Oracle’s tech innovations builds resilience in uncertain times

The Covid-19 pandemic disrupted trade and impacted economies across the world. As countries in Asia-Pacific, including Japan, ease social restrictions, businesses have come to realise that consumers have changed behaviours, sentiment and beliefs." The shifts in consumer habits are clear. As people are limited in what they can do offline, they start turning online. Even those who do not usually shop online are doing so now. In response, the more proactive companies are introducing new strategies to connect deeply with their customers," observes Fitri Abdullah, managing director of Oracle Malaysia.

Connecting with customers using new business models
A research study by Commerce.Asia saw year-on-year growth of gross merchandising volume soaring 149% in the first quarter of this year. The study also notes that people were acquiring more practical essential items.

“There are many reasons that compel a shift in the way business is done. For example, some businesses have to change to keep their operations running, others look to turn threats into opportunities and, maybe, diversify their customer base,” says Fitri.
The next wave of ecommerce trends
Fitri sees a number of trends that are likely to have a profound influence on ecommerce and the retail value chain in the post-pandemic new normal. One emerging trend is the convergence of livestreaming and shopping on an online platform.

"Brands are aggressively trying to provide the in-store experience to digital consumers. Think of a livestream broadcast that offers an interactive, experiential and real-time shopping experience to online consumers. This is increasingly gaining traction across Asia," says Fitri.

"I also see data as imperative if brands want to move to the next level in retail. Brands can harness their data reservoirs, from the back office to the shop floor, to deliver an insight-rich personalised user experience in order to stand out from their competitors. Cloud storage is the answer for this to happen," he adds.
Taking stock in the cloud
Cloud storage and computing provides scalable architecture that a business needs. It also enables ecommerce platforms to cater to changing demand and market scenarios. "The path ahead is unknown. For retailers, this means that their first point of order is to manage their operations. Given potential obstacles in the management of their supply chain and logistics, it is important that they leverage on the cloud to streamline operations and ensure minimal disruptions at the store-front," notes Fitri.

During the pandemic, Zalora responded in real-time to each customer interaction. This enabled the company to extract the necessary data to provide the customer with a great experience. "Zalora used Oracle Customer Experience (CX) Cloud Suite, an integrated portfolio of digital marketing solutions, to orchestrate personalised conversations. With this, their personnel could speak to customers in a relevant and tailored manner. The flexibility and adaptability of Oracle’s technology enabled Zalora to respond to customers quickly and drive continuous growth during a challenging and uncertain period," says Fitri.
A spree of possibilities
"The road ahead for the retail industry is unknown but brands that reinvent and adopt new ways to overcome challenges are the ones that will succeed in the next era. By making sense of their data, retailers can access a spree of possibilities," says Fitri.

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