Propelled by dynamic changes in consumer behavior amid the COVID-19 crisis, the digital and e-commerce market witnessed unprecedented and unforeseen growth. With repercussions like limited physical interactions, people resorted to e-commerce platforms for online shopping.
Digital transformation was much required for retailers to catapult their sales numbers. And given the gravity of the situation, many retail leaders adopted cloud technology to counter the rising uncertainty of the market.
The Significance of Cloud in Retail
The global retail market has seen topsy-turvy growth since the onset of the catastrophic crisis. While many large players managed to navigate through the tumultuous business scene, there are a few grappling to remain competitive. Following are just a few of the many advantages of incorporating cloud computing into your retail business:
Scalability in the Recovering Market
The booming growth of the online retail market inevitably means that retail players require resources in high volumes to deal with traffic and order fulfillment. Moreover, they require a supporting platform that stems from the variable demand requirements. With cloud hosting services on board, e-commerce/retail players bring home the advantage of quickly meeting the demands of ever-evolving consumer demands.
The scalability offered by the cloud infrastructure is a tailor-made solution for the recovering retail sector. Cloud-managed virtual machines with auto-scaling capabilities make it possible to quickly add or remove resources from the account, ensuring that customers have a plain sailing experience at the online store.
Although the industry is witnessing an upward trend, small and medium-sized retail businesses are in immediate need of major cost-cutting measures. The use of cloud computing within the retail business negates the need for heavy in-house storage mechanisms, thus minimizing the bills on energy consumption and maintenance costs.
Making Online Retail Secure
Perhaps the most sensitive aspect of running a retail business in the 21st century is storing and managing scores of user-related data within the database and preventing it from cyber threats. The emergence of cloud computing into this vertical solves the aforementioned problem significantly.
Cloud storage solutions are built with the highest quality security standards, preventing cybercriminals from gaining access to sensitive data such as customers’ addresses, card details, and phone numbers. The cloud servers responsible for keeping these datasets are validated by independent third-party auditors, guaranteeing that they are equipped with the appropriate security measures.
Augmenting E-retailers SEO Game
The true value of an eCommerce store is determined by how quickly its website loads. Regardless of the countless products available across categories at the customers’ fingertips, the decision to make a purchase solely rests on the speed at which it feeds the customers with accurate results. Case in point, 40% of the customers may abandon the website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load.
Enter a sophisticated technology such as cloud computing, which helps you run your retail business like a well-oiled machine. Cloud computing minimizes network performance latency, thereby mitigating the chances of downtime on your web store. This makes sure that your customers can access a fast, well-functioning website, which also helps your SEO.
These benefits position cloud computing as the ideal solution for businesses looking to capitalize on the opportunities presented by the rapidly growing digital retail environment.
What’s Driving Retailers to the Cloud?
In the new normal, the retail sector is experiencing a quantum leap towards digital that otherwise would have taken many years to develop. The current retail market has businesses reimagining their digital-first approach with cloud technologies, enabling them to meet consumer expectations. We look at key factors/trends where the technology is making an impact:
Customer-first digital initiatives
The present-day market is very consumer-driven, thus pushing retailers to adopt more customer-oriented digital initiatives. Retailers seek solutions to deliver bespoke services to customers, and the cloud is just the right solution offering real-time access to customer-related data. The technology further facilitates retailers with ample insights pertaining to their customers, some of which include sharing out personal recommendations, membership offers, coupon codes, and so on.
Securing financial transactions
As retailers move their operations online, customers are also increasingly turning towards using digital payment methods in order to settle their bills. And even as retailers may have best-in-class security measures in place, the internet is always vulnerable to threats of all kinds.
Moving away from the traditional on-premises & custom-built in-house technology with a significant price tag, the cloud brings a host of security features at much lower prices. A few of the many cloud benefits that help circumvent the rising security risks whilst making transactions online include : continual updates to technology, DDOS protection, firewalls, e-mail hacking prevention, and regular updates to antivirus software.
While it is to be expected that the retail industry will continue to evolve, the incredible speed with which it has and is adapting during the pandemic has been remarkable. Everything from consumer tastes to shopping habits has been revised to better suit the demands of the digital age.
The Notable Use Cases Coming from Retail
Cloud computing has helped businesses enhance their digital capabilities and fine-tune their services to keep up with rising online demand — with the retail industry proving to be an especially promising adopter of the technology. As the business world keeps finding new uses for this technology, we highlight a few examples of its triumphant application.
Re-Inventing the Retailer’s Customer Experience
By tapping the capabilities of a cloud service provider such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), a major electronics retailer was able to speed up the cloud migration and roll-out of its cloud-first strategy. The behemoth’s continued progress toward a more contemporary strategy that was driven by a single objective: to give its customers the best digital experience possible.
To accomplish this, the service provider’s computing resources, storage facilities, database, and security services were integrated into the retailer’s operations, allowing the store to help customers experience virtual live product demonstrations. Several other retailers, not just the electronics giant, have taken advantage of the provider’s services in order to tailor their products and services to their customers’ wants and needs and to stay ahead of the competition.
Building & Reimagining Services
To thrive in today’s recessionary market, retailers must constantly innovate new products and services. Due to the cutthroat nature of the retail industry, many retail players are frequently updating their user interfaces, mobile apps, and loyalty programs and fixing their designs.
Also, testing databases that can take up hundreds of terabytes of space necessitates deploying and shutting down dozens of virtual machines without a hitch. Therefore, reliable resources are required. A public cloud service eliminates the need for the preceding measures.
In order to reinvigorate its software offerings without disrupting its existing system, a UK-based retail platform that specializes in providing automated services to small businesses has embraced the power of AWS. By doing so, the streamlined management of multiple debugging environments allowed the retailer to try out various data-storage strategies. The result was a three- to four-month decrease in the expected release window for the mobile app.
Cloud Computing in Retail: The Cornerstone of An Ever-Expanding Industry
The pandemic upended operations across various industries, forcing businesses and customers to adopt new buying and selling norms — digital platforms or online channels. Businesses across the globe were quick to respond by taking the digital-first approach to finding new ways to connect with their customers.
Given the unprecedented rise in smartphone and digital communication channels, the retail industry now taps the power of cloud computing. Cloud computing is changing the face of global business in almost every aspect, from securing digital payment processes for customers to pushing the business experience with better SEO results.
Only when retail/e-commerce enterprises incorporate cloud computing into their business strategy and establish core competencies will they be able to comprehend sustainable development. With unrivaled cloud computing services, Josh presents an array of cloud services, including cloud modernization and migration services. Hop on a call with us and learn more about our offerings!