How Cloud Is Changing The Retail Game
The retail industry is constantly evolving to meet the ever-changing needs of consumers. This transformation is influenced by e-commerce, social networking and the latest technologies that offer a connected and interactive consumer experience. As retailers have to constantly keep pace with innovation, agility and accuracy to stay ahead in the game, cloud computing is helping retailers to build capabilities quick enough to attract consumers. In recent months, retailers are recognizing cloud computing as a cost effective technique that can enable rapid adoption of the latest solutions and several other potentials.
A new research predicts the retail cloud market size to grow at a CAGR of 20.9% from USD 11.06 billion in 2016 to USD 28.53 billion by 2021, due to factors such as rapid adoption of smartphones, need for compliance & collaboration and shift to Omni-channel experience. Some of the ket benefits of retailers using cloud include, flexibility to scale up and down when required, cost-effective streamlined operations, real-time reporting and quicker speed to market. [Read the full study here]
The SMEs segment is expected to have the largest market size during the forecast period, and the trend is expected to grow in the coming years. “The factors driving the retail sector in SMEs includes the flexibility offered by cloud services. Moreover, the data backup is managed by the application vendors, eventually freeing the staff for other business tasks,” it said.
The professional services in the retail cloud market are estimated to hold the largest market share, noted the study. The professional services include deployment and integrated services. These services enable retailers in lowering risks, reducing complexity, and rising return on investment as they can be customized, are easily applicable, and deliver maximum product assurance. The retail sector is moving toward cloud adoption for efficient operational functions and to offer better customer experiences. Professional services include training development; design, implementation, and project management; deployment methodology; pre-planning; and cost effectiveness.
As far as retail cloud vendors are concerned, the research highlights that Oracle, Cisco Systems, SAP, IBM, Microsoft, Infor and Epicor Software among others to lead this space in the next 5 years at least.
APAC is expected to grow at the highest rate during the forecast period. There is huge potential in this region for cloud adoption in the retail sector, which can be addressed to create better business opportunities. The increasing adoption of retail cloud solutions in this region is due to the economic outlook in Asia, which seems to be positive for retailers, and the tendency of retail cloud solutions to improve the operational issues.
The increasing trend towards cloud-based solutions would give rise to the growth of the retail cloud market in this region. This has given rise to retail-as-a-service (RaaS), which brings multiple operational processes into a single cloud platform. With RaaS, both hardware and software updates can be handled by cloud service providers. The number of retailers adopting RaaS will surely increase in the near future.
Besides, tablets and smartphones are now serving as POS systems, handling inventory, payments, and location information. These POS systems are eventually transitioning to the cloud. Again, with cloud supply chain, retailers can capture real-time information, as well as adjust to various conditions or even take advantage of new opportunities. Retail processes such as data tracking can be made easier through cloud technology.
The analysts at MarketsandMarkets believe, as retailers adopt and utilize cloud technology, they will increasingly find themselves at a competitive advantage.
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