Month: December 2014

Tackling the festive rush; a Christmas present for the retail industry

Christmas is the highlight of the UK retail calendar. As the public look to open their purses during the festive period, retailers place much emphasis and energy into maximising their sales at the busiest shopping time of the year. For all the opportunity that Christmas creates, it does bring the challenge of fulfilling swelling customer demand. Although it may seem like a nice problem to have, in reality the scenario of supply outweighing demand could leave retailers with reams of untapped sales revenue and dissatisfied customers.

The heightened demand of Christmas puts pressure on retail businesses to process both online and in-store sales in order to provide a real-time view of stock availability and location. At such a critical time of year, retailers cannot afford to operate with systems that struggle to facilitate the increase in transactions generated by Christmas.

The scalability provisioned by the cloud gives hosted retailers an advantage over competitors as they can still function efficiently under the pressure of the Christmas shopping environment. In times of heightened demand, they simply scale up their storage capacity to capitalise on the additional trade that Christmas brings.

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Utilising your business data to create a single view of the customer with cloud

In today’s retail industry, data is key. As everyone in the sector attempts to predict future trends and customer preferences in order to provide shoppers with what they want ahead of the competition, retailers can extrapolate insights from the data they hold. By using what they know about the past and present, they can prepare for new challenges.

The emphasis retailers place upon data to drive business critical decision-making has increased considerably due to the growing volumes of information available to organisations. We have witnessed a data explosion in recent times, with IBM research indicating that 90% of the world’s data has been created in the past three years, predominantly due to the rapid adoption of online media. Review sites, social networks and the embracing of digital by the media has generated vast arrays of rich, qualitative data around consumer opinions, not to mention the information collated from customer website visits. Collecting this is no longer a laborious process with the automated storage of information making the creation of a data-driven retail business environment a simple procedure.

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