We interact with retailers every day. We shop for food, apparel, housewares, electronics… the list goes on. What keeps retail running? Technology, of course.

Behind the storefronts and websites are workloads like digital commerce and marketing, supply chain, databases, and usually a virtualization platform. Global retail leaders rely on Pure Storage®. In fact, 12 of the top 25 retailers use Pure* along with hundreds of other consumer-facing vendors across retail, apparel, hospitality (hotels and restaurants), and leisure (resorts, casinos, and gaming).

Why do leading retailers look to Pure? We talked to our customers to learn what makes them so happy using FlashArray™. We found four main reasons.

Reason #1: FlashArray Is So Easy to Use

Pure retail customers are thrilled with how easy FlashArray makes running their data-center storage. “I used to spend hours every week to keep the disk array running, troubleshooting errors,” says Ian Hillier of furniture retailer Room & Board. “Now, the team might spend a few hours—or none at all—per month on administration.”

“I used to spend hours every week to keep the disk array running, troubleshooting errors… Now, the team might spend a few hours—or none at all—per month on administration.” –Ian Hillier, Room & Board

Silver Star Brands emphasizes similar benefits: “It gets us out of the business of managing storage so we can focus on supporting our catalog business.”

Why is ease of use so important? Retailers often have lean IT departments. Getting out of “the business of managing storage” frees IT’s time to focus on driving critical digital commerce initiatives. By switching to Pure, retailers see dramatic reductions in the amount of hands-on time needed.

Reason #2: Breezing through the Ups and Downs

Database transactions drive retail. It’s no surprise that the excellent performance of FlashArray was a second reason retailers switched to Pure. But retail has another twist: Business fluctuates. Users note how their legacy storage gets bogged down during busy times.

It’s not just the expected spikes during the holidays or a big sale. Spikes can happen at any time. The actions of a social influencer can bring sudden and dramatic bursts in web traffic. Late last year, an apparel vendor (not a Pure customer) released a new item that was promoted by an influencer. Thousands rushed to the website, which led to significant delays. Angry customers complained on Twitter and expressed frustration at hours-long online waits. Not good for business.

With Pure FlashArray, retailers are confident they have the performance needed to handle sudden bursts, as well as day-to-day workloads.

Reason #3: Keeping the Lights On

You’ve likely been in a store when the clerk has said, “Sorry, we can’t take credit cards right now.” It’s a frustrating situation. Maybe you walked out without making your purchase. Downtime means lost revenue and lost customers.

Retailers love the reliability of FlashArray, which has proven 99.9999% uptime. And that includes maintenance and controller updates thanks to non-disruptive upgrades. Many of our customers have never had even a second of downtime. That not only keeps the lights on but also keeps the registers ringing up sales.

Reason #4: The Future Is Now with Pure

For the most part, the retail industry lags in using containerization and IT automation. But retailers aren’t sitting still. Companies like Kroger have moved actively into container-based application development. IDC reports that nearly 40% of retailers are investing in microservices (containers). The report notes that “microservices are critical for retailers to realize platform benefits of producing more innovation with greater speed at lower cost.”

Pure has led the way in container-friendly storage that fits into automation frameworks. And with Portworx®, Pure offers the leading Kubernetes-native storage management platform. Even if you’re not quite ready to make the jump to containers, by moving to Pure, you can rest easy that your storage will be ready whenever you are. And if you need additional help, Pure Professional Services is ready to assist.

Additional Resources

Considering the four reasons above, it’s no surprise that hundreds of retailers trust their most critical workloads to Pure. To hear more about these four reasons, plus other retail-related topics, view our on-demand webinar series.

Get IDC’s perspective on the state of retail IT in the “Retail Digital Transformation Infrastructure 2021 Investment Guide.” The guide is free and discusses the impact of 2020 on retail digital transformation. It also delves into retail buying plans across technologies including the Internet of Things, augmented/virtual reality, artificial intelligence, robotics, omnichannel security, and more.

Read The State of Retail IT and Digital Transformation to learn about how the pandemic pushed retailers to accelerate digital transformation.

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*Based on the Fortune 500 retailer list for 2020.