Retailer spending on next-gen tech ‘to skyrocket’

Retailers are set to accelerate spending on next-generation technologies over the next few years, according to a new report.

The research, from internet service provider Claranet, which surveyed hundreds of firms across Europe, revealed that while many retailers are already using next-generation technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT), spend on these technologies is expected to rocket in the coming years.

It found that 68 per cent of retailers reported having already invested in AI to some extent, with 94 per cent using IoT technologies, and 97 per cent using the cloud.

Moreover, these technologies are set to accelerate rapidly though to 2020, indicating how seriously retailers are taking their digital transformation efforts. Spending on artificial intelligence is set to increase by 53 per cent over the next three years compared to the previous three and the amount of budget given to cloud will increase by 24 per cent.

However, the biggest growth area will be IoT according to the survey, with retailers spending on average £224,000 on IoT over the last three years. These figures are expected to climb to £605,000 over the coming three – an increase of 169 per cent.

Commenting on the findings, Michel Robert, UK managing director at Claranet, said: “The retail sector is hugely competitive, so organisations need to be innovative in their approaches as a matter of necessity. Retailers have always been fast adopters of cloud, but what our research has shown is that retailers are seizing the opportunity to adopt the most sophisticated next-generation technologies.

“This approach illustrates the intensity of the battle to gain competitive advantage by improving the customer experience and harvesting valuable customer data.”

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