August 31, 2022 Blog
Welcome to yet another post from our weekly series, which is usually based on how cloud computing helps different verticals in meeting industry-specific challenges and emerging as the winner of the time. In our previous post, we covered cloud migrations for the Telecommunication industry and discussed how Telecommunication companies are leveraging the power of the cloud to enhance the service delivered to their end customers, boost business productivity, decrease operational & administrative costs, etc. In this post, we will discuss how cloud migration is helping Retail businesses in improving channel operations, personalize the customer experience, gain better visibility into the supply chain, reduce costs, and much more.
Legacy systems are not only difficult to be integrated with new technologies but even are costly to run. While they hinder the agility of the businesses, the retailing businesses need to be as agile as they could be to compete with their rivals, especially the pure-play eCommerce companies. In such situations, cloud computing acts as a great rescuer for retailing businesses by enabling them to become more agile, improve performance, reduce costs, etc. Perhaps, this is why more & more retailing businesses are adopting the cloud at quite a faster pace. According to a report generated by Fortune Business Insights the global retail cloud market size which stood at USD 11.89 Billion in 2018, is expected to reach USD 39.63 Billion by 2026, exhibiting a CAGR of 16% during the forecast periods.
Let us have a look at the top 8 ways how cloud migration is helping retail businesses reap the benefits they always have craved for. So, let’s begin the journey.
Cloud enables retail businesses to effectively integrate multiple operations that include shipping, inventory, POS, etc., which was not possible with their legacy IT system. Earlier, with the on-premises IT infrastructure, retailers had to operate in a fragmented way leaving their customers dissatisfied due to a lack of personalization in the interaction. However, by leveraging the power of the cloud, they could deliver the seamless experience customers expect from them regardless of the channel.
In Omni-channel retailing, the customer journeys are split across different channels. By providing real-time access to customers’ data, the cloud allows store associates to promptly pull up a customer’s sales history, or track the status of an order placed through any channel. The 360-degree view of the customers provided by the cloud helps retailers in gaining better insights into customers’ data. So, retailers can provide customers with special offers or personalized recommendations that are more likely to bring results.
Cloud helps retail businesses easily collaborate with suppliers. Hence, by capturing the real-time status of the data from third-party loyalty programs, consignments, or digitized documents from logistics providers, suppliers, & carriers, retailers can make better & more informed merchandise decisions. Not just that, if required, retailers can also move to a ceaseless aisle fulfillment model by allowing their sales associates to access third-party suppliers’ inventory, which is not even carried by their store.
Since every part of their retailing business is connected to the cloud, retailers can attain greater visibility into the supply chain across the enterprise. As a result, they can experience optimized inventory levels and fewer stock-outs. Also, by capturing real-time location data on inventory, retailers can ensure their optimal positioning in the supply chain.
A significant amount of data is generated in a retail business, however, it is fragmented across different IT systems and functional silos in the on-premises IT infrastructure. This fragmentation of data makes it difficult for retailers to have proper visibility of their retail business performance. By migrating to the cloud, these IT silos can be torn down allowing smooth synchronization of information across the organization.
Scalability is, of course, one of the biggest benefits of cloud computing, especially for retailers who very frequently need to scale their IT systems based on seasonal promotions, occasions, or even the changing weather. Troughs and peaks in transactions are something that is very frequently experienced by their stores, and their IT solutions must be able to handle this inconsistency. Unlike legacy systems, the cloud allows them to cost-effectively adjust the resource level based on usage. They can quickly and affordably scale up or down your resources in the cloud.
With the retail world evolving fast, retailers need IT systems that can change accordingly to meet the changing business demands. As compared to the legacy IT system, the cloud helps them save time in procurement and capacity planning as well as in obtaining approval for a capital expenditure budget related to a traditional IT project.
This is a benefit that’s common for every industry. Almost all the cloud providers offer a pay-as-you-go pricing model, so retailers only pay for what they use. As far as the utilization rates for their on-premises hardware are concerned, it is often found to be less than 20 percent. So, they save big through reduced operational costs. Moreover, as the cloud service providers manage the software and hardware updates, their operational expenditure is reduced again.
Whether by doling out real-time data insights, improving customer experience, or overhauling the operational model, the cloud is playing an instrumental role in transforming retail businesses. A new lease of life has been bestowed by the evolution of the cloud to retail businesses. Though cloud computing was introduced just as a data storage solution, it now has extended its capabilities to provide limitless solutions powering businesses to have an extra edge over their competitors. Perhaps, this is the reason why a large number of retailers globally consider cloud solutions as their medium for business growth and enhancement.
Of course, migrating to the cloud could be a worthwhile move but don’t forget it is not as easy as it sounds. You must first research well before you jump onto the cloud computing bandwagon. Make sure all your cloud implementations are backed with an effective cloud migration strategy. Just in case you require any supplemental support you can get a cloud consultant on board or hire a Managed Services Provider (MSP). There are several cloud migration service providers that provide cloud services for the Retail industry as well. One of the most reputed cloud migration companies in the UK and UAE is LogicEra. The MSP helps you seamlessly and safely migrate your infrastructure to the cloud within the shortest possible time.