Innovative Retail Technologies

NOV-DEC 2016

Innovative Retail Technologies (formerly Integrated Solutions For Retailers) is the premier source for innovative yet pragmatic technology solutions in the retail industry.

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The in-store mobile hardware investment has been on the upswing for the past several years, and now merchants are building out the communications infrastructures required to put that mobile device investment to good use. How do we know this? Consider that: • In 2016, mobile POS devices led in-store hardware investment priorities. • In 2015, mobile device management was tops in the in- store software spending category. • For 2017, mobile devices for store associates — not POS — topped all other intended investments for in-store hardware spending in our survey, besting mobile POS hardware and printers. Unsurprisingly, we're also anticipating considerable continued investment in payment processing throughout 2017. The great EMV revolution has shaped up to look more like an evolution here in the U.S., and our annual benchmark survey supports that tale. Even as merchants faced the October 2015 liability shift, we didn't see a concerted spike in payment terminal investments. Rather, spending there has been steady as merchants methodically face the inevitable switch to EMV — the category peaked at around 30 percent in 2015 and hovered at around 20 percent in the years prior and since. Payment processing software, however, is a top-three store-level software investment priority in 2017. Printers, a perennial leader in hardware spending, will also be a hot commodity in 2017 as more retailers are drawn to the smaller, mobile, multipurpose, and intelligent printer offerings on the market. These mobile-enablement trends dovetail with another interesting year-over-year observation. Customer experience management/loyalty has been the top marketing and operations priority for retailers for the past three years, and it was a top-three choice for the two years prior to that. By contrast, as recently as 2011, just 30 percent of retailers had planned customer experience management investments. Merchants realize that to execute on their customer experience differentiation initiatives, software, mobile devices, and wireless networks must work congruously. Social media and e-commerce platforms rounded out the general marketing and operations category. For more detailed analysis of 9 Nov-Dec 2016

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