Transforming Retail Sector with AWS Innovations

Transforming Retail Sector with AWS Innovations

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Enterprises in the retail sector are witnessing an increased pressure to match up with the convenience, speed, and personal touch offered by the industry leader Amazon. A study by SOTI, a key player in mobile and IoT solutions, reveals that consumers now regard the Amazon experience as the benchmark. The increasing shift in customers towards online stores has made experiences like smart stores, omnichannel shopping, personalized suggestions, and fast redressal of complaint standard practices. Recognizing this trend, C-level executives in the retail sector are acknowledging the need to adapt, strategically addressing customer expectations to excel in a fiercely competitive market.


SOTI insights on retail customer expectations



 How Does the Retail Sector Benefit from AWS?


Improve insights

AWS adopts a data-centric approach driven by AI/ML, providing retailers with contemporary intelligence and insights to distinguish their brand, shape customer behaviors, and boost revenue. Retail success hinges on selecting the right products, presenting them on the optimal channel, and pricing them appropriately. AWS empowers retailers to employ analytics in formulating a robust merchandising strategy.


Optimize retail operations

Optimizing retail operations is a key advantage of leveraging AWS. Retailers can enhance IT efficiency, elevate store productivity, automate supply chain processes, and foster ongoing innovation. AWS, fueled by cutting-edge technologies like robotics and machine learning, provides intelligent, comprehensive visibility across all operational facets.


Transform customer engagement

Transforming customer engagement is at the core of AWS’s impact on the retail landscape. Stemming from a rich legacy of prioritizing customer satisfaction, AWS empowers retailers to provide uniform brand experiences across various touchpoints such as payment, shipping, and search. With consumers seamlessly transitioning between digital channels and physical stores, coupled with the prevalence of methods like buy online, and pickup in-store (BOPIS), AWS plays a pivotal role in ensuring a cohesive experience across all customer interactions. Whether you opt to acquire a solution or embark on building your own, AWS’s innovative services offer a swift, secure, and scalable avenue for transformation and modernization.


Areas of AWS Solutions in the Retail Sector

Smarts stores

AWS Smart Store helps you transform customer experience, reduce costs through automation, and offer unprecedented opportunities to stand out from the competition. The power of cloud computing enables handling the flux of data that a retail business experiences, improves insights across stores and performs cross-store analytics. 


Inventory in a smart store can be managed with  Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) and AWS service. Smart stores allow shoppers to follow the BOPIS approach to save their time by having their orders ready for pickup even before they arrive. 


When inventories go out-of-stock merchants must be able to offer an accurate substitute product to prevent them going back unsatisfied. Amazon OpenSearch Service can be leveraged along with natural language processing to create digital recommendations to replace out-of-stock products.


Digital commerce

Digital commerce allows retailers to build an agile platform with elastic services that can dynamically scale up and down on demand. The pay-as-you-go model is a great cost saver for retailers and a motivation to innovate and build wonderful customer experiences. Retailers can livestream product reviews to Amazon Interactive Video Services with interactive chat and push auto-discovered product data to viewers. 3D product images are created using spatial conditioning. Image and image metadata are stored securely on the cloud after validation of the image


Intelligent supply chain

AWS offers the power to innovate and streamline your supply chain with Intelligent Supply Chain Solutions from AWS. Operations are optimized to position, replenish, and deliver inventory intelligently driven by insights. 


AWS services offer automation of the entire supply chain from sourcing to fulfillment and delivery with transparency and traceability across the entire supply chain. Activities are tracked in realtime with a proactive approach to resource optimization and incidence resolution.


Customer engagement

AWS services drive customer engagement by sharing the right kind of products, and appropriate information for individual customers. The cloud can store, engineer, and analyze business data to explore customer preferences, values, and requirements to drive specialized experiences. 


Data is brought under a common platform from various touch points like advertising, sales, operations, and customer care. This offers a 360 view of the data which the retailers can use to identify their most valued customers and reward them in the form of points, tokens,  and personalized offers, and increase wallet share to reduce churn rate.


Amazon Connect, fortified by Amazon Q’s generative AI assistant, unlocks the potential of AI-powered analytics and optimization enabling supervisors and managers to gain proactive insights into customer experience (CX), agent performance, and contact center operations. By automatically detecting customer issues and offering agents contextual information and suggested responses, Amazon Connect ensures rapid issue resolution, fostering superior customer experiences within a unified workspace.



Merchandising lies at the core of a retailer’s business.  AWS enables retailers to efficiently plan assortments, manage product lifecycles, set optimal prices using AI/ML algorithms, allocate products strategically, and negotiate vendor deals. 


With AWS, retailers can also generate accurate forecasts, gain real-time insights into performance, and optimize product distribution across distribution centers for cost-effectiveness. The comprehensive suite of AWS Solutions empowers retailers to make faster, confident decisions, drive incremental sales through promotions, and maintain a seamless customer experience.


Amazon Forecast puts retailers at par with the same technology as by enabling them to scale and forecast millions of items. This improves capital utilization and instills confidence in long-term decision making. 


IT and core applications

Retailers are turning to the cloud to shed the burdens of traditional IT, enabling a sharper focus on customer-centric innovations. AWS, alongside partners, empowers numerous retailers to embrace modern, cloud-based IT solutions, minimizing time-to-market, enhancing security, and, crucially, fostering business agility. 


AWS offers an array of tools for IT automation, encompassing CI/CD processes, cloud formation templates, cloud component monitoring and alerting, and security audits, empowering retailers to operate with heightened efficiency and effectiveness.


Advance data insights


In the dynamic landscape of the retail sector, AWS offers transformative solutions, with a spotlight on advancing data insights. A retailer’s success is intricately linked to the quality of decisions, and AWS addresses this need by providing secure and efficient handling of extensive sales data, customer traits, and product information. Through seamless data collection, storage, and analysis, AWS empowers retailers to leverage analytics and machine learning for strategic decision-making. This extends to optimizing merchandising strategies, harnessing customer data for behavior modeling, and democratizing access to data throughout the organization. The result is an ecosystem that encourages experimentation, innovation, and accelerated business outcomes.


Transformation Case Studies in the Retail Sector Leveraging AWS Solutions

Morrisons upgrade to a self serve contact center using Amazon Connect

Morrisons, a leading grocery chain in the UK wanted to upgrade its legacy contact center system to make way for a faster, cost effective, flexible one. Morrisons decided to migrate to Amazon Connect, a cloud-based omnichannel contact center tool capable of automated interactions. In 8 weeks it was able to deliver a new scalable solution transforming the customer experience. This largely enabled Morrisons to improve its customer serviceability for eg. changing the automated messages came down to a task of minutes instead of 5-10 business days earlier. 


The scalable solution adopted by Morrisons presented an agile response to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. With seamless integration between Amazon Connect and Salesforce, Morrisons swiftly gained valuable insights into customer queries. Leveraging automated messages, the company addressed customer needs promptly. The flexibility of Amazon Connect facilitated an efficient scaling of contact center staff during the pandemic’s peak, ensuring a rapid transition to remote work for the increased workforce.


Zalando migrates its SAP solution from on-premise to AWS reducing management time by 30 percent

Zalando, boasting a monthly influx of 350 million website visits and a customer base of 31 million, embarked on a transformative journey by migrating its SAP systems from on-premise to Amazon Web Services (AWS) in 2016. This migration, serving a vast inventory of over 500,000 products from 2,500 brands, marked a significant shift. The transition resulted in a commendable 30% reduction in IT management time, attributed to the managed features of AWS services like Amazon Redshift, a powerful petabyte-scale data warehouse. The liberation from manual patching and backup controls allowed Zalando to allocate resources more efficiently, while additional tools like AWS Auto Scaling and AWS CloudFormation further streamlined management processes.



AWS has emerged as a pivotal force in reshaping the retail sector, providing a comprehensive suite of solutions to address various facets of the industry. By unlocking advanced data insights, optimizing retail operations, and transforming customer engagement, AWS empowers retailers to stay ahead in the dynamic market landscape. From enhancing the customer experience through smart stores and digital commerce to optimizing the supply chain, AWS’s innovative solutions cater to diverse needs within the retail ecosystem. With a focus on merchandising, IT, and core applications, AWS facilitates an accelerated digital transformation journey, ensuring that retailers can harness the full potential of cloud-based technologies to thrive in an era of heightened consumer expectations and evolving market dynamics.


Retail with AWS services

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