Digital technologies and evolving customer behaviors have driven tremendous change among retailers and consumer brands during the past decade, but the pace of disruption has increased since 2020. Mobile adoption and eCommerce are reshaping the retail and CPG sectors, forcing them to make a big shift to become “digital-first” industries. In this new reality, a growing portion of customer engagement, transactions, and operations happens in the cloud.
These changes present opportunities, but they also come with challenges. Many retailers were already struggling with low margins, increasing competition, faster fulfillment, and pressure to drive more sales through digital channels. Meanwhile, consumer brands were trying to navigate customers’ demands for personalization, more-sustainable options, and several manufacturing and supply chain constraints.
Both sectors now face an urgent need to rapidly reinvent their business. Cloud investments can enable this transformation, allowing retailers and consumer brands to address these challenges while increasing their revenue and accelerating their growth.
Wipro FullStride Cloud Services surveyed 1,400 global executives, including 123 consumer brands and 136 retailers in six countries, with revenues ranging from less than $5 billion to $20 billion or more. Our research showed that cloud leaders in the retail and consumer-brand industries are thriving and expanding through their cloud adoption. Whereas cloud beginners in the retail and CPG sectors are struggling to achieve a return on investment, leaders are achieving an average ROI of about 100%.
This report explores the best practices of those retail and consumer-brand cloud leaders, and three key characteristics they share that others can follow. First, they leverage the cloud to create a future-ready business strategy and drive revenue. Second, they use the cloud to improve the customer experience and enhance their employee experience and productivity. And third, they look to the cloud to create intelligent and interconnected operations.
By following these best practices, other retailers and consumer brands can make the big shift and position themselves to thrive in their industries’ cloud-everywhere future.
Insights shared in this report are based on a survey conducted for Wipro in June and July 2021 by ThoughtLab Group to analyze current and future patterns of enterprise-level cloud adoption. Respondents included 1,400 executives at organizations with annual revenue from less than $5 billion to $20 billion or more. They are located in six countries (Australia, France, Germany, Switzerland, U.K., and the U.S.) and come from 11 industries (banking, capital markets, consumer packaged goods, healthcare providers, insurance, life sciences, manufacturing, oil and gas, retail, transportation, and utilities). All respondents are responsible for or play a key role in their cloud strategy and implementation. Additional insights come from responses to open-ended questions.
To calculate cloud maturity, we analyzed three criteria: (1) a company’s progress implementing cloud-based data centers, migrating and modernizing core processes, and adopting cloud-native applications; (2) the percentage of total applications operating in the cloud; and (3) the number of advanced technologies used in conjunction with the cloud. Based on those criteria, we classified the top 19% of respondents as cloud “leaders,” the middle 49% as “intermediate users,” and the other 32% as “beginners.”