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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survey develop, on average, three or more mobile applications (24.5% plan on developing more than 11 mobile apps in 2016), 70.3% of small retailers develop three APIs, or fewer per retailer. For SMRs with a limited IT budget to modernize their legacy systems, APIs, as a key enabling technology to introduce the digital transformation into their legacy environments, are an increasingly important piece of retail infrastructure. As SMRs try to look "bigger" and provide more of the same retail experience as larger competitors, they need to take an expanded view of mobile app APIs into areas such as personalized engagement, product evaluation and selection, shopping cart, store navigation, payment, loyalty, and fulfillment and support. While the SMR needs to continue to support the retail operation's core functions, retailers need to double down on introducing more innovation into their enterprises, infuse their infrastructures with more agility, and deliver more services to their consumers faster. Mobile capabilities, delivered via APIs, are surely looking like a very strategic part of the retail infrastructure. Analytics For Agility And Anticipation Of Customers' Expectations What are the key information/data/ analytics investments SMRs should be making right now to improve responsiveness to customer needs? Greg Girard: Today's consumers hold the advantage. Millions in the United States and billions worldwide are changing their shopping habits with greater speed and ease than retailers can change how they engage shoppers and buy, market, and sell merchandise. Most are saddled with enterprise, operational, and consumer- facing systems and processes set up for consumption-based retail, but convenience is replacing consumption as an engine of growth. Consumers have a new mantra —"My best experience anywhere is my minimum expectation everywhere." A broad range of analytical insight is fundamental to creating a great customer experience. Insight needs to be as broad as your customers' experience across your entire business. Insight needs to include description of what's happening, prediction of what can happen under various assumptions, and prescription of what actions you should take given the most likely circumstances ahead. Our research doesn't paint a pretty picture for SMR companies compared to larger retailers' use of analytics. Figure 4 shows the situation in a key encompassing metric — stage of analytics implementation. Nearly twice as many SMR companies do not yet have analytics even as pilots, compared to larger retailers. At the other end of the spectrum, it's just the opposite. Nearly twice as many larger retailers as SMR companies run analytics in production across the business, 26% versus 14%. 1 There's an important signal that SMR companies are waking up to, and that's the importance of analytics to becoming more agile. By a slight margin, most cited streamlining operations as one of their top-two 2016 business priorities. They are 29% more likely than larger retailers to cite SMR Supplement 20 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% Analytics Private Cloud Social Business Mobility IoT Public Cloud Small/Medium Retailers Large Retailers "Consumers have a new mantra — 'My best experience anywhere is my minimum expectation everywhere.' " Greg Girard, Director, IDC Retail Insights Source: 2016 Vertical IT & Communications Survey, IDC, May, 2016 Big Data Figure 4 SMR Companies vs. Larger Retailers in Implementing Analytics 1 Source: QB1_2 Table 2 in 2016 Vertical IT & Communications Survey, IDC, May, 2016

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