Cloud solutions have already started to transform the retail industry and are set to continue. They allow retailers to locate and share up-to-date inventory information, share retail sales data, make transactions easier and improve their customer experience.

As well as these, they are able to deploy required functionality quickly and reduce operating costs, making them much more agile and able to focus on key business areas. Retailers notoriously allocate less revenue to IT compared with other industries – 1.7% compared to 6% in banking, for example – so the possible cost savings with cloud should be embraced.

The Customer Experience

Customers can now check all information online with ease, on their connected devices, increasing the competition among retailers. To keep ahead, retailers are forced to adopt new technologies. For years there has been talk of the death of the high street, due to changes in the way the industry is changing. But the adoption of cloud in retail does not automatically mean that the physical store becomes obsolete. In fact, retailers have the potential to embrace cloud solutions and deliver a highly immersive and entertaining customer experience within their stores. By creating experiences such as an omnichannel shopping experience, retailers can bring the online world into their physical stores and look to transform these environments into shared social spaces where people can socialise, work and be entertained.

Being Smart with Data

Data collection and analysis is key to retail success in the transformation to cloud solutions. Not only does this allow retailers to be smart with personalising customer experience, but it also allows them to apply their findings behind the scenes, supporting inventory management and merchandising. Cloud solutions offer scalability when it comes to data storage and allow retailers to manipulate the data to provide the best experience front of house, as well as behind the scenes. As more data is stored in the cloud, hardware costs are minimised.

Mobile Payment Solutions

Mobile payments are becoming more common place as the adoption of cloud solutions continues, so retailers will need to embrace this change. If retailers don’t implement mobile payment solutions they’ll fall behind and risk losing out on sales. As with other cloud solutions, there are many options for mobile payments available to retailers and they will need to adopt a system that works for them, such as mobile POS systems, customer mobile payment apps and third-party options.

Seamless integration

Retailers are working quickly to improve the capabilities of their IT department to manage the experience of being online and developing an exceptional shopping experience. This creates a clear environment to engage in a social space. A connected customer experience and being able to provide an excellent customer service is vital for success in the retail sector. The delivery of connected, personalised shopping experiences will answer the need for the digital transformation that is clear in today’s highly competitive landscape. The cloud solutions for retail will see streamlined business operations and cost savings for retailers.

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