Retailers are investing in these technologies

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
cloud
Retailers want to upgrade technology across the enterprise.

A new study reveals what types of technology solutions are drawing the interest of retailers.

The annual ‘Pulse of Retail’ report from Mercaux, Fluent Commerce, Commercetools, and Orium indicates that during 2023, 83% of surveyed retailers will increase investment in e-commerce solutions while 72% will increase investments in brick-and-mortar technology.

The survey of more than 500 retail executives also reveals the top technologies in “launch phase” are centered around customer experiences, with 87% of respondents focusing on this area during 2023.

Eight in 10 (79%) respondents think transitioning from legacy to next-generation POS systems is important, although only 11% currently offer a frictionless omnichannel experience where customers can seamlessly transition between shopping online and in-store.

One in five respondents has deployed a mobile POS solution, and 75% want to reduce lines by moving away from traditional front-of-store cash desks. Four in 10 (41%) respondents stated that implementing kiosks is “greatly important” in the evolution of checkout in-store, followed by checkout using a customer’s own device (40%).

Two-thirds (67%) of respondents say they are ready for in-store next-generation technologies, with 30% being midway through updating their infrastructures. Since the 2022 Pulse of Retail research was conducted, the number of in-store technologies that have been deployed by surveyed retailers has doubled, with the highest jump appearing in omnichannel technologies, rising from 10% to 28% implementation rate.

“The survey’s results showcase that retailers are keenly aware of the importance of investing in technology to improve the in-store experience,” said Mercaux co-founder and CEO Olga Kotsur. “However, there is still a large gap to fill in regards to creating a cohesive omnichannel experiences. As the industry continues to evolve and adapt, it will be interesting to see how retailers address these challenges and continue to innovate this year, and in the years to come.”

Mercaux worked with CensusWide, a global research company, to poll 550 retail executives that work in the headquarters of retailers that operate both e-commerce and brick-and-mortar stores (excluding food, wine and grocery).

Survey: Retailers will boost tech spending

According to a recent survey of more than 200 U.S.-based retail IT decision-makers conducted by Coresight Research and commissioned by VMWare Inc., more than two-thirds (68%) of respondents plan to increase retail technology spending in the next several years, with close to 30% planning to increase spending by 10%.

Respondents to the Coresight/VMWare survey indicated security and safety as the most significant potential pain point impacting net revenue. These areas include retail crime, such as e-commerce returns fraud, shoplifting, and cybersecurity breaches.

More than 50% of respondents currently use RFID/smart tags for tracking, making it the most popular currently deployed technology. Other top safety and security technologies indicated by the survey include digital video for loss prevention.

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