In part one of this series, we covered how organizations are now looking ahead to the next phase of the pandemic. Many changes are taking place, with more companies starting to roll out permanent hybrid and remote work models.
One industry that’s going through significant post-COVID transformation is retail, a sector that was hit very hard by the pandemic.
Retailers that are still standing after last year are now looking for new ways to improve resiliency, maximize profits, streamline operations, and reduce risk. In doing so, many are turning to cloud technologies to bolster themselves.
Let’s take a closer look at the role that the cloud is playing in this new era of retail.
Enabling Communication & Collaboration
Communication is critical for success in the post-COVID era. This is especially important for large retailers with hundreds or thousands of branches that are spread across different regions.
There needs to be a clear and open line of communication between corporate administrators and store managers to keep operations running smoothly and maintain compliance.
As such, many retailers are using cloud-based unified communications as a service (UCaaS) platforms to provide real-time updates, answer questions, and keep a closer eye on what stores are doing on a daily basis.
This is also proving to be useful for on-site employees, especially those who are working short-staffed or in hybrid environments.
Managing Supply Chains
The early days of the pandemic presented many logistical issues, resulting in widespread supply chain inefficiency and product shortages.
Now, retailers are streamlining their supply chains with cloud-based technologies that make it faster and easier to exchange data, provide updates, and strategize.
The pandemic is forcing retailers to rethink their technology spend and look for ways to reduce backend costs.
Cloud communications technologies can help companies operate leaner and more efficiently. Switching to the cloud can lower monthly voice costs, while also making it easier to scale up or down depending on need.
Improve Customer Service
Retailers are also getting creative about how they connect with customers.
For example, a growing number of companies are using cloud-based curbside service apps to communicate with customers, process orders, and answer questions. A curbside service app can serve as a one-stop-shop for customer communication and order management.