Google Cloud is the number one cloud service provider to the retail sector according to a report by Canalys, outpacing not just the overall leader AWS, but Microsoft’s growing cloud platform Azure as well.

There are quite a few reasons for this, according to the research firm. Google Cloud has a great client portfolio including Target, Costco, Germany-based Metro and IKEA. This client base, combined with Google’s advertising (which emerged as a major driver for the company’s success) helped Google in becoming the number one cloud service. Secondly, Google has been “hiring aggressively and establishing worldwide systems integrator partnerships to accelerate retail penetration”. Only recently, it partnered with Best Buy for its cloud services. 

The general aggressive shift to cloud services, forced by current COVID-19 pandemic has also helped Google Cloud increase its usage. Much like everything else, COVID has impacted the retail industry as well. The pandemic forced shops to shut down, thus coercing retailers to expand their e-commerce capabilities to stay in business. This has caused a major uprise in the demand for cloud services, an opportunity that Google heavily cashed out on. “As e-commerce demand grows, retailers are looking to cloud service providers to support and grow their businesses and arm them with key technologies. A reliable cloud service provider not only supplies compute and storage, but also retail-specific solutions and support teams,” explained Canalys.

Moreover, more than computational and storage power, companies went looking for a partner with retail-specific solutions and support teams. This need was fulfilled perfectly by Google, which led it to take the top spot in the market.

“Retailers need proof that their cloud service provider can support them not just by growing, but also by driving platform innovation. A provider that has specialized support teams and an ecosystem of partners innovating on its behalf gives customers confidence in the relationship,” said Canalys Research Analyst Blake Murray.

Google is followed by Microsoft, Amazon, Alibaba, and IBM respectively. However, Canalys did not provide any comparable numbers.