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Cloud: The secret to frictionless retail

Rens Huizenga
April 14, 2021

The retail world has undergone huge shifts in the past decade, all of which have been accelerated by the pandemic. With the rise of social media and ecommerce, there is a power struggle in the industry. Retailers used to create trends. Now, consumers are leading and influencing market shifts.

With so many touchpoints and channels available for consumers, retailers are under immense pressure to quickly react to customer fluctuations and create a frictionless experience end to end: from a seamless end-user journey to fast deliveries to real-time marketing and an agile supply chain.

Underpinning these innovations is a move to the cloud.

The future of retail

The cloud retail market is expected to be valued at $51.7 billion by 2025, according to Market Research Future. However, the state of play in the sector is uneven. Digital natives and direct-to- consumer retailers have been quick to mobilize the benefits of the cloud. It’s part of their online operating model. But for traditional players, the move is not so simple. Legacy systems and internal silos often mean that cloud migration is complex and difficult.

Nevertheless, the cloud is the future of the retail landscape. Digital has revolutionized the customer experience, changed the way organizations understand and apply data, and transformed traditional operating models. It’s the key to performance, differentiation, and competitive advantage today. To fully take advantage of digital and retain customers with differentiating experiences, retailers need to shift to a cloud-first way of working.

So how can the cloud be a critical enabler for frictionless retail?

  1. Anyplace, anytime: Global cloud infrastructure allows retailers to expand their presence into new markets, collaborating with different regions – and customers in these regions – regardless of distance or time zones.
  2. Cost-effective: Retailers can reach up to 77% cost savings through optimization using the cloud.
  3. Real time: Through using cloud across functions such as marketing, sales, and finance, retailers improve their employees’ access to real-time insights. This enables the business to respond instantly to changes in customer patterns, societal trends, and other business shifts.
  4. Agile: Deployment is fast – sometimes at the click of the button – giving companies the much-needed dexterity to respond to evolving market conditions, competitive challenges, or scalability requirements.
  5. Breaks down silos: With employees able to access data in one place through cloud portals and applications, teams are no longer siloed by departments or geographies. The result is improved internal synergy, in turn offering customers a more holistic, relevant experience.
  6. Futureproof: The cloud is the basis for a wealth of emerging technologies that are changing the nature of business, including the internet of things, AI, and edge computing. Using the cloud helps retailers become more innovative and take advantage of these developments – in-store and online.

Your trusted partner

While the benefits are widespread, the cloud can be an overwhelming journey to face alone. Retailers need a trusted partner which has the experience, understanding, and foresight to help them understand where they need to go with the cloud and, more importantly, how to get there.

The key to achieving these goals is an end-to-end approach. Everything needs to work together: clouds, legacy IT assets, and applications, the omnichannel customer experience, vendors and suppliers, platform services such as asset management, development processes, tools, and technologies.

That’s what Capgemini brings to the table, and why Capgemini stands apart in the fast-evolving retail market. Capgemini is purpose-built to guide retailers as they master these market shifts and tech-triggered trends. Our team of retail and cloud experts works with you to create a digital vision and a transformation road map. We equip you to start projects today that ladder up to long-term strategic goals.

To find out more about how we can help you, visit our Cloud Services or Capgemini Retail page.