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Executive summary

The cloud offers huge ability for retailers to enable change within their businesses faster than ever – introducing a flexibility and ability to scale that not only allows them to keep up with competitors but to leapfrog them too.

Many tier one retailers are already realising the value of the cloud and cloud-based platforms to manage their commerce operations but what about their smaller rivals? How best can they keep up with the competition and continue to innovate with a flexible, cloud-based service offering at the core?

In this whitepaper we wanted to understand the importance of cloud/service models to retailers within the next decade; the attractions of cloud commerce and what was holding back retailers’ investments and adoption of cloud services.

This was done through an online survey of retailers to understand their views, opinions and current positioning around cloud commerce and enterprise platform adoption, coupled with the views of a number of retailers at various stages of cloud adoption in the case study section of this whitepaper.

We looked at the challenges retailers believe they face in cloud commerce adoption and how much the actions of retailers at the top of their game is driving them to invest.

And finally we looked at what retailers were doing in terms of those retailers that have already adopted cloud-based solutions and what other retailers who were still on the journey to adoption felt about cloud, cloud-based enterprise platforms and their impact on their businesses as they strive to continually innovate.



  • 3 in 5 retailers (59%) see cloud or service models as dramatically influencing the future development of their business in the next decade.
  • 82% say that scalability is one of the most important attractions of cloud commerce.
  • 59% say that lower barriers of entry to an enterprise technology is one of the most important attractions of the cloud.Almost a quarter of retailers scored the benefits of flexibility, time to market and financial efficiency as being very persuasive – marking 10 out of 10.
  • Half of retailers are concerned about delegating technology infrastructure.
  • Three quarters of retailers’ development agendas are driven by the activities of tier one retailers such as Amazon, Argos and M&S.

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