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Retailers blame IT for lack of innovation

Not only are retailers blaming their IT departments for the lack of innovation, they also say the department is a productivity blocker.

Those are the results of a new survey released today by Daisy, a provider of end-to-end business technology and communications.

According to the report, more than two thirds (69 per cent) of retailers believe complex IT is delaying the trial and implementation of new store concepts and innovation.

Outdated and legacy systems are making them less competitive, the report also said.

“The importance of the store as part of a retailer’s future plans cannot be underestimated; more than half of the retailers we surveyed said improving the in-store experience was their biggest focus. However, there is a danger that this could be undermined if technology infrastructures fail to catch up.” said James Pickering, retail specialist at Daisy Corporate Services.

“The old approach of buying a piece of equipment and using it for 20 years is now making retailers less competitive, compared to those using technologies that are faster and more flexible.”

Among major IT investments retailers expect to make over the course of the next 12 months, self-service portals were the most popular response, followed by digital signage, websites, and data and analytics.

Even though data signage was listed as one of the most wanted innovations, it requires geo-location services. Still, just 17 per cent consider this a major investment area.

“Bricks and mortar stores continue to evolve and are increasingly becoming a fulfilment and returns location for digital orders, as well as a place to become engaged and spend time with friends and family,” continued James Pickering. “Ensuring the consumer’s in-store experience is both comfortable and feels consistent to the brand is vital for success. Our research shows that retailers’ marketing and customer experience teams are keen to innovate, but it is clear that they need the IT support to ensure that the future in-store customer experience is delivered on. At a time when events such as ‘Brexit’ are creating uncertainty in the market, retailers need to carefully consider the investment they make to improve the in-store experience so that it benefits both the business and consumer.”

Image source: Shutterstock/Chones