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IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Retail Commerce Platform Software Providers 2020

Evaluate the success of retail solutions in designing, developing, installing, configuring, and maintaining the evolution of a complete retail commerce platform.

What is a digital store?

Learn how a digital store solution can help you increase store traffic, improve engagement, drive conversion, and increase basket size.

Digital store defined

The digital store is a modern, cloud-based set of solutions that enables retailers to integrate their store infrastructure and consumer-engagement technologies, connecting the digital and physical worlds to deliver seamless, cross-channel experiences that will help them thrive with today’s hyperconnected consumer.

Deliver seamless, omnichannel retail experiences

In today’s consumer-driven world, brick-and-mortar retailers must use innovative digital technologies to connect with consumers along their path to purchase, which often ends in the physical store. According to recent consumer research, 71 percent of shoppers stay loyal to a retailer based on service speed and the checkout experience.

Leveraging a connected retail solution that helps you deliver a seamless, omnichannel experience will help you know, engage, and convert more consumers to customers and give your stores a competitive advantage—especially in today’s challenging retail environment.

Consumer shopping habits continue to change and evolve—and as new customer journeys and shopping experiences emerge, execution is everything in terms of retail success. The roles of the store and the store associates need to morph to serve a new shopping experience that meets consumer expectations—even as those expectations change. A digital store solution that connects the digital and physical worlds can provide the personalized, speed-of-thought commerce experiences that modern consumers demand.

Enhance emerging customer journeys with a digital store solution

McKinsey & Company research recently determined brands that can improve the customer journey may see revenues increase by as much as 10 to 15 percent while also lowering the cost to serve by 15 to 20 percent. Although a traditional digital journey (order online, ship to home from a distribution center) is the least expensive journey, it’s clear that digital alone is not the answer. The key to success for retailers is a flexible and sophisticated omnichannel operation.

Traditionally, buy online, pick up in-store (BOPIS) is the most profitable for the retailer, but not necessarily the least expensive for the consumer. If the consumer comes to the store for pickup, the average order value increases by about 35 percent. 75 percent of consumers who come to the store are likely to make an additional purchase, and 49 percent of shoppers make unintended purchases while picking up their items in-store.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, new journeys emerged that respect social distancing, consider contactless retail experiences, and still allow for discovery in the shopping experience. The risk of a poor customer experience rises as permutations of the shopping experience develop, but so will innovations in process and technology that help ease and enhance the journey.

Retailers need an integrated and coordinated experience that creates transparency and the flexibility to fulfill the order from multiple locations to meet customer needs. In a time of uncertainty, consumers want a predictable shopping experience, not delays. That’s why Oracle offers a foundation for digital transformations in retail that not only addresses customer engagement but also brings top-ranked data science to better inform those journeys.

Five ways retailers and brands can create confidence and build resilience

1. Earn customer trust

Safety is the biggest priority for consumers these days. Retailers need to respond appropriately and provide assurance that all the necessary precautions are in place before the consumer enters the store. Retailers who operate in multiple countries will need to implement a different set of requirements per region, all while maintaining the same brand experience.

2. Study your retail customer

In the first couple of weeks of reopening after pandemic-related shutdowns, retailers saw transactional shopping as consumers met their pent-up desire to shop or replenished depleted household items. Within two weeks of an opening, however, customers wanted to return safely to the relational, social experience of retail. It’s too early to tell how the trend will develop, but more than likely, customers will return to a hybrid model. And that’s a good thing: McKinsey’s research confirms that customers who shop across channels are twice as profitable to the retailer. By segmenting customer data and delivering relevant offers, retailers can orchestrate the return of consumer demand with a more flexible fulfillment model.

3. Agile everything

Staff, stores, inventory, orders, and the supply chain need to be agile and responsive. Technology can automate and scale business process, providing flexibility to adjust and adapt customer journeys. With a level of operational transparency, retailers obtain a single view of order, inventory, and customer and can respond more effectively to protect margins, regardless of the shifting open-close restrictions governing businesses and consumers around the world.

4. Empower retail with insight

Yes, the data is changing. Today’s consumer has unlimited access to information—more information than many store associates have access to while at work. Level the playing field for your team and empower the store associate with the tools and the data needed to create a superior experience. Tap into artificial intelligence and machine learning to anticipate the needs of the consumer and elevate the experience for your customer and team, driving new levels of satisfaction for both.

5. Establish customer communication channels

Retailers need to implement localized communications. If your retail operation is shut down in one location, communicate with customers at a local level to redirect demand to alternate locations and channels. As an example, if the contagion rises in London again, the city will likely leave shops open in the Southeast. With technology in place, retailers can communicate more specifically, introduce new opportunities to fulfill demand, and contain the impact on their business.