Retail organisations are expecting that those retailers who have undergone digital transformation will achieve both greater revenue and higher profits in the next two years, with big data and analytics being cited as the technology they are most heavily investing in today.
This was among the results of an SAP-sponsored survey by Oxford Economics shared at the NRF Annual Convention and Expo in New York earlier this month.
The SAP Digital Transformation Executive Study, which surveyed 3171 executives, discovered that 50 per cent of midsize and 44 per cent of large retail companies expect their revenue to increase by 5 to 10 per cent next year as a result of digital transformation.
The study revealed that more than 50 per cent of large and midsize retailers consider speed to market to be the most important driver of revenue growth over the next two years.
Among the top 100 retailers, 48 per cent named investment in digital skills and technology as a priority. While all respondents are investing heavily in big data and analytics this year, 25 per cent expect to invest heavily in machine learning over the next two years.
With all the emphasis on technology, it is perhaps surprising that the study reported that just 30 per cent of the top 100 retailers attribute their digital transformation achievements to up-to-date technology, while 34 per cent of midsize and 27 per cent of large retailers named effective management as the key.
“Retailers had a strong holiday season and their investments in big data are starting to pay off,” said Lori Mitchell-Keller, global general manager, Consumer Industries, SAP.
“As they continue to personalise and enhance the overall consumer experience, it will be important for them to consider new technologies such as machine learning and AI. The key to their success with the ongoing digital transformation is ensuring they take a holistic approach to operating a digital core that puts their customers at the centre of their business.”