Key Trends in Retail IT, 2017 - Driving Customer Experience and Operational Efficiency through Innovative Technologies
Retail sector is undergoing a major transformation as a result of changing market conditions that threaten the ongoing success of established players that have dominated their market segments for decades. New competition is emerging from online retailers that require fewer overheads and can offer more favorable prices and larger product portfolios than bricks and mortar stores. As margins are increasingly squeezed, retailers are looking at more innovative ways to differentiate and add value for their demanding customers by creating in-store experiences that also need to integrate seamlessly with digital channels including mobile platforms.
Retailers’ business and digital transformation strategies are influenced by various factors that will drive the emergence of innovative technologies throughout 2017. Therefore, IT investments will focus primarily on optimizing various business processes through greater insight from analytics, automation and the integration of different systems for better information utilization.
Retailers will increasingly compete on customer experience through virtual and augmented reality in stores, and greater efficiency by reducing any friction such as queuing at checkouts or waiting for shop assistants to look up items. This will be achieved through optimized processes and layouts, driven by new software and hardware that may require sophisticated analytics in the background. The growing popularity of mobile apps and platforms with customers is challenging retailers’ traditional approaches to loyalty schemes and separate eCommerce sites. Retailers are under pressure to integrate their communication tools and develop apps that link to in-store devices such as beacons.
Supply chain management poses constant headaches for many retail decision makers who are looking to establish greater control over suppliers and avoid out of stock situations. By upgrading their supply chain management systems and introducing real-time asset visibility, retailers can achieve cost savings by eliminating any unnecessary steps in distribution and keeping lower inventory levels.
The report Key Trends in Retail IT, 2017 summarizes the key trends affecting digital technologies in retail in 2017, and discusses the drivers that influence their adoption. Retailers are exploring innovative ways to differentiate and create value-adding in-store experiences while also looking to collect and analyze more data. Digital technologies play a key role in driving retailers’ business transformation efforts, including various Internet of Things based devices, cloud services and mobile apps. In addition, advice is provided for IT vendors and retailers.
Companies mentioned in this report: Target, Philips, Genercal Electric, Acuity Brands, Wipro, Cognizant, Capgemini, Accenture, IBM, Cisco, HPE, BT, Orange, Telefonica.
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