January 3, 2019      3 min read

Cloud-based software has changed the world of retail. It has opened up endless opportunities for both retailers and consumers. Cloud-based software has changed the way a company looks after their warehouse through online inventory management. It has given flexibility to management and consumers can get stock updates in real-time when they’re shopping online. In essence, online inventory management sculpted a new way of working for so many industries. With so many benefits, it’s no wonder it made such a global impact.

Although cloud-based software, like online inventory management, has been a game-changer, what’s next? There’s always something new around the corner in the IT world. Let’s take a look into the crystal ball and see what the future could hold for retailers and cloud-based software.

Will robots run the show?

The idea of robots is no longer a far-fetched concept. It works great in movies, so why not in real life? Retailers are the second to last stop for goods. Customers are the last but before the product journey ends, a product must travel through a supply chain to get to the retailer to get to the customer. However, supply chain processes sometimes become inefficient due to their manual, repetitive nature. Instead, how about we use robots to streamline parts of the supply chain?

Robots can be controlled with cloud-based software and automate duties such as inventory management in a warehouse. When a retailer is in their peak period, they need to make sure their warehouse runs smoothly. With the right cloud-based software, robots can be programmed to pick and pack orders for delivery. If you’re running an eCommerce site, inbound and outbound logistics will be a huge component for your company. Robots can make this a swift process by grabbing products from shelves and decreasing the search time. After all, they’ve been programmed to detect the product’s location. They can be used for stock taking as well. This reduces the risk of human error and lets staff members work on more strategic problems.

In the moment mobile offers

Retailers will be using near field communication and beacon technology to make on-the-spot mobile marketing a more prominent strategy. The best way to understand this is through an example.

Let’s say you’re walking through the mall and you log on to the store’s Wi-Fi. You might get a promo code to use in the store just for logging in. But it can go beyond that. If you had been searching for belts on your phone, it might be able to use this data and drive you to a special discount just for belts. Moreover, it might detect this simply on a Google search and your proximity to the store, without being on their Wi-Fi.

The decline of the check-out line

Cloud-based software will now support retailers to shift away from their traditional point-of-sale processes. Instead, checkout will be directed to mobile devices and the customer will be in charge of how quickly they can get out of the store. Long lines won’t deter customers any longer. Rather, they’ll be in charge of their store departure destiny with the ease of a mobile wallet. It’s becoming more mainstream with technology like ApplePay and other credit card and banking apps.

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