new business models, expand merchandise offerings, open in new markets and drill down into customer preferences using best-in-class Oracle business intelligence and analytics.

Responding to the industry’s best growth opportunity in 2015, many retailers launched all-new shopping experiences with Oracle Commerce Cloud. Replacing platforms that were traditionally hosted and managed by IT teams within the walls of the retailer, today’s cloud services offer a simpler solution to maintaining feature-rich online storefronts, engaging customers, viewing inventory and fulfilling orders across channels. And unlike old systems, these modern solutions offer retailers immediate access to new technology and upgrades as they become available.

Nowhere is this truer than in e-commerce, and Oracle saw retailers take full advantage of new solutions well before the holiday shopping season began.  

Elaine Turner Director of e-CommerceWomen’s luxury brand Elaine Turner updated its e-commerce site to run on the Oracle Commerce Cloud so that it could expand beyond its 10 brick-and-mortar stores to engage its customers nationwide.  The move to the Oracle platform provided the retailer with a scalable, user-friendly and customer-centric system that quickly won favor.

“With Oracle Commerce Cloud, we expect to increase conversion rates by two times,” Carrie Leader, director of e-commerce, Elaine Turner, said during a recent webinar -, “and traffic between 20 and 30%.” Looking to the future, Elaine Turner predicts a sales increase between 50 and 100%with the help of the solution. Ms. Leader also shared the company's motivation for moving to Oracle Commerce Cloud at Open World this fall in a live interview

Similarly, at the end of 2015, independent retailer Rock/Creek was looking to expand its online presence and teamed up with Oracle Commerce Cloud. The outdoor specialist wanted to allow customers to generate more of their own content on the site, but needed help maintaining and upgrading the website to meet customers’ evolving expectations. Moving to a SaaS system made more sense for the retailer than struggling to keep upgrading on premise software.

 “As a local Chattanooga-based outdoor gear retailer, e-commerce is a strategic way to extend the reach of the Rock/Creek business,” said Mark McKnight, head of e-commerce, Rock/Creek. “But we like to focus on bringing the best rock climbing, paddling, running and hiking gear to our customers—not managing a technology infrastructure. With a SaaS solution like Oracle Commerce Cloud, Rock/Creek can simultaneously keep our technology costs low and stay innovative with the latest commerce features for online shopping experiences. Both are important to our business as our customers demand more from their online shopping experiences and as we continue to grow and scale our business.”

The cloud is the most effective way for any retailer, big or small, to expand and update its retail operations to roll out new business models, expand merchandise offerings, open in new markets and drill down into customer preferences using best-in-class business intelligence and analytics.  

Visit Oracle Retail at booth 2521 during NRF's Big Show to demo Oracle Commerce Cloud.  

Tuesday Jan 05, 2016

Oracle Retail 15: Evolving Commerce Anywhere Capabilities

In December 2015, Oracle Retail announced the availability of Oracle Retail 15, which has been engineered to accelerate innovation and enable retailers to deliver on their brand promise through commerce anywhere. 

Retailers have embraced the vision of commerce anywhere—the ability to fulfill demand regardless of source, and delight customers with exceptional, seamless interactions with their brand. However, the path to achieving it has not always been clear. 

"We are the only provider that brings together every element required to deliver commerce anywhere, including planning and optimization, supply chain management, merchandise operations, store operations, and consumer interactions," says Oracle Retail Vice President of Solutions Management Jeff Warren. "Just as important, we deliver both the retail science and the native integrations to bind all these pieces together." 

Oracle Retail 15

Oracle Retail 15 has been engineered to accelerate innovation and enable retailers to deliver on their brand promise through commerce anywhere. Oracle Retail 15 realizes the acquisition vision with key MICROS integrations; evolves the user experience via mobility, exception management, and productivity enhancements; and extends the availability of best-of-breed retail applications with four new cloud service offerings. 

“With Oracle Retail 15, we are bringing all the pieces together, enabling retailers to interact with customers via any channel and in any capacity," says Warren. 

To advance this vision, new features and functionalities in Oracle Retail 15 include:

Acquisition Vision with Key Integrations to Oracle MICROS

  • Hardware and software engineered to work together. Our next-generation point-of-service workstation includes hardware, software, and peripherals. This new offering is prebuilt and tested to support commerce anywhere. The clean, modern, and visually appealing design reflects the modern image today’s retailers want to convey, and enables both consumers and staff to engage.
  • Native integration of Oracle Retail Xstore Point-of-Service with the Oracle Retail Merchandising suite. To support commerce anywhere, merchandising and store solutions now share the same merchandise hierarchy, item attributes, tag and label information, inventory and transaction information, and price management information. Includes new integration to Oracle Retail Merchandising System, Oracle Retail Price Management, and Oracle Retail Sales Audit.
Evolved User Experience with Mobility, Exception Management, and New Functionality to Drive Productivity
  • Omnichannel assortment planning. Connect planning and forecasting with execution across in-store, direct, and wholesale businesses—as well as across the business or within commerce clusters.
  • Automated invoice matching. New algorithms can automate matching of up to 90 percent of retail invoices. And exception-based processes allow users to handle manual matching up to 50 percent faster.
  • Automated purchase order induction. With the latest release, exception-based processes enable users to induct purchase orders in bulk and simplify mass order maintenance.
  • Demand forecasting at the category level. Go beyond item-based demand forecasting to build forecasts based on item attributes. This enables category-level planning—especially important for the grocery sector. Exception-based processing ensures that you create item-level forecasts where required.
Extend Availability with New Cloud Service Offerings
  • Oracle Retail Sales and Productivity Cloud Service. Gathers highly valuable sales and productivity information. Now, retailers can leverage that data for real-time insights into comparative sales, salesperson productivity, merchandise productivity, store sales, store traffic, and more.
  • Oracle Retail Merchandise Financial Planning Cloud Service. Identifies opportunities for more-profitable inventory investment, ensuring that day-to-day decisions align with business objectives. This cloud service will enable cross-channel and cross-organizational collaboration in the planning process using roles, plan versions, and reconciliation and approval.
  • Oracle Retail Demand Forecasting Cloud Service. This cloud service incorporates factors that impact sales, such as website launches, new stores, product introductions, price and assortment changes, and promotions. This automated and attribute-level forecasting process highlights problems or opportunities.
  • Oracle Retail Market Basket Insights Cloud Service. This new cloud service includes a retail proprietary similarity algorithm that exploits raw market basket data, exploring what items are often bought together and which are seldom/never bought together. Oracle’s data mining cloud service leverages loyalty or basket data to model SKU to SKU similarity scores derived from observing customer purchase behavior over time.

Learn more about Oracle Retail 15.

Essential details:

  • Registration Link:
  • Title: Commerce Anywhere in the Era of Convergence: Oracle Retail Release 15
  • Speaker: Jeff Warren, VP of Solutions Management
  • Date & Time: January 7, 2016 at 1:00pm EST
  • Product: Oracle Retail 15

This content is intended to outline our general product direction. It is intended for information purposes only, and may not be incorporated into any contract. It is not a commitment to deliver any material, code, or functionality, and should not be relied upon in making purchasing decisions. The development, release, and timing of any features or functionality described for Oracle’s products remains at the sole discretion of Oracle.

Tuesday Nov 10, 2015

Elaine Turner Achieves the "D.R.E.A.M. Service Model" on Oracle Commerce Cloud

For the benefit of our global community, here is an editorial view on the Internet Retailer Webcast featuring Elaine Turner last week. 

On average, the purchase of luxury goods online is growing at a faster rate than other online sales, with North America, Europe and Asia—most notably China—leading the way. During this week’s Internet Retailer webinar series, Build Your Brand with e-commerce: Elaine Turner Extends Her Reach with New Dot Com,” Don Davis, editor-in-chief of Internet Retailer, noted that as the rate of luxury purchases online grows, so do the needs of these retailers.

That’s where Oracle’s new Commerce Cloud-based solution comes in. Launched in June, the platform recently partnered with Elaine Turner, a luxury brand based in Houston, to transform the retailer’s digital solutions. The women’s apparel and accessory company, founded by designer and CEO Elaine Turner, has a unique image—beautiful products that also have a purpose. Turner wants women to have a pampered shopping experience, but the entrepreneur also wants to give back. In order to spread her message, Elaine Turner needed to reach more women.

Before adopting Oracle’s technology, Elaine Turner’s online sales were stifled by technology that did not scale. The move to the Oracle platform provided the retailer with an scalable automated system that is user-friendly and customer centric. The new commerce platform is helping Elaine Turner expand the brand beyond its 10 brick-and-mortar stores to become a nation wide retailer.

The Oracle Commerce Cloud solution was developed at the request of Oracle clients looking for an end-to-end e-commerce solution. Retailers wanted “to keep costs low,” when it came to customer acquisition and wanted to “capture market share while responding rapidly to market and customer needs in an agile way,” said Katrina Gosek, director, commerce product strategy, Oracle. Some of the unique benefits of the new solution include the freedom for the retailer to design and layout the e-commerce site, for viewing on all digital devices, while still having the underlying platform maintained and upgraded by Oracle. Oracle provides the scale, security and foundation for innovation around the customer experience.

On the new platform, Elaine Turner has turned its focus to several areas in which to grow brand loyalists. The first is through video content. Using Oracle Commerce Cloud, the retailer is able to broadcast the reality web series “Elaine’s Big Ideas” within the site, so the viewer never has to leave the company’s web page.

In addition, Carrie Leader, director of e-commerce, Elaine Turner, said the new platform has made navigation of the site, especially when sorting products to view, more user friendly. And to capitalize on the brand’s growing social media following, the new site reflects in real-time what’s happening on the brand’s Instagram feed. And finally, the retailer has made several photos and style looks on the site shoppable by allowing a user to click on any piece of the outfit, and without leaving the page, pull up more information.

Ultimately, Elaine Turner is creating what Leader refers to as the “D.R.E.A.M. service model.” “We needed a platform that could help translate that experience a woman gets in a physical store to online, where a customer can’t touch and feel things and there is no associate to help them style.”

Already, Leader says the brand’s key performance indicators are showing great results and the company predicts strong e-commerce growth.

“With Oracle Commerce Cloud, we expect to increase conversion rates by two times,” said Leader, “and traffic between 20 and 30 percent.” Looking to the future, Elaine Turner predicts a sales increase between 50 and 100 percent with the help of the solution. Carrie Leader and her team of five non-technical resources were able to deploy the solution in less than four months with a strong partnership with Oracle. 

To replay the Webinar, register here and Internet Retailer will send details or request a demonstration of the solution. Better yet, shop to see the responsive design of the website, the multi-media content to support inventory and the stunning merchandise from Elaine Turner that is now available nationwide. Hint: this is a perfect time to starting your holiday shopping. 

Monday Nov 09, 2015

Shoe Carnival Selects Oracle Retail Customer Engagement Cloud Services

With growing sales across its more than 400 stores and e-commerce site, family footwear retailer Shoe Carnival is implementing Oracle Retail Customer Engagement Cloud Services to transform its “ShoePerks” loyalty program. The Oracle Retail solution is part of a larger strategic marketing push at Shoe Carnival, and will make it easier for the loyalty program managers to customize and enhance offers, roll out new promotions, and drive sales in stores and online.

Shoe Carnival will use the loyalty program to better understand its customers’ purchase behaviors and segment shoppers by VIP, first-time buyer, and other categories that will help to match the right promotion with the right shopper at the right time. Shoe Carnival will leverage Oracle Retail Customer Engagement Cloud Services to support key aspects of its customer marketing, segmentation and loyalty awards operations. More specifically, Shoe Carnival plans to implement Oracle Retail Customer Management and Segmentation Foundation and Oracle Retail Loyalty and Awards Cloud Services.

We look forward to Shoe Carnival’s success. Become part of the Shoe Carnival customer community, check out and take time to browse the new winter selections. 

Thursday Oct 01, 2015

Oracle Commerce Cloud Maximizes Retailers’ Control Over Their Ecommerce Sites

Oracle recently hosted a webcast featuring our solutions experts, Elaine Turner, Rock Creek and Object Edge. The demonstration was comprehensive and the customer interaction was informative. Here is a view of what we learned.

Two mid-sized retailers, each with big growth plans, are relying on ecommerce to acquire new customers and cement their relationships with existing ones. Both companies now have pixel-by-pixel control of their digital sites along with speed, agility, and ease of use, but without the need to “babysit” the technology, via the Oracle Commerce Cloud.

Elaine Turner, a fashion designer with 10 brick-and-mortar stores, and Rock/Creek, an outdoor gear and apparel retailer with six locations, are both early adopters of the recently released Oracle Commerce Cloud. This SaaS solution features responsive design for highly configurable storefronts across multiple devices, along with out-of-the-box features allowing online retailers to quickly customize sites, manage catalogs and inventory, and show relevant content to shoppers no matter what device they’re using.

“As a small to mid-sized business, it’s just not possible resource-wise to maintain separate strategies for desktop, mobile, and a native app,” said Carrie Leader, Elaine Turner’s director of eCommerce. “It was critical for us to have a truly, fully responsive website, so that we could implement one cohesive strategy across all devices. But we also need a lot of added features and functionality so that we can customize the design, feel and experiences on the site. Ecommerce is constantly changing, so you can’t just set it and leave it, even for six months. Because we need to push new things, we’re excited about the new releases Oracle has planned for Cloud Commerce.”

Leader, who along with Mark McKnight, director of eCommerce for Rock/Creek, spoke about their companies’ experiences with Oracle Commerce Cloud during a recent webcast. For Elaine Turner, Oracle Commerce Cloud has allowed the retailer to incorporate more video into its marketing strategy and has helped that video go viral more quickly. The result is greater brand awareness among new customers beyond the retailer’s base in Texas.

Rock/Creek’s point of differentiation is the expertise its associates can share about outdoor activities and gear. When the retailer needed to get information out about the proper way to clean a popular brand of sandals it sells, Rock/Creek used a combination of article content and a humorous Vine video on its site. “It’s become the go-to resource, so much so that when the manufacturer gets questions about care and cleaning, they send people to the Rock/Creek site,” said McKnight.

For McKnight, one of the big advantages of Oracle Commerce Cloud is that it provides Rock/Creek with a technology partner that does much of the day-to-day management of the application. “We want to be showcasing our expertise and be retailers,” said McKnight. “But because we have a lean team, every phone call and status meeting I have with a vendor takes time away from that. Oracle Commerce Cloud allowed us to eliminate several vendors and create more streamlined relationships.”

“We’re looking forward to an ecosystem where partners build other integrations, so that we’re not using our capital to build new features but to drive our customers to features that are coming with new releases,” he added.

Both Leader and McKnight also praised the speed and agility afforded by Oracle Commerce Cloud. “We can put new content out within a day, and we have more control over the website and how it affects the customer experience,” said Leader.

“We’re able to set up a quick collection, add some text and drop in a video much more quickly than we could before,” said McKnight. “We’re entrepreneurs, we want to move quickly, execute something, drive traffic to it and see if it takes. If customers don’t like it, we’ll move on to something else. The ability to ‘fail faster’ is huge, so the speed of Oracle Commerce Cloud is key for us.”

Watch the Webcast to learn more about both of these retailers’ ecommerce strategies and the functionality within Oracle Commerce Cloud. We will be showcasing the solutions at booth #901 at next week as well. 

Wednesday Sep 30, 2015

Oracle’s Powerful Merchandise Operations Management Solutions Available on Oracle Managed Cloud Services

To reduce total cost of ownership, speed time to value, and deliver state-of-the-art merchandising solutions to a wider range of retailers, Oracle recently announced the availability of Oracle Retail Merchandise Operations Management on Oracle Managed Cloud Services.

 Oracle Retail Merchandise Operations Management is a complete suite of integrated solutions that enables commerce anywhere—the ability for customers to shop and complete transactions 24/7, whether in stores, online, at a kiosk, or from a mobile device—by seamlessly executing every phase of the merchandising lifecycle across all channels—from purchasing, to invoice matching and trade management, to allocation and inventory management.

 “This new offering enables growing retailers to compete with their larger competitors by leveraging the full power of Oracle’s gold-standard merchandising solution, while taking advantage of fast, cost-effective, easier-to-manage, lower-risk implementations,” says Oracle Retail Senior Director Lara Livgard.

Faster Time to Market, Reduced Total Cost of Ownership

 As a managed cloud service, the new offering enables retailers to leverage the full power of Oracle Retail Merchandise Operations Management, plus Oracle’s state-of-the-art hardware and middleware—all without the cost and risk associated with implementing and managing their own IT infrastructure.

In addition, the development of rapid and prescriptive implementation models speed time to value for retailers. These methodologies combine the deep retail and technical expertise of Oracle Retail Consulting and the Oracle Retail partner community, with the Oracle Retail Reference Library of best practices, business process models, architectural diagrams, and more—all based on successful retail implementations.

“Now, growing retailers can have a solid foundation to support commerce anywhere in as quickly as six to nine months instead of a year or more,” says Livgard.

A Platform Built for Growth

To deliver on the promise of commerce anywhere, growing retailers require the same visibility across their entire merchandising network as their larger competitors currently enjoy.

“By implementing Oracle Retail Merchandise Operations Management in a managed cloud environment, a new range of retailers can support commerce anywhere to compete and grow in the new retail reality,” says Livgard.

Growing retailers gain a state-of-art merchandising foundation to support growth and evolving business plans. Just as important, as both the retail environment and Oracle technology evolve, growing retailers benefit from a clear and easy upgrade path.

“Upgrades are implemented by Oracle, and Oracle Retail Consulting designs implementations that ensure that customers have all the features and functionality they need, while ensuring that upgrades are as fast and simple as possible,” says Livgard.

To learn more, download the new e-book, Five Tips to Reducing Implementation Costs and Total Cost of Ownership, which incorporates insights from the Oracle Retail community.

Thursday Sep 17, 2015

Advanced Science SaaS Offerings to Drive Profit and Differentiation with Category Management

Customers are king in today’s evolving retail industry, demanding tailored shopping experiences and instant gratification. Retailers have responded by creating highly localized assortments across varying store formats and locations, making efficient and profitable execution extremely challenging. In response, Oracle Cloud solutions do more than just capture vast amounts of data—they integrate data, combine it with foundational best-practices scenarios, and deliver realistic, actionable recommendations in an easy-to-consume format.

“As consumers become increasingly empowered, retailers are much more likely to lose sales when customers cannot find items on their shopping list,” says Oracle Retail Solutions Director for Planning and Optimization Marc Koehler.

In July 2015, Oracle launched three new software-as-a-service (SaaS) offerings that go beyond traditional optimization tools to help retailers quickly create and execute profitable, localized assortments based on advanced, actionable retail science.

“The new cloud offerings enable retailers to quickly adopt advances in retail science with lower risk and costs. Retailers can utilize transaction-level information throughout their planning process to gain actionable insights and recommendations, enabling them to drive out customer-centric and targeted store assortments,” says Koehler.

The new offerings include:

Fast, Modular Adoption

Oracle Cloud solutions remove much of the cost of adoption, from hardware to databases, which is vital in an industry with margins as narrow as those in retail. Just as important, retailers can get up and running—and achieve value—much more quickly, a key benefit given the rapidly changing, competitive landscape in retail.

The cloud-based solutions also allow retailers to expand their retail science capabilities in a much more modular manner, quickly adopting new solutions only as needed. At the same time, the cloud model speeds and simplifies upgrades.

“You can begin by adopting foundational capabilities, and then add new layers of retail science as needed,” says Oracle Retail Senior Director of Technology Solution Management David Dorf. “And you can take advantage of Oracle’s latest innovations much more quickly.”

With Oracle Retail solutions, retailers can utilize a combination of purpose-built retail science and automation to drive out customer-centric and targeted assortments. Retailers can define an action plan to optimize assortment and inventory investments by enabling a 360-degree view of the market, customers, competitors, and vendors—with fact-based starting points that maximize available time to plan product categories.

To learn more, download the e-book, Use Science to Drive Profit and Differentiation by clicking

Wednesday Jul 01, 2015

Cloud Momentum

You likely have heard that Oracle is undergoing a massive business transformation to embrace cloud solutions.  According to reports, cloud sales are going better than expected and this part of Oracle's business is growing fast.  The retail business unit is, of course, on-board and picking up momentum. Recall back in April we released a set of cloud services based on assets acquired from Micros.  They are:

Then earlier this week we released Oracle Commerce Cloud, a SaaS solution for online retailers looking to simplify their IT while still driving innovation and growth.  Retailers Elaine Turner and Rock Creek were early adopters and have reported positive results.  In developing Oracle Commerce Cloud, the team really focused on speed-to-value, making it easy to implement and continuously incorporate new ideas.

And later this month we'll be offering two additional families of cloud services based on science and insights.  We're rapidly delivering the cloud services the market is requesting.

I first talked about the cloud's applicability to retail in this blog back in 2009, and at the time I was on the fence.  Conceptually it made perfect sense, but I wasn't sure retailers would be willing to give up the control.  But over the years I've seen examples of retailers not only embracing the cloud, but also advocating for it.  Every situation is different, and there are still ample opportunities for on-premise and hosted solutions, but SaaS is certainly gaining greater acceptance.

Tuesday Jun 23, 2015

Perspective from NRF Protect 2015: Adidas Uses Oracle Retail XBRi to Reduce Fraud at the Point of Service

Analytics and exception-based reporting, made available across all stores brings Big Data-style science to loss prevention

In advance of NRF Protect, here is a look at what some of our customers are doing to reduce and respond to fraud in stores. This is the first in a two-part series. To learn more, be sure to visit us at the Oracle Retail Booth #1227 at #NRFProtect this week in Long Beach, CA. 

Retail loss prevention professionals are well aware that employee theft and employee-related fraud account for the biggest single segment of shrink. According to the November 2014 Global Retail Theft Barometer, employee-generated shrink accounted for just over 40% of the previous year’s $128 billion total, even more than the one-third generated by shoplifting and organized retail crime.

Given these facts, retailers have a compelling interest in understanding and curtailing employee-generated shrink. The conundrum, however, is that no retailer can effectively investigate every single transaction in every single store. Fortunately, employees who commit fraud tend to follow specific patterns. By using tools that apply science to the problem, retailers can shift this challenge from a Big Data problem to an opportunity for insight.

One of the most important loss prevention tools is exception-based reporting, using advanced algorithms to constantly monitor point-of-service (POS) activity, identify potentially fraudulent transactions, and alert specialists automatically. Trends, outliers and “red flags” can be measured and tracked by region, store, or individual employee. By providing essential data to multiple levels of staff – from individual loss prevention specialists in the field to regional managers – an organization can effectively empower their team to root out fraud, and act quickly to resolve it. Doing the same thing manually is impossible when transactions multiply over dozens or thousands of locations. 

For adidas, the global designer and manufacturer of athletic shoes, clothing and accessories, it was nearly impossible to consistently identify the causes of shrink and fraud in its 2,470 stores worldwide. The company was unable to perform loss prevention exception reporting and faced operational challenges including lack of data protection, multi-system misalignment, difficulty adjusting to time zone and language variances, and system failures resulting in non-compliance issues.  In a recent Chain Store Age article, adidas shares how it reduces fraud in employee and administration losses following its implementation of Oracle solutions. Adidas shared their experience at Oracle Industry Connect. You can download the presentation adidas: Measuring and Managing Loss to Preserve Profit from the Oracle Retail RACK. 

Now available as a cloud service, Oracle Retail XBRi Loss Prevention Cloud Service captures all POS transactions and then administers advanced business analytics that apply a laser-focused look at key loss patterns. Designed to be completely agnostic to the POS solution and source data, XBRi integrates with both Oracle and third-party POS solutions – even multiple solutions – giving retailers flexibility and freedom of choice. The cloud service shifts funding from a potential capital investment in software and IT infrastructure to an operational expense. 

To learn more, be sure to visit us at the Oracle Retail Booth #1227 at #NRFProtect this week in Long Beach, CA. 


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