How the Cloud Gives Small Retailers Advantages the Big Guys Have Long Enjoyed
Cloud software is no longer something for bleeding-edge businesses and trailblazers. That trail is thoroughly blazed. All kinds of businesses are now comfortable using cloud services like Google Docs and Dropbox storage, and they're enjoying the benefits of cloud technology — e.g., being able to access information from any internet connection and easily share/collaborate on projects.
These stand-alone services are merely the first stage of businesses using the cloud. Businesses are now combining multiple cloud business software solutions to create powerful and efficient systems. This is a trend that will only continue to grow.
As a web-based point-of-sale (POS) software provider, Vend is thoroughly on board with the power of the cloud. For example, Vend recently moved an office of 60 people, but because all its systems are on the cloud, the company only lost half a day of productivity — the time spent crossing town.
I'd like to share a few examples of cloud services that give the little guys in retail the kind of business tools that used to only be available to the big guys with deep pockets — tools that rival the complex and expensive customized ERP setups that the large operators have long used to mine data and sell product.
Indeed, one of the coolest things about the cloud revolution is the power it puts into the hands of independent retailers.
Big Data for the Little Guy or Gal
We know how data works online. Google Analytics is an incredibly powerful tool for online retailers. Understanding how many anonymous visitors land on a website and how many of those convert into paying customers can give webmasters valuable, real-time feedback on how changes to a website affect conversion rates.
Now retailers can do the same thing in their brick-and-mortar stores with cloud-based software. Information collected from people passing by is processed into easy-to-read data, allowing businesses to see how much foot traffic there is in the vicinity, how many shoppers came in, and the number of people who completed a purchase.