Report shows businesses taking advantage of mobile and online.
A report by IDC Retail Insights shows that retailers are increasingly keen to utilise online and mobile technologies to boost their businesses.
The study confirms retailers are adopting IP-based networking and mobile solutions to reduce the virtual (and physical) distance between point of sale and warehouses, headquarters, distribution centres, and sales channels. It also shows retailers are using the technology to get more from their relationships with current and potential customers.
Consumers are connected every day to the web and many now have smart phones on which they can access the internet. Retailers recognise the opportunities that exist from a marketing, sales and customer service perspective.
According to the research findings, in 2010, spending on networking equipment and retail-specific mobile store devices will continue to grow and will do so in the next few years. General merchandise and food stores are the segments with the most significant increase in expenditure.
IDC Retail Insights also highlights a shift in mobile applications and usage. The study shows that Western European retailers are focusing their IT investments on applications and services aimed at improving specific business processes, for example inventory and warehouse management, and improving customer service and support. Connection to an integrated content platform of mobile consumer devices, online channels, and in-store technologies will generate a very different customer experience.
Ivano Ortis, research director for IDC Retail Insights EMEA, said:
"IDC Retail Insights finds that mobile consumer interaction will allow retailers to blend payment, loyalty, customer service, and promotional offers to the next level. Our research shows that European retailers are shifting mobile and networking strategies from an era of internal collaboration and supply chain efficiencies to a focus on customer-facing applications."