The retail industry is evolving faster than ever. Thanks to rapidly advancing technology, omnichannel shopping experiences, and heightened consumer demand, the importance of having a solid information technology (IT) foundation is becoming a significantly more important in the retail industry. From new e-commerce habits and artificial intelligent chatbots to cybersecurity needs, here are several 2023 IT trends in the retail industry that businesses need to know.
Top Five IT Trends in Retail Industry
1. Smooth Omnichannel Shopping Experiences
70% of shoppers make purchases online. However, roughly 47% still prefer shopping in-store according to a study by Raydiant. With great omnichannel experiences across technology in other industries, consumers have come to expect a high-quality, consistent experience whether they are shopping online or in store. Retailers must create omnichannel shopping experiences where customers have a seamless buying process —regardless of the device used or where they are located when they make a purchase.
2. An Increased Need for Cybersecurity
Retailers are popular targets for cybercriminals due to the high amounts of stored confidential personal identifiable information (PII) and financial information such as debit card numbers. 19% of consumers said they wouldn’t shop somewhere if they were worried about cybersecurity. A cyberattack and data breach can cause significant damage to a brand’s reputation and reduce consumer trust, resulting in a major revenue loss. Most retailers don’t have on-site IT staff to maintain round-the-clock, stringent cybersecurity, so working with a managed service provider (MSP) that provides cybersecurity services is a great way to gain cost-effective, expert protection without a retailer investing in expensive internal staff.
3. Technology Transformation
While IT trends in the retail industry may come and go – one that will stick around is the need for modern technology. Many retailers often deal with aging applications and IT infrastructure to support retail sales. This often comes with high maintenance costs, especially as the technology becomes even more outdated. 94% of businesses opt for IT modernization and cloud-based environments, and retailers are no exception. Not only is this more cost-effective to maintain, but it also allows for scaling up and down during busy seasons. And as new technology trends emerge, a modern infrastructure is better positioned to support new technology.
4. More Self-Service Options
When in-store shopping, customers’ biggest complaints are often long checkout lines. Providing self-service capabilities instore and online can help improve overall customer satisfaction scores. Self-checkout technology is an incredible alternative that provides a superior customer experience and reduces the need for more staff. It is the type of shopping experience consumers want today. In fact, 85% of Gen Z will opt for self-checkout when it’s available.
5. Increased Utilization of Managed IT Services
The retail industry is often volatile and seasonal, forcing businesses to hire and reduce staff at different times throughout the year. IT operations within the retail industry are typically very lean. When retailers outsource IT to an expert managed IT provider, it frees up internal resources, reduces costs, and bolsters cybersecurity.
Expert Managed IT for Retail
TPx is an expert managed IT service provider for retailers. With deep experience in this rapidly evolving industry, TPx helps retailers gain a competitive edge, adopt new technologies, stay protected and secure, and save on their IT costs. For example, one global retailer saved over one million dollars in annual cost savings across retail locations by using TPx for their IT needs. To learn more about how TP can help your retail business, contact us today.