Study: Retailers make technology a key priority for 2018

Using technology to improve the shopping experience is topping a majority of retailers’ 2018 to-do lists.

More than half (53%) of retailers will focus on leveraging technology to improve the shopping experience this year. This is an impressive jump from the 27% of retailers feel their current infrastructure is already capable of improving the in-store experience, according to a report from Zynstra, a software provider of intelligent edge infrastructure.

According to the data, only one-quarter of retailers said their in-store IT allowed them to frequently and regularly improve their in-store experience. Meanwhile, one-fifth said they had to delay or reject a past roll out of new in-store applications because of IT limitations, costs or concerns.

Retailers also plan to use technology to improve operational efficiencies (44%), enhance security and compliance of in-store IT (42%), drive in-store innovation (34%), mitigate the risk of end-of-life technology (27%), and incorporate all engagement channels in a single platform (17%).

“In today’s retail environment, particularly those organizations with a distributed branch network, having the right technology in place to support both operations and overall customer experience is a key competitive advantage,” said Nick East, CEO, Zynstra. “Increasingly, we’re finding the biggest impact on store cost and day-to-day operational efficiency improvements lie in implementing an intelligent edge infrastructure with end-to-end management and control.”

According to results, virtualization of point-of-sale systems is also playing an increasingly important role in in-store efficiency. Twenty-three percent of retailers said they already use the technology, while 26% said they would adopt it as soon as possible, and 21% said they would do so in the next two years.

“2018 is a crucial year in laying down the infrastructure that will reduce costs today and provide a long-term platform for a consistent and intentional customer experience,” said East. “In the challenging retail conditions that are predicted, those who don’t take this step are going to lose out.”
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