Total Retail, which provides retail executives with the latest news and analysis on the retail industry, conducted a survey of its audience to gain insights into how companies are using technology and how they plan to allocate future technology spending and technology investments.
The 150 respondents of the 2023 Retail Technology Report: An Analysis of Trends, Buying Behaviors and Future Opportunities included a mix of omnichannel, brick-and-mortar-only and online-only retail operations with annual revenues of $1 million to over $1 billion.
Inventory management and order management systems are the highest priority with 53% of respondents investing in technology to solve challenges in these areas. Rounding out the top three priorities for technology spending include CRM platforms with 38% of respondents investing in this area and security and fraud prevention software, and 33% putting money toward technology for loss prevention.
Half of the survey respondents said they planned to keep tech spending flat, most likely preparing for the threat of recession, inflation issues and other rising costs.
Looking toward the future, 60% of respondents believe generative AI will be the next big technology wave for retailers because of its potential use as a sales tool, its potential for personalization and learning the business and its ability to drastically improve productivity.
When looking at the major factors that influence technology decisions, cost is the No. 1 consideration at 52% and integration with existing systems is second at 31%.