Oracle is pledging its continued support for digital transformation in the global retail sector with the launch of a new cloud service that centralises back-office elements of store operations.
Oracle Retail Xstore Office Cloud Service attempts to balance retailers’ need for a faster implementation timeline and a more responsive business model that can change in sync with shifts in consumer preferences.
According to Oracle, the service eliminates the need for investment in data centres and allows retailers to take advantage of cloud solutions, while keeping point-of-service functions on-premise. "Historically retailers have been slow to upgrade their POS solutions, often waiting 5-7 years before considering an upgrade, which has thwarted their ability to keep pace and provide dynamic, engaging experience to their customers," comments Oracle Retail vice president Jeff Warren.
He says that by moving to the cloud, retailers can benefit from continuous innovation.
Oracle has also updated its Omnichannel Suite to include 64 different shopper journey combinations. Oracle Xstore Point-of-Service operates in 83 countries and makes up the core of the Oracle Retail Omnichannel Suite.
As part of Oracle's Omnichannel product portfolio, Oracle Retail Xstore Point of Service is pre-integrated with several cloud services, including Oracle Retail Customer Engagement, Oracle Retail Order Management, Oracle Retail XBRi Loss Prevention and Oracle Commerce Cloud offerings, enabling end-to-end omnichannel retailing.
"During the 2018 Holiday season, successful retailers relied on accurate inventory as the foundation for fulfilling omnichannel journeys and meeting customer demand," adds Oracle Retail senior director of omnichannel strategy, Chris Sarne.
"This new generation of cloud services provides a real-time view into critical enterprise data that is the foundation for great brand experiences for consumers."
Additional updates to the Oracle Retail Omnichannel Portfolio of Solutions and Cloud Services include the following:
• Mobility Enhancements: Retailers look to enable their associates to engage consumers sooner to drive interactions with the brand and deliver a higher level of service. Oracle Retail Xstore Point-of-Service can be deployed on thin client and mobile offerings to allow an associate to capture the sale at the point of intent. Additionally, the store associates and managers are equipped with reporting that enables faster and more efficient decision making.
• RFID Integration: Many retailers have invested in RFID-based supply chain processes to help ensure the accuracy of supply right through to store inventory counting. To enable maintenance of the accuracy of stock position in the store, Oracle Retail Xstore Point-of-Service can extend the sales and returns processes to include RFID data and pass this upstream through services to supporting RFID enabled inventory systems.
• Supporting Customer Experiences: As the retailers reinvent their brick and mortar footprints they are recognising the value of the physical store as a vehicle to provide customers with unique experiences. With investment increasing in destination-based activities such as in-store coffee shops, candy and wine bars, the POS needs to address the requirements of these additional services without alternate software. Oracle Retail Xstore has extended functionality to address these evolving experiences, all within the same Xstore Point-of-Service code base.
• Easier Workflow: Oracle enhanced the workflow of Oracle Retail Order Management Cloud Service to provide customer service with a more intuitive interface with coordinated and transparent outcomes to fulfillment consumer demand.
• Customer Context: Oracle Retail Customer Engagement Cloud Service has adopted a role-based, modern user experience for better usability in supporting marketing operations and execution. The cloud service integrates to Oracle Retail Offer Optimization and taps into the productivity of artificial intelligence with integration to digital assistants.
• Exploiting Science for Speed and Scale: Oracle Retail XBRi Loss Prevention can go directly from identifying exceptions, for example, excessive gift cards, refunds, and exchanges, to identifying either the account or the cashiers that are at risk, or leveraging machine learning to flag business anomalies. This means that loss prevention officers no longer have to chase down the data behind the risk report in order to determine who or what to investigate. Now more than ever, the ability to deliver best-in-class functionality to the field can happen in a fraction of the time required for an enterprise, on-premises solutions. Retailers can implement Oracle Retail Cloud Services in as little as seven weeks from provisioning.
• Hardware Innovation: The Oracle Retail Xstore Suite has always offered a highly flexible deployment model that includes thick, thin, tablet, handheld options at the store.