The Indian retail industry is characterised by consistent evolutions, dynamic and fast-paced business environments, and a wide range of complexities. Despite massive shocks during the Covid era, the sector recovered quickly. The retail industry achieved 96% of pre-Covid-19 sales in September 2021, driven by the rising demand from consumers, as per Retailers Association of India (RAI). With increased demand comes greater consumer expectations, and brands face an urgent need to overhaul their needs for faster processes. Expectations for services such as same-day delivery have incurred complexity for retailers. They have exacerbated the need to rethink models.
Mike Webster, SVP and GM for Oracle Retail, said, “Between inflation, recruitment challenges, and continued supply chain delays, there’s no doubt that the industry is in a state of flux. Although retailers will enter 2023 facing numerous challenges, they also will encounter new and innovative opportunities to optimise their operations.”
Technology has become central to the business mechanism for retailers, becoming the enabler supporting businesses at every function. “Leveraging data and technology will become the key to unlocking more intelligent inventory management, intuitive pricing strategies, and fulfilling guest experiences, enabling retailers to distance themselves from competitors. This can only be attained if the data is accessible through a single source, a common platform,” said Webster.
To accomplish speed and scale with accuracy, all data should be accessible to all services through a single platform where embedded AI and a single source of data, which includes customer data, drives these decisions. Hence, retailers across industries are partnering with tech players to enhance their operations, from back office to customer service.
Several leading Indian retailers are leveraging Oracle offerings from cloud applications to infrastructure to drive operational efficiencies. Talking about how Oracle is supporting retailers through its diverse offerings and data-driven interfaces, Webster added, “Oracle has an entire business unit just dedicated to serving the needs of retailers, big and small. We continue to evolve our solutions based on feedback from our retail clients. Oracle has decoupled the data from each individual cloud service and made all data accessible across all our retail cloud systems. By doing this we make the ‘customer’ and all their data that historically sat within a single cloud service accessible to all stages of the retail process.”
Talking about implementing Oracle CX solutions to attain a complete view of processes, Kavita Bijlani, head IT, Bausch & Lomb said, “With a unified view into customer behaviour and actions, we gained valuable insights to make our digital spend much more efficient.”
Similarly, one of India’s leading jewelry retailers Tribhovandas Bhimji Zaveri (TBZ) has also achieved business optimisation with their cloud investments. “With Oracle Autonomous Database in the picture, we do not need to worry about performance or maintenance of the data or even human errors anymore. We’re now better able to concentrate on our core business,” said Pooran Jaiswal, CIO, TBZ.Alier in the Indian fintech journey
To thrive in this ever-changing environment, retailers will need to be strategic and adaptable, using technology and data to better understand and respond to consumer, economic and societal pressures and needs. Retail behemoths such as TBZ, Bausch & Lomb, Tata Croma, Bata, lifestyle and Flipkart are recognising the power that technology and data hold and are incorporating this into their operations via cloud and its embedded capabilities.
The implementation of cloud solutions is not only limited to operational and customer processes but also HR processes.