Cloud Automation Drives Digital Transformation for Retailers
The ubiquity of smart devices, mobile apps, geolocation services, the internet, wireless networks and other digital technologies gives consumers more choices — and more power — than ever before.
Nowhere is this power more apparent than in the retail sector. Today’s digital consumers expect prompt, personalized service and have no patience for inefficiency and incompetence. Retailers that don’t get it right the first time usually don’t get a second chance.
Why Invest in Cloud Automation?
The solution is a full digital transformation in which the entire retail value chain, including manufacturing, marketing, distribution, sales and customer service, becomes cloud-based. Cloud automation and other cloud-based services provide retailers with the infrastructure flexibility and scalability needed to respond in real time to customers, product manufacturers and supply chain partners.
Cloud providers also help retailers manage the increasingly complex infrastructures required in the digital economy as technologies such as mobility services and real-time analytics are integrated into legacy enterprise architectures. This eases the management burden for enterprise IT pros, who can focus on activities that enable the retailer’s strategic business and operational goals.
Cloud-based technologies allow retailers to improve the speed at which they can interact and communicate with customers, product manufacturers and supply chain partners. Cloud services can empower retailers to:
- Provide superior customer service. Consumers are becoming mobile-first shoppers, using the internet, mobile apps, geolocation technology and other services as their primary tools to research, compare and purchase products and services. By matching mobile-first needs with mobile-first services, retailers can increase their chances of closing sales, retaining customers and improving the brand. Cloud-based services provide the scalability and flexibility required to handle real-time customer requests for information and services.
- Build better inventory control. The best customer-facing service in the world does little good if it isn’t backed by an efficient product and services pipeline. Cloud-based supply and ordering platforms can ensure real-time tracking of factory inventory, in-transit shipments, back orders and other inventory-related data. Full transparency into the supply chain helps retailers avoid delivery delays, customer disappointment, loss of business and conflicts with business partners.
- Enhance cost savings and internal operations. Successful retailers eventually have to expand their IT infrastructures to deliver services not only to consumers but also to internal customers such as marketing, finance and sales departments and IT. Transitioning to a cloud-based delivery model helps businesses to avoid expensive capital investments. In addition, because retailers pay only for the cloud resources they use, they can save even more money.
Retail operations have become increasingly complex in the digital age. With a cloud-based IT infrastructure, retailers can adapt the requirements of this new business environment quickly, flexibly and affordably.