Investment in ecommerce is the leading priority for non-food retailers, according to a new report on IT spending.
The IT in Retail report of the top 100 companies, researched by Martec International and sponsored by BT Expedite, found that 24% of non-food retailers ranked ecommerce systems as their top priority for investment. Store systems were number one for 18% of respondents.
The report found that retailers with a store network were now seeing more sales come from non-store sales. They now stand at 6.3% up from 4.8% at the same time last year. And 88% of retailers believe that non-store sales will increase next year.
The form that investment in ecommerce systems is likely to take ranged, according to the report, from a first transactional website to adding extra features and products to improve the customer experience.
Richard Lowe, chief executive of BT Expedite, said: “The increased importance of multichannel retailing stands out as the area of growth, reinforcing the power of the web and store working together as sales channels blur.
“This is the age of the ‘smart shopper’, who use a variety of channels to shop and search for information about stock availability, pricing, promotions and product features.”
However the report also suggested IT budgets may not return to pre-recession levels. Brian Hume, managing director of Martec International, said: “Although IT spend is still at recessionary levels it’s heartening to see retailers are once again planning to invest in technology.
“But IT directors will need to get better at building business cases if they are to gain the share of scarce investment capital they need to turn their plans into reality.”
More information and a summary of the research is available here.