5.8 min read
Published On: November 17th, 2022

Blog

How Cloud Computing Can Improve Your Retail Performance.

Since the pandemic, digital transformation has become a priority for organisations. Businesses of all sizes are moving their operations to the cloud for business resilience and the ability to unlock new and innovative ways of working.

With Gartner forecasting global cloud spending to reach nearly $600 Billion in 2023, digital transformation in stores will continue to grow for retailers looking to thrive in the next decade.

Enterprise cloud computing in the retail sector has transformed how retailers operate by enhancing retailer operations and elevating how a consumer interacts with the retailer.

Contents

Real-Time Inventory Management

Cloud computing for retail helps streamline business processes. It enables retailers to track their inventory in real time, helping to manage stock. Cloud computing also allows for automated order placements, further eliminating intermediate steps. In the ‘phygital’ era, retailers need a reliable digital experience that meets their business needs and keeps up with ever-changing consumer demands, a part of which is keeping customers informed as to whether items in certain sizes and colours are in stock or not, as they’re browsing through the store.

Security-as-a-Service

Information in the retail sector is a highly valued asset. Business-sensitive data is precious and should be effectively managed to prevent cyber attacks. According to The State of Ransomware in Retail 2021 by Sophos, 44% of retailers have experienced an attack. That’s a startling figure and one that emphasises the need for strong measures to protect data. With cloud computing, you’ll have access to a highly secure system that runs in your own trusted, private cloud.

For example, Google Cloud uses a platform called Apigee which enables development and management of APIs. By fronting services with a proxy layer, Apigee provides a facade for your backend service APIs which in return provides a high-level of security. Microsoft Azure, another cloud service provider, uses Azure Firewall; an intelligent security service that provides security for any cloud workloads that run in Azure.

Traditional data recovery can be a time-consuming and costly process. Cloud computing enables rapid recovery of data that can then be accessed globally by the retailer. This also enables you to back up your data or initiate disaster recovery from anywhere at any time, in true cloud computing style.

Lower IT Infrastructure Costs

Cloud computing in retail has much lower costs than traditional operations. This is because unlike a custom-built legacy retail solution where operations are developed, run and maintained entirely in-house, in cloud computing the solution is built, maintained and hosted all by the service provider.

Furthermore, cloud service providers run the software whilst providing updates where and when needed. This eliminates the need to employ a dedicated team to perform the aforementioned tasks.

Another key benefit of cloud computing that allows retailers to gain an edge over the competition is the ability to collect customer and transactional data from multiple devices, without the need for large infrastructure investment.

However, it’s worth noting that due to it being incredibly easy to buy more cloud infrastructure, it does need supervision or costs will rise due to lax control.

Quick Set-Up

Cloud computing can get your retail business moving fast. Building in-house retail solutions can often require a significant upfront investment, time and skilled people, which are currently hard to come by.

Cloud computing generally allows retailers to get moving fast and across all stores quickly.This is because developers can now automate tasks that would otherwise take weeks, and deploy quickly in return. Developers prepare scripts that provision infrastructure, and then configure that infrastructure before installing Enactor and the database along with other software needed to monitor the health of the programme.

These stages used to take hundreds of hours, but now thanks to automation technologies like scripts and APIs, this is possible in a very short time.

Scalability

If you’ve ever experienced a laptop crashing due to running too many programmes, you’ll know that at that point you need components to upgrade, or buy a new laptop. This doesn’t work when a project is due in five minutes. The same principle applies in retail tech.

When processing transactions for a retail business, the retailer cannot afford for the software to crash. This is where auto-scaling comes in. This means that when you reach a certain level of activity, the software automatically provisions more infrastructure, available for instant use and then automatically decommissions that infrastructure after the peak period, to control costs. This is essential for retailers, especially around high-activity periods like Black Friday.

Summary

  • Gartner has forecast global cloud spending to reach nearly $600 Billion in 2023
  • Cloud computing offers an edge in an incredibly competitive environment
  • Benefit from real-time inventory management with live tracking
  • Have peace of mind with access to disaster recovery
  • Deploy within a shorter timeline
  • Experience scalability and business resilience
  • Enjoy consistent updates bringing new features

Enactor took Point of Sale all the way to Point of Service

Enactor on Demand is our cloud-based delivery model for Enactor software. We licence our central components, including Estate Manager, Commerce Services, Order Management which are hosted in the cloud and run by Enactor.

Enactor on Demand is our cloud-based delivery model for Enactor software. We licence our central components, including Estate Manager, Commerce Services, Order Management, which are hosted in the cloud and run by Enactor.

We then make developments on behalf of our customers whilst enabling retailers to develop the front end themselves, e.g. POS and self-checkout applications. We also allow our customers to freely use our APIs. In addition, we offer Level 3 and Level 4 support.

Our quarterly payments option also removes the burden of large upfront costs for retailers. In addition, retailers can save money in customisation with Enactor’s reusable components; we provide over 200 of our Headless Microservices.

A bonus is that these Microservices are the backbone of our API-driven commerce engine which offers a myriad of benefits; the ultimate solution for flexibility. Retailers can save time with our flow-based development tools to customise or extend the front end across any touchpoint. Deployment is also lightning fast; deploy anywhere across any device in AWS and Azure in minutes, and to your stores in weeks!

Enactor on Demand offers an incredibly intuitive initial configuration. Our platform is OS-agnostic and can run on any operating system and database for the retailer’s ease. Enactor on Demand also comes with global fiscalisation, with a dedicated team that offers support with regional currencies, their respective tax regulations and languages. Local, or global, we’ve got you covered.

Discover how Enactor’s cloud solution can benefit your business from day one!

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