Enabling Quick Innovation in Retail with Cloud Support
Retail industry experts believe that the boom in technology has redefined the way people shop, leaving businesses with a lot of catching up. Consumers now have heightened expectations for how retailers can better balance digitally-enabled experiences with privacy considerations, which is easier said than done. It’s not a small task, and there are still challenges to overcome, particularly around mitigating supply chain disruptions and not compromising sustainability. All of this leads to increased pressure and expectations for retailers.
To keep up with customer expectations, retailers need to be able to innovate quickly and effectively without expensive overhauls of hardware and software. With cloud services, retailers can unlock true innovation to drive brand loyalty, increased footfall, and better in-store sales.
How Cloud Compliments the Retail Business
Businesses quickly adopt the cloud for retail to manage, store and analyze data for real-time insights effectively. Integrating cloud computing services in the retail sector reduces IT costs and simplifies workflow, and improves efficiency and the end-user experience.
Here are some examples of how cloud solutions help retail businesses –
- Better inventory management – A common challenge the retail industry faces is that inventory management benefits a lot from cloud solutions. It gives big retailers the ability to view their inventory spread across locations on a single dashboard. Retailers can avoid stock shortage issues with cloud and real-time data analytics platforms that help build prescriptive and predictive inventory forecasting.
- Enhanced data security – Cloud for retail environments enables better security of an ever-increasing amount of data. It reduces the risk of data loss (a major cause of business failure) by saving data by using advanced firewalls and encryption, internal firewalls, event logging, and physical security.
- Improved customer experience – Cloud devices store data retailers can use to analyze buying behavior, trends, and brand interactions. This further helps them develop marketing strategies, pricing, and merchandising strategies for better customer acquisition. Cloud-based POS makes it easier for customers to enjoy a fast, hassle-free payment experience.
- Cost Reduction and Profitability – Retailers can benefit from cloud solutions as they help reduce IT infrastructure costs such as software licensing, server maintenance, etc. Using the cloud for retail operations day-in and day-out amounts to huge cost savings for businesses.
- Innovative Marketing – With cloud computing, retailers can develop new marketing strategies and identify new trends in data analytics. Retailers can now make targeted marketing campaigns that produce real results and demonstrate their value to their customers. By using cloud data platforms, marketers can generate catalogs or online advertisements that appeal to each customer. These customized offerings have proven to be highly efficient because of the accurate insights from rich structured data.
- Pricing and Margin Management – Store owners can get a clear picture of their storage capabilities with a machine-learning-based cloud solution. It also helps with real-time order pickup, delays, or cancellations at any point in time. Cloud solutions can also analyze margin calculations and incentives for store pick-ups.
In the world of retail, consumers are constantly changing how they prefer to shop. To keep up with constant change, retailers have to find ways to deliver great shopping experiences that keep customers happy and engaged. At the same time, they have to make sure they’re creating a good foundation for themselves to be as agile and dynamic as possible while selling online and offline. Thus, retailers need to become cloud-native to match the fast shifts in consumer demands.