The Candid Voice in Retail Technology: Objective Insights, Pragmatic Advice

Making eCom Fun: We’ll Get To That?

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By now we all know that the fated "retail apocalypse" never occurred. But the threat Amazon poses to retailers is still very real. And in our latest eCommerce benchmark, we wondered (out loud) if retailers had accepted this truth and had a) stopped panicking and b) started acting in self-defense. So what did they tell us?

For starters, they are still far too focused on price. Consumer price sensitivity continues to be retailers’ top business challenge,particularly for those whose sales are already in trouble. On a bright note, however, for those who are overperforming (what we call Retail Winners)their worries have shifted, and they are now concerned that they are losing out when it comes to consumer-facing innovation. So what we expected was they would be investing accordingly, hoping to get in front of shoppers in a more meaningful (and exciting) way online.

But when partner Brian Kilcourse and I first looked at the data, one of the first things that jumped out at us had to do with those very techs.

If you haven’t read the report yet, you absolutely should. Retailers of every size and stripe told us they have tremendous interest in virtually every technology we put in front of them, with Winners even more hungry for innovation. These technologies range from site performance monitoring (80%), to customer identity management tools (69%) – even fraud management (75%). Not even the fun stuff.

However, their implementation of these technologies sorely lags in a way that we rarely see in any research we conduct. Those same 3 technologies drop to 49%, 35%, and 47%, respectively – and that’s when asking Winners what they are currently using and happy with. The results are even lower for average and lagging retailers, and even lower than that for more exciting, customer-facing things like chat (28%), personalized product recommendations (35%), and community building platforms (24%).

So what we’re left with is an ever-growing wishlist, but only a few areas of real investment.

It’s a real problem, and one that we are trying to address without wagging our fingers too much, but a real problem nonetheless. We genuinely hope the report – available here – helps drive home how important it is to avoid the “we’ll get to that someday” mindset.

Like everything we do, it’s available to everyone for free.

 


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Articles & Opinions July 24, 2018
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