Why Cloud-Based ERP is Crucial to the Future of Retail

According to a ComputerWeekly survey, 53% of IT decision makers note that ERP systems should be a top investment priority for organisations. This article explores the importance of cloud-based ERP to the future of retail.

The author of this page: Brendan Geraghty
Brendan Geraghty, Practice Director - D365 for Financial Operations May 05, 2023

As the retail industry becomes more competitive and consumers are presented with more choices, retailers must unlock new ways to stay ahead in a busy marketplace. Companies are turning to ERP software to streamline operations, improve customer service and remain agile in an unpredictable environment.  

Cloud-based ERP systems allow information across business functions from SCM, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and finance to be stored on one central system. Retailers can effortlessly add new supply chain activities, such as a new supplier or store, to one location. You don’t need to worry about managing complex IT infrastructure as any commercial information you want to add to the system can be done quickly and with ease. Cloud-based ERP brings all information together in a single application or a ‘single source of truth’, removing the need to switch between applications to compare different data sets. Below we discuss the importance of cloud-based ERP to the future of the retail industry. 


One of the main advantages of cloud-based ERP is that it allows retailers to remain agile in the industry. With a cloud-based ERP system, retailers can quickly scale their operations with ease, to align with their needs. This is particularly important in today’s commercial world as consumer needs and demands can fluctuate rapidly and are not always easy to predict. 

Additionally, Cloud-based ERP software can help retailers to respond to changing market conditions quickly, which is critical in an industry that is constantly evolving. Unpredicted external factors may have a detrimental effect on retailers that are not agile and flexible, as we saw during the Covid-19 pandemic. It is important to keep systems up to date with industry standards so that you do not have to make big changes in unprecedented situations. According to a 2021 ERP Report, over 50% of organisations using ERP software use cloud-based over on-premises solutions. Evidently, cloud-based ERP is gradually becoming a necessity to keep up with competitors. 

Data-driven Insights  

Cloud-based ERP grants retailers access to data from a wide range of sources, from point-of-sale systems to customer relationship management (CRM) systems. This data can then be used to provide insights into inventory levels, sales trends and consumer behaviour. Retailers can easily view stock levels and pinpoint which products are selling well and which products are not, allowing them to make more informed decisions regarding pricing and inventory management.  

The data provided by ERP also allows retailers to customise offerings and interactions with customers, creating a more personal experience which can improve customer satisfaction, leading to loyal customers and repeat business. 

Reduced Costs 

As mentioned previously, cloud-based ERP delivers real-time inventory data. This means that retailers can reduce inventory costs by avoiding overstocking and avoiding the potential lost sales from understocking. ERP can also help retailers to optimise supply chain processes, which can help reduce transport and labour costs. In addition, by moving ERP systems from on-premises to the cloud, retailers can eliminate the need for costly hardware and software licenses.  

As a SaaS solution, the cost of upgrades is also removed as the system updates automatically, ensuring organisations are always using the most up-to-date technology and functionality. As well as this the licenses are cheaper as they are paid for on a monthly subscription basis.

Cloud-based ERP software allows retailers to remain agile in a challenging commercial landscape while providing the data insights needed to make more informed decisions, optimise operations and reduce business costs. It enables retailers to remain competitive in a crowded market and will be an important asset in the future retail industry.  

With 50% of companies stating that they are soon acquiring, upgrading or planning to update ERP systems, contact one of our experts today to learn why your organisation should look towards a cloud-based ERP system too. To learn more about Business Central as an ERP solution check out our case study with Presidio.

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