The future of retail is cloudy… but with patches of sunshine

Clouds are everywhere, except maybe for retail. Until recently at least, now we see more and more physical stores moving their operations to the cloud. The benefits are clear with central management of data and insights in real-time.

A survey from Extreme Networks reveals that 36 percent of retailers plan to move into the cloud in the coming years. The most common reasons are lowering costs, easing management, better access to resources from anywhere and improved security.

We see this trend also at Pricer, where our cloud-based platform Pricer Plaza is getting more and more attention from retailers who want to better manage, scale and integrate in-store digital systems.

A key benefit is also the deployment models that come from cloud technology, such as Software as a Service (SaaS), enabling retailers to only pay for what they use and the ability to scale up and down as things change.

Cloud technology and SaaS deployment models connect well with the current fast-changing retail market space. It enables retailers go speed things up and get the right flexibility and insights to act fast on new customer demands and competitor action.

It also opens a whole new world of real-time insights for the corporate level at retail chains, making it easier and more effective to manage all stores as well as tactical in-store capabilities such as AI-based gap detection and alerting, as well as planogram compliance reporting and shelf optimization.

For the customers, the benefits are also clear. When retailers can innovate and implement capabilities faster, customers win. Instant insights and synchronised actions across all channels combined with more accurate availability, give customers a better omnichannel experience and generate increased loyalty to those retail partners who accurately predict their needs before they know it themselves.

Pricing is also an area where cloud services can make a big difference. Retailers nowadays need to keep track of competitors prices, analyze sales and predict future patterns. If this data stays in silos across systems and stores, these processes will be too slow and too complex.

Cloud platforms can break down these silos and enable a central analysis of relevant data across many stores or even whole chains, often in real-time, setting the scene for progressive retail tactics such as dynamic pricing.

Cloud technology will have a profound impact on retail and, with Pricer Plaza, we are leading the way for those who want to make it part of their everyday operations. There are no longer any excuses for not having real-time data and consumer insights directly to hand at the corporate and the store level as neither management nor customers will do without it going forward.

 

Published: April 7, 2021

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