Why Retailers Should Move to the Cloud
As the retail industry becomes more competitive, merchants need to respond nimbly to the fast-evolving consumer expectations so they can increase sales and optimize operations. Cloud computing technologies allow retailers to do so with minimal overhead cost while adopting the latest industry best practices to maximize profitability.
What's Retail Cloud Computing?
Retail cloud computing allows users to access a network of remote servers so they can store, manage and process data via the internet instead of a local server or network.
The ability to access the cloud platform from anywhere and on any device with an internet connection helps facilitate communications internally among team members and externally with customers so retailers can improve efficiency and increase conversion rates.
In addition, cloud computing allows retailers to manage teams in different locations effectively by ensuring that important information is shared in real-time and improve customer service by delivering a seamless omnichannel experience.
In fact, the global retail cloud market is projected to hit $28.53 billion by 2021 and will grow at a compound annual rate of 20.9 percent. Here's why cloud computing will drive the future of retail.
Benefits of Using Retail Cloud Computing
Retail cloud platforms offer a variety of features and functions that help merchants manage various aspects of their operations, including inventory tracking, channel operations, supply chain management, merchandising, marketing and customer communications.
The retail cloud allows brands to streamline operations, reduce overhead cost and facilitate team communications to improve efficiency and productivity. Here are just a few reasons why retailers should switch to cloud computing:
- Low-cost development and fast deployment: It's very cost-efficient to develop and deploy a retail cloud solution because you don't have to purchase new hardware or set up local infrastructure. This allows retailers to stay on top of fast-evolving trends in the industry by responding nimbly to new technologies and consumer expectations.
- Faster and more effective business decision-making: The retail cloud allows a merchant to interconnect all its POS (point of sales) systems so data on customers, sales and inventory is available on a centralized cloud platform. Transactional information is updated in real-time and accessible to decision-makers from anywhere so they can respond quickly to market demands.
- Improved customer experience and customer service: Customer data is updated in real-time via the cloud-based POS systems. Retailers can use the information to improve customer experience, e.g., by integrating multi-channel retail to increase sales, leveraging order history to offer product recommendations, or deliver targeted content and promotions based on customer journey stages.
- Enhanced channel operation: Retail cloud software allows merchants to track customer preferences and behaviors so they can engage consumers more effectively. Cloud computing software applications often include an analytics function so you can gain real-time insights to make merchandising decisions and improve customer experience.
- Efficient supply chain management: The real-time analysis of stocks and inventories helps merchants improve supply chain management and demand forecasting.
- Scalability and flexibility: Many cloud computing platforms use a subscription model, which allows you to scale up quickly to meet seasonal spikes and dial back the capabilities when the sales volumes are low.
- Multi-channel commerce: Cloud retailers can leverage the centralized platform to deliver a seamless customer experience across all channels to improve customer loyalty and increase customer lifetime value. Whether shoppers are in-store or on the eCommerce website, they can receive the most relevant services and product recommendations that take into account all their interactions with the brand.
- Future-proofed: Retail cloud providers are constantly upgrading their platforms to ensure that they're offering the most up-to-date features and optimizing the performance of the software. Most of these updates are included in the subscription fee and you can also add additional capabilities such as a loyalty program or an eCommerce store to address customer demands.
Let 8x8 Help
As more retailers are leveraging cloud technologies to improve supply chain management, demand forecasting, team collaboration and customer communication, merchants that aren't adopting the technology could risk getting left behind.
Besides offering a myriad of features and functions, most retail cloud platforms can integrate with other technologies, such as payment systems or cloud-communication software to streamline operations and improve customer communications.
Choosing the right technology is crucial to a successful retail business. Establish a streamlined retail communications strategy with 8x8, and focus on growing your business. Call 1-866-879-8647 or fill out an online form to request a no-obligation quote from an 8x8 product specialist.