Consumers are asking for a shopping experience that allows them to purchase where and when they want, using a mix of devices, web sites and stores. Retailers are responding by erasing lines between channels, targeting offers and making inventory readily available at the right time and place. With the introduction of its largest, most far-reaching new release, Oracle Retail claims it is uniquely equipped to help retailers offer customers commerce anywhere in a targeted, profitable and efficient manner.
Oracle has introduced Oracle Retail version 14, encompassing new features and functionality across its complete offering of retail business solutions. The enhanced suite of solutions enables relevant customer engagements across touchpoints, targets assortments, drives improved efficiency from inventory and helps reduce total cost of ownership, the company claims.
Oracle’s leading retail science and best practices are now embedded within even more business processes, placing the customer at the centre of the value chain and aligning people, processes and technology to drive profitability, Oracle Retail said.
New operational and planning processes in Oracle Retail version 14 allow customers to buy, pick-up or return items via any channel and equips retailers to fulfill demand without channel constraints, using built-in functionality that offers efficiencies and profit gains for retailers.
Throughout the solution set, processes reflect an increased focus on the consumer, and assortment planning is informed by a range of new data points that work together to influence item and category performance.
Oracle Retail version 14 delivers further improvements through packaged integration, a rich set of application programming interfaces and an infrastructure that can accelerate implementation and accommodate modular deployments that work within the constraints of a retailer’s evolving mix of systems, the company said.
Additionally, Oracle Retail version 14 is optimised for Oracle’s engineered systems, servers and storage to deliver faster performance, greater efficiency, higher availability, and near-unlimited scalability. Deploying Oracle Retail solutions on Oracle systems enables customers to lower total cost of ownership, mitigate risk, improve user productivity, and help streamline management, while benefiting from the value of a single point of accountability, the company claims.
Oracle Retail connects the consumer journey from mobile to store to fulfillment
New features and functionality make it easier for customers to purchase items no matter where inventory resides, with store-level inventory visibility online, real-time inventory lookup for items in another store, support for orders and take-with items in the same transaction and support for returning purchases from any channel.
To help retailers take advantage of mobile, Oracle Retail solutions deliver enhanced support for most devices and help mobilise store associates with mobile Point of Service (POS), tablet POS, assisted selling tools and better visibility to promotions, merchandising and store dashboards.
Targeted assortments give customers better choices
To help retailers target the right mix of items online and in stores, Oracle Retail claims its version 14 embeds leading retail science and draws insight from multiple data sources including consumer decision trees, advanced store clustering, demand transference and space optimisation, as well as traditional demand forecasting, to recommend alternate actions and illustrate each one’s impact on item, category and overall performance.
Oracle’s advanced store clustering capabilities are included in the suite to help retailers allocate products based on customer segments and optimise space planning across groups of stores, the company said.
New analytics and visualisations included with the latest release help to answer retailers’ most commonly asked questions, such as “Where are my most beneficial customers located and shopping, and what are their top purchases?”
Retailers drive performance by making inventory transparent and accessible
With version 14, Oracle Retail said it provides a single inventory master, which enables retailers to make inventory visible and accessible 24/7 across channels for consumers and employees.
Oracle Retail version 14 connects more of the day-to-day supply chain operations to help maximize efficiency and accuracy of store picking, store inventory processes, warehouse management and merchandising.
Now, operational forecasts can consider not just price and promotional changes but also the transfer of demand that happens when assortments change. The resulting single view of demand across the enterprise helps teams to optimise and align inventory.
Improved integration helps lower retailers’ total cost of ownership
With Oracle Retail version 14, Oracle continues to simplify deployment, help maximise ROI, and help lower the total cost of ownership by improving integration throughout the full suite of retail solutions.
In addition, the enhanced integration helps ensure that interdependent retail operations such as customer segmentation, store clustering, pricing, planning, allocation and space planning share information that influences business intelligence and recommendations.
Following Oracle’s commitment to open and scalable solutions, the full offering of Oracle Retail solutions can be implemented as a comprehensive suite or as modular best-of-breed point solutions, integrated with existing solutions or deployed in any order as part of a full-scale IT transformation programme.
A new dashboard allows IT to monitor and manage retail integrations from a single point. Now retailers can more quickly identify transaction volumes, average response times, and errors to help ensure critical systems are consistently operating at maximum efficiency.
“In the global retail industry we have seen a shift of capital from building and refurbishing stores to digital commerce and creating new and differentiated customer interactions. Retailers are focused on enabling the whole retail enterprise to deliver commerce anywhere,” said Mike Webster, senior vice president and general manager, Oracle Retail.
“Oracle Retail version 14 is our largest release in terms of functionality and manpower invested in development. This release aligns with the industry investments, has a sharp focus on quality and lowers the total cost of ownership for retailers. It further differentiates Oracle when the retailer is choosing a point solution and in situations where the retailer is transforming multiple business operations to enable a more effective customer experience,” said Webster.