Sample coverage NRF 2015 Big Show
Maybe it was the chill rushing through the air during a freezing cold week in New York City. Or perhaps it was the fact that the retail industry landed in Manhattan after a holiday season that was far less chaotic—and much more upbeat—than the previous year.
But regardless of the reason, retailers and industry experts were decidedly more optimistic at the National Retail Federation's annual show, which ended Wednesday.
...Just recently, I had the opportunity to talk to Jill (Puleri) Standish, SVP and GM, Oracle Retail Global Business Unit, about the tech giant’s newest product launch, and in true Oracle fashion, it’s big. At the show, Oracle will unveil a new release of its entire suite of Oracle Retail solutions...
At NRF Oracle is introducing Oracle Retail 15, an enterprise retail suite that includes diverse features such as new cloud-based applications and POS hardware solutions.
...With memories of the 2015 holiday season still fresh, Re/code caught up with Mike Webster, Oracle’s senior VP and head of its retail and hospitality business. Webster runs Oracle’s retail strategy, sales, service and support operations, and has been around the retail industry for 28 years.
To help retailers deliver a consistent experience anywhere customers choose to shop, Oracle today introduced a comprehensive suite of cloud and on-premise solutions embedded with the industry-leading analytics that retailers worldwide can use to personalize offers, streamline operations, and increase sales and margins.
The emergence of constant customer connectivity, as well as cloud platforms that eliminate the need for centralized physical infrastructure, have radically changed retailing. The enterprise is now a distributed, virtual environment where retailers are constantly receiving, analyzing and reacting to real-time customer experience data in order to deliver an optimal omnichannel experience.
Core solutions still play a vital role, but are now also configured around serving the real-time needs of the customer. Jill (Puleri) Standish, senior VP and general manager of Oracle Retail, recently spoke with Chain Store Age about how retailers can best leverage cloud-based, leading-edge technologies to thrive in this new environment.
We recently hosted a panel discussion at Oracle OpenWorld hosted by Devon Hillard, co-founder of Spark::red with executives from TOMS, Furniture Row and Vitamix. After upgrading to Oracle Commerce, Furniture Row, Toms Shoes and Vitamix found that their websites were easier to manage, faster and more stable than ever before.
Ikea's strategy to build smaller format stores across the UK is a sign of the wider retail industry's switch to using property portfolios as service centres, argues Oracle's Dusan Rnic.
If customers aren't confident the item is in stock or available for delivery by a certain date, a single click will take them to a competitor. How can any retailer win under these circumstances?
The retailer chose Oracle Retail Xstore (formerly Oracle’s MICROS Xstore), which allows for a wide range of customizations without code changes or help from the vendor. LIDS also rolled out Oracle Retail Order Broker (formerly Oracle’s MICROS Locate), which allows stores to view each other’s inventory in real time and also streamlines shipment. Indeed, Havlik states that e-commerce reaped almost instant rewards as a result of the Order Broker implementation. “As many as 800 stores became available online, and customers found that capability right away — the orders started piling in,” Havlik says. “We literally doubled the amount of available UPCs for a customer to order.”
Tough, but necessary - In selecting an e-commerce platform, e-retailers grit their way through what can be a long, hard, even scary, slog. Oracle Commerce customers Elaine Turner and Rock Creek included.
Link to replay for Elaine Turner webinar
Kohls has launched five new omnichannel and digital initiatives. Find out what improvements have been made...
Kohl’s has been increasingly focused on omnichannel retailing in the past year, beyond introducing initial buy online pickup in store functionality in May. Earlier this month, Kohl’s announced a slew of special omnichannel holiday shopping features. Kohl’s also was among the first retailers to offer an Apple Watch app in April. In January, the retailer unveiled its “Greatness Agenda,” a broad effort to maximize omnichannel customer engagement that is based on an Oracle Retail platform.
The dawn of cloud-based retail as a service (RaaS) platforms, such as Oracle's new suite of Oracle Retail cloud services, enables retailers to use the cloud to manage everything from inventory and e-commerce to customer engagement and order fulfillment.
... As the world of retailing becomes more complex, simplified integration, improved agility and faster innovation become ever more valuable qualities. Cloud solutions’ ability to remove complexity from IT — and from retail business operations in general — are key parts of that value equation and ease implementation timelines as retailers scramble to drive maximum performance during the upcoming holiday season.
We spoke to various industry experts who revealed their top predictions for the future of retail including Oracle, IBM, Retail Wire ...
...David Dorf / Oracle: Retail will change in many ways, but immediacy will have the biggest impact. Our homes will replenish themselves; our packages will arrive hours after the order; retailers will bid on the right to sell us products in real time; our in-home printers will produce products as we watch. These are examples of consumers having immediate access to the products they want. The technologies to support these scenarios already exist, so we’re not waiting on anything new to be invented. All of these scenarios are already a reality in small, independent deployments. It’s only a matter of time before retailers evolve their business models to fully embrace this notion of immediacy. That’s not to say traditional channels will cease to exist. Physical and digital retail won’t fade away, nor will the importance of good customer service. But massive improvements achieved in forecasting, sourcing, and moving products will radically change the landscape in which we trade. Obviously no one will wake up tomorrow to this new reality. It will emerge slowly over many years, but we can already see evidence of the coming changes. Every retailer needs to think in these terms, and make sure each investment moves them closer to the goal.
Adidas turns to a new Oracle data collection system to pinpoint problems and reduce shrinkage.
...In the end, Oracle Micros provided the best overall solution. “They had the highest degree of knowledge, they were very experienced and we were already using their Store 21 as our POS system,” he says. “They were a really good fit.”
Not only that, but Micros managed to find a live internal theft case buried in the test data it had been given.
“They were the only vendor that identified this,” he says. “Before we even actually implemented the system, we had investigated a case and taken out an employee who had committed [$220,000] worth of fraud against us in the preceding 12 months. It was quite impressive.”
Still time to update e-commerce systems before the holidays - The advent of cloud-based solutions make it possible to overhaul an e-commerce platform in as few as 10 weeks.
Hot Applications For SaaS In Retail
Oracle's David Dorf agrees that the agility of data access and analysis afforded by the cloud is fueling its adoption. Leveraging SaaS-based analytics tools, he says, allows retail tech shops to move away from mundane IT tasks and refocus their efforts on real retail work. "SaaS lightens the load on IT by removing the burdens associated with backups, audits, upgrades, and security management. Business insight afforded by SaaS-based analytics tools affords retailers a really good understanding of the data they already have," says Dorf. "As we add more analytics capabilities via the cloud, we can grant that access more quickly via automatic upgrades, which dramatically reduces the retailer's time to value." Because these tools are offered in a pay-only- for-what-you-use style fashioned after the utilities model, retailers can strategically and incrementally build on their data analytics initiatives at their own pace. "Retailers have been sitting on a lot of Big Data for a long time. SaaS-based analytics applies 'Big Science' to that Big Data, allowing merchants to finally extract value from it," says Dorf.