The face of the retail industry across the globe isn’t just changing but evolving with time.
How people do businesses and how the buyers make purchase decisions have changed considerably over the years.
To keep the business up and running, the retailers need to think much more than just profit margins. It includes growing their reach to the customers with the help of multiple stores, maintaining the stock flow and supplies, handling business marketing, etc.
Indeed, the retail industry revolves around making more sales and bringing in more customers. But behind the process of making a sale lies the challenges faced by retailers.
The growth graph of a retail business is determined by the capability of the retailer to meet the related challenges.
These days, the advancements in technology have their impact on every face of businesses, including retail. One such impactful advancement is the emergence of cloud computing.
The reach of this technology amongst businesses is growing with time because of its related benefits.
Particularly for the retailers, there are several perks of integrating cloud technology to their businesses.
Let’s discuss the primary challenges faced by retailers and the impact of cloud computing in overcoming these challenges –
1. Security of All the Business-Related Data
For a retail business, there is customer’s data, stock or inventory data, sales reports, etc. that needs to be handled precisely. It all works as the lifeblood of the business.
It has been found that loss of confidential business data is one of the primary reasons behind the failure of businesses.
Furthermore, those who are at a higher risk of data security breaches are the ones who think it has not happened to them yet.
Whether a significant loss of retail business data has happened yet or not, the worst part is – it can.
Therefore, data security turns out to be one of the top challenges to deal with.
One of the most common mistakes that the retailers make is to keep their business data, be it sales reports, customer feedback, stock reports, etc. saved locally.
Plus, maintaining the required in-house IT infrastructure for data security is not generally a cost-effective solution for all retail businesses.
One can tackle this problem with the help of cloud technology, wherein the data gets stored on the cloud and not on local servers.
The chosen cloud service provider ensures that the retailer’s data is safeguarded using multiple security methods, including data encryption, firewalls, multi-factor authentication, etc.
So, a retailer won’t need to worry about the data security once the data is moved to the cloud even if it gets lost from the local systems.
2. Inventory or Stock Management
In the case of both single store and multi-store retailer businesses, maintaining stocks of products is a big challenge.
The end customers do not care how a retailer is managing the stocks. But if they do not find the products they seek in the retail outlet they visit, they make a quick move to some other store to make the required purchase.
Rarely, they will wait to get the stock of a store refilled with the products they want to buy.
At the retailer’s end, inventory management means getting the stock updated in real time with each sale. This challenge grows even more when the inventories of multiple stores are to be managed all together.
Much to your surprise, cloud technology has a solution, even for this challenge related to the retail industry.
With the help of a cloud-hosted POS software, a retailer can get rid of almost all worries related to stock management. Using cloud-based software such as QuickBooks POS Online, inventory gets updated in real-time with every single purchase. Not just that, one can even view the status of the stocks any time.
Even if the inventories of several stores are to be managed, things become simpler with the help of the cloud.
As a result, there is no need to sync the inventories of multiple retail stores manually, thus giving the retailer more time to focus on business growth.
3. Simplified Customer Experience
Every retailer knows it is crucial to continue growing the count of his loyal customers.
Once a customer has chosen certain products at a retail store, he/she does not generally expect endless wait time during the checkout.
A quick, hassle-free checkout experience is what most of the buyers expect at the retail stores, which depends a lot on the chosen POS system.
It simply means that the right choice of a POS system is important to ensure satisfaction to customers visiting the store/stores.
Again, when backed by the cloud, a renowned POS software becomes capable of processing data faster in regular as well as the holiday season.
As the business grows, the cloud specifications can be updated to meet the business demands of seamless checkout at one or multiple retail stores.
Recommended Reading: How QuickBooks POS Online Enhances Retail Experience For Customers
In today’s highly competitive retail markets, maintaining profitability is, indeed, one of the biggest challenges faced by the retailers.
To stay in business, they need to cut cost in several different ways, be it related to production, operations, logistics, etc.
Specifically, in terms of operational expenses, maintaining in-house IT infrastructure, and hiring IT professionals sums up to become a considerable regular expense for the retail businesses.
Ultimately, this expense to be incurred may have its impact on the overall business profitability. But it can be minimized with the help of POS cloud hosting.
With a cloud hosting solution tailored to suit a business-specific needs, a retailer can save a good amount of money. Such a solution includes POS software hosting, data storage, IT support, and required upgrades.
5. Business Expansion
Almost every retail business owner wants to expand his business and open more retail outlets in different geographies.
While planning to expand the business, one common challenge faced by most of the retailers is to get the data of all their stores synced with each other.
The challenge grows even further if different stores are to be launched in different locations, time-zones, and with different open hours. As a result, a retailer may find it hard to make crucial business expansion decisions as expected.
However, this challenge can be best addressed with the help of cloud technology.
Real-time data synchronization is possible by making use of advanced POS solutions based on the cloud.
One can easily add more stores in the POS management system once a new store is live and open for customers.
All the processed data gets stored on the remote servers, thus ensuring the utmost focus of retailers to plan business growth further.
Retail businesses face a variety of challenges with time, some of which needs to and can be handled with the help of cloud technology.
After all, a growing retail business is not just about attracting more visitors to the outlets but making more sales in ways led by technology.
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