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March 2014

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Commerce Anywhere: The Right Product in the Right Place at the Right Time—Regardless of Channel

Consumers, armed with smart phones and wide social networks, expect Commerce Anywhere—the ability to complete transactions seamlessly whether online, on the go, in stores, on the phone, or any combination of these. At the same time, they are increasingly willing to abandon retailers that don't meet their service expectations.

"To succeed today, retailers must put the consumer at the center of the value chain—and align their people, processes, and technologies to deliver the right product to the right location at the right time," says Carla Anderson, solution director, Oracle Retail.

The Financial Impact of Commerce Anywhere
This principle is simple, though in reality retailers must juggle growing financial and operational complexity to make Commerce Anywhere a financially viable reality.

"To manage the financial impact of Commerce Anywhere, you need a transparent view of inventory status across your operations," says Anderson. "Beyond capturing what you have on hand, you need to account for inventory that has been reserved, is inbound, or is on backorder to fulfill customer commitments."

To reconcile the financials and accountability of this new reality, "Retailers require a flexible merchandising solution—such as Oracle Retail Merchandising System—that supports the variety of retail transactions across channels with built-in best practices that support real-time, cross-channel inventory availability," she adds.

A Flexible Implementation Approach
The pace of change in retail is not going to slow down anytime soon. For example, the recent introduction of retailers offering same-day delivery as well as the convenience of click and collect makes it clear that customers' expectations are realistic and attainable.

How can retailers compete in this new world? Should they add offerings to drive customer engagement? Should they expand into emerging markets? However they choose to compete, they are going to require an agile and integrated solution that can scale with their changing business.

"That is why Oracle's solution is designed so that retailers can take an incremental approach to addressing their specific pain points. They can start with the merchandising foundation, locking down item, pricing, and inventory details first," explains Anderson. "Then they can quickly layer in more-advanced demand and inventory analytics when they decide to move forward."

Single View of Inventory Across All Channels
To serve multiple channels optimally, retailers must begin with a single source of truth—reaching across not just stores but the entire supply chain. That requires unifying product, price, and inventory management onto a single platform, while supporting a single source of transaction information across the business.

"With this foundation in place, you break down silos in your operations and drive total inventory visibility and operations alignment at every touch point—24/7," says Anderson. "That single source of truth ensures that all your foundational merchandising applications can support activities across all channels—regardless of complexity."

Want to learn more? Reach out to Oracle Retail to set up an appointment.

Learn more about Oracle Retail merchandise operations management applications.

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