How Cloud Computing is Transforming the Retail Sector
As technology constantly progresses in significant leaps and bounds, it is high time that the retail industry starts adopting cloud computing technologies. Not that it hasn’t, but this is the final call for all those SMEs still unsure about making a move. With a plethora of applications and enhancements possible in the retail space, cloud computing can bring about a paradigm shift in how your business operates.
The retail cloud market is currently seeing a considerably upward trend, projected to grow with a CAGR of 16.3% until 2026. The perfect amalgamation of cloud technologies and the retail sector opens up a wide array of opportunities for the latter. If you want to know more about the impact cloud technology has had on the retail sector, read on!
Impact of Cloud Computing Services on the Retail Sector
With higher operational efficiency and mitigation of common redundant issues caused by human error, cloud technology offers the below-mentioned benefits to the retail sector. Read on!
Inventory Management is Made Easy
For people owning a chain of stores across scattered locations, inventory management without aid from cloud-computing technologies is a nightmare. Keeping real-time data of your stock is vital, and it is made possible with the cloud.
By leveraging cloud computing technologies, you can access your real-time inventory data anytime. With much more structure imparted into your inventory management system, cloud integration can make it easier to keep track of things.
Moreover, it also paves the way for business automation, which further increases operational and logistical efficiency. The conventional and tiresome legacy stock management systems are replaced by redefined smart systems that place all inventory under one roof.
Even issues associated with a stock shortage or surplus stock are mitigated by leveraging predictive and prescriptive analysis fueled with data from your cloud storage.
Retailers can now access their inventory information from a store of their choice, simplifying all hassle associated with inventory storage.
The modern retail market demands have completely changed and demand a digital approach. Retailers have to eliminate their legacy systems and rework their operational models to keep up with the change.
But how does this digital shift benefit the retail industry in terms of costs? This is because the costs associated with the adoption of cloud services depend on the operational model ideal for your business.
Being a retail business owner adopting cloud services, you get to choose a service that best fits your needs and pay for what you use.
With the ability to scale your cloud services plan following your needs, you can cut down on costs by opting for a plan tailored to serve the needs of your specific business.
Moreover, you can experience even better flexibility and scalability with the ability to scale up or down based on sales volume. If sales are less, scale down. Similarly, if sales start soaring, scale up!
Replacement of Traditional POS Systems
Conventional POS systems pose many issues to the current state of the retail industry. With the global retail sales valuated north of USD 20 trillion, legacy POS systems fall short of applications in the current technological landscape.
Traditional POS systems make straightforward tasks like accessing real-time data or downloading sales reports a tedious process.
That is where cloud-based POS systems can make things considerably easier for retailers, given its wide array of applications.
With all company data (including customer, sales, and marketing) encompassed by one cloud system, it offers instantaneous access to data and grants added agility to the model. Moreover, say goodbye to on-site POS maintenance.
Cloud-based POS systems experience minimal downtimes where they undergo off-site maintenance and routine checkups.
The following points can highlight some key benefits of a cloud-based POS system.
- Instantaneous access to real-time data
- Minimal downtime
- Enhanced security
Enhanced Customer Experience
Conventional brick and mortar retailers had very limited access to data, so data-driven decisions were completely out of the question. But with the influx of technological growth in the past few years, retailers have started leveraging cloud services to collate data.
By keeping a close eye on buyer interactions, behavior, etc., retailers can strategize accordingly and create tailored and personalized experiences for their customers.
Moreover, they can also leverage cloud-based tools like predictive analysis to predict customer behavior based on past interactions and engagement.
With affordable and reliable data storage and analysis, retailers can now change how they approach business.
Furthermore, cloud-based technologies are capable of creating a holistic brick-and-mortar experience online. This is done by leveraging AI-powered chatbots to offer human-like support and interaction, paired with the option of BOPUS (Buy Online Pick Up in Store).
As a result, a unified platform is created.
Improved Data Security
Adopting cloud services to cater to all your data storage and analytics needs comes with the unsaid guarantee of higher security.
With better encryption, advanced firewalls, and necessary security measures in place, cloud services ensure the security and privacy of your data.
Since colossal mounds of data are being transferred daily, cloud-computing services need to have an air-tight security system in place. This is done to mitigate the risk of DDoS attacks, network infiltration, ransomware, etc.
With almost every industry caught up with the recent technological trends, it is time for retail SMEs to hop onto the cloud computing train.
Mounds of user data can be collated and leveraged to make the best possible decisions for your business. Moreover, other added benefits such as cost efficiency, simplified inventory management, heightened data security, etc., sweeten the deal even further.
So, if you are a retailer still in two minds about adopting cloud technology, rest assured. Cloud infrastructure is highly secure and offers many applications to enhance overall operational efficiency and reap significant returns on investment.