By Amber Trendell-Oracle on Jan 14, 2016
As retailers arrive today at NRF’s Big Show 2016, they will be met with displays of the latest, cutting-edge technology. And as each attendee embarks to fulfill unique agendas and goals, most will face the same underlying challenge: How to effectively manage perpetual upgrades to existing systems, even while layering in new business intelligence and customer facing systems.
Now, more than ever, it is essential that retailers leverage embedded best practices and keep systems updated with the latest technology in order to maintain pace with the digital commerce world. Proof of this necessity was the role technology played in the unmatched e-commerce success of the 2015 holiday season. Retailers’ success during this busy shopping season hinged on their ability to read what was happening, in real-time, and respond quickly. For example, personalizing promotions influenced purchase decisions across mobile, online, in store and even call centers, as did visibility to inventory and the timeline for fulfillment.
And while this selling period may have only lasted nine weeks, the holidays make up a majority of the retailer’s fourth quarter sales and set the tone for the entire year. With less than 10 months leading up to the next holiday season, now is the time to assess back-end systems and make necessary upgrades well before go time.
Upgrades can be a lengthy process, especially when working with legacy, internally developed or point solutions that are heavily customized. Vanilla is the flavor of the day.
Jill Standish, senior VP and general manager of Oracle Retail, notes that a combination of on-premises and cloud solutions offer retailers choice and the ability to make changes and complete IT initiatives faster.
“That means keeping up with fast-changing consumer requirements and staying ahead of disruptive competition in the marketplace,” said Standish.
Answering customers’ need for an easier way to fuel progress, the company has rolled out a complete range of its enterprise, marketing and retail-specific cloud services in Oracle Retail 15.
International fashion brand Perry Ellis asked that question in 2015 with Oracle Retail 14. The company first implemented Oracle solutions in 2006 to support expanding e-commerce and store operations. Then in release 12, the retailer used the systems to target pricing and promotions and grow its direct-to-consumer sales. But over time, these systems required updates to accommodate increasingly more individualized customer services, mobile transactions and faster merchandising cycles.
When weighing the opportunity to upgrade, Perry Ellis made the commitment to deliver commerce anywhere experience in which inventory is available to fulfill customer purchases from any channel. The move also united Perry Ellis’ U.S. and European retail stores with a single global instance of Oracle Retail Merchandising System that serves both markets. Speed to value was critical to Perry Ellis, so the company teamed with Oracle and BTM Global to seamlessly upgrade its IT solutions, both online and in brick-and-mortar, in just six months.
“The risk of doing nothing is we’ll be left behind,” said Sandeep Baghel, director of retail systems, Perry Ellis International, in an interview with Oracle. “We want to have the best IT systems available to support our business. We want to be available to customers wherever customers want us to be available. That will help us grow toward our future.”
This week at NRF 2016, Oracle is introducing the next set of innovation across the suite plus four new cloud services to give retailers access to the latest optimization and business analytics including merchandising financial planning, demand forecasting and customer segmentation solutions.
All are part of the company’s latest release, Oracle Retail 15, which delivers cloud and on-premises solutions to help retailers more readily integrate existing legacy systems and new applications to deliver new value to the business. Oracle Retail 15 also includes updates to the Retail Reference Model featuring over 680 process flows that document industry best practices to jumpstart the implementation for retailers.
Connect with us at booth 2521 this week at #NRF16. Learn more about demo options, networking and more.