Retail, wholesale and manufacturing companies are turning to Internet of Things (IoT), Automation and Virtual Reality (VR) to drive sales and improve customer experiences.
This is according to a new report by global ecommerce consultancy firm Salmon, which says almost two thirds (61 per cent) of European companies in abovementioned industries are investing and believing in IoT.
For a third (35 per cent), enabling IoT is among the biggest business priorities for the next year.
More than half (53 per cent) are looking to take advantage of voice interface technology in the next five years. Almost six in ten (59 per cent) want to take advantage of VR and AR, while 69 per cent are looking to robots to help them fuel sales and boost customer experience.
Another 60 per cent is very interested in machine learning for the next half a decade.
Even though the vast majority of companies sees technology as a business advantage, more than a third (36 per cent) finds it difficult to commit to new technologies, and fears losing money if it invests in the wrong things. Almost half (47 per cent) thinks they invested in technology that was a waste of money.
Almost a third (29 per cent) doesn’t have technology set up to cope with upcoming trends, and 20 per cent can’t keep up with niche players.
“Ecommerce is undoubtedly one of the most exciting and rapid developing industries, and it’s vital that companies continue to innovate to boost business and consumer demand,” said Patrick Munden, Global Head of Retail at Salmon.
“Exploring the latest technologies is no longer a nice-to-have but a must-have for any businesses expecting to drive sales and improve their customer experience. This latest research shows that, whilst many perceive technologies such as wearables, mixed/virtual reality and voice interfaces as the preserve of the tech-savvy consumer, wholesale, manufacturing and retailers are now investing heavily in this space.”
Munden continued: “With 74 per cent of businesses looking to move platform to meet future needs, it’s important to remember that technology is just one part of the equation – who you work with to help implement that platform has a huge impact on its success. Almost all respondents cited experience by far as the most sought-after trait, with 94 per cent citing the ability to understand their vision and help develop it as important. However, it’s not about a partner simply saying “yes” all the time. 91 per cent said they want a partner that can challenge their thinking.”
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