Cloud infrastructure services augment conventional retail sector

Although numerous industries have adopted cloud computing technologies in an effort to improve internal operations and boost customer service, the retail sector has experienced a monumental shift due to the emerging presence of the hosted solutions. Not only are companies adopting the cloud to reduce the costs associated with maintaining a highly scalable and innovative infrastructure, but they are also using the environment to leverage sophisticated platforms meant to engage prospective and existing clients.

A CoreMatrix report highlighted this trend, revealing that many retailers have adopted the cloud to gain a 360-degree view of their customer base. By adopting a cloud infrastructure, organizations can support in-store kiosks that enable consumers to log into social channels to check out reviews by other customers, for example. This option improves the overall retail experience.

"Cloud-based tools enable collaborative customer service by escalating customer issues to internal experts and channeling feedback to product managers, leading to stronger customer relationships and more brand advocates," said Paul Nix, cofounder of CoreMatrix.

The cloud also allows employees and clients to use mobile devices in stores, which is a major transformation from the retail industry of the past.

A new mobile era emerges
Nix said that the cloud is gaining a reputation in the retail industry for providing decision-makers with cost-effective infrastructure services that can be accessed on-demand. This option allows enterprises to reduce unnecessary expenditures and focus on what really matters: improving the customer experience.

"Now awareness is growing that cloud computing offers retailers a smart way to connect with consumers and deliver a richer, more satisfying customer experience," Nix asserted.

Because the cloud supports mobile connectivity, both customers and employees can use portable electronics in stores without problems. A Wanderful study revealed that roughly 92 percent of consumers use smartphones to shop online while in stores, and 34 percent use tablets. This finding suggests that having the ability to use mobile gadgets in retail buildings without problems is important for companies to keep clients engaged and satisfied.

A cloud infrastructure is also scalable enough to manage fluctuating traffic volumes without introducing performance issues or other disruptions. By implementing the cloud, retailers can be proactive in pursuing the needs of their customers, giving them opportunities to gain a competitive advantage over rival firms that have not embraced similar initiatives.

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