19
Jul
2015

Retailers Flying with the Cloud

The retail industry is one of the sectors that are historically slow in adopting new technologies, but Cloud computing is something that is too good to resist.

The Cloud can be very beneficial to retailers as it can help them streamline operations, improve productivity, reduce costs and increase sales. Now, many retailers are realizing that they need to make the Cloud a business priority if they want to stay competitive.

Here is a look at how Cloud computing can help retailers boost sales and achieve greater growth….

Meet Customers’ Needs

Leading grocer Wakefern, which operates more than 300 stores under different brands, has been using IBM’s Cloud analytics to develop sophisticated real-time analytics to enhance the decision-making abilities of its store owners.
The company adopted a cloud-based service called IBM DemandTec to offer dynamic promotions to its customers. By implementing this solution, it is able to use predictive analytics to create and deliver promotions, and respond promptly to changes in demand on a real-time basis, while keeping the right mix of products in stores.

Cloud computing has made it possible for Wakefern to meet its customers’ needs more effectively and efficiently, and provide a better overall shopping experience.

The early phase of Cloud adoption has brought favorable results, and the company has continued to use this technology to achieve higher levels of customer satisfaction.

Improve Inventory Management

Walgreens, the largest pharmacy chain in the United States, has turned to Cloud technology to better meet the needs of its web-to-store customers.

One of the benefits of Cloud computing is that it can help improve inventory management.

According to an article entitled “What is the Real Impact of the Cloud?” inventory managers can use the Cloud to obtain more accurate information for better planning and forecasting.

Accurate inventory management enables companies to cater to consumers who wish to combine the immediacy of physical shopping with the convenience of online shopping.

Walgreens offers a feature on its mobile app that allows its customers to reorder prescriptions by scanning their medicine bottles. Other than providing greater convenience, this feature also helps to reduce processing errors.
The Walgreens mobile app also comes with other useful features such as prescription histories, renewal alerts and in-store availability checker.

Offer Mobile Payment

In this fast-moving world, it is important for retailers to provide a convenient and efficient shopping experience for their customers.

One way they can do this is to offer mobile payments.

A mobile payment system enables consumers to make purchases anytime, anywhere, and it can increase sales significantly.

Walmart, 7-Eleven, Best Buy and several other big retailers have teamed up with MCX and Gemalto to implement a cloud-based electronic payment system and develop a mobile-wallet that can run on the mobile devices of consumers.
When it is in full deployment, the wallet can be used at all MCX members, which operate more than 75,000 stores.

Cloud computing does not only do wonders for big retailers; it can also help small retailers achieve their goals.
It is a solution that can catapult businesses to new heights of success.

About the Author: John McMalcolm is a freelance writer who writes on a wide range of subjects, from social media marketing to Cloud computing.

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