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The 2017 Retail Technology Report
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"The 2017 Retail Technology Report"

To get a better understanding of retailers’ current and future technology strategies and needs, as well as their internal processes for evaluating and purchasing technology, Total Retail surveyed its audience in August.

We wanted to know what are the technologies they’re currently using; how spending on those technologies will change in the next 12 months; their opinions on the emerging retail technology trends that will have the biggest impact on the industry in 2018; and how they go about buying technology, from who in their organization is involved in the decision-making process to how many vendors they typically consider to how long the entire process typically takes.

While innovative retail technologies such as augmented and virtual reality, chatbots (i.e., artificial intelligence), and drones get a lot of media attention for how they’re going to disrupt the industry — and they very well may be the future of retail — it’s more basic solutions like marketing automation software, video and mobile websites that currently have retailers’ attention. The theory that you have to learn to walk before you can run certainly applies to the executives that participated in Total Retail’s survey on retail technology trends and buying behaviors.

Here are some of the key findings from the report:

  • 51 percent of respondents will be increasing their spending on marketing automation technology in the next 12 months.
  • 37 percent of respondents believe the Internet of Things is the emerging technology that will have the greatest impact on the retail industry in 2018.
  • 67 percent of respondents most often discover new technology through self-driven research.
  • 30 percent of respondents said their omnichannel departments/teams have no involvement in the technology buying process.

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