More than 80% of German retailers assign the highest priority to the expansion of their e-commerce activities and the development of links between e-commerce and bricks-and-mortar stores. Their investment plans reflect this orientation: 45% of retailers intend to invest in IT solutions and services for cross-channel integration within the next two years, and another 37% plan to do so within five years. These investments will focus primarily on mobile applications for smart phones and tablets – solutions that are on the investment agenda for 72% of the surveyed retailers by 2018 at the latest. The implementation of CRM solutions is likewise planned during this time by 57% of retail companies.
The new study commissioned by Wincor Nixdorf discovered that in adapting their IT structures for e-commerce, retailers have developed a “surprisingly clear” tendency toward the use of a central IT platform that assists them in controlling and orchestrating the individual applications and processes. Wincor Nixdorf’s solution for omnichannel retailing was developed with this insight in mind: TP Application Suite uses a single data source and a common logic across all channels, enabling reductions in complexity and the integration of new applications in the future.
Migrating to an omnichannel approach is a big challenge for a retailer. This is why around 70% of those surveyed are hoping for support from their IT service providers, both in developing their omnichannel strategies and in adapting internal processes and organizational structures accordingly.
Yet despite the future importance of e-commerce and omnichannel strategies, retailers don’t believe that the death knell has sounded for stationary retail. In fact, 98% of them are convinced that in the future, their bricks-and-mortar stores will play a key role in customer contact. However, it’s also clear to them that the image of the store is changing – from a pure sales channel to a support element for their digital business. According to the study, in the future the store will play a stronger role as a showroom and a touchpoint for picking up and paying for items that have been ordered online.
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