How Does Your Organization Discover New Technology?
Despite the tremendous amount of technology service providers available to retailers, many are only considering two to three when making a moderate to major technology purchase.
This was one of the more surprising findings from Total Retail's latest survey and report (featured in the chart below), The 2017 Retail Technology Report: An Analysis of Trends, Buying Behaviors and Future Opportunities. The report, which was produced in conjunction with Radial, features the results of an online survey conducted over a two-week period about, among other things, how companies are handling the research, buying process and implementation of new retail technologies. A total of 177 respondents shared their thoughts on these subjects.
The overwhelming majority of retail executives — 65.27 percent, to be exact — consider two to three service providers, on average, when making a moderate to major technology purchase at their companies. Four to five service providers ranked second among the answer options, but significantly fewer respondents chose this (25.75 percent). Total Retail's Executive Editor Joe Keenan discusses his thoughts on the findings in a recent episode of Total Retail Talks, sharing that retailers may limit their options to only two to three providers due to the overwhelming amount of technology — and thus associated service providers selling that technology — available today. You can listen to the full episode here.
When respondents were asked how their organizations discover new technology, 67.07 percent said through self-driven research, while 58.68 percent percent said networking or word-of-mouth. In a bit of a surprise, trade shows ranked as the fourth most cited channel in which retailers learned of new technology. Nearly 42 percent of respondents said they discover new technology at industry events, despite retailers’ concerns that these types of gatherings receive an unmanageable onslaught of sales pitches.
Takeaway Tips From the Report:
Now that we've reviewed the data, here are three key takeaways that your company can implement when considering a technology purchase:
- Stick with a small sampling size of vendors. Reviewing more than three to five service providers can be overwhelming. Most retailers like to compare vendors against each other on criteria such as product features, clients they’ve worked with, support during and after implementation, and, of course, price.
- Start with self-driven research when looking into a new technology. No one knows your business better than you do, including what technology is the right fit for it. Self-driven research can include everything from Google searches to conversations with vendors and/or their clients. Gain firsthand knowledge. Confide with team members who will be working with the platform from day to day.
- Tap into peer networks and communities to get the skinny on service providers. Recommendations from other retailers — as well as vendors to stay away from — are extremely valuable (and relevant) when vetting potential technology partners.
The 2017 Retail Technology Report serves as a valuable resource for retailers looking to learn more about the technology landscape within their industry, offering them the chance to benchmark themselves against their competition. In addition, service providers to the industry can gain insights into how they can better serve their clients — e.g., how do retailers most often learn about new technology. We'll be continuing our reporting on this proprietary data in the coming weeks. You can access the full 2017 Retail Technology Report: An Analysis of Trends, Buying Behaviors and Future Opportunities, by downloading it here.
Related story: The 2017 Retail Technology Report