5 Ways Cloud Technology is Positively Impacting Retail
You may already be acclimated to — or at least familiar with — using the cloud for business or personal use, particularly its ability to seamlessly store files and access project collateral from any location. As cloud-based technology becomes more prevalent, a number of industries are realizing the benefits from this innovative technology.
Retail business owners, for example, are finding that cloud-based technology helps them improve their customer service duties and keep better tabs of their inventory, among other features. To understand how this technology is shaking up the retail industry, consider the following ideas you can easily implement in your own business:
1. Sales are Easier for Both Buyer and Seller
As more and more consumers use smart devices for the purposes of research and making purchases, astute retailers are taking advantage of this trend to offer customers a shopping experience that matches their habits. For example, some brick-and-mortar store owners now offer free Wi-Fi in their stores, so shoppers can more easily check out and research select merchandise on their smart devices.
Additionally, business owners can use cloud-based technology to better personalize their customers’ shopping experience. Through use of a mobile app, business owners can now tell when a shopper enters the store before sending them in-store coupons directly to their smart device. Who knows? Customers who enter your store merely to window shop may be enticed to buy something if a 20 percent off coupon suddenly appeared on their smartphone.
2. Cloud Contact Centers Create a Better Customer Experience
In order to help provide the best possible service for their valued customers, more and more business owners are recognizing the value of adopting a cloud contact center. As Aspect notes, the cloud helps business owners to seamlessly offer up-to-date products and services to their customers that are more personalized to their preferences and needs.
For instance, cloud contact center infrastructure is flexible, as it can be adjusted to respond to sudden increases in call volume. Aspect offers a number of cloud-based call center software options that are ideal for mom-and-pop stores and larger businesses alike.
3. Inventory Becomes Easier to Manage
Keeping accurate tabs of inventory is one of the most important challenges business owners face. However, by using a retail as a service solution that operates in the cloud, companies can perform real-time inventory tracking to better track product availability as well as customers’ shipping information and order statuses.
This is especially useful for business owners who must keep tabs on numerous store locations, all with separate and constantly changing inventories. Through RaaS solutions, software and hardware updates can also be handled by your cloud service provider.
4. Point-of-Sale Systems Have Greater Mobility
Not long ago, customers had to trudge to a store counter to pay for their items. Now, thanks to cloud-based mobile point-of-sale systems, retail employees can ring up sales anywhere in the store. One reason store owners like mobile POS systems is because they free up employees to leave the register and more easily move about the store to assist customers.
Employees can use tablets and smartphones to check available inventory and also take credit card payments right where the customer is standing. Additionally, as Touch Dynamic notes, employees can also more easily access product information from their smart device should customers raise any questions.
5. Business Owners Can Spend Less on Computers
Because implementing and maintaining cloud technology is so user- and budget-friendly, store owners can reduce the amount of time and money they spend on IT-related costs and issues. As Nirix notes, paying IT professionals to install new computer software and upgrade existing infrastructure is a costly proposition.
Finally, by adopting a cloud-based solution, business owners aren’t faced with any consulting fees and don’t have to keep paying for new software every few months or years. As a result, they can focus their time, energy and budget on other goals… such as adding to their inventory or perhaps even opening a new location. The opportunities are endless, as are the ways cloud is impacting retail.
Photo Credit: Image provided by Social Monsters with permission to use.