Retail spending to leap $200 billion in 2019

November 1, 2018 6:25 am19 comments
Gartner Symposium

Gartner Symposium

JOHANNESBURG – GLOBAL retail sector technology spending will reach over $203 billion (about R2.98 trillion) in 2019 as customer expectations and  competition force retailers to evolve and invest heavily in digital business transformation.

This is according to Gartner, the world’s leading research and advisory company, which forecast a growth of 3,6 percent.

Similar growth rates are projected for the next two years.

Molly Beams, senior director, analyst at Gartner, said retail Chief Information Officers used to be tasked with minimising risk and cost but now they are held accountable for business results.

“They are prioritising ROI (Return on Investment) and other measurable business impacts,” Beams said.

“Retail CIOs are investing in analytics for both near-term benefits like decision making and to prepare for innovations such as smart machines, artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality — all of which will require robust datasets.”

Relative to other industries, retail has traditionally been a laggard in terms of appetite for change, digital maturity and hence technology spend, according to Gartner.

However, this is no longer the case, and retail now surpasses most other industries with regard to IT spend.

Software is the fastest-growing category of technology spending, as retail CIOs prioritise analytics, digital marketing, mobile applications, e-commerce platforms and AI as the technologies most crucial to their organisation’s mission.

Thomas O’Connor, senior director, analyst at Gartner, said contrary to belief, physical retail was thriving, with global retail sales will increase 4,8 percent in 2018, more stores are opening than closing and consumer confidence remains high.

“In retail, there is only one battle that matters — the fight for the customer,” O’Connor said at the Gartner Symposium /ITxpo on the Gold Coast, Australia.

– CAJ News





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