TECHNOLOGY

Amazon close to cutting ties with database software supplier

BY CSA Staff

The countdown is on.

Amazon is in the final stages of transitioning the last of its operating systems off of Oracle’s proprietary database software. The online giant expects to have all of its infrastructure operating internally on Amazon Web Services by the first quarter of 2020, according to CNBC.

Sources familiar with the situation told CNBC that Amazon began moving off of Oracle’s software about four or five years ago. Some parts of the e-retailer’s core shopping business still rely on Oracle, however the database technology cannot adequately scale to meet Amazon’s performance needs.

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TECHNOLOGY

Zara prepping to be a leader in ship-from-store

BY CSA Staff

A fast-fashion retailer is making big plans for its store network.

Zara plans to use its vast network of approximately 2,000 stores in 48 countries to ship online purchases. The project is one of the largest-scale attempts by an apparel company to use stores to help fulfill online orders, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The Inditex-owned chain expects to have all stores shipping merchandise to customers around the world, including in the United States, by year’s end, the report said.

Zara expects the project to boost sales of full-priced items since deliveries will be faster than those sent from a warehouse, according to The Wall Street Journal.

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British retail giant’s analytics commitment is paying off

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Marks & Spencer Group is making better design, buying and pricing decisions.

Through a partnership with First Insight, the retailer is using consumer-driven predictive analytics to better target merchandise assortments. By applying consumer input and their buying decisions, the retailer is improving its design, buying and pricing decisions on categories including apparel, lingerie, footwear, accessories, food, home and beauty.

The technology uses online social engagement tools to gather real-time preference, pricing and sentiment data on potential product offerings. The information is filtered through First Insight’s predictive analytic models to determine which products present the greatest opportunity.

To date, the software has enabled Marks & Spencer to test “tens of thousands of products” across more than 50 departments, a move that enables the company to procure more of what customers like. The platform has also helped shape collections that resulted in customers getting the best products at the right prices, the retailer reported.

“Everything M&S does as a company is filtered through the lens of what we know about our customers, and every decision starts with them,” said Gordon Mowat, director of supply chain and logistics at Marks & Spencer. “First Insight’s technology gives us invaluable feedback on new products during design and development, so we can buy more of what our customer likes and eliminate products that score less well.”

In addition to selling online, Marks & Spencer operates 1,463 stores across 57 countries.

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