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Retailers' Plans for Digitizing the Store

Posted on 1.23.2014

The National Retail Federation, Demandware and the University of Arizona recently teamed up to publish, “Digitizing the Store, The Next Wave of Online and Offline Convergence” to quantify the convergence of POS and e-commerce technology and its impact on digitizing stores. 

Close to 250 retailers, primarily in U.S., Germany and U.K., were surveyed as part of the study and what researches found, was that, unsurprisingly, connected consumers (armed with technology and information) are driving change to the retail experience. 

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Nearly 40 percent of retail executives surveyed now believe that a single platform will simplify the technology environment over the next three years and provide seamless engagement and transactions throughout the shopping journey. In short, many retailers can’t keep pace with consumers who use multiple devices and touchpoints to connect with their brands with their existing infrastructure, architecture and applications. 

Even though 40 percent of these retailers are considering a single platform to manage customer interactions and transactions, Rob Garf, Demandware VP of Industry Strategy, was somewhat surprised that a third of them are still undecided. He thinks there are two major reasons for their hesitation. The first is that many vendors are still maturing in this area and, secondly, it’s hard; it’s complex; and it’s not like flipping a switch. 

The other piece that really stuck out to Garf was that retailers are considering an e-commerce platform at two times the rate than traditional POS.

As for what e-commerce professionals can expect from the same survey next year, Garf anticipates seeing early adopters embracing the single-platform strategy and realizing the value from this approach.

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