While most companies can benefit from the use of data centers, retail is perhaps one of the sectors that can benefit from data centers the most. Especially in today’s age where a significant portion of retail is done online, data centers are becoming more and more crucial to retail operations around the world.
What are Data Centers?
With an estimate of 300 billion data queries each day on online marketplace giant Ebay alone, more facilities are needed to keep up with the aggressive digital footprint of today’s consumers. These are what data centers are for. These are specialized facilities that house computer systems and equipment with the specific purpose of storing, managing, collecting, and analyzing data and networks.
Larger companies would typically establish their own data centers. These enterprise data centers are then built and managed by the company itself. However, smaller companies can opt to go for colocation services wherein they rent a space specifically built to become a data center.
Colocation buildings house data centers for multiple companies and this is a cheaper option for companies that do not need large data centers as the colocation space is already equipped with certain features such as power generators and security measures. For high quality and high performance computing and security for your data, you can rely on Datasite in Orlando
The Importance of Data Centers to the Retail Sector
The retail sector is an incredibly large segment of industry, especially because it is also heavily intertwined with other sectors such as manufacturing and transport. With modern times being heavily consumer-based, the retail sector is getting larger and larger and to keep up, the retail sector is needing data centers more and more by the minute.
While data centers are especially useful to any industrial sector, there are certain factors why data centers are especially important to the retail sector.
One thing data centers are great with is streamlining operations. Consolidating all data management in one convenient place like a data center, this significantly reduces time it takes to do certain tasks – ultimately making the employees’ lives easier.
While this is a good thing for the company, it’s even better because when employees can do tasks more conveniently, they can satisfy customers faster. This will eventually make the overall customer experience better which is a key principle in retail. The happier a customer is, the bigger the chance that they will go back for more.
Data centers can also improve customer experience in more ways than one. Aside from reducing wait time, data centers can help analyze customer information and provide suggestions to better cater to the customers.
For example, analyzing the previous purchases of a certain customer, the business can then recommend similar items to that customer. For example, if a customer has a history of buying woodworking tools, perhaps a website can specifically show ads for other tools that they have not purchased yet. This is just one example of ways a business can use customer data for their own gain.
Scalability is the ability of a business to grow and meet the additional demands of that growth. A simple example is a typical lemonade stand by the street. If the vendor only gets the same number of lemons a day, then they really aren’t scalable since they wouldn’t be able to handle more customers anyway.
In a business, scalability is important because if the goal is to make money then more customers will mean more money. However, it’s a fine line because a starting company can’t just start out big right away. It’s better for companies to start small and work their way up, this means scalability is an important ability for companies to grow.
With a data- and consumer-driven industry such as retail, data centers will be able to help with their scalability. For online marketplaces, their websites can only handle a certain number of visitors. These are limitations of an online marketplace. However, data centers are easily scaled as these simply require more equipment or upgraded units – if a business is using a colocation service, then they can simply expand their data center as the demands require.
Even if a company is not operating a retail store, they would most likely have a company website that customers will go to. This will still require data centers to operate and the more functional a website is, the more data centers are needed.
In retail, customer support is especially important. Retail companies want the customers to want to buy their products which means that they will eagerly answer any questions you might have. They’d also want you to be happy with their products and if you have any complaints, they’d like to know. This is where customer support comes in.
Most companies have customer support systems in place and these systems can vary from company to company. Regardless of the system a company uses, these all require data centers to operate. Customer support queries are all data that have to be handled with extreme precision and these take various computer systems to successfully perform.
For example, if you have a problem with your product, you can report the complaint to the company through their website. The website will track your query and pass it along to the correct people to handle your complaint. Sophisticated systems will even allow you to track the progress of your query.
These data centers are especially important for companies with 24/7 customer support systems. People have to go home when their shifts are done but data centers allow constant operation. These types of systems are especially important for global businesses that cater to customers across the globe.
These are just a few reasons why data centers are especially important to the retail sector. Other reasons can include security, reliability, and additional services for the company. Despite data centers being looked at as additional expenses, they are becoming more and more a necessity in today’s world.