Quarter of retailers say ‘data management is biggest challenge’

25 per cent of UK retailers identify data management and integration as their biggest problem, according to a new survey by Red Ant. The study surveyed 100 retailers at the Retail Technology Show in April.

Almost half – 49 per cent – of retailers felt their data strategy was clear yet not widely understood across their organisation, while 39 per cent lacked confidence in the quality of their data.

Other common challenges included finding the right skills - 23 per cent - and confusion over which retail technologies to implement - 21 per cent.

Beyond addressing technology challenges since the onset of the pandemic in March 2020, the majority of respondents – 82 per cent – acknowledged the value of clienteling, while 45 per cent stated that it was a priority for them.

44 per cent of retailers adopted retail tech within six months of the pandemic’s outset and 65 per cent within 12 months. A notable proportion of retailers invested in sustainability - 38 per cent - and 24 per cent said they had invested in frictionless payment systems.

Despite the fanfare around experiential, augmented reality and social commerce technologies, these were invested in by only 9, 15 and 10 per cent respectively.

Sarah Friswell, chief executive at Red Ant, said: “These results tell us that whilst the majority of organisations say they have invested in retail tech since the pandemic began, this will provide only short-term value if their data quality and management isn’t where it needs to be…too many retailers are considering improvements without having a clear and well-communicated data strategy.”

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