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Retailers Using Tech to Drive Omnichannel Efficiency: Study

Automation shifting from optional to operational necessity.

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Retailers Using Tech to Drive Omnichannel Efficiency: Study
PHOTOGRAPHY: .metamorworks/iStock.com

For virtually all retailers, technology is shifting from wanna-have-it to gotta-have it. That’s the core finding of a just-released study titled “2024 Connected Retail Experience Study: Focusing on Omnichannel Efficiency” by digital insights firm Incisiv.

Indeed, the retail industry is at a pivotal spot where automation is transitioning from an optional efficiency enhancer to an operational necessity, the study’s authors say.

“This shift is not just about technology implementation; it’s about shaping a new retail paradigm,” said Gaurav Pant, Chief Insights Officer at Incisiv, which conducted the study in collaboration with Verizon and Cisco. “Bridging the omnichannel gap is not just a matter of competitive advantage but a necessity for survival, and adopting new technologies like automation is the frontier for differentiation. The disparity in digital experience for store associates, especially among Gen Z, is more than just a technological shortfall; it’s a wake-up call. Retailers must accelerate their digital initiatives to empower their workforce.”

Key findings from the study include:

  • Omnichannel efficiency is vital – but still lacking: Store efficiency, the top driver of retail business strategy, enhances customer satisfaction and profit margins. However, only 36 percent of grocery and general merchandise retailers express satisfaction with their current technology infrastructure to help accomplish those goals.
  • Loss prevention rises to the top of the agenda: 92 percent of retailers say improving loss prevention is an important driver of their store technology strategy, up from 52 percent just a year ago. Almost all (98 percent) of business executives cite loss prevention as the most important outcome for investments in store systems.
  • Automation and AI have significant potential, but understanding is limited: Just 14 percent of retailers have a common understanding of AI across the organization. Although retailers estimate 72 percent of store tasks can be fully or partially automated, only 33 percent have been automated to date.

Click here for access to the full study.

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