Editor's Note: Introducing Total Retail's 2017 Retail Technology Report
Technology is top of mind for most retailers today, no matter their size, product category or any other variables. As such, Total Retail surveyed its audience with the goal of finding out what types of retail technology retailers are interested in (as well as investing in), what retail trends and digital trends they’re tracking, and their thoughts on the future of retail. The findings are now available in Total Retail's newly released report, The 2017 Retail Technology Report: An Analysis of Trends, Buying Behaviors and Future Opportunities. (The report is sponsored by Radial, an omnichannel commerce technology and operations provider.)
The findings were enlightening: While emerging technologies such as augmented and virtual reality, chatbots (artificial intelligence), and drones get a lot of media attention for how they’re going to disrupt the retail industry — and they very well may in the near future — it’s more basic solutions like marketing automation software, video and mobile websites that currently have retailers’ attention.
The survey asked retailers what technologies they’re currently using; how spending on those technologies will change in the next 12 months; their opinions on the emerging technologies that will have the biggest impact on the retail industry in 2018; and how they go about buying technology, from who in their organization is involved in the decision-making process to how many vendors they typically consider for a moderate to major technology purchase to how long the entire buying process typically takes.
Retail Technology Trends
What we found is that retailers are moving slower to adopt new technologies than perceived. Consider that only half (50.8 percent) of respondents said they currently have a mobile commerce site. Likewise, less than 40 percent of respondents (39.36 percent) said they plan to increase their spending on personalization technology in the next 12 months.
In terms of the technology buying process, while 30 percent of respondents said their omnichannel departments/teams have no involvement in the technology buying process, more departments in general seem to be involved in the decision-making process — led by IT, C-suite executives, and marketing. Retailers also prefer to evaluate just two to three service providers for a moderate to major technology purchase, and most have made their purchase within three months. With the large price tags accompanying new technology solutions, the buying process from start to finish seems to be expedited more than we might have expected.
Additional findings include the following:
- 51 percent of respondents will be increasing their spending on marketing automation technology in the next 12 months;
- 37 percent of respondents believe the Internet of Things is the emerging technology that will have the greatest impact on the retail industry in 2018; and
- 67 percent of respondents most often discover new technology through self-driven research.
This 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, technology providers serving the retail industry will find value in this exclusive data, which will help them better serve their existing customers as well as recruit new ones.
Download the report for free today!