Nearly three-quarters (74%) of retailers are planning to increase technology spending in the next 12 months, according to new research.
Total Retail’s 2019 Retail Technology Report, produced in conjunction with enterprise customer data platform Arm Treasure Data, says that retailers and brands are re-evaluating the technology they’re investing in and turning to technology systems that enable omnichannel operations, such as order and inventory management systems.
This comes in response to the cross-channel behaviour of today’s consumers, who switch from channel to channel and device to device in the same purchase journey.
Technology systems such as inventory and order management are essential for operating buy online, pick up in-store (BOPIS), buy online, return in-store (BORIS) and ship from store, which have become popular with consumers and retailers alike, Total Retail said. They help to ensure the right inventory is in the right place at the right time, enabling seamless fulfilment of orders no matter how the customer chooses to transact.
Total Retail’s survey of retail executives found that over the next 12 months, the biggest increases in technology spending are planned for inventory and order management systems, as well as marketing automation – driven by the growth of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning.
AI is the emerging technology that’s expected to have the biggest impact on the retail industry in the next 12 months. The multiple applications for AI within a retail organisation — ranging from customer service and personalised marketing to optimised logistics — make it an attractive investment target.
The top tech-related challenge for retailers and brands is integrating new technology solutions with existing systems.
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