Retail is expanding beyond traditional ERP, CRM, and Supply chain management. As the competition among businesses is ever-increasing, the importance of online retail has never been more acutely felt. To keep thriving in this highly competitive industry, every merchant should extend their reach to customers by managing multiple stores and supply chains, providing a unique customer experience. Integrating cloud computing in retail is the best choice to streamline all these processes better. Cloud adoption reduces IT cost, simplifies workflows, and improves efficiency and end-user experience.
Cloud adoption is growing exponentially every year. Gartner forecasts that by 2022, 90% of the organizations will be using cloud services.
Cloud services are helping the retail industries in many ways. They mainly help reduce infrastructure, storage, and computing cost to enable real-time access to operational and inventory data. It also helps in transforming the retail sector in many ways.
Cloud Helps Accelerate The Entire Retail Industry
- #1 Simplifies The Process
- #2 Upgrades Data Security
- #3 Greater Supply Chain Visibility
- #4 Catalysts To Create New Products
- #5 Refining Customer Experience
- #6 Tailored Shopping Experience
- #7 Cost-Effective
- #8 Versatility Advantages
- #9 Enhancing Profitability
- #10 Cloud-Enabled Disaster Management
#1 Simplifies The Process
Many retailers still operate offline and in a disjointed/siloed manner without getting updated. This kind of operations ecosystem prevents quick and real-time exchange of data like inventory, orders and shipping among the systems. Moving to the Cloud can enable them to create operations team that are equipped with real-time data. Such an omni-directional flow of data can help retailers in on-time fulfillment, replenish goods before they go out of stock, delegate orders smartly to the last mile delivery team and ultimately improve customer experience.
#2 Upgrades Data Security
Every customer visiting your online retail store will have a digital interaction. These interactions generate a vast number of valuable data. Your website holds crucial information like inventory, customer data and so on. Business data is confidential and should be protected for sure. One of the significant causes of business failure is loss of personal data due to network infiltration, DDoS attack, and ransomware. Data security is one of the major problems to be addressed. Most retailers maintain their sales figures, customer feedback, and inventory reports, among other local servers that fall in a bit of a danger zone. Cloud helps secure your data using advanced firewalls, encryption, event logging, internal firewalls, and physical security.
#3 Greater Supply Chain Visibility
Supply chain management is one of the most crucial processes in the retail industry. One unnoticed error can magnify into an irreversible mistake as it passes through several workflows. This is why it’s best to choose cloud computing to handle the entire process seamlessly. It connects every part of the business and provides better visibility. Using cloud computing, retailers can access every feature of their business sector-wise. They get to assess each sector from the supply chain, order status, to product marketing. This level of sector-wise clarity in data can result in fewer stockouts, optimized inventory levels, capturing real-time location data, and comparing stocks with other locations. Cloud computing can help in extracting data that retailers can use to devise new strategies to improve operations.
#4 Catalysts To Create New Products
The future of retail is quite unpredictable. The buying habits of the consumer keep changing often. Advanced data analytics capabilities of the cloud for retail allows merchants to create new products based on customer feedback. Using valuable insights derived from reviews, merchants can decide on introducing fresh products to their portfolio that align with the current trend and customers’ likings or discontinue products as well. However, retailers use cloud migration to quickly adapt to these changing trends while they find more time and new ways to communicate with their customers and update their business accordingly.
#5 Refining Customer Experience
Usually, customer and sales data collected by retailers are not being fully utilized. Cloud services provide high-power computing resources and statistical models to analyze the buying behavior of customers. Retailers can use this data by understanding the buying behavior, trends, and interactions with the brand, which will let them customize their business model for the better. With data, merchants can understand all about seasonal spikes, product bundling, if their way of portraying the products is right or wrong and also get to analyze the preferred shipping methods like door delivery, buying online, curve side pickup, pickup from store etc. This way, every merchant can pivot the business model to generate better revenue. It also enables the merchant to know where most customers have dropped out and what they dislike while going through the store. Thus the seller can optimize the store at ease with these valuable datas.
#6 Tailored Shipping Experience
One of the most frequently asked questions is if cloud computing can handle both inventory and shipping? Cloud computing enables stores to instantly refer to each customer’s buying history and check their shipping process irrespective of when and where the orders need to be delivered. It provides retailers with real-time access to all the data related to their customers and orders. This way, the merchant can even send personalized recommendations, membership offers, coupon codes, etc., to add them to the loyalty programs.
Retail is one of the fast-evolving sectors. To cater to the fast-changing business demands, retailers must focus more on the business’s growth than manually spend time towards procurement, budget approvals, and other operational workflow. This is when cloud computing in retail comes into play. In cloud technology, the retailers only pay for what they use. For eg: It helps cut down the cost of manual work, cuts short on warehouse staff, Minimizes the dependency of manager approvals and a lot more. As new roles are added the cost will be redefined. This saves a tremendous amount of money, usually spent on operations, hardware, software connectivity, etc. The dedicated cloud support team takes over even the system updates.
#8 Versatility Advantages
Every business experiences highs and lows. Most businesses depend on promotions, time of the year, or even the weather. So the internal IT operations team should be able to handle the changing scenario effectively. A cloud-based model allows the retailers to contract the usage of server space and gradually scale them up when needed. This approach lets the retailer utilize the cloud more cost-effectively. Its cost flexibility is powered by various pricing options that depend on the increase or decrease of manpower usage as and when required.
#9 Enhancing Profitability
Retailers continuously look for areas to cut down costs in order to keep the profit quotient on the high. The retail market is struggling to maintain its level of profitability. However, opting cloud computing not only helps you in the IT operations but also lets you cut down the cost on infrastructure, operations, logistics, etc.
#10 Cloud-Enabled Disaster Management
Data has become one of the most valued components for retailers in today’s digital commerce landscape. Archiving these data is always a priority. Traditionally these data are recovered manually, which is time-consuming and tedious and requires constant maintenance and support. But now, with the help of the cloud disaster recovery model, one can recover data that can be accessed from any location and at any time. A backup and disaster recovery model can be initiated from any place, and the entire process can be automated.
As you can see, cloud computing has become an essential part of almost every business and has gained the most attention in the retail industry. Choosing the right cloud consulting service to better your business can be a bit of a hassle. That’s where we come in. Our team of experts makes sure to provide you with tailor-made Cloud solutions for all your business requirements.