When it comes to supply chain management, retailers have a lot to think about: warehouses, transportation, order fulfillment, overhead costs, global capabilities, and efficiency. To help streamline this process, businesses can better manage shipments, gain real-time information on inventory and statuses, and use digitized documents by moving them to the cloud.
Having spent the past seven years in retail myself, I can tell you that retailers place huge importance on reputation and customer service, in which the experience each employee creates is similar to being the host of a party. You acknowledge everyone equally, and more significantly, create a seamless experience for shoppers.
Ultimately, what drives most consumers today simply comes down to convenience. What sets apart the retail industry now, more than even five years ago, is technology. The number one convenience that the retail industry can have is being able to see inventory and processing at any moment, in real time.
Because digital technology has disrupted the retail industry, consumers want to be constantly connected, and they want the buying process to be nothing short of quick and easy. Luckily, with help from the cloud, it’s possible for the consumer’s shopping experience to remain enjoyable. With the rising trend of mobile devices, employees are now equipped with devices like iPads, which help answer customer questions, check inventory, and finalize sales.
Cloud for retailers will help improve the mobile POS experience, allowing payments to process immediately and turning customers into valuable data points. Through a cloud-hosted POS system, sales teams can browse inventory, pick products and process sales by swiping a card right there on the device. This is quickly becoming standard.
In my past retail experience, cloud computing would have played a beneficial role. Not only would it have helped to stay ahead of other competitors, which is key in growing a business and remaining relevant with trends, but having internal benefits such as real-time reporting, in-store task management, and speed to market would have helped personalize offers and create a stronger communication with customers.
By using cloud computing, retail businesses can gain valuable insight into their customers’ shopping needs and preferences, thanks to the amazing data generated. Retailers can personalize offers and communication, as well as gain the data necessary to create a personalized experience. Analytics could than be used to provide recommendations, create customized communication and inspire new products or services.
While technology will continue to evolve, retailers can take advantage of cloud computing now and stay ahead of the game. Though the relationship between retail and technology is rapidly changing, it doesn’t mean the loyalty between retailer and consumer needs to. In order to maintain profitability and a great reputation, retailers need to make sure customers are receiving personalized promotions, competitive pricing, and a consistent experience. The cloud allows that to happen.
Retail in the cloud can help with real-time updates on inventory, an in-store manager can purchase refreshes onsite, and corporate offices can access critical applications in the field at any location. By using cloud computing, retail companies are able to keep their businesses running smoother than ever.