News

Focus on: E-commerce

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

The e-commerce experience has expanded beyond desktop environments and moved in-store via Web-based kiosks and consumers’ personal mobile devices. One of the biggest hurdles for retailers is delivering a consistent, rich, user experience across all digital channels. Eager to overcome this challenge, Best Buy Canada sought a solution to streamline digital information delivery.

“Our consumers expect to have a rich experience, one that provides robust details helping them make a purchase,” said Robert Pearson, VP e-commerce, Best Buy Canada, Burnaby, B.C., which operates approximately 225 stores under the Best Buy, Future Shop and Best Buy Mobile banners.

Pearson explained that Best Buy was managing product information, photos and supplier information with a homegrown API (application program interface) system that was installed in 1998. It served as an interface that allowed the retailer’s digital channels to communicate and synchronize data in real time.

“This interface synchronized price, product information and imagery across all of our channels,” he said.

As data volume increased, this solution struggled to manage workflow and delivery of information, especially more robust files such as pictures and videos. It also took a toll on the overall shopper experience as the retailer used its digital channels to expand its assortments by adding more SKUs.

Best Buy Canada canvassed the marketplace for a workflow solution that could bundle delivery of collateral appearing on digital channels, and eliminate the complexity of managing individual data files. The chain wanted an open solution that could be integrated onto its existing operating platform. The solution also had to be able to manage multi-lingual data files since the company operates in English and French.

The retailer selected a master data management (MDM) solution from Stibo Systems, Atlanta, to optimize its customers’ online and mobile e-commerce experience. Providing a common point of reference, Stibo’s STEP platform is helping Best Buy Canada link all of its critical digital files into one master file. This move will streamline data-sharing and workflow among the retailer’s channels. Once the data migration is complete, the retailer plans to connect all its suppliers to the platform.

“Currently, our vendors’ data points are outside of our firewalls, so they use a manual Excel spreadsheet to share data, and we input it on our end,” Pearson said. “The new platform will allow them to enter a portal to update content.”

Once the files are received, Best Buy Canada can edit, analyze and bundle creative and pricing files for all content pages. (The retailer has more than 500 suppliers in its network.) The company is currently migrating its existing data to Stibo’s MDM platform, and plans to begin using the solution in the first quarter of 2013.

keyboard_arrow_downCOMMENTS

Leave a Reply

S.Jhon says:
Nov-23-2012 05:15 pm

This Is An Perfect Source Which Is Reflect The Importance Of E Commerce. The E Commerce Based Online Stores Are Facilitate People Of The Whole World, Well Who Are Using The Internet Media.For Creating Your Online Store Just Share These Source: Multi Store Ecommerce | Ecommerce Shopping Cart | Hosted Shopping Cart

S.Jhon says:
Nov-23-2012 05:15 pm

This Is An Perfect Source Which Is Reflect The Importance Of E Commerce. The E Commerce Based Online Stores Are Facilitate People Of The Whole World, Well Who Are Using The Internet Media.For Creating Your Online Store Just Share These Source: Multi Store Ecommerce | Ecommerce Shopping Cart | Hosted Shopping Cart

TRENDING STORIES

Polls

Are you hiring seasonal employees this year?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...
News

Legacy Modernization

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

With the increasing popularity of mobile devices and social networks, managing the omni-channel experience will be a key priority for retailers this holiday season. Leading experts say that retailers need to update their legacy technology systems to handle the large amounts of data being generated by these channels.

Breaking down the silos between e-commerce and store-level platforms to get a single view of the customer and enterprise-wide inventory levels requires retailers to integrate existing platforms. With newer channels such as mobility and social media playing bigger roles in cross-channel operations, existing mainframe operating platforms are getting stretched further than ever. New cloud computing technology is helping make the transition easier, while limiting the impact on existing business operations.

“The mainframe was king for retailers because it was very robust and was created with strong business logic,” said Keith Champeau, national director of business development, Fujitsu, Sunnyvale, Calif. “However, that business logic was built more than 20 years ago, and big data stemming from social and mobile channels is taking a toll on those mainframes.”

These new channels are also impacting operations, including website and network support and functionality, as well as the ability to scale site capacity and deliver real-time online marketing campaigns. Rather than embark on a costly and time-consuming rewriting of code or “ripping-and-replacing” existing platforms, some companies are exploring the gradual migration of legacy business processes to open platforms.

Cloud computing is helping retailers in this endeavor. Since retailers can provision the power and applications they need, the cloud’s elasticity gives retailers more agility in their go-to-market strategies, and the open platform costs less to maintain and operate than mainframe options.

“The cloud is really changing everything,” explained Brad Wilhelmy, industry marketing development manager, Microsoft, Redmond, Wash.

“Last year was a year of discovery, but now companies are getting their heads around the cloud. The cloud doesn’t eliminate integration challenges, but instead creates new opportunities to integrate systems that have traditionally stood alone.”

Having the proper platform in place is a good first step, but more work needs to be done to prepare for the holiday season. Retailers need to ensure all back-end systems integrated on the modernized platform can support end-to-end multichannel transactions. Among the priorities:

• Supply chain performance: Retailers must ensure orders be fulfilled from an IT perspective as well as from a distribution point of view. And all details can be monitored through the new platform.

“The cloud enables retailers to do performance testing as well as load testing to ensure that once orders hit the back end, that they can be fulfilled,” said Eric Payeur, director of Fujitsu’s application modernization practice.

• Centralization of customer data: Having a single view of customer data in a centralized database is a must for all multichannel operations. The same holds true for inventory data.

“Those who struggle with who their customer is, or what their inventory looks like across all channels, will only have challenges going forward,” Wilhelmy said.

• Differentiated assortments: Differentiating inventory and assortments based on consumer demand can make a difference for retailers as they engage shoppers when they are ready to buy this holiday season.

“Retailers need to be ready for consumers when the customers are ready to buy,” Wilhelmy advised. “The business insight that retailers can get from open platforms helps them better predict what products customers will demand so stores can adjust inventories accordingly.”

When it comes to completing cross-channel functionality integration, retailers should keep one eye on modernization and the other on the fast-moving calendar.

“These health checks are a must, but they must be completed now,” Payeur said.

keyboard_arrow_downCOMMENTS

Leave a Reply

No comments found

TRENDING STORIES

Polls

Are you hiring seasonal employees this year?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...
News

Around the World

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Abercrombie & Fitch understands that the key to international branding is to deliver a consistent store experience across the globe.

By adopting an open operating platform and integrated point-of-sale infrastructure, the company is able to centrally manage all business operations, including supply chain, inventory management and POS processing, across international borders. The retailer’s international stores now garner close to $1 billion in sales.

“International stores are much more profitable than U.S.-based stores due to several reasons, including that they are much less promotional and their price-point strategy is a little different in those stores,” said Jon Rudy, the retailer’s VP merchandising systems, during a presentation at Oracle’s Retail Cross Talk 2012 conference.

A&F launched its international strategy in Canada and the U.K. in 2006 and 2007, respectively, using its existing legacy systems to support the expansion. The platform lacked visibility into financial impacts, especially those related to merchandising. For example, all planners managed financials in spreadsheets, a manual process that made it impossible to determine if they were over- or under-buying.

“[The process] took a toll on merchandise allocation because we used to plan floor space based on their orders,” said Raj Lakshmaihgari, director of merchandising systems, Abercrombie & Fitch. “If there were shipping delays, we had to change floor sets. Then we began to overbuy to stay stocked. The challenge here was that all merchandise was shipped to our Columbus, Ohio-based distribution center, and it sat there until it was needed.”

Since this practice tied up capital and also made it difficult to efficiently replenish stock overseas, it quickly became clear that these systems and processes couldn’t sustain future international growth.

In 2009, the retailer selected the Oracle Retail Merchandising system, which resides in the company’s Columbus-based corporate data center. Since adding the platform, A&F increased its inventory ordering accuracy from an average of 94% to 100% accuracy.

“This helps us in our metric control, getting a floor set properly organized and getting the merchandise into the store at the right time,” Lakshmaihgari said. “We also decreased air shipments from 25% of total shipments to 8%, which is a huge cost savings.”

To support its global POS strategy, the retailer also deployed Oracle’s Retail Point-of-Sale Software Systems (ORPOS). Prior to adding the POS platform, the company was managing terminals across 1,100 locations, each with their own servers and associated databases.

“The process was too overwhelming for the size of our IT team [which consists of one development manager, eight POS developers and a payment manager] and what we had to do,” explained Simon Kish, Abercrombie & Fitch’s director of IT. Subsequently, he explained, the chain decided to create a centralized strategy that required it to bring POS processing back into its Ohio-based data center.

Similarly, A&F implemented regional databases that manage up to 30 stores each. To integrate these databases, A&F is using open-source database replication software to synchronize multiple repositories into a centralized database in the data center. This configuration streamlines the process the chain uses to transmit pricing to each POS system nightly, Kish explained, and also distributes sales information to other business systems. The end result is that A&F has a near-real-time view of what is happening in its stores on a global level.

keyboard_arrow_downCOMMENTS

Leave a Reply

lahmphil29 says:
Apr-17-2013 06:12 pm

SoftProtect is a great and affordable files password protection software. It enables you to keep all the private, corporate or confidential data available only for the key owner. || data encryption software || You can easily choose the type of key: PC hardware profile, USB Flash drive, a password or even a combination of these three ones to make it more flexible for you to access the files.

J.Carlos says:
Apr-13-2013 11:57 am

I would like to say thank for sharing this great article. We can’t get this kind of information from a hair cut

J.Carlos says:
Apr-13-2013 11:57 am

I would like to say thank for sharing this great article. We can’t get this kind of information from a hair cut

lahmphil29 says:
Apr-11-2013 06:37 pm

We heard about a BlackBerry OS 10.1 update coming by the end of the month, along with the BlackBerry Q10, the QWERTY-based second BB10 smartphone. And now, rumors paint an even fuller picture of BB10.1. best sim only deals uk The update is expected to bring a lot of improvements mostly in the camera part, but also in the UI and keyboard. The camera for once is expected to run faster and get support for HDR photos for better dynamic range when needed.

A.Arif says:
Mar-15-2013 09:33 am

You might comment on the demonstration of the blog. You should say that it's first-class. Your blog recap shall swell up your capital. neck pillow

A.Arif says:
Mar-12-2013 11:28 am

You may post on the customer service for the blog. You could advertise it's tremendous. Your blog advice might expand your readers. how to repair a bathtub

A.Arif says:
Mar-06-2013 11:38 am

You may write about the offers on the blog. You could broadcast it's super. Your blog assessment should escalate your opt-ins. getting more views on youtube

M.Mirevski says:
Feb-14-2013 10:33 am

It features digital controls and is pretty sizable as well with an interior volume that's larger than half a cubic foot. The differences are classified by the wattage used and by the controls. toaster oven reviews 00 depending on which retailer you choose. Wide-mouth toasters have slots big enough to accommodate breads and other bagels larger than a usual slice of bread.

M.Mirevski says:
Feb-14-2013 10:33 am

It features digital controls and is pretty sizable as well with an interior volume that's larger than half a cubic foot. The differences are classified by the wattage used and by the controls. toaster oven reviews 00 depending on which retailer you choose. Wide-mouth toasters have slots big enough to accommodate breads and other bagels larger than a usual slice of bread.

A.Arif says:
Feb-13-2013 05:38 pm

Useful information. Lucky me I discovered your web site by chance, and I'm stunned why this coincidence didn't happened earlier! I bookmarked it facebook likes

M.Mirevski says:
Jan-28-2013 12:44 am

Less conforming traditional foam - or latex - toppers can also be found but neither possess the viscoelastic heat sensitive property that makes memory foam so comfortable.Make sure your topper is all memory foam; there should not be any support foam in a topper, just a mattress.silent night memory foam mattress http://foammattressworld.com/silent-night-memory-foam-mattress/ Cheaper memory foam mattresses are made up of a lot of air and can break down in a matter of a 3 to 5 years.It will also help if you do research on the brands you already have in mind.

R.Marian says:
Jan-25-2013 07:16 am

This IBM Certified System Administrator - DB2 10 for z/OS certification exam certifies that the successful candidate has important knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to describe the architecture and administer the processes required to plan, install, manage, tune and secure DB2 for z/OS environments. 000-648, 000-649, 000-667

R.Marian says:
Jan-25-2013 07:16 am

This IBM Certified System Administrator - DB2 10 for z/OS certification exam certifies that the successful candidate has important knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to describe the architecture and administer the processes required to plan, install, manage, tune and secure DB2 for z/OS environments. 000-648, 000-649, 000-667

TRENDING STORIES

Polls

Are you hiring seasonal employees this year?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...