Retailers more than ever are leaning on cloud computing to capitalize on a surge in online shopping without overloading their information-technology systems.

Sparked by the coronavirus pandemic, the upswing in e-commerce is a boon to most cloud vendors, but especially Google’s cloud-services unit.

Google Cloud, a division of

Alphabet Inc.,

trails far behind front-runners

Amazon.com Inc.’s

Amazon Web Services and

Microsoft Corp.

’s Azure, with a 6% share of the global cloud market, according to research firm Canalys. AWS and Azure together account for more than half the market, the firm estimates. But a strategic focus on retail-sector services, which predates the crisis by roughly a year, has attracted deep-pocketed customers like

Wayfair Inc.

and

Etsy Inc.

While the crisis has been devastating for bricks-and-mortar sellers of nonessential goods, online

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