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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7 Nov-Dec 2016 rounded; we're not overly deficient in any single area" this year, just half agreed. That figure holds steady with 2015 findings. Similarly, there's steady year-over-year agreement with the statement, "My company has invested in technologies that will help our stores succeed." Nearly three quarters of merchants agreed this year. We've been conducting this survey for a long time, and these confidence indicators are the best we've seen to date. Consider that when asked that same question in 2009 — on the heels of the Great Recession — just half of merchants expressed confidence in their technology investments. Beyond merely asking merchants if they're confident in their tech portfolios, however, our survey explored the specific tech picks that have been working well for them. As such, we've uncovered some strong opinions on the healthy adoption of the more progressive trends and technologies coming to market. Of those, migration to the SaaS model is perhaps the most prevalent. Kudos To Cloud More merchants are falling in love with the cloud. We asked survey respondents whether they agreed with the statement, "my company is actively moving applications to the cloud." Half of our survey sample, which spanned merchants from all sizes and segments, said yes. Fewer than 20 percent said they're not, with the rest unsure. That so many of the execs we surveyed are unsure about whether the software they're using is hosted or on-premises comes as no surprise; in fact, it only affirms the maturation of cloud applications and their delivery. Many of the professionals we survey are discipline-specific managers in merchandising, marketing, loss prevention, and e-commerce. They're not intimately familiar with the software procurement or delivery process. In the early days of SaaS, it might have been obvious to them when they accessed a remotely hosted application. App performance might have been telling. Perhaps a clunky user interface was a dead giveaway. Today, network, security, and user experience improvements on the part of cloud-based application vendors have spanned those chasms. When we asked our survey audience to share the best technology decision their company made in 2015-2016, cloud adoption was the far-and-away leader. They cited lower cost and technology barriers and real-time access to a host of decision- making data. When we asked which of these good decisions had the most positive impact on their bottom lines, cloud was again among the top two responses.

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