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Future of Retail — Omnichannel


issue 07


“As a consumer my need is simply to be treated well and consistently - however, whenever and wherever I choose to interact. To meet these needs, we need a real-time foundation that manages products, stock, sales and customers in its stride. We need to get the basics right.”


‘IMPLEMENTATION SHOULD NOT BE MEASURED IN YEARS’ One of the challenges for retailers, however, is cumbersome legacy IT systems. Schofield adds: “Retailers need to move at a pace that is often at odds with the established implementation process. The basics shouldn’t be as complicated as they are. Implementation should not be measured in years. We need the basics to work and a sound foundation to be agile enough to accommodate the new.” The answer to that lies in greater real-time


visibility of inventory, central management of data and customer interactions and cross- channel capabilities. That’s where something like Oracle NetSuite’s unified business management platform can help retailers deliver a seamless and personalised omnichannel experience. The product provides retailers with the


ability to bring inventory, customers and order data into one single system, providing a real- time global view across the supply chain. It creates a central hub for customer interactions and helps deliver data-driven marketing that builds loyalty and boosts revenue. According to Forrester Research, cross-channel shoppers spend 30% more than single-channel shoppers and NetSuite enables cross-channel order management and fulfilment. The cloud-based platform also supports multiple countries, languages, tax rates and currencies, so that retailers can get up and running in new markets as efficiently as possible. Another important pillar of omnichannel


retail is the ability to get real-time actionable insights from customer data at any point in the shopping cycle and via any channel. When it becomes difficult for retailers to differentiate or compete on product and price, then personalised marketing can make the difference to the customer experience. It’s about how to treat customers as individuals


“The customer wants you to know what they want even before they know themselves.”


and not part of a crowd, according to Saima Alibhai, managing principal consultant EMEA at commerce marketing automation specialists Oracle Bronto. Alibhai explains: “It’s all about


understanding who the customer is - capturing that data and really looking at it. Understanding what content fits the customer, understanding when and how to reach the customer. Personalisation today has really set the customer expectation. Customers expect that personalised communication. And everything happens right now. The customer wants you to know what they want even before they know themselves.”


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