Web Clicks: Cloud Hopping with Your Customers
Cloud Services Now Come in All Shapes and Sizes for RetailersJanuary 2013 By Michael McEnaney
As your customers continue to turn to e-commerce and web-to-store shopping solutions, it has never been more important to maneuver swiftly and smartly when it comes to all the new technology that is surfacing within the retail world.
To a certain extent, retail has always relied on technology; and as developing an online strategy to coexist with your brick-and-mortar location became a greater priority, the importance of keeping pace with retail tech only grew. So too did the frustration of attempting to build and manage both your in-store and online worlds efficiently.
Enter the “cloud,” and the continued evolution of retailers taking advantage of this still relatively new technology.
First a quick 101 on all this and where cloud computing comes in with regard to the aforementioned bricks-and-clicks dilemma. In essence, cloud computing (whose name comes from the cloud-shaped symbol used in system diagrams) simply means moving things from on‐site servers to remote data centers. Business software hosted and run on these servers can then be delivered to users’ web browsers directly from the cloud, and this has been dubbed Software as a Service (SaaS).
There have been quite a few variations on this theme, but a few cloud service companies that have developed specific programs for small to medium-size retailers might be worth a look-see.
Actionable Cloud Communication
Duluth, Georgia-based NCR, a creator of B-to-C interactive cloud-based retail solutions, has created something they call NCR Silver (ncrsilver.com)—an iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch POS system married to what we’re told is a very powerful inventory control and data analytics engine in the cloud.