Before we get into the nitty-gritty of how Cloud is transforming the face of the retail industry, just have a look at the following facts:
1. According to a study by Boston Consulting Group, India is expected to become the world's third-largest consumer economy, reaching US$ 400 billion in consumption by 2025.
2. India is ranked first in the Global Retail Development Index 2017, backed by rising middle class and rapidly growing consumer spending.
3. India’s retail market witnessed investments worth US$800 million by Private Equity (PE) firms and wealth funds in 2017. (Source: https://www.ibef.org/industry/retail-india.aspx)
So, it is undoubtedly evident that the retail industry is on the verge of global boom. The industry is emerging as a pool of opportunities for the business owners, and in order to grab this opportunity, the retail sector is experiencing the entry of several new players resulting into a cut throat competition in the market amongst them.
Customers have become the new God and are solely responsible to drive the wave of retail business in this modern time. And the retailers are trying hard to please these Gods by providing exactly what they ask for. To meet the most dynamic needs of consumers, the retail industry is evolving each day. Marketing via social networking, e-commerce and the cloud technology are the key factors influencing this transformation. Companies are well aware of the cloud’s potential, as operating on cloud can reduce the IT costs in managing existing as well as integrating new systems. Cloud technology also ensures an interactive consumer experience to build a lasting brand image and customer loyalty. Read to gain insights on how the cloud is changing the face of the retail sector.
Higher Supply Chain Visibility: Cloud technology captures real-time status information anywhere, anytime, streamlines inventories, tracks deliverables and blockages in supply chain and collects useful inventory movement data. The act of data tracking and data control are actually made easier through the cloud technology across the various retail outlet or franchisee. With the cloud, retailers can have supply chain systems capable of adequately handling their business without stock-outs, delayed deliveries, or inventory inaccuracies.
Modernized Selling Techniques: By providing the retailers with indepth data analytics, and latest market trends, cloud fosters a better insight into the purchasing habits and shopping preferences of their regular customers. Cloud is capable to track the minute details such as favorite payment option, preferred delivery options, favorite shopping location, and fastest moving item from a specific shelf. All these information play crucial role in planning the store layout and design for space optimization and customer convenience. Moreover, promotional strategies and marketing techniques like, sample distribution, and free trial kiosks are adopted by retailers to boost the walk-in in their store.
Effective Product Innovation: Change and innovation are the two mantras to survive in the retail market and hence retailers are always struggling to introduce something new and different in their stores even before their counterparts. Based on customer behaviors revealed by the cloud-based solutions, business owners can now have better control over their selections and types of products on their store display. Cloud has empowered the retailers by assisting them in making right merchandising decisions faster. Cloud also lowers the time to market for retail goods and help you not only win the competition but also exceed your rivals.
Lower Operational Costs: Cloud technology is basically being preferred by the manufactures as well as retailers because of the enormous benefit set at the cost side. The operational cost of a cloud solution is generally much lower than the traditional systems. A business can stand to save a significant amount of money on system infrastructure as the need to purchase, update or manage system is completely eliminated. In short, the cloud delivers more than it incurs in set up and installment and automatically cuts down on costly operations and hiring additions employees to perform inefficient manual process.
Advanced Forecasting: One of the most prominent advantages of cloud solutions is Data analytics. Retailers use this data analytics to make quantitative as well as qualitative decisions about the items to produce and sell. Cloud has become a significant part of retail management system as it pulls data from search engines, e-retailers and social media trends in order to help retailers make accurate forecasts about demand, sales, and take better-informed business decisions in real time. Cloud has been imperative to eliminate the guesswork about prevalent in the retail sector from ages. Now the retailer knows exactly what will sell and what will fail to catch the buyer’s attention.
Improved Customer Experience: Cloud has enabled the integration between all channels of sales popular in retail; whether online or offline, everything is connected and talking to each other for improved collaboration. Cloud has provided greater access to the customer over the entire range of products via e-commerce, even after the physical doors of a store are closed. It’s not wrong to say that this unified cloud platform has offered all sectors of a retail business to access product, stock, size, and channel information of any item at any time to deliver a more enhanced and more personalised shopping experience to their customers.
Though, it is difficult to say about how the retail industry will fare in next few years, or deduce where it will stand five years down the line, but one thing is for sure that the role of Cloud technology will be indispensable to make one survive in the pool of competitors. BatchMaster Retail Management Software is one powerful solution that serves the need of entire retail value chain right from manufacturing to wholesale, distribution to retail management and POS.