Tech Notes

The customer experience is fueling IT spending like never before. That was my main takeaway from Oracle Retail CrossTalk 2012, which was held June 26 -28, in Chicago. The following are some insights and observations from a few of the speakers at the event.

Gary Penn, VP e-commerce, Quiksilver:
“Handheld traffic is growing exponentially, and so is the revenue. You have to address it. If you don’t, you are leaving a good part of your audience out in the cold.”

“Tablet users need to be addressed. Quicksilver is finding that one-fifth—20%—of its traffic is coming from tablets.”

“Don’t ask tablet users to contact you by phone. ‘Click to chat’ is growing like wildflower. If you can’t implement it, don’t ask them to call for more information. Tablets aren’t phones.”

Michael Rodgers, executive VP, CIO, Saks Fifth Avenue:
“Marketing is going to drive a lot of IT spending. The CMO and I are joined at the hip these days.”

“In the future, mobile will be part of our store layout structure…you won’t have to have these big wrap stations.”

“Retailers live on their systems, and they need to have the right ones.”

“It’s (social networks) an informational engine, not a commerce one. We have associates in our call center always looking at Facebook and Twitter. You need to be paying attention to it, to what the customer is saying about your product and service.”

David Dorf, senior director of technology strategy, Oracle Retail:
“Consumers expect to be answered quickly when they post (on a social network). Social media is a big social amplifier…it gives you the opportunity to quickly turn around something.”

“You won’t get a lot of sales on Facebook, but it’s good for driving traffic. And your e-commerce site is the place you want to drive it.”

“For large retailers, actual selling on Facebook is not the way to go.”

“The most exciting technology being used in stores now is geo-fencing.  Some retailers are even geo-fencing their competitors’ stores.”

Ron Johnson, director of technology, Disney Stores:
“Endless aisle provides the ability for a customer who says 'I'm interested in The Nightmare Before Christmas’ to browse online for a range of products associated with that film.”

Mike Webster, senior VP and general manager, Oracle Retail
“Mobile users spend 91% of their Internet time in a social network.”

More As I See It entries.


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