Sixty-four percent of Western European retailers are currently undergoing digital transformation efforts, while further 21% have revealed plans to start by the end of 2015.
These are the findings of the “Digitally Transforming Retail Businesses: The Western European Perspective” study released by IDC Retail Insights in July 2015.
The study's key findings include:
- Creating an omni-channel backbone will be the foundation of digital transformation in retail. It is essential for retail companies to have a single view of core data elements such as order, customer, and inventory. They are expected to strongly focus on these areas, as demonstrated by the high percentage of new investments in them.
- Fast movers and best-in-class retailers are working hard to increasingly digitalize their physical stores. As expected, there is no single way to achieve this objective. Interestingly, Western European companies are prioritizing two areas of investments — empowering sales associates with mobile capabilities and replicating personalized online engagements in-store.
- Considerable investments are expected to be made in the ecommerce space; the whole technology and business situation is rapidly evolving and pushing retailers to add more advanced capabilities to their traditional ecommerce platforms. That said, mobile commerce is the next frontier for retailers looking to optimize customer experience.
- Fulfilling complex customer order requirements across multiple and different customer touch points has recently emerged as a challenge for retailers. A wave of new investments that could provide the capabilities needed by vendors is expected to come.
The study assesses Western European retailers' investment plans for 2015 and beyond, emphasizing technologies that they will leverage to digitally transform their businesses.
IDC Retail Insights assists retail businesses and IT leaders, as well as the suppliers that serve them, in making more effective technology decisions by providing fact-based research and consulting services. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology media, research and events company.