Global retailers must embrace the cloud to help fuel multi-channel growth in 2011

Venda, the on-demand ecommerce provider, has predicted that the number of UK retailers turning to its on-demand, cloud based solution for their ecommerce offering will again grow by at least 30 per cent in 2011.
The company, which processes more than one in 50 of all UK non-food ecommerce transactions, also warned that businesses that do not adopt the cloud as part of their ecommerce strategy in the New Year will struggle to keep up with the fast moving retail landscape.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) recently announced that the value of UK ecommerce transactions hit a staggering 408bn in 2009, an increase of 24.9 per cent on 2008[1]. Venda believes this growth will continue. It predicts that the power of the online channel will surpass that of the high street and UK retailers, in all sectors, will wake up to the ever-increasing needs of the multichannel customer and turn to the Internet as their primary portal for interacting with consumers.
UK retailers of all sizes, including Tesco, Accessorize, Anthropologie, Paperchase, Cotton Traders, Emma Bridgewater and Republic, have turned to the cloud and chosen the Venda on-demand ecommerce platform over the past year. Venda believes the main reason for such uptake is that it offers significant flexibility, scalability, stability and security for ecommerce practices at a lower cost of ownership than other comparable high-end solutions.
Eric Abensur, CEO at Venda warned: "Businesses not adopting the on-demand, cloud based approach as part of their ecommerce strategy this year will struggle to keep up with the fast moving retail landscape. Retailers that are truly committed to their customers have to exploit the advantages that on-demand brings to supporting the demands of today's multi-channel consumer or risk being left behind."
Abensur continued: "2010 has been our most successful year yet with our UK customer base increasing by 30 per cent and surpassing 100. Our growth is further proof of the overwhelming power of the ecommerce market, not just through a brand's own website, but through mobile, online marketplaces and social media. It shows the increased influence that these channels are having on all consumer purchase behaviour. It's no longer a matter of questioning the potential of ecommerce for your business, but asking 'how can I most effectively use its power to deliver the best multi-channel shopping experience?'"
Venda believes this trend will continue through 2011 and beyond, driven by 5 key factors:

Multichannel Single channel consumer behaviour is not enough.
The way in which consumers choose to interact with brands either through differing remote devices or channels is changing so regularly that the technology requires attention and investment that sometimes is just not feasible within a business's own infrastructure. Retailers need the speedier and lower cost approach that on-demand solutions allow
 Mobile Commerce - After a long wait, mobile commerce is now a reality.
This channel has undergone tremendous growth in 2010. Analysis carried out by Venda on its own platform showed that the number of website views coming from mobile devices has risen 150% since June, fuelled by the widespread adoption of tablets and smart phones. This channel will be a must-have offering for UK retailers in 2011
 Social Commerce The commercial power of social networks is now undeniable.
The ability for consumers to interact with each other during the purchasing process has never been better. Likewise retailers have never been more accessible, with the ability to have a real conversation and learn from their customers in a way most convenient to the shopper
 Internationalisation On-demand ecommerce drastically reduces barriers to entry.
As well as technological advances, Venda predicts 2011 will also be the year for internationalisation with retailers across the globe waking up to the opportunities that ecommerce brings. The UK will see its retailers entering other global markets and global retailers entering the UK market. This trend has been evident in 2010 with the launch of many international retail stores on the Venda platform including in the US and in Europe.
 Return on Investment - The days of large set up costs and costly annual upgrades are over. The collaborative nature of on-demand infrastructure means the functional development cost is always going to be significantly lower than its on-premise competitors. As businesses large and small take a more strategic approach to IT spend, their focus has turned towards ecommerce solutions that can deliver ROI within weeks, not years

Abensur summarised: "The continued evolution of Venda's cloud based common infrastructure means that, however consumer habits change, we are able to quickly and efficiently facilitate interaction across new channels and in new environments. For those businesses that want to be here in five to ten years' time the cloud is practically a necessity, and those retailers that do not adjust their ecommerce strategy quickly will be lucky to survive beyond 2011."

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