Technology and digital adoption, mobile, and big data have revolutionized the global retail industry landscape. The consumer’s increased expectations for real-time access to merchandise, order information, delivery status, and anytime, anywhere access to services have placed more pressure on retailers. Also, in pursuit of omnichannel retail, the stores must compensate for in-store foot traffic by optimizing their online and social channels.
System Plus’s retail IT solutions with the virtual captive model can provide better access to talent resulting in increased productivity with complete transparency on cost and operations. With our retail IT solutions, you can reduce the time and cost of deploying new stores and reduce the overall complexity of retail operations.
IT infrastructure is undoubtedly the backbone of the retail industry. However, managing an IT environment can be challenging, whether that be a large data center for a big-box retailer or a small IT closet for a smaller shop. Retailers continue to increase their reliance on access to the network to manage inventory, customer information, sale figures, process transactions, and more.
- Customers’ need for speed and ease of access
- Big data investments: In-store positioning and location-based marketing
- Emergence of Mobile wallet: more payment options –
Forrester estimates mobile payments to grow to $90 billion – 74% of consumers want to use mobile wallets for payments.
The connected retail enterprise Uptime of retail IT systems has become critical to the continuity of retail operations. From inventory management, workforce management, supply chain management, and transaction processing to web sales, store sales, marketing analytics, etc., managing this environment can be challenging. Whether it is a corporate network, store network, point-of-sale system, IT distribution center, or the heart of it all, your retail data center, discover how Systems Plus can improve efficiency in your retail environments and drive business growth.
In this blog, we are going to look at 3 key technology infrastructure trends that are going to drive the new retail landscape in 2022 and beyond.
Cloud adoption in retail
Data empowers retailers in helping them gain key insights into consumers’ purchasing behavior, customer needs, and customer journeys to help them make better informed data-driven decisions. Adopting cloud computing in retail enables retailers to simplify processes and maintenance, scaling up and building operational efficiency. Retailers can integrate a cloud computing platform to track and identify real-time customer trends for better customer engagement across all channels.
Here are some key areas where cloud adoption can drive significant growth:
- Efficient Inventory Management
- Improved Data Security
- Better Customer Experience
- Enhanced Profitability
- Cloud-Enabled Disaster Management
- Cloud for Pricing and Margin Management in Retail
Cloud adoption in retail can assist retailers to deliver in-depth insights to elevate their customer experience and drive revenue growth.
Quest for Omnichannel
Omnichannel is not a new concept and has been on retailer’s radars for the last decade. However, we have seen massive growth and accelerated efforts from retailers to consider and invest in their omnichannel capabilities. Omnichannel enables consumers to start and complete their purchasing journeys across multiple channels. For instance, a customer can visit the retailer’s website to see the availability of an item in-store, book it online and pick it up from the nearest store location with ease.
Retailers need to evaluate all of the customer touchpoints across the purchasing journey and ensure their technology capabilities support this infrastructure for a seamless customer experience. To create a truly end-to-end omnichannel experience, retailers need to combine various applications, processes, stakeholders and systems across the business. Networks will have a key role to play in this integration, ensuring that retailers’ data can be collected and managed efficiently across digital and physical platforms.
Overcoming Data security risks
Data security is a pressing concern for many retailers in today’s data-driven world. According to a recent survey from PWC, the retail sector suffers an average of 4,000 data security threats every year. The study also revealed that 16 percent of all companies surveyed faced losses of over $1 million due to data security-related incidents. This shows that data security impacts retail businesses’ bottom line and has additional implications like loss of customer trust and consumer base, which are even harder to earn back.
With the customer, supplier, and company data stored on their systems, retailers have a responsibility to remain accountable for the security, quality, and lifecycle management of all the data within their business. The EU GDPR regulation, which was introduced into the marketplace back in 2018 reinforces the rights of the consumer to control how their data is collected and processed by retailers and other organizations. We have seen that data security is becoming much easier to manage in the long run with the help of technology due to improved cybersecurity tools and preventative measures.
The new future of retail
In the past decade, the retail sector, like many others, has endured some turbulent times. Customer confidence has been negatively affected mainly due to the global economic crisis. New privacy laws, regulations, and consumer protection have added pressure on retailers. Lastly, the rapidly evolving digital service shift requires reliable support and maintenance. This is critical to maintaining essential services, adding new services, and staying ahead of the competition. We understand our retail customers’ unique needs and find solutions to reduce capital spending and operational costs while ensuring infrastructure reliability for your digital transformation, regulatory compliance, and protection against cybersecurity risks.
We enable digital in retail by helping our retail customers drive sustainable growth, enhance, support, and manage their technology capabilities, manage operational risk, and succeed in their digital transformation.