Retailers ramp up tech investment as stores play digital catch-up
Global retail technology spending will top $203 billion in 2019, according to research conducted by Tech., a collaboration between Retail Week and World Retail Congress.
A 3.6% increase on 2018, it comes as physical retailers strive to add an advanced digital dimension to offline shopping. The need to engage customers in new ways, while managing stock, operations and promotions more effectively and cost-efficiently, are also driving up IT spending.
In the UK, meanwhile, a third of retailers expect to invest six figure sums on technology over the next 18 months. And 45% claim to be using visual search, including the likes of Asos, Boohoo, M&S, eBay and Argos. Visualisation generally is proving important to sell higher-value items – for example, customers can get a better feel for how furniture or a new kitchen would look in their own home.
Poppie Mickleburgh, Director of Tech., says: “New technologies have unlocked a level of potential that would have been unimaginable just a generation ago. All regions agree that there is a need for digital transformation and that a change in leadership mindset is required to do this. However, how they go about tackling this, and which technologies they prioritise, differ – which is fascinating, and offers a chance for international peers to learn from eachother.”