Report: advanced customization and analysis list of retail initiatives for 2021


  • According to a recent Forrester report, as more retailers become the first digital, customization and advanced analytics tools have been the highest on the list of technology investments retailers are making this year.
  • Retailers are also investing in omnichannel compliance, as shopping through various channels has become very popular. Approximately 31% of retail executives earmarked a large reduction in the 2020 budget for omnichannel performance.
  • Augmented reality and virtual reality, on the other hand, topped the list of advertising-based technology for retailers and brands. Although several retailers have developed initiatives in both categories, the report indicates that retailers have not yet adopted these technologies more widely.

Dive Insight:

COVID-19 has not only accelerated the shift of retailers to a more digital world, but has also shaped their priorities in retail technology for 2021.

As the path to consumer purchasing becomes more complex, shopping personalization will become more sophisticated, the report states. While it’s clear to retailers that personalization initiatives are a priority, consumers don’t seem impressed with their efforts so far. The report cited that only 19% of online consumers in the United States think that the information gathered by retailers makes their online experience better.

Although advanced analysis lost its first place compared to last year, it remains a high priority. Among retailers and decision makers on wholesale technology, 52% said they already had these tools, 32% of which plan to expand their use.

The increase in e-commerce, in-store pickup and edge positioning have also made omnichannel compliance more relevant in recent months. Of the retailers that already have omnichannel compliance programs, 22% said they plan to make improvements.

Investments in retail technology generally tripled year-over-year in the second quarter to $ 31.5 billion, as more consumers become omnichannel buyers, according to a CB Insights report. It seems that Walmart also seized this opportunity. The Bentonville, Arkansas-based retailer announced in July that it plans to sell its omnichannel technology to other companies.

While some categories have gained popularity, they have not made the list of “hot” technology initiatives due to the low number of business cases in which they generate a positive return on investment. Still, virtual assistants, geofencing, and chatbots are some of the initiatives that are “on the radar” for retailers.

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