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5 cutting-edge benefits retailers can get from the intelligent cloud

By Microsoft UK Enterprise Team on 13/02/2017

Filed under Retail & Consumer Goods

Your journey to the cloud doesn’t have a final destination. Like the best retailers, you adapt constantly to the market and consumer habits, which means that you’re always growing and innovating. The cloud simply gives you the boost needed to expand your business’ capabilities and focus on what’s important to you and your customers.

By embracing the power of the cloud, you’re free to enjoy all the benefits it offers without feeling restricted.

1. Scalability

48% of retailers state that the ability to scale IT needs up or down rapidly’ was their reason for moving to the cloud.

If you’re an enterprise, or are hoping to scale your business, a hybrid cloud solution is a recommended (and inevitable) solution. This solution allows you to keep full control of your data, choose where you store certain information and operations, and scale your storage needs quickly. For example, sensitive customer transactional data could be stored solely using on-premise servers, or both on-premise and cloud storage.

What’s more, a cloud solution is cost-friendly. Businesses only need to pay for what they use, on a pay-as-you-go service. 51% of retailers say that this drive down in cost is their main reason for adopting a cloud solution.

2. Agility and productivity

The intelligent cloud offers retailers the chance to be agile and flexible. Using a connective, mobile workforce, your business can become more communicative and productive. The adoption of mobile devices and Office 365 tools can allow your employees to work on the go, as well as communicate with anyone, anywhere, at any time: visiting suppliers, in a call centre, or travelling to a store– anywhere. This can help to cut out unnecessary bottlenecks and provide your customers with a fast service.

3. Security

With 88% of retail customers expecting tight security on their transactions, your business cannot afford to be slack. By moving some of your data to the cloud, you’re able to take advantage of up-to-date security solutions, such as: identity management, behavioural analytics that detect suspicious activity and disaster recovery. Consequently, your business can defend itself against hacking, cybercrime and fraudulent behaviour.

4. Innovation and experimentation

Did you know that 73% of customers prefer to do business with brands that offer a personalised buying experience?

The cloud doesn’t just give retailers the chance to streamline operations – such as supply chain management and restocking – it can also create a personalised shopping experience for your customers. By processing advanced analytics, you can offer recommended products and predict the content of a buyer’s shopping basket.

5. Modernisation

In order to keep up with competitors, retailers need to keep creating better ways to operate and serve their customers. In today’s world, we all desire a more convenient way of shopping. With the help of IoT technologies, your business can create what once only belonged in science fiction, such as:

  • Smart mirrors that provide personal shopping assistance or personalised offers
  • Automatic checkout scanning software to help customers skip queues and reduce shrinkage
  • Immediate customer service responses in store or any other omnichannel environment

By processing large amounts of data, your business can create an entirely new shopping environment.

What impact will you make?

By embracing all the intelligent cloud has to offer, retailers can make an extraordinary impact on customers and the way they shop. This impact, however, is encouraged by the drive to create change.

If your business would like to adopt cloud tools and technologies, ensure you have a clear business focus to pay attention to. Find what will make you stand out amongst competitors and strive for it.

To find out more about what Microsoft Azure can do for your retail business, visit our consumption hub or sign up for a free trial of Azure.

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