Retail has undergone several transformations driven by customer expectations. As customers continuously search for new-fashioned ways to research, shop, purchase, monitor and return merchandise, retailers have had to persistently adjust their business models accordingly. What used to be “value-add” is rapidly becoming the minimum ante to the game. Customers are no longer satisfied with just having the right product at the right price in the right place at the right time, instead, they now expect a unified shopping experience wherever they see the retailer’s logo, whether it’s on the store, the Web site, the catalogue or the special order. It is the need of the hour for retailers to have a 360 degree view of customers, orders, and inventory at the same time. It helps them build strong customer relationships, implement innovative projects, and drive strategic decisions to maximize growth and revenue.

Why upgrading to Xstore V18 increases cost-savings?

Oracle Retail solutions have unveiled a plethora of opportunities for retailers so that they can offer an enhanced and seamless consumer experience. The Oracle Retail Xstore Suite 18.0 includes a set of products that help in achieving the same.

1) For instance, the Oracle Xstore Point of Service V18 (a point-of-sales application that provides the capabilities to carry out day-to-day transactions and conduct daily store activities), equips retailers in a way that they are able to offer highly personalized shopping experience to customers. Unlike the manned Oracle Xstore POS, the latest version of Oracle Retail Xstore possesses a self-checkout (SCO) mode which will enable customers to scan their own items and pay for the sale. The specialty of this model is that it utilizes the same hardware as the Xstore manned register mode but the entire process is a lot more cost-effective when compared to the previous model.

2) With Release 18.0, Oracle Retail introduced the Xstore Office Cloud Service thereby continuing its momentum in enabling digital transformation in the retail community. Oracle Retail Xstore Office Cloud Service is a centralised web-based application used to direct and operate corporate-based functions such as Oracle Retail Xstore Point-of-Service (POS) configuration setup and maintenance, file management for the Oracle Retail Xstore Suite, viewing the electronic journal, scrutinizing store reports, supervising Oracle Retail Xstore Point-of-Service (POS) versions in use at the store and register levels, and monitoring alerts.

Enhance Cost-Savings by Implementing Cloud technology:

With this release, Oracle appended a full Software as a Service (SaaS) offering to accompany the current support for central functions available on premises. Using Xstore office cloud service will enable retailers to take advantage of cloud deployments while maintaining critical point-of-service (POS) functions on-premises.

“Historically retailers have been slow to enhance their POS solutions, often waiting 5-7 years before considering an upgradation, which has forestalled their potential to keep pace and provide a dynamic, engaging experience to their customers,” said Jeff Warren, Vice President, Oracle Retail. Warren adds, “By moving Xstore back office to the cloud, customers can benefit from a continuous cadence of innovation that enables to lower the total cost of ownership through centralized services and store operations.”

  • Scalability is a major advantage while adopting cloud. If there is an increase in your business needs, it’s easy to scale up your cloud capacity, drawing on the service’s remote servers. Similarly, if you need to scale down again, there is flexibility incorporated into the service. This level of agility can give businesses using cloud computing a real advantage over competitors and will enable them to grow considerably without expensive changes to their existing systems.
  • Another major benefit is strict adherence by the cloud service providers to a high-level security protocol in order to ensure data protection. Because cloud providers provide services to a large number of businesses and organizations, they possess high-security standards to improve data security by following a layered approach that includes data encryption, key management, strong access controls, and security intelligence in addition to regular security audits. As the costs for implementing these security measures are shared across all users in the cloud, it is easier for the service providers to administer resources to provide improved information security that many individual customers cannot render.
  • Retailers can also  benefit from the continuous upgrades and updates of patch sets (Patch Sets contain a collection of patches, important enhancements, and bug fixes which help to maintain an up-to-date version of the software) from Oracle for Xstore office cloud service which minimizes the testing efforts for the retailers.

3) Upgrading is expensive, but the truth is that older systems have plenty of issues – and consequently cost more. The cost of disruption caused by unstable systems and software can escalate and exceed the cost which would be required to invest in an upgraded system. Retailers can easily upgrade their previous versions of POS to v18 without the need of much efforts of customization using Oracle DMU (Data Migration Assistant for Unicode). Implementation of an appropriate data migration strategy should be a must or else there can be room for an increase in migration costs and reduction in employee morale due to staff overtime. Studies exhibit that data migration costs can often surge to 10 times the original budget or cause scope contraction and therefore poor cost-benefit return if an appropriate data migration tool is not utilized. Using Oracle DMU (Data Migration Assistant for Unicode) provides a streamlined solution for migrating legacy encoding databases to Unicode. Oracle recommends using Unicode as the database character set for maximum compatibility and extensibility. DMU helps ensure proper migration of all character data with reduced process complexity and improved migration efficiency.

In a nutshell, upgrading to Oracle Retail Xstore V18 will bring in a world of opportunities to the retailers. It will not only reduce costs; empower retailers but will also bring about an improved shopping experience for next-gen consumers.