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How is a hybrid cloud strategy transforming retail?

Why is a hybrid cloud approach important to the retail industry?

As the retail industry adopts “fijital” approaches that blend physical and digital experiences into one pot in line with consumer expectations, the use of cloud solutions is increasing. Retailers, who are based on customer satisfaction at every point they contact with the consumer, prefer hybrid cloud systems for their infrastructure. In this article, we focus on how hybrid cloud architecture is transforming retail.

Undoubtedly, retail is one of the sectors that have experienced the transformation brought by digitalization first-hand. Not so long ago, 30 years ago, in the early 90s, if we had been told that mobile devices such as mobile phones would be accessible to everyone, and that orders placed through the software on these devices would reach our door within minutes, we would have thought that we were talking about a utopia. Today, we use digital infrastructures for the majority of our purchases and define it as a bad customer experience when our order is delayed. When comparing prices, we use the online stores of the brands, we do not even prefer physical shopping for some of our needs. Our standards in the shopping experience are changing, and we prioritize retailers that offer the best price, the best online support, the fastest delivery.

E-commerce has been growing its share in the retail sector year by year, but the global pandemic that has hit the world has accelerated this process by perhaps 10 years. This has introduced the new face of retail to all outlets, from chain grocery stores to clothing brands, from our favorite bookstore to our neighborhood grocery store. This unexpectedly rapid digitization has also increased the need for consistent experiences in physical and digital. For many businesses today, heavier workloads require higher-tech infrastructures. This is where the hybrid cloud approach comes in.

After a brief introduction to the transformation of retail, we can move on to the topics following this article. As Google’s oldest partner in Turkey, Global IT, in this article, we will talk about how the hybrid cloud approach is transforming retail and how retailers can take advantage of the possibilities of hybrid cloud. But first, to illustrate this transformation more concretely, let’s recall the results of a recent survey on what consumers expect from the retail industry.

What do consumers expect from retail?

Retail, one of the sectors most affected by the transformation, has undoubtedly been the first target of supply chain disruptions created by a reality such as the global pandemic. Forced to accept a period of increasing empty shelves, delayed shipments and the need for fast delivery, on top of the signs of a global economic slowdown and high inflation, expectations began to take new forms. Global Consumer Insights Survey from global consulting firm PwC provides up-to-date insights.

  • Half of consumers say they will shop more online this year.
  • 46% are more interested in cooking at home. For 41% , home is becoming the new home for leisure and leisure activities.
  • 41% of consumers say they would prefer retailers that offer more efficient delivery services than their competitors.
  • Only 22% of consumers say they will shop less in physical stores.
  • The biggest experience problem cited by in-store ( 65% ) and online shoppers (56%) is seen as rising prices.
  • 43% of online shoppers and 37% of those who prefer stores say that they have difficulty purchasing products that are out of stock due to supply chain problems.
  • Two in 5 consumers say they complain about longer delivery times for their online purchases.

Data shows that although the share of digital in shopping is increasing, physical stores have also reached their former popularity with the normalization of life after the pandemic. On the other hand, current global issues such as inflation and supply chain problems stand out among the topics that affect consumers’ experiences the most. In addition, according to PwC , customer tolerance for retail stores is decreasing day by day, and supply and delivery problems are becoming less and less acceptable. Undoubtedly, this makes competition in the retail sector more difficult.

How is the retail industry using the cloud?

According to eMarketer data, all retailers who want to strengthen their hand in e-commerce, which is expected to create a $ 5.5 trillion economy globally by the end of 2022, start from digital transformation. Even boutique brands are adding online shopping channels to their physical stores and trying to see it as the essence of the business, not as a side project. When stages such as procurement, purchasing, stakeholder relations, logistics, customer service, warehousing are considered, it can be understood that retail offers very complex business processes in digital. Hybrid cloud, one of the new approaches developed with a focus on cloud platforms, serves to reduce this complexity.

According to the findings of the Enterprise Cloud Index Report, which aims to reveal trends in the preferred models of retailers’ digital infrastructure, 87.5% of retailers see hybrid cloud as the ideal IT operating model. Because hybrid cloud infrastructure, which foresees the integration of private and public cloud platforms used by companies, can provide the flexibility, scalability, agility and security necessary to meet consumer expectations.

According to the report, retailers are focusing most on agility and say it’s a way to keep up with the pace of customer trends. In the era of omnichannel sales, retailers who approach every point they come into contact with the consumer as a sales channel are setting an example for many sectors in maximizing the flexibility of their IT infrastructure.

For 32% of respondents, hybrid cloud is the most secure approach. Retailers know that storing and properly processing customer data is essential for regulatory compliance, brand reputation and stable growth.

To sum up, businesses are increasingly aggressively investing in hybrid cloud architectures. Believing that this approach will give them a competitive edge by enabling them to respond faster to customer needs, retailers are choosing to connect private and public cloud systems to keep costs under control and not compromise on flexibility and security. Why? How hybrid cloud technology is transforming the retail industry How hybrid cloud benefits retail

How is a hybrid cloud approach transforming retail?

Retailers are living in a “fijital” era where digital and physical experiences are consistently presented. Physical stores aren’t likely to go anywhere, but differentiating in-store experiences is inevitable.

  • The conversion starts with the payment, and it is naturally expected that options such as contactless payment offered online will be available in physical stores.
  • New options are being sought in the delivery process. Some retailers are developing models that allow you to try digitally purchased products at the door, just as if they were in the store.
  • Users can choose to order a product they see in the store from the online store or pick up a product purchased from the online store from the nearest physical store.
  • Stores are also turning into experience centers. A beauty brand, for example, is positioning augmented reality apps in its most visited stores, where its products can be tested virtually.
  • Large retailers are turning their social media channels into stores with live broadcasts through influencers.
  • Artificial intelligence, machine learning and internet of things technologies that measure the movements of users in physical and digital stores and transform this data into meaningful insights are actively used.
  • Supply chain agility is playing an increasingly strategic role. Inventory management, supply chain visibility and supply forecasting are becoming important.
  • After-sales services are also positioned as an important part of the customer experience, and consumers want to see a brand representative that they can access whenever they need it, in every channel.
  • While all these items require additional technologies, the widespread use of digital systems makes cybersecurity more critical for business continuity.

The hybrid cloud approach makes it possible for these technologies, each of which requires separate infrastructures, to work together and seamlessly with high security. Hybrid cloud, which offers retail companies scalability, portability and complete control over a complex multi-channel sales network, is not just an IT strategy in all these aspects. It’s becoming a strategic investment for businesses that want to make a name for themselves in the future of retail.

Start your retail transformation with Google solutions from Global IT

Global IT, the first brand that comes to mind when it comes to Google Cloud in Turkey, is positioned as Turkey’s oldest and only Google Cloud Premier business partner. Among the more than 500 customers who trust Global IT’s expertise in the cloud, brands such as Trendyol, Getir, Hepsiburada, Toyzzshop, N11, Vestel, Sefamerve, Modanisa, Vivense stand out in the retail sector.

Companies that want to start e-commerce or optimize their e-commerce infrastructure can benefit from Global IT’s e-commerce modernization service. Global IT, which can adapt all the possibilities of Google Cloud to the needs of businesses with its 16 years of experience on Google solution families, is creating the basis for continuous innovation and agility in retail.

The collaboration with Google Cloud supports Hepsiburada’s world-class IT infrastructure and strengthens its ability to deliver a seamless and flexible customer experience anywhere in the world. You can go to this link to read the success story, or visit this link if you want to listen. If you would like us to contact you, you can fill out the form at the end of this post.