Society has evolved dramatically in the last couple of decades. Since the turn of the century, major shifts have come about in the way consumers communicate, research their shopping experience and more – the new word-of-mouth people rely on is online reviews or influencer recommendations. People can look up any topic through the touch of a screen in their pockets, and social media keeps them in contact with hundreds if not thousands of people, as well as brands. This is shaping how customers receive information about the world around them and artificial intelligence is an innovative tool to assist people and companies in their daily tasks.

Massive changes in customer behavior often lead to new and heightened customer expectations. With the increasing globalization of the world, retailers are no longer just competing with a brick and mortar location down the road, they are fighting for consumer attention from companies across the world. There are also a multitude of access points to reach consumers like your brand’s online storefront, through mobile apps, push notifications, digital and physical ads, inside retail stores and more. Brands must offer a seamless omnichannel approach to reach customers successfully and stay top of mind.

Many companies start out with the intention of offering a product or service and don’t anticipate having to function as a marketing team, creative agency or technology firm as well. Digital technology is continuously evolving, requiring the retail industry to transform to meet consumers where they are. Digital transformation is incorporating new technologies into all areas of a company. These modernized technologies allow retailers to work smarter and not harder while delivering personalized customer experiences, supporting supply chains, reducing risk, improving operations, creating new revenue models and optimizing for growth.

3Cloud offers an easy path to digital transformation to enable retailers to focus on what they do best while creating an enjoyable and modern shopping experience for customers.

Selecting the Right Transformation Partner

Vast experience, technological capability and a track record of success are all essential attributes of a qualified digital transformation partner.

While digital technology has morphed tremendously over the past few years – with artificial intelligence, the platforms people use and automation – it’s best for retailers to look for retail transformation partners that have consistently been at the forefront of these sweeping changes. Retail transformation partners should be data driven, experienced in app innovation, and offer solutions within a cloud platform so they can operate seamlessly for a retailer while delivering the retailer’s customers with the highest quality, individualized experience.

A track record of wins is a testament that a retail transformation partner can meet today’s challenges and evolve for tomorrow. With thousands of strong industry relationships, trusted engineers, senior leaders and nearly two decades of first hand Microsoft partner channel knowledge, 3Cloud offers unmatched consulting services to enterprise and mid-market organizations across the country.

The Importance of Digital Transformation in Retail

Making a positive impression on shoppers is enormous in retail. Today, retailers need to be mindful of customer’s experience in the real world as well as online perception since we live in a hybrid, omnichannel ecosystem where every touchpoint leaves a lasting impact.

On the digital front, a poor online experience, an ad that misses the mark, insufficient customer service and communications, slow shipping times and a lack of brand awareness can negatively reflect on a retail company vying for crucial and fleeting consumer attention. Competition between retailers is only increasing as consumers can quickly compare online offers, platforms, products and service between online browser windows versus driving to separate stores or walking across the mall.

Retailers can create an airtight digital strategy for a positive customer experience by partnering with the right retail transformation partner. Optimizing user-facing platforms can improve the user experience and optimize costs. Leveraging and understanding big data sets can guide decision making and personalization and using a cloud platform can increase speed and productivity – making the entire organization more powerful and efficient.

In a recent article by Forbes following this year’s NRF, it’s mentioned that for retailers, AI gives them a chance to capture the entire retail journey, from inspiration to ideation to transaction, as part of a single, seamless, natural conversation. The author even said, “AI becomes the language of conversational commerce, aligning retail strategies with consumer expectations and driving more personalized shopping experiences.”

Core Services for Retail Transformation

A trusted retail transformation partner will offer a variety of services that drive scale, modernize digital presence and set a company up for continued success.

Effectively using data and artificial intelligence allows a retailer to discover new insights, expedite decision-making and gain greater visibility to reach critical KPIs. Data is an extremely valuable asset to a retailer – it tells the history of your performance and can guide what direction to head in the future. A retail transformation partner offers clients an easily digestible and thorough understanding of the current state of the retail business. They can also assist in making informed decisions and offering multiple solutions to business challenges. Informed decision-making takes experience – 3Cloud marries decades of expert knowledge and machine-learning to get more done with less effort. Together, this creates a tailored experience for retailers while reducing risk.

App innovation is an important facet of a retail business for many reasons. 3Cloud specializes in modernizing your apps for Azure with expertise in native, cloud, and hybrid applications. By modernizing your applications and data, we can help your retail business accelerate time-to-market, achieve greater agility, and scale with built-in security and high availability.

A quality cloud platform equips a retailer’s whole team with the tools to thrive. With the right technologies in place, you gain a secure and manageable infrastructure on which to build your applications and capture data intelligence. The correct technologies enable retailers to gain momentum in the modern marketplace while preparing them for the future with scalable infrastructure services. Moving to the cloud can be daunting, but 3Cloud makes the process seamless by focusing on what matters: your business. There’s a reason why we were named the 2023 US Microsoft Partner of the Year.

With the rapid digital transformation in retail, partners are essential to keep up with changes, represent your company positively, optimize costs and improve efficiency. 3Cloud offers a portfolio of services so that retailers can focus on their areas of expertise while transforming their ideas into innovation.

Retail transformation offers numerous benefits, including enhanced customer experiences through personalized services, increased operational efficiency, and cost reductions via automation. It enables decision-making based on data, expanding market reach through e-commerce platforms, and provides businesses with an edge. This transformation fosters agility, streamlines supply chain management, and enhances data security. Plus, it supports sustainability and creates an omnichannel presence, seamlessly integrating online and in-store experiences.

To begin your retail transformation journey, contact 3Cloud today.