Friday Jun 21, 2013

Oracle is a Leader again in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for E-commerce

Although e-commerce represents only 10% of the typical brick-and-mortar retailer’s sales, that percentage continues to climb.  So it’s no wonder that many retailers are considering the purchase of new e-commerce platforms to provide a commerce experience that keeps customers coming back.  And once again, Oracle and IBM lead the pack, identified as leaders in Gartner’s 2013 Magic Quadrant for E-Commerce along with hybris. 

Many retailers are realizing the need to support Commerce Anywhere, allowing customers to interact with brands on their own terms.  Gartner reinforces this trend saying, “E-commerce is moving beyond just an online selling channel to integrated platforms delivering a unified customer experience. Traditionally, most organizations have been investing in the online channels with the objective of driving additional sales. However, customers increasingly are expecting a seamless buying experience across all channels, and e-commerce is a critical part of this evolution since it is a point where other channels are integrating to synchronize the customer experience across channels."

Oracle saw this trend coming and acquired ATG, FatWire, and Endeca, all leaders in their respective markets, starting back in 2010.  The assets have been combined as Oracle Commerce and represent a comprehensive solution for retailers to sell via the Web while offering the best customer experience possible.  Retailers like JCPenney, American Apparel, and Kohl’s have recently licensed Oracle Commerce as part of their transformations.

In the next two years we’ll begin to see more separation between the retailers that have a Commerce Anywhere strategy, and those that continue to flail with separate channels.  Integrating online and offline commerce, along with mobile and social aspects are becoming crucial to success in the industry.

Tuesday Jun 12, 2012

Social Retailing

For retailers the move to mobile has been obvious.  More and more consumers are interacting with retailers, both online and in the store, using their mobile devices.  Retailers are quick to invest in both consumer facing mobile apps as well as ones to equip employees.  But when I talk to retailers about social, the value isn't as clear-cut.  Intuitively, retailers know that better relationships with customers will result in higher sales, but the trip to get there has many paths.

The interesting thing about social media is that it has the potential to permeate all parts of the business.  Obviously it works well for marketing, but it also has a place with recruiting, knowledge management, trend analysis, and employee collaboration.  Information gathered from social media can enhance existing processes like assortment planning, product development, space planning, promotion planning, and replenishment.  Letting the customer influence each of these areas helps align the experience.

One of the things holding retailers back is the lack of consistent and integrated tools to manage social media and make sense of the huge amounts of data.  To that end Oracle has been aggressively acquiring in the space, as depicted in the infographic below.  Soon, social will get the same level of investment as mobile.

[info graphic removed]

The Social CRM Arms Race: A Timeline - An infographic by the team at Pardot Marketing Automation

About


David Dorf, Sr Director Technology Strategy for Oracle Retail, shares news and ideas about the retail industry with a focus on innovation and emerging technologies.


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