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Cloud: key to retail recovery

As a British retailer, you would of course be delighted to hear that non-essential stores can (hopefully) re-open from the 12th of April. But on-off again lockdowns have led to permanent changes in shopping behaviours with 46.7% of consumers now claiming they won’t return to their previous levels of in-store shopping. 

Retailers must now adapt to new habits and develop innovative ways to improve their online offering. But before digitally transforming their front-end, brands must first overhaul and modernise their critical IT infrastructure – and this means turning to cloud operating models.

So, how can Cloud help struggling retailers to re-architect their post-pandemic survival?  

Enhancing the customer experience 

Customer experience now trumps both price and product when it comes to consumers making a purchasing decision. Combine this with advancements in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Big Data and it’s clear that collecting and leveraging customer data has never been more necessary.  

Retailers can apply AI and advanced analytics to customer data to understand what motivates their customers’ purchases, get ahead of future shopping habits and gain a competitive advantage by delivering an optimal customer experience.  

The first step to reaping the rewards of AI and data analytics is migrating from legacy systems to the Cloud. Cloud will help retailers to modernize and make data-driven decisions that inform how they engage with customers. This will be essential as retailers look to survive as the UK returns to some form of normality. 

Delivering personalisation 

Retailers are under increased pressure to deliver unique online experiences to drive sales. Indeed, McKinsey suggests there is a direct correlation between offering personalised experiences and increased revenue. Cloud can provide an agile and flexible framework upon which brands can innovate and deliver new personalised services to customers. 

Cloud-based infrastructure gives retailers the chance to take personalization to the next level by offering customers personalized pages that show individual shoppers the products they are most interested in. 

Without Cloud technologies, retailers wouldn’t be able to holistically view their data and send customers the correct product suggestions. This means brands risk sending consumers the wrong recommendations which could have a negative impact on their revenue. 

Data security 

Retailers are also faced with managing data security. Retail is one of the most heavily targeted industries for cyberattacks. In fact, in the year leading up to November 2020, over 400 million customer records were stolen from retailers. 

By migrating to the Cloud, IT departments can have greater visibility into their business’ data, meaning they can implement bespoke security tools and services and scale them up and down as needed. 

Cloud security is highly automated, so risks can be mitigated and remediated quickly and in real-time. This is vital, as the longer vulnerabilities go undetected, the more detrimental they can be. 

As retailers look to the next stage of the pandemic, Cloud will be at the forefront of their strategy. The explosion of data, increasing demands for personalization and the rise in cyberattacks has left retailers struggling to manage. Cloud-based technologies offer retailers the best opportunity to survive and thrive in this new era of the retail revolution. 

Contact our AWS qualified Retail Consultants to discover how you can unlock the full benefits of Cloud technology. From enablement to modernisation and security through to operational governance we have every step of your cloud journey covered. 

References

Almost half of shoppers ‘won’t return to their previous level of in-store shopping’ 

37 Powerful Customer Experience Statistics to Know for 2021

The future is personalization – and how to get ready for it

The retail giants at serious risk of cyber-attacks