By Opinov8, February 19, 2019
Cloud migration is changing the way retailers operate to the benefit of businesses and customer alike. At its core, "the cloud" is a massive off-site data repository that provides convenient information access and incredible data leverage potential. Retailers who make the transition to the cloud are constantly finding new ways to enhance customer relationships.
Replacing the Data Center
Businesses migrating to cloud-based services are typically moving away from storing information in a data center. Cloud servers offer a wealth of benefits compared with data centers, including streamlined, more affordable server capability scaling. Retailers making the switch to the cloud are blurring the line between physical and retail stores: It's helping retailers treat both parts of their business as a single entity rather than two competing storefronts.
Creating a Linked Point-of-Sale Platform
Retailers can leverage the cloud to link Point-of-Sale platforms between online and physical stores. Merged POS helps track everything a customer buys across different physical locations and online sales. This helps retailers create continuity between all their locations, which creates a better picture of customer buying habits for analysis and streamlined customer service.
Revolutionized Returns and Exchanges
The customer benefits with improved returns and exchanges experiences. Retailers can access sale information for customers from any location regardless of where the customer made the purchase. Therefore, customers can bring a return to any location. The retailer may even track down proof of purchase if the customer lost their receipt. If a customer bought the wrong size clothing online, they can easily return it and get the correct size at a physical location.
Predicting Customer Behavior
Keeping all your customer data in the cloud makes it possible to better understand and predict customer behavior. The scope of the cloud-based platform means a retailer can analyze customer behavior en masse or on an individual level. This can help retailers more accurately stock their stores and order products for warehouses.
While sometimes a customer just needs to talk to another human being when resolving an issue, cloud services streamline data access so AI-based customer service can handle tasks like automating returns and checking up on orders.
Leveraging Data to Boost Sales
Retailers can use cloud servers to tailor marketing behavior as deep as the individual customer level. Instead of creating ads and suggested purchases based on the history of all customers, retailers can use an individual's purchasing history to create unique suggestions and offers. Retailers can identify a product a customer regularly purchases and send that customer a discount offer if they have stopped buying that product to entice the customer to come back.
Additionally, retailers can create an interconnected shopping experience between online and retail by using "beacons" at physical locations to provide app-based services that mirror customer-specific online suggestions and deals in a retail setting.
If your business is looking to leverage its customer data by combining online and physical store experiences, cloud migration will transform the way you work.