News Feature | December 8, 2016

Top 10 Retail Predictions for 2017 From IDC Research

Christine Kern

By Christine Kern, contributing writer

Small Retail Mobile Shopping

IDC FutureScape Worldwide Retail 2017 Predictions report highlights exponential shift occurring in IT.

Retail leaders need to recognize the centrality of the digital transformation for their business strategy, processes and leadership in order to disrupt and create a sustainable competitive advantage, according to the latest report from IDC Research. 

“The shift is exponential,” writes Leslie Hand in an IDC blog post. “More than requiring social, mobile, big data/analytics, and cloud technologies, transformation requires new ways of working and new ways of putting IT to work. More important still., sustaining competitive advantage requires reinvention at two levels – the microlevel of performing tasks and the macrolevel of designing and executing strategy. Success at both levels will require the appropriate amalgam of innovation accelerators – artificial intelligence (AI)/cognitive intelligence, augmented reality (AR)/virtual reality (VR), robotics, advanced security, 3D printing, and IoT. They will be at the center of new experiences for employee and customer engagement, business model disruption, the nature of work itself, and ultimately business growth.”

IDC Retail Insights provided the top 10 predictions for worldwide retail:

  • Prediction 1:  Digital transformation investments will triple by 2019, drawing funds away from store capital and profoundly changing the Retail Industry.
  • Prediction 2: In 2017, No less than 40 percent of new retail applications purchased in 2017 will be deployed in the cloud to speed and secure business objectives.
  • Prediction 3: Almost one third (30 percent) of major retailers will adopt an omni-channel digital B2B2C Commerce Platform by 2018, improving customer experience, process efficiency, and inventory management.
  • Prediction 4: Accelerating Cybersecurity Breaches will drive a 20 percent escalation of spending on Managed Services by 2018.
  • Prediction 5: Retail Mobile Enablement w result in triple mobile investments in 2017and double spending on wireless infrastructure through 2019.
  • Prediction 6: Intelligent Assistants will become a must-have app in 2017 and support shoppers' "jobs to be done" in context-aware omni-channel conversations by 2018.
  • Prediction 7: By 2019, Robotics and IoT Technologies will increase in-store, in-warehouse, and in-distribution center productivity by 1.5x by for early adopting retailers and by 3x for later adopters.
  • Prediction 8: By 2019, 20 percent of major retailers will adopt AR to enrich the product selection experience and convert shoppers to buyers three times faster.
  • Prediction 9: By 2018, retailers will actively pursue alternatives for secure networks that protect data and eliminate or lower fees.
  • Prediction 10: By 2019, Artificial Intelligence will alter how 25 percent of Merchants, Marketers, Planners, and Operators work, improving productivity by 30 percent and KPIs by 10–20 percent.

“Retailers must recognize and drive digital transformation. Retailers dealing with legacy, disconnected, and siloed systems have latencies and speeds that cannot support modern commerce, nor do most of the legacy systems allow retailers to quickly launch the types of services that customers today are expecting. At a time when customer expectations are rising and customers are more digitally fluent and digitally equipped than ever before, customers are expecting that their shopping experience will be easy, convenient, frictionless, and available anytime everywhere,” asserted Hand.