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Most retailers are probably already aware of the cost savings and efficiencies the cloud can bring to their business. The cloud, however, has far more to offer retailers, especially if they examine their highest volume workflows and prioritise moving these to the cloud.
Here, we look at some of the uses for cloud computing that retailers can avail themselves of to help boost sales and improve their operations.
This is a fundamental part of making a profit as a retailer and most of them are still relying on manual processes when deciding pricing. Getting pricing right requires awareness and analysis of a variety of factors, including costs, competitors’ pricing, sales implications of different margins, and sales history, to name but a few.
Cloud computing can simplify this process and make it far more accurate, better utilising available data and making light work of the analysis and storage of this data.
Loyalty programmes have become a useful tool in retaining customers. However, the management of a loyalty programme and the data storage requirements that come with it is next to impossible without cloud-based technology. For example, the cloud can allow for a unified view of customer behaviour across channels such as in-store and online, and even including their app use. This helps to manage loyalty schemes for retailers who have both an online and physical presence.
Many retailers now have stores and sell online, which is great for business but creates its own challenges when it comes to managing stock inventory. The cloud can help retailers to keep up with stock data, regardless of when a sale is made and from where the physical goods are dispatched.
Once a real-time view of inventory is possible, it is also possible to manage that inventory to maximise efficiency and minimise waste. The cloud can help facilitate order automation, for example, so that new stock comes in as and when it is needed according to seasonal shift in demand, for example.
This is a relatively new challenge for retailers to get to grips with. It makes sense for them to fulfil online orders from nearby stores, providing they have a network of stores, but doing so can damage the sales and skew the results for that store. Cloud-based data tools can help to work out how these challenges can be dealt with to enable these retailers to optimise opportunities for efficiency without damaging the cohesiveness of their existing processes.