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Retail Basks In 'Cloud' Of Change The dramatic progress of the online world is creating existential challenges for conventional set-ups in the retail industry.

By Nitesh Thattasery

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We live in a time when the virtual and real worlds are fast merging. The lines that differentiated them are now determining our position in the technological world. Customers are being ushered into advanced technology more often than ever before and connecting them in an innovative and effective way becomes necessary to keep them engaged and ensure a sustained organizational growth. The dramatic progress of the online world is creating existential challenges for conventional set-ups in the retail industry.

Today's shoppers expect a connected and interactive consumer experience from start to finish. Innovation is needed to keep pace in the competitive landscape. For many companies, making their merchandise and brand image more attractive will continue to be a bigger challenge. Agility is a key factor for differentiation as it enables rapid development and implementation of new solutions.

Enter the Cloud! — Cloud Computing — is an effective solution for retailers to build capabilities quick enough and attract consumers. It allows them to modify their goods and services to meet the expectations of digitally-connected consumers throughout their shopping procedure. With time, retailers will start to recognize cloud computing as a cost-effective technique that can facilitate rapid adoption of the latest solutions.

Following are some of the significant benefits of cloud computing.

  • Interacting With Consumers Becomes More Personal

Imagine an arrangement when you are out on shopping but don't have to step into the dressing rooms just to check if the apparel fits you, because the store is equipped with a mobile device that confirms if the size and style of the attire suits you. Using data from multiple customer profile streams, retailers can predict the exact expectations of customers. Cloud-based data access and analytics come in handy in this regard.

  • Flexibility To Expand And Withdraw When Required

Cloud-based retail as a service solution and in the arena of digital content management, supply chain and other processes can be selectively released and pulled back. Cloud-based solutions are very light on local hardware and the costs are flexible in that it can be tailored for the usage of a particular business. This lets you to bravely expand your ventures or even scale down fast whenever required.

  • Flexibility In Content Management

With the cloud harboring all the data and information you want to share with your retail staff and customers, you have the flexibility to control what to play and when to play them on all your display devices at your outlets. Many retail brands can make the display screens at their retail outlets play the brand content and various product offers at their will. They can release those and pull the offers back or change campaigns as and when they deem it fit, from the comfort of their computers, saving a lot of costs and complexities in the process.

  • Collaborative And Multi-Partner Engagements

Cloud gives access to a number of people at the same time and allows multiple divisions, brands and even several partners to access and operate the data available. Issues, ideas and opportunities can be raised, assessed and resolved simultaneously. Multi-brand retail outlets, from a small grocer to large retail aggregators, can use the platform to bring in an increased agility and collaboration in driving their enterprises.

  • Global Reach Through Local Control

Cloud efficiently centralizes operations with easy access to everyone. It allows you to implement solutions with the advantage of accessing them from any part of the world. Companies are using cloud networks to manage the merchandise, sort and track them and later procure them at low processing costs. Developing solutions and communicating with customers and employees, spread out in various locations, from a central office allow unlimited creative freedom and reduce go-to market time and cost significantly.

  • Cost-Effective And Streamlined Operations

Switching to cloud technology will help the retailers save money on server maintenance. It's an open truth that retailers have some of the lowest budgets among all industries and they can utilize their principal amount to open a new store, recruit more employees or invest in the business itself.

  • Cloud-Supported Supply Chain Process

Not many retailers have adequate supply chain systems that are capable of handling their processes. However, with cloud supply chain, retailers can capture real-time information, adjust them to various conditions or even take advantage of new opportunities. Retail processes such as data tracking can be made easy through cloud technology. Many retailers see supply chain as a crucial area of focus and are interested in investing in a cloud collaboration platform, which has proved beneficial for them.

  • Real-time Reporting And Data Analytics

Most retailers are constantly dealing with big data, hence cloud technology becomes handy in their day-to-day operations. In a cloud, a single server can host many virtual servers, slashing hardware costs. The virtual servers can scale up on demand, depending on the need for computer capacity. Data analytical programs and algorithms will help convert this real time data feed into high quality and actionable information for better decision making and results.

Nitesh Thattasery

CEO, Waulite Technologies

Nitesh Thattasery is the CEO at Waulite Technologies. 


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