Building the Intelligent High Street in the Cloud

Public Cloud, Retail

Over the last few years, retailers have been forced to adapt to the way consumers are now expecting to make purchases, how they engage with brands and the speed in which they expect fulfilment. On top of this, they have had to consider the impact of mobile technology, new buying trends, social customer behaviour and changes in global business models. It’s clear then that retailers have had to make some difficult decisions when it comes to deciding which infrastructure is most able to support these rising demands.

One option which certainly can’t be ignored is Public Cloud.

Embrace the Freedom to Scale on Demand

The Cloud presents an opportunity for retailers of all sizes to accelerate speed to market and, perhaps most importantly, scale up and down in response to demand, during peak transaction times or during sales periods such as Black Friday and Boxing Day.

Prior to Cloud, retailers had to size their environment (many who aren’t in the cloud, still do), whether on premise, or hosted, to either predict and plan for these spikes, or take a chance and risk their critical systems going down during the most lucrative day of the year.

Thankfully, with the elasticity that Public Cloud brings, buying new infrastructure to provision for that one special day is a thing of the past.

Personalise the Buyer Journey

In the highly competitive retail industry, features like product quality and reliability no longer serve to differentiate brands, so instead, the industry must turn their attention developing unique ways to attract consumers both online and in store.

By leveraging big data and AI in the Cloud, retailers can now gather more intelligence than ever before. For online interactions, this could mean identifying which items a consumer has viewed on a website, what they’ve added to their basket, what has been deleted from the basket, the style and cost of the clothing and how they’ve come to land on the website, whether organically or from a promotional link on a social media site.

Using this information, retailers are then able to better target consumers. Over repeated interactions, the retailer will be able to build detailed customer profiles. They’ll be able to build a clear picture of what style of clothing a particular consumer likes, how much they tend to spend and how frequently they make purchases, enabling them to distribute relevant and timely promotions which are more likely to result in sales.

For the omni-channel retailer, the in-store shopping experience must now match the ease and lure of online. Retailers are beginning to improve in store shopping experience by introducing technologies such as Apple pay to accelerate the speed of transactions and avoid lengthy queues. But there is certainly a requirement for further innovation to ensure the in-store buyer experience is as seamless and personalised as the online purchasing process.

Previously, silos in IT infrastructure and business functions have prevented the seamless sharing of insights across the retail organisation. But with cloud infrastructure serving as a single source of truth, teams across the board can now be empowered to leverage data and hyper-personalise brand engagement to drive a unique consumer experience across channels.

Choose the Best Cloud Provider

To deliver these digital investments successfully, retailers must choose the right Cloud provider to not only help migrate applications to the cloud, but will also enable retailers to achieve the most appropriate and cost-effective use of Hyperscale Public Cloud.

As the UK’s #1 Cloud Service Provider, ANS is experienced in helping the retail sector migrate and build their next generation of digital business applications in Azure and AWS.

So whether you’re thinking about migrating to the cloud or if you’re already using it but want to find out how you can optimise your environment and become more efficient, speak to us.

In the meantime, why not check out our latest Public Cloud Lightboard Series, hosted by ANS’ CTO, Andy Barrow to find out why Public Cloud is becoming ever more popular and how ANS is helping organisations to design and manage a cost-effective solution to help businesses achieve global reach and access a wealth of new services.

Posted by Helen Thomas