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Oracle study: Improving cross-channel experience is retailers’ biggest challenge


Redwood Shores, Calif. -- Improving the cross-channel customer experience and optimizing the supply chain ranked as retailers’ biggest challenges in a new study by Oracle. The report also found that mobile access is key: Forty percent of retailers said that providing store associates with mobile access to customer, product, inventory and other information is critical to their business, along with providing the entire organization with a more consistent and complete view of the customer (40%).

The report, “From Overload to Impact: An Industry Scorecard on Big Data Business Challenges,” surveyed 333 U.S. and Canadian C-level executives from retail and 10 other industries to determine how they are managing the deluge of data coming into their organizations and how they are using it to drive profit and growth. Of the retail executives surveyed, 90% said their organization is collecting and managing more business information today than two years ago, by an average of 98%, with the biggest data growth occurring in customer information (43%), operations (33%) and sales and marketing (30%).

Forty percent of retail executives said that the biggest challenge they face in regards to leveraging business information is their ability to improve the cross-channel customer experience. Another 30% said that optimizing the supply chain is among their top challenges, followed by creating personalized offers, tracking and optimizing inventory, streamlining merchandising and pricing and managing in-store operations (all 27%).

Retail executives say they are most frustrated with their ability to gather and distribute data in a timely manner. Specifically, 53% cannot give their business managers access to pertinent information, 50% said they do not have the right systems in place to gather the information they need and 33% feel they are using systems that are not designed to meet the unique needs of their industry.

In other findings, 30% of retail executives gave their organization a “D” or “F” in preparedness to manage the data deluge and 93% believe their organization is losing revenue opportunities – as much as 10% of revenue per year, and, on average, $50.5 million per year (figure based on the average revenue of organizations surveyed) – by not being able to fully leverage the information they collect. Only 3% of executives give their organization an “A” in preparedness.

“For retailers to deliver the cross-channel experience customers are demanding, they must not only manage the growing deluge of operational and customer data, but use it to gain actionable insight and equip employees to effectively use that insight immediately,” said Mike Webster, senior VP and general manager, Oracle Retail. “Oracle is helping retailers to turn their data into an asset that connects interactions and optimizes operations to drive profitability and support a truly personalized customer experience.”

To access the full report – which delves extensively into how prepared organizations within each industry are for the data deluge and the resources they need to enhance their ability to leverage incoming data – click here.

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