Retail trends are changing. In the first year of the pandemic, eCommerce sales grew by an astounding 43%. Existing IT infrastructures may not be equipped to provide the efficient and personalized experiences that shoppers now demand. Cloud migration with CBTS is a future-proof solution for retailers to keep pace with competitors, improve customer experience, and streamline operations.
Modern retail customers expect more from retail experiences and have little tolerance for delays. They expect seamless, personalized interactions between apps, websites, and storefronts.
Customer demand reveals the limitations of aging technology systems that many retailers have at their disposal. Even tech-forward retailers may have difficulty meeting customer needs and shifting behavior patterns.
By 2026, the global retail market via the Cloud will reach almost $40 billion worldwide. Further, multi-cloud (two or more) platform environments for businesses are increasingly common. Cloud technology is no longer optional for the retail industry. Retailers must manage the unprecedented amount of data required to successfully manage their business and create seamless blended experiences for their customers.
Cloud technology is beneficial to almost every aspect of the retail sphere. Cloud technology is forcing retail companies to move nimbly into the 21st century, from core systems to cutting-edge tools. There are many benefits to making a transition to the Cloud.
The Cloud allows retailers to develop and deploy applications more quickly than ever. Apps can get to the market faster, and bugs can be addressed as they arise. In addition, modernizing applications to “live” on the Cloud eliminates the need for manual updates.
Today, the sheer amount of data that retailers must contend with is unprecedented. Marketing data, customer behaviors, inventory updates, supply chain information, AI/AR experiences, and more must not only be stored and cataloged but analyzed for insights.
How do you ensure that all that data is safe for future analysis? Tape-based disaster recovery systems, while reliable, are cumbersome at best, often taking weeks for a complete restoration. Most cloud platforms offer automatic backups of all data stored on them. Disaster Recovery as Service (DRaaS) is rapidly emerging as a viable and cost-effective replacement for tape-based and on-premises data center backup options.
Quality User Experience (UX) design is an essential feature in cloud platforms and interfaces. This ease of use translates into better customer experiences (CX) that are increasingly customizable based on real-time feedback and customer interaction.
While the cost of migrating to the Cloud may be high initially, it is an investment that reaps savings over time. Cloud services are often priced on an as-needed basis, meaning that customers only pay for what they use. This feature makes it incredibly easy to scale and ensures that capital expenditures become highly predictable on the tech side.
Cloud for retail is genuinely beneficial for each department of an enterprise, from core systems like pricing and inventory to marketing and customer interaction.
Retailers must keep their finger on the pulse of a host of pricing data, including competitors’ prices, margins, and supply chain details. And much of the analysis of this data is still manual. Retail cloud solutions can handle multiple data streams and provide analysis through AI-powered tools.
Inventory and, subsequently, fulfillment have been two areas that have been stubbornly hard to modernize for retail, especially across channels. For example, an app for a grocery retailer may list bananas in stock, but when the shopper arrives to pick them up, the bananas have already sold out. Cloud solutions can not only keep inventory up-to-the-minute precise, but they can also optimize between omnichannel sources to keep fulfillment flexible.
Well-established supply chains have been shattered by recent world events, leading to shortages of essential goods worldwide. Predictive analysis tools can help retailers analyze trends and stay ahead of shortages.
Regardless of where a customer bought a product—an app, website, or store—they want to be able to receive support wherever is most convenient for them. Whether a customer interacts with a chatbot, customer service rep, or IVR system, their issue needs to be resolved in a way that is communicated to other departments. Cloud for retail offers Unified Communication solutions that can meet customer demand in real-time across platforms, websites, phone calls, and branches.
Cloud technology has improved both internal and external communications. Store associates can now communicate through cloud-connected devices that automatically update inventory. Marketers can engage customers like never before with machine learning algorithms that tailor selections based on past behavior and preferences.
Several years ago, consumers were willing to wait up to eight seconds for a website to load. Now, that wait time is less than three seconds. The mantra in retail has become “Slow is the new down.” Customers are simply unwilling to wait. If they have one or two bad experiences, they are much more willing to consider a competitor.
To stay competitive, retailers must invest in cloud technology. Cloud solutions for retail address not only mission-critical systems for pricing, inventory, and fulfillment but also conversion-boosting technologies like AR and AI that help create seamless, omnichannel experiences for customers.
CBTS has developed a vetted process to help our clients migrate to the Cloud or integrate multi-cloud solutions. This process includes assessment, design, migration, and management. Our managed services for retailers include almost every aspect of cloud technology—Network as a Service (NaaS) to Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) and Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS).
Contact our team to start your retail modernization journey.