A new study reveals that 51% of US retailers agree that they are suffering from information overload when it comes to software purchases.
The Retail Tech Stack survey, conducted by retail operations platform Brightpearl, set out to ascertain which types of software retailers are investing in and to gain an insight into their ambitions in this area for 2020. American retailers, it seems, have been left dumbfounded by the number of solutions available to address issues such as workflow automation and optimization. In addition to the 51% who felt that there was too much choice, a further 41% admitted that they didn't invest in software as they felt overwhelmed by the sheer breadth of the offering.
"We wanted to better understand the decision making process behind the software that retailers are choosing," says Derek O'Carroll, CEO, Brightpearl. "The report brought to light some interesting trends in terms of retail priorities, and with 60% of US merchants investing in customer service technology, it would appear that managing customer service and feedback is one of the major focuses for merchants."
Paul Swain, Director, Mad4Tools.com commented on the value of good customer relationship management. "We win business because of our positive feedback and high ratings and we retain business because of the experience we provide - from meeting fulfillment expectations, to orders being delivered as expected. Brightpearl supports this by making our operations as slick and automated as possible."
Investing For the Future
Another key takeaway from the study suggests that in the face of a wide array of choice, price is less important than familiarity. 66% of respondents suggested that they would invest in retail software on the basis of brand recognition instead of price, perhaps an indication that prospective buyers are in need of further education around the available software.
Despite the paralysis of some US retailers it seems that the majority of decision makers (68%) actually expect investment in retail software to increase in 2020.
The report also found that over the past 12 months almost half of the retailers surveyed had invested in product sourcing software, with roughly the same amount indicating that the would also be investing VRM (Vendor Relationship Management) software solutions in the future. This investment in PSS and VRM highlights the fact that merchants are attempting to build their tech stacks with the future in mind, implementing technology with real time reporting and analysis capabilities that will provide them with data that will contribute to strategic future planning.