Inventory management and predictive analytics software, in-store mobile device integration and e-commerce solutions are the biggest technology priorities for independent brick-and-mortar retailers, according to the first annual Retail Tech Forecast from LightSpeed.
LightSpeed surveyed 640 of its independent retail customers and found that most have focused their limited technology budget—82 percent plan to spend just $200 per month—on digital tools that will yield a quick return on investment.
Of those tools, inventory management tops the list. Retailers are looking to keep track of inventory in real time and get sales data analysis to better inform inventory buys: 44 percent said inventory levels were the biggest challenge at brick and mortar stores.
A vast majority of these retailers, 95 percent, have already invested in inventory management tools and are seeing results, and 96 percent of respondents using predictive analytics said it has helped increase sales.
Mobile is another priority, but not m-commerce. Rather, independent retailers are looking to deploy mobile devices in stores for mobile checkout and inventory lookup. Just 17 percent currently have this option in stores, but that number is expected to rise 170 percent in coming years, according to LightSpeed.
E-commerce investment is expected to grow as 38 percent of independent retailers without an e-commerce presence plan to establish one by the end of this year.
"Retailers are sending a clear message when it comes to technology: They want solutions that enhance efficiency and improve the customer experience, all things that can help them make more money right away," said Dax Dasilva, founder and CEO, LightSpeed. "Tools which help retailers sell smarter and better, like mobile checkout, mobile inventory lookup and integrated e-commerce, are on the rise, because they generate tangible results virtually the minute they get deployed."
-See LightSpeed's Tech Forecast
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