It’s 2021 and the in-store shopping experience is still on pause with many stores shutting their doors forever. Online shopping is no longer the future of retail, but the new reality of retail. On average, ecommerce sales grew 32.4% year-over-year with some retailers (Best Buy, Target) seeing over 100% growth.
2020 forced retailers to rethink the way they do business and the way they reach their customers. Smaller businesses were forced to take their sales online, while larger businesses needed to find new, creative ways to stay ahead of the growing ecommerce competition.
Organizations that have the bandwidth and the money to build data-intensive applications are changing the customer experience. They offer extremely personalized applications and doubled down on targeted advertising. With so much competition online, if you don’t innovate your business to meet the status-quo, you will struggle to survive.
Looking ahead, how will this new “digital shopping experience” affect your bottom line? Will you acquire as many customers this year without the physical experience? Will you be able to expand your online services to new audiences?
In the era of COVID-19, to reach your revenue goals it’s important to have the ability to scale your business and reach new customers regardless of where they are located. In this post, we will cover three strategies retailers can take to ensure they meet their revenue goals this year.
In this new digital shopping era, it’s all about meeting (and exceeding) customer expectations. The easiest way to lose your customers is to not deliver on your promises. From inaccurate pricing to unreliable delivery times to inconsistent inventory, all of these issues can impact your bottom line. In fact, in a recent study 50% of retailers complain that bad data hurts their business (i.e. poor operational efficiency, reduced developer productivity). In order to prevent bad data from infiltrating your organization and hindering your ability to provide a great customer experience, you must use a database that promises resiliency and consistency. Additionally, your database must be able to handle a high volume of data.
CockroachDB is extremely reliable (it is a relational database after all) and was built to deliver consistent transactions at scale. However, once you add a distributed element, transactions can come from various directions and consistency can become complicated. To solve this issue, CockroachDB provides the highest level of isolation (serializable) in a distributed database. This means you can ensure your data is always available and always correct. Additionally, CockroachDB automatically distributes data to help address heavy workloads.
Running critical, transaction-heavy workloads such as inventory and payments becomes easier in a distributed setting with CockroachDB. For example, you can use CockroachDB to optimize global inventory management. Since CockroachDB provides a single holistic view of your data, your team can be smarter about how you handle stock and get your product into the hands of customers on time. By investing in a reliable, consistent database you can stop worrying about bad data hurting your ability to create a great customer experience.
Now that we’ve shifted to an online mindset when it comes to shopping, why not provide your product(s) to as many consumers as possible? This initiative may concern your database architect who will think about the overhead it will take to scale your current database and expand to new regions. And it might concern your CTO who has to comply with various international data restrictions. However, the ability to scale to a larger and more global audience can ultimately make or break your business.
In order to reach new customers in new locations, you must rely on a distributed, cloud-native foundation. CockroachDB is built to scale across geographies and regions – you simply add new nodes and CockroachDB will automatically rebalance and replicate your data throughout the cluster. Additionally, CockroachDB is cloud-native meaning it allows you to build in a hybrid and/or multi-cloud environment. Not only is CockroachDB built to scale elastically across clouds, but it is the only database that offers geo-partitioning. This capability allows you to tie data to specific locations (i.e. close to your customers) to reduce global latencies and meet compliance regulations.
Several of our retail customers leverage geo-partitioning to reach international audiences while remaining compliant. For example, if you are located in the UK you can use CockroachDB to authenticate customers to your website/application in North America. For many retailers, this capability is crucial to the success of their business.
Outages can be detrimental to your business and in today’s economy, they simply aren’t acceptable. However they are extremely common – at least 48 retailers experienced outages during Black Friday/Cyber Monday last year. Not only do outages cost millions of dollars, but they create distrust with your customers. Upgrades can also cause significant downtime that prevents your customers from accessing your site and they may never come back. Retailers should look to reduce these types of unnecessary risks wherever possible so they don’t impact their bottom line.
Architected to withstand any outage, CockroachDB allows your apps and services to have continuous access to data. If a machine, zone or region goes down, CockroachDB automatically rebalances without compromising correctness or availability. Additionally, your applications will stay online as you roll out new features or perform rolling upgrades of the database/operating systems/machines.
Not only can our customers discard expensive backup tools, but they can rest easy knowing that their applications and services will always be on and available. Several retailers use CockroachDB to reduce Recovery Point Objective (RPO) to zero which saves developer teams significant time.
Retailers who make it through this difficult time will come out even stronger. Especially if they choose technology and infrastructure like CockroachDB that can support their new resilient, data intensive applications.
If you are interested in learning more about how CockroachDB can help you achieve your revenue goals this year get in touch with us. Or try CockroachCloud for free. Also check out part one of this retail series on how you can meet and exceed customer expectations and stay tuned for the third part on how you can better service your customers.