Sales 'more dependent on tech than location' by 2022
Written by Peter Walker
Only a third of retail decision-makers believe a physical location will be a key method of customer access in 2022, outweighed by chatbots (51 per cent), voice (48 per cent) and augmented reality (32 per cent).
This is according to a survey of 279 senior retail staff in November by independent tech leader community Nimbus Ninety, which also revealed that 70 per cent are expecting to see their digital budget increase this year, up from 67 per cent last year and 54 per cent the year before.
Big data analytics is at the top of these spending priorities for 45 per cent of respondents, with more firms than ever looking to invest in artificial intelligence as well as (?) machine learning.
For larger organisations, improving operational efficiency was considered the highest digital priority for 85 per cent of respondents, while 85 per cent of medium and smaller organisations saw improving customer engagement as a high priority in their digital strategy.
Elsewhere, the survey showed that 27 per cent and 25 per cent of respondents respectively ranked intuitive user experience and personalised products/services as most important to their customers, although improving personalisation was one of the lowest-ranked priorities for businesses as a whole.
Using insight from data effectively was cited as a bigger challenge than Brexit for retailers in 2019, with 45 per cent of respondents worried about data versus only 19 per cent for Brexit.
While 63 per cent of respondents agreed that their organisations were struggling to attract the right skill sets, only 20 per cent ranked staff training as a very high priority in 2019.
Emma Taylor, founder and managing director of Nimbus Ninety, said that perhaps the most surprising result was that data management is expected to be a larger challenge in 2019 for organisations that Brexit.
“This suggests that the digital challenges facing our members are immense; and that the rewards for good digital management are commensurately large,” she added.