Select Page

Oracle Commerce Planning and Implementation Solutions

What is Oracle Commerce?

Oracle Commerce is an eCommerce business software platform that allows B2B and B2C to integrate their data from CRM, sales, financial, and operations for better customer experience across channels. The key advantage is that it brings B2C and B2B capabilities on one platform with unconventional features, multisite capabilities, extensive search functionalities, and personalised product recommendations. As a cloud-based solution, businesses get flexible options for deployment. With Oracle eCommerce solutions, it is easier to deliver an optimised digital experience to customers for better engagement. Its user-intuitiveness and drag-and-drop feature give a smooth experience. Integration with other software platforms is relatively economical, faster, and simplified. With customers’ increasing desire to be in greater control of their shopping experience, the platform has a flexible yet simplified account management and ordering process. Security control, governance, and performance are the hallmarks of Oracle cloud infrastructure. Updates are regularly provided as per applicability.

Oracle Commerce is one of the most progressive and sophisticated sets of eCommerce software applications. Implementing Oracle Commerce requires professional expertise and assistance. Let us delve a bit into some of the common and uncommon challenges faced by eCommerce enterprises in the implementation of Oracle Commerce.

Challenges in implementing Oracle Commerce

Rushing into buying

Ecommerce businesses need to first establish the business case of having Oracle Commerce. They need to define in specific terms why they need this platform. What marketing and CX objectives do they seek to accomplish with it? What are the best solutions and if Oracle Commerce fits into their requirements? Having the right vision and sight of the future course of action with a software application is important. Rush decision-making could lead to getting an unrequired or mismatched software solution. Trying to make things right after purchase and implementation would make the project costlier.

Compatibility assessment

A business software application that cannot meet the business requirement or deliver the required performance and output is a futile investment. For example, if an eCommerce business store wants to award loyalty points to buyers if they make the payment via one of the listed partner banks, the software must have the ability to incorporate such marketing strategies. It could be any other business or marketing decision. The software must provide for such flexibilities. The objective is to assess whether the application has the capabilities to incorporate what a business wants to accomplish through its IT systems. Customizability is a big consideration. The standard product offered by a software development company may not exactly match the different requirements of different businesses. Many small and medium eCommerce startups and existing businesses usually outsource their IT functions. In the absence of relevant technical expertise, it can be challenging for many businesses to assess the compatibility between the software applications and business requirements.

Lack of budgetary planning

Usually, implementing a software application platform is a long-term investment. The benefits begin to outrun the costs only after years with good average business volumes. Oracle Commerce is also a long-term investment. It requires careful ROI analysis and CBA with due budgeting. But it is also true that Oracle Commerce empowers businesses to be more customer-oriented. The platform provides an advanced leap in managing customer experience. This could be a big leveraging point in achieving scale and expansion. Oracle Commerce is not for the ordinary ways of doing eCommerce. Any shortcoming in making the necessary financial assessments and budgetary planning could result in delays in achieving breakeven, unplanned ROI, increased maintenance, longer repayment period, increased interest cost, etc.

Lack of user training

Providing user training to employees on a new application is of paramount importance.  Sometimes businesses ignore this aspect or simply do not emphasise it enough. This could be apprehensions over hampering business operations, considering training as an avoidable bill, and excessive reliance on supervision and the learning curve of employees. Whoever has taken the bitter pill knows that such an approach does not help embrace digital transformation.

A new application could be alien to employees in many ways. A new application comes with new interfaces, new workflows, new links and tabs, new formats and terminologies, etc. It is necessary to make employees feel at ease and convergent with the functioning of a new application. It helps to bring up their learning curve. A shorter learning curve means lesser time to adapt to the new application platform. Without proper user training, employees will soon begin to feel frustrated. Such perceptions are not good from the perspective of change management. In Oracle Commerce consulting, experts emphasise that a software application platform will not perform as intended if it is not used the way it is supposed to.

How YRC can help

Your Retail Coach (YRC) offers implementation and support services to eCommerce enterprises in implementing Oracle Commerce in their businesses. We use planned and tailored process solutions in service design and delivery. Our goal is to ensure that Oracle Commerce gets rolled out in a planned and systematic manner with a high degree of compliance.

Need validation

YRC assists in identifying and defining the business case of implementing Oracle Commerce. In need validation, we seek to answer – what business goals and objectives are involved? Which business functions are in question? Will the application be effective? For example, an eCommerce business may seek to enhance its interactions with its customers even when they are not actively shopping. One way to achieve this is by enabling automatic and personalised product recommendations. Need validation helps businesses tie their business goals and objectives to the utility of the application platform in question.

Mapping the business software requirements

Mapping the business requirements with the capabilities of the application platform is a step for assessing whether the product will be able to deliver the intended output and performance. The need here is to correctly identify and define the business requirements in the light of the software capabilities and customizability. For instance, an eCommerce brand may seek to give its customers greater control over their shopping journey and experiences. Can Oracle Commerce provide it? In general terms, the answer is a yes. But it will also depend on what kind of control we are talking about. Our role here is to identify and map clients’ business requirements vis-à-vis the application capabilities and provide them insights on how effective the platform is for their business and its emerging requirements.

Budgeting

Before making any significant investment or expenditure of non-routine nature in business, it is very much within the prism of financial prudence to go for due planning and budgeting. Oracle Commerce is a long-term investment. And no long-term investment should be made in business without the necessary financial planning and budgeting. Here, we help clients prepare all the necessary financial and budgetary assessments and projections concerning the entire implementation project. YRC uses proven financial and budgetary strategies and processes in doing so. Every detail is tailored for each client.

Channel Partner/Vendor search and selection

Most branded software development companies have channel partners and vendors across states and countries. It is through these intermediaries that buyers have to deal with in the normal course of business for purchasing any product or availing other services. Because there can be multiple vendors or channel partners for the same region, it is a good practice to have a vendor search and screening process before getting into a deal with them. Various important grounds on which these intermediaries need to be assessed are – past experiences in implementing similar projects, existing implementation capabilities, credentials from former clients, service orientation, after-sales services, etc. YRC helps eCommerce businesses design and develop this vendor search and selection process. Our objective is to help clients find and get on board the most suitable channel partner while following a planned and systematic process. Keeping this process fair and unbiased and prioritising clients’ business requirements are our topmost prerogatives here.

Support in software customisation

The application that is brought home must fulfil the reasons for its presence. The purposes are fulfilled and the investment is justified. The standard products offered by software developers are the products in their default or basic forms with features of customising them. The challenge for businesses is to tailor the application in its basic form to the one where it gets aligned to the business requirements. Without the requisite insights and technical competence, getting this task done is even more challenging.

YRC makes it easier for eCommerce enterprises to pick up the right application and customise it to suit their business requirements. We define clients’ business requirements and specifications in terms of the features and capabilities required in the application platform. We also coordinate with the vendor/channel partner to provide the software requirements for customisation. If any big change is involved in the default application, we seek necessary approvals from clients. We follow SOPs to ensure that this process gets systematically carried out and information sharing between all the stakeholders involved can be easily traced.

Application Implementation

Once the application has been customised, our next area of work is the implementation of the Oracle Commerce platform. Although the entire service is about implementation we specifically call this stage ‘implementation’ because this is what it is. Here, our team incorporates and takes the application live. All the activities are carried out by a team of experts in the ambit of a planned set of policies and processes. The roles and responsibilities of the vendor are also mapped within these processes. The established timelines are strictly adhered to. One of our priorities is to ensure that clients’ routine business operations are not hampered. Deviations and inconsistencies are reported back to the vendor team on a priority basis for necessary corrective actions. Throughout the implementation stage, clients remain in the information loop.

User SOP Training and User Blueprint Manuals

User training and having user manuals cannot be ignored when it involves a change that affects how employees carry out their routine duties. Considering the rising complexities of modern software applications, training and manuals assume even greater significance. And Oracle Commerce is an advanced software application. It would be unrealistic to assume that users will pick it up intuitively based on their individual adaptabilities. Getting comfortable and convergent with such an application cannot be left to the independent learning curve of employees or the supervisory skills of the team leaders.

Our objective with training and manuals is to make employees at ease and technically competent with the application. YRC designs and provides user training programs. We take into consideration the existing skill sets of users and perspectives of different users. YRC also prepares the user blueprint manuals. It contains extensive and realistic descriptions and depictions of the workflow. Clients can give their feedback and requirements in developing the training programs and user blueprint manuals.

YRC is a retail and eCommerce business consultancy firm with a budding international presence. In a span of ten years, we have consulted over 500 clients in more than twenty verticals. SOP development concerning the implementation of business software applications is one of our core services.

Related Blogs

How Hyper-Localization Helps Retail Jewellery Brands?

How Hyper-Localization Helps Retail Jewellery Brands?

Shoot for the Cut Is being a renowned brand enough to develop new markets or achieve growth and expansion in existing ones? In the retail jewellery sector, these feats are not easy even for established brands and businesses. Even a renowned jewellery brand may find it...

read more
Supermarket CX Improvement

Supermarket CX Improvement

CX is the New Super The retail supermarket industry is fiercely competitive. With the homogeneity of products (and services), customer experience is a key differentiating factor. A pleasant and superior shopping experience can help build a loyal customer base. With...

read more

We work only for Visionaries.

PROCESS AUTOMATION

The idea of having Ecommerce Consultants on-board from the beginning itself points towards reducing the involvement of the promoters in daily operations. Ecommerce Businesses willing to be a brand reaping profits & sustaining the competition must ensure that most of their processes should be automated. The more the manual intervention, the more would be the errors.

In Ecommerce business, you get only 1 chance to impress the customer & if you mess up there, you lose the customer for long.

Process automation in respect to all the activities pertaining to customers from order receiving to order fulfilment is a must for a seamless experience for the customers.

Task Management is another grey area where most deadlines fail as 90% of the tasks are assigned manually & are forgotten, unheard, misunderstood or mistaken.

YRC Team of Ecommerce Management Consultants helps to make maximum of the processes system-driven to ensure minimalistic manual intervention.

VIDEOGRAPHY & PHOTOGRAPHY

No matter how good your product is, the customer would know only if it looks good.

Photography includes the following steps:

  • Cataloguing your products
  • Cataloguing your images
  • Backup your images (A few cloud storage solutions include Dropbox, Google Drive, Bitcasa, Apple’s Cloud Storage etc.)
  • Choose the right camera & lens (You may also outsource the photography to a third party agency)

DIGITAL MARKETING

Digital Marketing includes SEO & SMM. SEO i.e. Search Engine Optimization includes activities like back-linking, meta tags, blog-writing etc. to ensure your website ranks on the 1st page on Google Search.

Next comes SMM i.e. “Social Media Marketing” which as the name suggests including promoting your products on all the social media sites, email marketing, influencer marketing & several other BTL activities.

These activities are going to be recurring & would decide the traffic on the website, the conversions, whether the right target market is tapped, the likes, the views, the orders, the reviews & much more. YRCs Ecommerce Consultants create a budget for digital marketing right from pre-launch to launch & for each month thereafter.

Building digital marketing strategies in coordination with the agency, selecting them to signing them off would be the role of YRC.

This ensures seamless coordination, detailed interactions & desired execution as it is always advisable to work with a single agency than multiple of them.

IT INTEGRATION

Selection of the right software for smooth functioning of back-end operations right from production to webstore display would be suggested and integrated by YRC Team.

YRC’s Team defines SOPs of Product Movement, maps it with the locations & people. They then create a blueprint of all the features required in the software & help in shortlisting & selection.

IT Integration involves connecting your offline inventories with real-time online webstore so when a sale occurs, inventories get deducted real time across offline as well as online platforms.

This helps in accurate inventory management, maintaining the MOQs, re-order levels & achieving the optimum inventory levels.

Some popular software include unicommerce, viniculum for your front-end website management & Genisys for your entire back-end Purchase, Production, Accounting, Invoicing etc. management.

WAREHOUSE & LOGISTICS PLANNING

  • How many cities or countries you wish to sell in?
  • Where should your Warehouse be located?
  • Should you have one warehouse in each country or city?
  • Should you be having your own delivery team in your base city?
  • Would the 3rd party vendors be reliable? What happens when they lose or misplace your product during delivery?
  • How should I manage the logistics if my goods are coming from different countries?
  • How should the goods be stored and barcoded?
  • How much space do I require for warehouse?
  • I am sure several such questions must be haunting you while you think of starting your own fashion ecommerce brand.

 

At YRC, our warehousing and logistics experts can help you devise a strategy for all of the above mentioned queries and much more.

We design the layout of the Warehouse considering the inward, goods processing, software entry, barcoding, outward, goods return, scrap storage, goods stacking & much more.

Logistics route plan is devised considering the manufacturer to your warehouse and from there to last mile delivery locations.

UI & UX DESIGNING

This Step involves 03 distinct parts:

Part 1: Choosing the right Platform:

From several platforms available in the market right from Shopify to magento, woocommerce, prestoshop, wordpress etc. you must choose the one that fits best for your business

Part 2: UX Designing:

“UX” denotes User Experience, which if put in simple language is building the functional requirements of the website.

UX Designing includes designing the features required in the website, customer journey map, website features, the browsing features, navigation features, ecommerce order management process flow, checkout cart features, catalogue management, ecommerce payment system, cross selling features & much more.

“As per statistics, 68% of the customers abandon the carts before payment”

An interesting UX ensures the customer sticks on to the website for a longer time.

Part 3: UI Designing:

UI stands for User Interface, which means designing the look and feel of the website. UI includes using the right colours, elements and the entire aesthetics of the website.

A good User Interface ensures the user completes the task that he has come for. It navigates the user through the journey of the brand in the simplest but most effective way.

The UX designer maps out the bare bones of the user journey; the UI designer then fills it in with visual and interactive elements.

If User experience is the bare bone, user interface wraps it up with an attractive cape.

At YRC, our team if experts can help you develop the entire User Journey to ensure it is engaging!

SAMPLING & PRODUCTION

This step follows the “Designing” Phase, whether you have an in-house design team, freelance designers or an outsourced design company. It is one of the most exciting phases, as here you see your designs turning into products & your ideas turning into reality.

In most start-up cases, production is outsourced i.e. brands tie-up with the established manufacturers/ job-workers to get their products manufactured.

Sampling involves multiple 04 Stages, Fit-Sample, Prototype Sample, Pre-Production Sample & the Production Sample.

Prototype Sample is the first sample provided to the buyer. It can be in any fabric/ colour. This sample is just to understand whether the product design looks equally great in reality.

Fit Sample, as the name suggests is prepared to check the fit of the garment i.e. the various sizes, length, width etc.

Pre-production is made by the actual production line. Here the stitching quality and other aspects related to manufacturing are checked. This is the last stage where rejection can be accepted.

Production Sample is made before the production which is the replica of what is going to be finally produced.

Once you are through with all this, you are good to go ahead & get your goods manufactured.

PRODUCT DESIGNING / SOURCING

Product Designing or Sourcing is the heart of the Ecommerce Fashion Brand.

Product Designing / Sourcing can be done in several ways, as follows:

  • In-house Design Team
  • Freelance Designers
  • Outsourced Design Team
  • Ready Product Sourcing (From Manufacturer or Wholesaler)

At YRC, we evaluate your business strategy & business model to arrive at the decision, which of the above ways would be best-fit for your business. In certain cases, product sourcing may be a combination of the above.

These are the people who are going to build your brand! Whether they are the designers or merchandiser, your brand look is going to be in their hands.

If you are designing each garment from the scratch, the sourcing would play crucial role in developing design identity of your brand.

Sourcing includes fabric, trims, lining & all the raw material required to build the garment.

BRANDING

Branding is the “Look of the Brand”, right from logo to tagline, the colours used, the brand story, the brand communications on social media, the packaging & all the other aspects which speak directly or indirectly to the customers. Branding constitutes the look & feel of the brand & hence must be thoughtfully planned to match with the product that we are selling.

Branding must appeal to our target audience. Example : A golden colour logo depicting finesse, art, richness, premium, however beautiful it may be individually cannot go with a brand selling affordable kids wear products. So, your logo must be in-line with your brand positioning, whether you are an expensive brand or a luxury brand or a value for money brand, it must be depicted from your “Branding”.

It is an integral part to attract the target audience.

ORGANOGRAMS & SOP’s

Organogram is the “HR Blueprint” of the business which is created at the onset, to map out the team required across each function at various stages of the business. At the launch, only key people need to be got on board to ensure the project gets started & at this stage, all of them need to multi-task. Similarly, certain financial as well as operational goals are set for addition of the further team. Example, for the operations team, we hire 1 operations manager during the pre-launch phase & we add 1 more only when the business kicks-off & we reach a volume of selling more than 1000 pcs/ month or a turnover of more than 0.1 million USD.

SOPs are Standard Operating Procedures, a bible to run the entire organization right from Sales, Purchase, HR, Order receiving to Order fulfilment, Inventory Management, Accounts, Warehouse, Logistics, Supply Chain, Production & all the other relevant functions for the business. Business must be organized from its first day of operations; only then the tasks can be delegated.

At YRC, we design the organization structure, the processes, and approximate time taken to execute each process, job profile of every member within the organization, their KRAs, KPIs & the Reporting Structure.

CRITICAL PATHWAY

Critical Pathway Analysis (CPA), is a project management technique which cannot be overlooked while launching an ecommerce fashion brand. Brand launch process is cumbersome with multiple inter-dependent & time-bound tasks involved, which need to be tracked to ensure the project remains on track.

CPA outlines key tasks across the project, their turnaround time (TAT) & the dependencies of tasks upon each other. It identifies the sequence of tasks, their interdependent steps from inception to completion, their criticalities, and their dates of onset, target dates of completion along with the key responsible person for the respective activities. Critical Pathway helps in understanding the unimportant & not urgent tasks which may jeopardize the execution of the project because of an unexpected snag! It also maps out the potential bottlenecks which might be posed because of the dependencies of tasks upon each other & cases where the next task cannot be commenced before the completion of the previous one.

CPA detects the minimum & the maximum time involvement of a particular individual or team to execute the task, thereby arriving at the overall deadlines associated with the project.

At Your Retail Coach, we design the Critical Pathway & review it periodically to ensure the project is on track & the progress is measurable.

BUSINESS STRATEGY & BUSINESS PLAN

Business Strategy includes the vision, mission, goals, business model, business plan & strategy for all the functions within the organization.

Business Strategy is a well-defined plan that outlines who, what, where, why, how & when for the company; for example, who would be the target market, how to attract the target audience, when to launch new products, where to operate from, how to handle competitors, what would be the USP, what would be long term goal of the organization & several other answers to the 5Ws of Strategy.

Business Strategy aligns the organization towards a common goal. Business SWOT helps company to identify & overcome their weaknesses & focus to sharpen the strengths. Business strategy forecasts future risks and helps business in building skillsets to overcome the potential threats.

YRC’s Business Plan focuses on creating a “Blueprint” of the business, thereby deriving the feasibility of the concept & gauge whether the opportunity is lucrative to invest time, energy & effort. Business Plan creates cash flow understanding i.e. building inflow & outflow cash projections from Week zero to week 60 i.e. 05 year projection. Business Plan calculates the capital investment, operating costs, one-time costs, recurring costs & all the other numbers relevant to obtain the breakeven sales, return on investment, return on capital, internal rate of return & several other ratios. Business Plan is also one of the important requirements if you are targeting the “Investor Route”. Fund raising becomes extremely transparent & channelized. With business plan panned out clearly, the business will know until what point must it be stretched & where to stop, which reduces the probability of unplanned investments.

MARKET RESEARCH

Starting the concept of Ecommerce Fashion brand with Market Research ensures we get detailed understanding of the industry & this research report also acts as a social confirmation for your concept. Market Research helps in understanding the target locations, their population, potential online buyers for your product, competitors for each category, and top selling products of the competitors, competitors’ price range, offers & their responses & much more. Market Research helps in thorough understanding of your brand position as compared to our competitors. It helps in identifying gaps in the market, in your category along with the scope of the said product in the desired market. This will help in validation of your concept & prevents you from making the same mistakes as your fellow brands, eventually saving your time, energy & efforts. This phase is also a make or a break phase, as the market research study may at-times come up with some eye-popping numbers & statistics which might compel you to re-think on your product or category that you are planning to sell or alter your entire concept itself!! Market Research Reports analyse the competitors’ webstore for their traffic, conversion & sales. This is extremely valuable information to derive our inventory budgets & projections, which takes us to our next phase.