This is a new series from Maria McSorley on how the cloud is affecting our everyday lives in work and play.
Every day the cloud is accessed by millions of people, whether it's being accessed through an iPhone or a work computer, playing music, streaming video or posting something on social media. We are living in the post-cloud-enabled world and there is no going back.
Online and in-store shopping
Cloud is changing the way we shop. Through the cloud, retailers can better our user journey, whether online or in-store by providing offers based on our buying patterns, tailoring the assistance they provide, offering more options to shop digitally and improving the way we communicate with stores too.
Organizations are enabling productivity gains by digitally enabling employees to collaborate and work. Through managing their most important asset -- inventory -- retailers have been improving their efficiency. Allowing customers to identify which stores, and where their products are available, they're moving towards a more seamless customer journey.
High street shops are disappearing as more and more people shop online and, increasingly, on their phones. (Image: Alex Bierwagen, Unsplash)
It's not only the large businesses that are benefiting from cloud based services; small retailers are using the cloud as a way of organizing their finances. Employees can access their documents digitally and update their personal information online, which is far more secure and accessible when compared to more traditional methods. This has the effect of creating a better relationship between HR and employees, fostering a positive atmosphere at the workplace.
Online shopping has never been easier and we partially have the cloud to thank for that. We use our favourite stores apps and its services every day; it's hard to imagine life without appified versions of our favorite stores. In fact, if they don't have an app, or one that works well, many usually will avoid purchasing from this retailer.
Mobile e-commerce is so large that it is a market all by itself. Statista reports that in 2017, mnbile e-commerce was expected to make $156.28 billion in the US alone, or 34.5% of the entire retail e-commerce sector. This will rise to $420.17 billion, or 53.9%, by 2021, according to Statista. This is a huge market for startups and tech companies to tap into then, although it is already saturated with "traditional" e-commerce stores such as Amazon, or with traditional retail brands which have made an entrance into e-commerce (such as Argos in the UK).
Whilst our needs and demands change it'll be increasingly important for the retail industry to stay ahead of the trends, and quickly implement changes that will benefit their end user. With "voice shopping" -- i.e. using Amazon's Alexa-enabled Echo, or Google Home, to shop -- becoming more and more prevalent it's only a matter of time before we're asking our digital assistants to purchase our food for the week or that new book we've been thinking of buying.
Our latest report highlights the three key IT challenges in retail to which cloud services offer solutions.
Maria McSorley, Digital Content Marketer, Cloud & DevOps World