In recent times, the retail industry has seen the rise of innovative power retailers due to the evolution of social media and e-commerce, with AWS (Amazon Web Services) singularly making over seven billion dollars in year 2015. Truly speaking, the blending of the two brought to light an extra level of advancement and delivery pathways which the traditional retail industry did not expect.
Nothing like operations that old-fashioned retailers have been using for a long period of time, e-retailers (also known as e-tailers) have become users of cloud technology for some time now.
The current condition in the Retail Industry
We all know that the retail industry across the world is under strong pressure to keep their businesses afloat. Out of all the known retailers, it is the store operators that have suffered the most owing to the growth of online shopping portals as well as rebate stores to a specific level.
News gathered from a latest report by Vestis Retail Group, Marketwatch and Sports Authority, the management of the popular Eastern Mountain Sports and Sport Chalet, announced their liquidation and closd down of about 196 stores.
As a matter of fact, gaming is not the only affected sector. A retailer known as Hancock Fabrics who has been in business since 1957, also announced the closure of its 185 stores and declare their bankruptcy.
Staples who is in business of office supplies similarly went ahead to announce that they had plans to close about fifty stores in North America. Although, it’s not the first time this company had resorted to this step. That’s not all, Staples has periodically closed two hundred and forty two locations in the U.S. and Canada in the last two fiscal years.
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On the other hand, while it has been reported that some retailers have encountered a significant drop in their businesses, a few have gotten progress despite stumbling upon the same situations.
A typical example is the Home Depot (which is one such retailer) and feasibly one of the few companies who is not only surviving this difficulty but effectively overcame it. From researched gathered online, we noticed that Home Depot increased its store numbers and their trade profit has grown from seven billion dollar 10 years ago to eleven billion dollar in 2019.
The E-commerce statistics that was released in 2016 by ReadyCloud reveals that about eighty percent of the whole United States population buys their stuffs on the internet.
First of all, it has been said that Market specialists are certain that e-commerce and discount stores are not the only business to fault for a constant fall of many retailers. Secondly, they also blamed poor management of the system.
How can Retail Industry Benefit from Cloud Computing?
Looking at the retail industry, the Cloud technology could be the driving force with the potential to change the face of the retail industry and therefore possibly save it from dying. Now, these are some advantages cloud acceptance brings to the industry:
Cheaper & Cost Effective operations
First and foremost, the Cloud technology is now the most preferred solution owing to the price at which the services are delivered, since they are commonly cheaper when it is compared to in-house set-ups.
You will agree that a business venture has the chances to save a major amount of cash since they don’t need to buy anything, update their software or manage systems. This inevitably reduces the employment of staffs who would carry out these duties in an internal setting.
Cost Effective Flexibility and Scalability
Thanks to different pricing options as provided by the cloud-based model which offers price elasticity. This lets different owners of businesses to increase or decrease their computing usage as conditions permit. Above all, it sometimes provides scalability of high demand, so stores operators do not need to buy extra equipment. This is an area that an in-house set-up organization can’t contest.
Best Shopping Experience
Shoppers can connect to any store of their choice 24hrs every week; thanks to their online website and native mobile applications. With the cloud technology, an online store can continuously update their customers with discounts, coupon codes, special membership deals, promotions and deals, and so on.
Both old and new customers can be greeted with a welcome message. Also deals of the day messages can also be announced immediately a customer walk into the store. As a matter of fact, some present stores owners are already making use this cloud technology. To be candid with you, it provides a very personalized experience for the shopper.
Improved communication & collaboration between departments
Retail stores can gain advantage from effective tools in order to interconnect with team members and staffs from another department or from a different region. Effective cooperation results in simplified business management and decreases the possibility of miscommunication or negligence.
Improved Point of Sale (POS)
Generally speaking, POS (Point of sale) systems are gradually growing from cash and cards to mobile smartphones and tabs. Customers can now make payments to retail stores directly from their mobile devices through NFC technology and applications.
Furthermore, Cloud technology makes sure that shoppers experience an improved transaction process. However this can prove to be quite difficult when operating through an old-fashioned means.
On a final note, it can be quite tough to predict how the retail industry will manage in future, or even forecast where it will find itself in the next five years down the line. The major reason is because of the constant change in customer purchasing behaviors.
With the cloud, retailers can have supply chain systems capable of adequately handling their business without stock-outs, expedited deliveries, or high inventories. Cloud also helps to capture real-time status of consignments, digitized documents from suppliers, carriers, logistics providers, brokers etc
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In conclusion, cloud technology definitely changes the way retailers relate with the buyers. First-hand purchasing and shopping experiences could be the evidence of solution the retail industry urgently requires.