Retailers to ramp up investment in technology this year

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Retailers plan to spend more on technology this year, with mobile, websites and new IT systems sitting at the top of their lists.

A survey of the top 60 retailers in the UK showed that shops are confident that technology will help boost sales.

More than 80 per cent believe that it will improve business efficiency, while nearly the same number of respondents plan to increase their technology spending this year compared to the amount spent in 2013.

Commissioned by law firm TLT, the Retail Growth Strategies Survey 2014 noted that retailers are most enthusiastic about mobile payments. In fact, 25 per cent of those surveyed are already accepting mobile payments and 38 per cent are planning to do so.

About 50 per cent of retailers are also interested in other technologies including consumer apps, in-store iPads and image recognition, while about a third are eyeing augmented reality (AR) technologies.

Moreover, more than 50 per cent of those surveyed plan to invest in eCommerce platforms to enable them to cope with the growing demand for online shopping.

“Retailers see the value in boosting investment in technology with a focus on how it can help co-ordinate product, price and promotion across all channels. This is a clear response to well-informed and price aware consumers who expect to use multiple channels simultaneously to research and buy products,” said TLT’s head of retail Perran Jervis.

However, despite their interest in technology, 69 per cent of the retailers do not know Haptic technology, or one that mimics touch via vibration, while 88 per cent indicated that they are not interested in 3D printing.

When asked to choose between online or physical stores, three quarters of the retailers still opted for bricks and mortar.

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