How the Cloud Enables Better Retail Data Analytics

Most are aware of cloud computing’s uses for data storage and scalable compute capacity and the benefits that these bring to businesses. What may not be so familiar however, are the benefits that the application of cloud computing in analysing data can have for retailers.

All such businesses generate a huge amount of customer-based data every day, which is often either stored away and forgotten about or under utilised. Analysis of this data can give powerful insight into customer habits and trends, helping to build customer retention and drive repeat purchases. 

It’s not just about quick and immediate sales. Insightful data analytics can help to build a far more detailed long-term picture of consumer preferences, how they prefer to interact with their favourite brands and generally which products they are most likely to purchase. The problem is, as soon as data is generated, it starts to lose value immediately. Analysing data in real-time is now really the only way to keep up with the increasing volume, variety and velocity of data, and keep ahead of the competition both on the high-street and online.  

Handling this data does not have to be complex however. By hosting data and applications in the cloud, information can be constantly collected from multiple systems across several geographic locations simultaneously. The depth of insight can also be varied along with the level of data, allowing both to be scaled as and when required. The near infinite capacity of public cloud computing means that seasonal demands can be catered for, without having to retain wasted capacity throughout the rest of the year.  

By combining cloud-hosted web analytics with sales and marketing information, retailers will be able to observe and carefully track the transformation from prospective shoppers to verified brand advocates. With the most successful retailers already reaping the benefits of cloud based analytics, it’s not a matter of if you join them, but when.