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Cloud Retail


The sociable experience of


shopping in store is something that online retail


The Cloud is a service that allows multiple devices to be connected wirelessly under the same network, meaning that information available on a desktop in a brand’s head office can also be retrieved by a laptop through web-based applications. This means that information such as valuable databases or transactional data can be stored on a remote server and accessed throughout a company. The retail environment is set to greatly


change over 2012. There are already significant changes going on in the industry and in stores, with Near Field Communication (NFC), which is set to open doors for retailers in terms of offering contactless payment and data capturing options that bring with them the opportunity to learn and retain information on a customer that can give a much broader understanding of a brands target market. The Cloud allows for customer’s mobile devices to link up to a company’s Wi-Fi signal and browse the Internet or complete Internet based transactions whilst in store. What this means for the retailer is that as well as providing the customer with an added service in the form of Wi-Fi, they are also getting access to information on what websites their customers are visiting and


cannot replace. How can retailers harness the appeal of the shopping experience as


store, or make a return to a store. This may not seem like an excellent idea on first consideration, but in a recent report entitled ‘10 Ways “Online” Will Change Life for Brands and Retailers in 2012’, eCommerce experts Shopatron stated that American retail giant Walmart had found that 60% of in-store pick up’s generate


how long they are online in store. Not only does this provide information on how long customers spend in store, it also means the retailer has access to information on it’s customers most frequented sites, information that can be used when planning online marketing strategies. It is extremely important for retailers to embrace change and make their main priority the development of new and exciting ways of encouraging customers to shop in store. As well as competing with online sales, retailers should be looking to integrate the online and in-store experiences to create a more appealing experience for shoppers. As well as making experiences more fun and exciting, integrating in-store and online practices also make life easier for shoppers who want to buy something online but collect it in


add-on sales. This is a remarkable statistic that highlights the value of using a brand website to encourage customers in store. Retailers need to utilise online and mobile


shopping options in order to “say yes to no-boundries customers”, explains Mark Grondin, Senior Vice President of Marketing, Shopatron Inc. Products need to be made available to customers, and a brand website can help to market both the online and in-store, promoting sales through both channels. Cloud based systems mean that the employee behind the till in store has all the necessary information to help someone whether their query has arisen online or in-store, so that the in-store set up is more than capable of dealing with the integration of online practices. The Cloud is also extremely beneficial for retailers who have a strong online presence, as it can allow companies to alleviate the strain produced by peak purchasing times.


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much as possible?


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