Retailers Looking to Spend Big on Tech

Jun 17, 2013 4:04 PM  By

Retail executives are expected to spend capital in 2013 to expand growth in some key areas including technology over the next year.  Furthermore, social media, mobile along with online promotions and coupons are the technology-related trends having a significant impact on the retail industry in 2013, according to the 2013 Retail Outlook Survey by KPMG LLP.  

According to the report, 85% of respondents predict the retail industry will experience growth over the coming year. 

Technology has driven a transformation in the retail industry.  Social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and mobile and online shopping along with promotions and coupons through mobile devices and online channels have seen a significant impact, according to the report.

 Seventy-one percent of respondents said social media is the technology-related trend that is having a significant impact for retailers, according to the report.   Mobile and online shopping is the second highest technology-related trend that is having a significant impact on retailers at 52%.  Mobile/online promotions and coupons stands at 51%. 

The ability of using QR codes and compare products and pricing is on the lower side of the list, only 18% of respondents saw this as having a significant impact on their business. Mobile payments are even lower on the list at 16%.  

Getting to know customers better has become a valuable part of the retail industry, according to the report.  Retailers are leveraging data and analytics in brand and product management when they are making pricing decisions. 

The top three areas organizations used data and analytics to help support strategic decision making were customer insight at 72%, brand and product management at 67% and pricing decisions at 56%.  Each of these key areas saw a slight jump from 2012.

 When it comes to cloud computing, according to the report, 37% said cloud computing will provide management with greater transparency on transactions.  Below that, 31% say it will reduce costs. 

According to the report, the spread of cloud computing has helped retailers not only have large computing resources at their disposal, but it has allowed them to match demand with their sales season.  Many are also looking to move all of their platform-based solutions to the cloud. 

There are some areas in which retailers are expecting to increase spending.  In 2013, information technology is a key area where 40% of respondents said they will increase spending.  Below that is advertising and marketing, according to 24% of respondents.

The survey reflected the viewpoints of 101 senior executives in the United States. It was done during the spring of 2013.