Cloud computing services have quickly become popular all over the globe for the convenience they offer. This holds for the retail field, too: Cloud Computing in Retail is a straightforward set of products and practices meant to provide retailers with a clear data management advantage over their rivals. Below, we’ll talk about how cloud-based solutions play into the retail world, along with taking a deep dive into the ways they affect businesses in the real world.
The Role of Cloud Computing in Retail
Why Do We Need Cloud Computing in Retail?
First, though, let’s see a quick introduction to Cloud Computing in Retail.
With digital services becoming the primary medium for large parts of our lives, including communicating with people, entertaining ourselves, and even going shopping, none of us can deny that it’s a digital world we live in. And the thing about a digital world is, every action we take on the Internet creates data. A log entry, a sales sheet, an excel sheet of different metrics, performance charts; all of this data is rapidly making it clear that to make it big, organizations can no longer focus solely on their products.
Instead, organizations need to focus on improving their methods for connecting with their customers. This is where Cloud Computing comes into the picture:
- A streamlined, accessible form of quickly storing
- Managing your data across worldwide servers
Where Does Cloud Computing Fit Into Retail?
Big Data. That’s what you call enormous data dumps generated by different online systems, so big that using legacy systems and outdated software is no longer an option. And the thing is, effectively using your big data is no easy task either.
To begin with, you’re going to need several things that aren’t easy to come by, including:
- Data Management and Storage Systems: The means to manage and store massive amounts of data, both structured and unstructured.
- Significant Computing Power: To process Big Data, you’ll need the kind of computing power that only extensive collections of expensive servers can provide.
- Whopping Amounts of Electricity: Guess what you’ll need to run those servers we mentioned up above? Incredible amounts of electricity (quite literally, the power bills will be shocking) and a power backup to prevent damage to the servers.
These are some of the reasons why cloud-based data management solutions are always the superior option. They come with on-demand and (mostly) cheap storage options, along with more computing and analytical power than you could want. Cloud Computing in Retail requires a flat fee based on the subscription instead of paying for a hundred different things and then other things to back them up.
How Does Cloud Computing Affect the Retail World?
Cloud-based data management solutions aren’t just the new fad on the block. Hundreds of thousands of businesses use these methods to process and store the data they generate. Analysts predict that by 2022, 90% of retail businesses worldwide will have abandoned legacy systems in favor of Cloud Computing in retail.
Still, we can’t say that it’s easy to make the jump from legacy to cloud-based solutions. After all, a person’s fear is what keeps them alive, right? Instead, we’ll take the better route and tell you about the invaluable ways Cloud Computing can affect your business:
1. Allowing For Inventory Management From Anywhere
A prolific benefit of Cloud Computing in retail is that it gives companies clear visibility of their stocks from anywhere. The supply chain is automated, giving retailers the power to sort through and manage their inventory any time, from anywhere. Analytics and Real-Time data help companies to predict and take steps to prevent product shortages. This applies for everyday use but also goes a long way towards making new expansions successful.
2. Increasing Your Organization’s Return on Investment
This one shouldn’t even need an explanation. Getting more return on investment, or ROI is the ultimate goal of every enterprise mobility solution. Cloud Computing, which can easily handle complex IT infrastructures for larger audiences bases, is perfect for managing information databases about an organization’s customers.
Essentially, it boosts your organization’s bottom line by increasing both the scalability and the efficiency of its operations. And with competition only rising by the day, the skyrocketing popularity of Cloud Computing in Retail is hardly a surprise!
3. Guaranteeing Faster Disaster Recovery
Cloud Computing solutions have measures to store and back up both structured and unstructured data at very frequent checkpoints and include means to retrieve all stored data remotely. However, the automation of the process takes a considerable burden off the shoulders of the IT team and allows the organization to save precious time during disaster recovery efforts.
There’s also the fact that since you’re using remote servers spread all over the world, you don’t need to provide any maintenance or support to them. Add all this together, and what you get is a scalable, cheap, and efficient method to manage your data.
4. Ensuring Better Security For Your Data
Whether it’s customer emails or the names of consumers who have signed up for local offers and deals, a retail business will inevitably build up a database of sensitive data. If you want to ward off the possibility of your data being leaked in the case of a hack, network infiltration, or DDoS attack, the best option is to choose to store your information remotely on cloud servers.
The security provided by a cloud-based storage company is one of the hallmarks of how trustworthy the company is, which is why most include security measures like:
- Advance firewalls to stop malicious attacks
- Layers of encryption and hashing for the stored data
- Internal firewalls for further and increased security, and
- Event logging, where everybody who accesses the servers are logged and noted
5. Enhancing Customer Experience
If you run a retail business, the first thing you’ve got to do is make your customers happy. Everybody knows that. What many people don’t know, though, is that retailers can use Cloud Computing solutions to streamline their customer experience massively.
The best example would be a cloud-based POS system, reducing transaction time by facilitating faster checkouts.
Even with all that said, it’s difficult to predict where the retail industry will head in the coming years. Like any Business-to-Consumer industry, retail businesses have to change and adapt to their consumers, meaning changes in the consumer behavior can change the way companies operate almost overnight. Right now, though, it remains clear that Cloud Computing in Retail is the best way to manage customer happiness while ensuring maximum ROI from your data management.