Retail Omni-Channel Strategies

OfflineGreg Girard

We attended Oracle Industry Connection 2014 last week--its inaugural multi-industry customer conference fashioned after its successful retail industry event CrossTalk. The event offered additional proof points that Oracle's broad set of applications, technologies, services, and partners are well suited to meeting the needs and aspirations of large and mid-sized retailers in fashion, food, and hardline segments.

Oracle orchestrated its first multi-vertical industry summit last week. Comprised of six tracks--utilities, asset-based manufacturing, financial services and insurance, health sciences, and communications in addition to retail, the event subsumed and extended CrossTalk, the retail vertical event Oracle ran for the last several years. Continuing the CrossTalk format Oracle stepped back in the retail track, and aside from a few sessions focused on V14, let its customer do the talking.


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OfflineLeslie Hand

If you know me, you know that I love retail, and you know that I like to shop - what better way to understand what's going on in the business ;-). Those of you that worked with me in the distant past might remember when I wore skirts and dresses to work, but I pretty much stopped doing that 10 or so years ago. I still like to dress up once in awhile, and I usually reserve wearing dresses for special occasions. My colleagues who saw me at dinner last week got to experience the dressed up, out of workplace Leslie, and most reported that I "clean up nicely"! I say this because it is an important factor in the story I am about to tell about the search for a dress for a planned black tie affair. I tell this story as a reference for how the retail experience needs to change in the very near future.

My journey may not be entirely typical - I am a researcher after-all - but I do tend to be a trend setter, at least from a shopping journey perspective!

Shopping mission: Find a dress and matching shoes, stockings and clutch for a black tie affair

Cornerstone purchase = dress

  • Size: unknown (this fluctuates)
  • Color: Black is what I always do, but perhaps it is time for a change
  • Length: Knee length (Gowns make me look short, and I have 2 in the closet that I have never worn)
  • Style:…
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OfflineLeslie Hand

Packed full of accounts of the successes, challenges, and requirements facing retail mobile implementers, my day chairing the retail track at Mobile AppsWorld on February 6, 2014, was well worth the trip to San Francisco. I plan on writing about several of the topics that were discussed, and in this piece I will focus on a start-up vendor that fascinated me during a panel session I hosted. The vendor, ThirdLove, fascinated me with a capability and product that leverages patented mobile and 3D technology to sell custom fitted bras (that it designs and produces).

I caught up with Heidi Zak and Dave Spector, the co-founders after the session aptly titled 3 Cool Mobile Apps. The company has built a unique technology platform that engages the consumer directly on the web and on their mobile phone (iPhone only at this point) to personalize and precisely fit the customer with a ThirdLove produced garment. Incomparable because the platform combines proprietary computer vision algorithms - many of which are patented - to gather specific customer measurements…

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OfflineLuca Bonacina

We all know that the National Retail Federation's (NRF) is a worldwide event, where all the major technology companies showcase to the entire world all their major innovations and breakthrough that will be marketed worldwide. Although the event itself is global, we had the possibility to directly engage with many IT vendors' representatives taking care of the Europe. In this short post, we will briefly summarize the most important discussion points we had around the European region. Before going into more details, it is important to say that each IT vendor – we spoke with – had its personal and own vision of the European market; however, some common elements emerged around the high level dynamics.

Based on the discussions we had at NRF, Europe is perceived as a very promising but at the same time fragmented market. IT vendors do see the Europe as a very interesting market opportunity that will allow them to pick new business opportunities and therefore to generate more revenues and sustain their growth over the long run. However, their biggest concern is related to the fact that the region as a whole is really heterogeneous: Western Europe has very different dynamics compared to the…

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OfflineGreg Girard

Naturally enough, and appropriately so, NRF 2014 signaled that the year ahead will see business intelligence vendor, services companies, and broad footprint application vendors strengthening their analytic applications and services for generating profit and engaging customers. Overall the largest-ever NRF Big Show gave plenty of evidence that retail technology investment is ramping up. At one end of the market, we expect that given the maturity of application and services offers on the market now and the experience, diligence, and leadership with which retail buyers of technology are moving ahead, we will see positive momentum of success building on success. At the other, we expect continuing experimentation and innovation where success can rise Phoenix-like from failure.

From the perspective of all things retail analytics, NRF 2014 showed that the year ahead will bring gathering emphasis on price optimization, promotion orchestration, trusted efficient and effective fulfillment, consumer mobility, the omni-channel store, and intelligence-based marketing. Big data and analytics is following the draft of this trend, not leading it, and marking its rapid evolution into a set of competencies with a mission, not in search for one.

By adding social business and…

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OfflineLeslie Hand

The National Retail Federation's Big Show 2014, with more than a reported 30,000 attendees was bigger and better than ever, and reinforced our expectation that retailers will make significant investments in technology in 2014. Personal observations confirmed by vendor reports indicate that this year's attendees planned well and were very focused, resulting in fabulous high quality dialogues. Some of my observations from the event follow – more will come later.

Retailers seem to be on a two-fold technology path - feet squarely on pragmatic omni-channel doing ground and open arms reaching for the innovative art of the possible space. One of the big retail announcements of the event that illustrates this point well was Kohl's RFID implementation with Checkpoint Systems - yesteryear's innovation now deployed to support a very pragmatic inventory accuracy management program. Ken Bonning, Senior Executive Vice President, Kohl's Department Stores was quoted…

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OfflineJames Wester

This year's National Retail Federation conference provided an opportunity for retailers and vendors to discuss recent security breaches.

The 2014 National Federation's annual conference has concluded and this year's event confirmed the "Big Show" as one of the most important annual meetings for the payment industry. It was an active show from a payment standpoint, with several mobile and alternative payment providers showing off their solutions. (Most notably, Isis, the joint venture between three of the four big wireless providers had a massive presence following its recent nationwide rollout.) But nothing dominated…

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OfflineRobert Parker

Dassault Systemes (DS) recently announced its intention to acquire the majority of stock in Munich based Real Time Technology (RTT). RTT has approximately $84M in revenue and more than 700 employees. The company is best known for its portfolio of software products that assist in translating geometric models from 3D design systems into photo realistic interactive models that can be used in marketing – from web sites to television advertisements.

DS gains a strong capability for those companies that must take detailed precise designs and create attractive digital assets for consumers.  In fact, a large portion of the RTT customer base is made up of automotive and fashion (lifestyle) companies.  Perhaps even more valuable to DS is RTT's consulting capabilities (approximately 70% of revenue) that is split between engineering services (translation and prep including configurators) and content production (creative including CGI).  The…

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OfflineMichael Versace

Three days in a row this week. Yesterday Chase reported a mid-summer breach of 465K pre-paid card accounts. Together with digital identity losses reported on the 4th by Facebook, Google, and Twitter (2,000,000 hacked accounts), and the debit and credit card system failures at RBS and NatWest on the 2nd that affected thousands of banking customers in the middle of peak shopping hours (not enough IT, says CEO Ross McEwan), traditional identity systems and networks based on cards, PINs, passwords, SSN, firewalls, and marginally successful security strategies (PCI DSS 3.0 for one) continue to fall prey to IT complexity gremlins and hackers.

Data breaches are becoming an all to common occurrence, and the reality of the problem is much worse than current events and perceptions, because the general population is only aware of publicly disclosed breaches. We are not aware of the multitudes of breaches that either are not under any disclosure mandate, or breaches that have not yet been detected (the recent Chase disclosure, case in point). The latter category is a very large number by most estimates, since it can take months or even…

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OfflineLeslie Hand

James Taylor's line, Sweet Dreams and Flying Machines in Pieces on the Ground seems like such an apropos title for today's post with Jeff Bezos announcement last night on CBS's 60 Minutes that Amazon wants to fly drones to deliver packages, in the context of the Thanksgiving holiday shopping weekend that culminates today in what we refer to as CyberMonday. The song line is apropos, because of the great free marketing exposure Amazon got on the eve of the busiest Cyber-shopping day of the year, and the mixed sales results reported by organizations including the National Retail Federation (NRF).

First, on the topic of the Amazon drone, the FAA and other regulators will likely not let armies of drones loose over the US anytime soon. Bezos said the FAA is ruling on this in 2015, but I would expect it to be a non-starter in the short term. Secondly, really think about the processes required, and the places these drones would land, the security of packages, the security of drones, and where the real value-add is - probably not within the 10 mile radius Bezos mentioned. While the notion of…

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Recent Comments

  • Becoming Omni-Channe…
    Claire-Juliette Beale says:
    Hi Leslie,
    For this type of operation I would go straight to Nordstrom and my find core items there, then look elsewhere for the rest if needed. I had a similar "mission" a few weeks back. Needed a new pant suit and blouse. It took me one hour total.
    1. Went to the store, looked around 5minutes and found a sales assistant
    2. Told her what I was…
    2 weeks ago
  • NRF 2014: Omni-chann…
    Anonymous User says:
    Completely agree, Jim!  Even those of us who attend the show don't always have time to walk the floor, so appreciate the overview.  Trending is definetly around consistent customer experience across all touchpoints and back-end fulfillment of omni0channel demand. 
    2 months ago
  • NRF 2014: Omni-chann…
    jbengier says:
    Anyone who did not attend NRF should read this article. Leslie did a great job of capturing the excitement, innovation,and capabilities. Retail Omni-Channel continues to evolve and technology providers are doing much better in meeting the customer exepctations. In the end, consumers like cool...
    2 months ago
  • Retail Holiday Sales…
    Tom Redd says:
    Ordered the Force Field Version 12….Amazon says out of inventory!
    Hangout and be hip!
    Tom Redd
    Vice President, SAP Global Retail Business Unit
    Retail Strategic Communications (StratCOMM)
    M +1 480 326 3054 | F +1 610-848-5452

    4 months ago
  • Retail Holiday Sales…
    Leslie Hand says:
    Don't you already have a private force field around your house? :-0
    Stay tuned... I am going to participate in a Google "Hangout" later this week on this topic...
    4 months ago
  • Retail Holiday Sales…
    Tom Redd says:
    "Quick, duck, drone headed in to drop off a book...."  If retail slides to this they I need to find another industry!  Else, open an anti-retail delivery drone satellite system....
    Happy non-Drone Holidays
    4 months ago

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