More than a third of retailers are unable to respond quickly to ever-changing customer demands due to outdated IT, according to a survey by Celtech, a provider of real-time centralised systems for multi-channel retailers and wholesalers.
90% of retailers questioned considered themselves a multi-channel business, yet more than half (53%) admit they are not seamlessly integrated across all channels, the research found.
The survey found the three top headaches for the retailers questioned to be:
- Introducing new channels to enhance competitiveness
- Responding faster to customer demands
- Providing a seamless and consistent experience for customers across all channels
Of the retailers surveyed, which included Tesco, Marks & Spencer and Schuh, 37% said they would like their IT system to provide greater visibility of the business, allowing them to respond faster to customer demands.
Less than a quarter of retailers (22%) felt they currently had good visibility of their business, while 19% said they were keen to adopt innovative technology to get ahead of competitors.
The research was carried out by Celtech to explore how retailers are using technology and the value it provides to their business.
Despite the goal of seamless integration and greater agility, just one in four retailers (26%) said they considered themselves to be at the forefront of adopting new technologies. More than a third of respondents (37%) admitted they were only willing to try new solutions when addressing a pressing business need.
Among the top three challenges faced by their business, nearly half of retailers (42%) said they felt their IT systems were holding them back and would consider changing them. The drivers for replacing the system would be future-proofing the technology and business (82%), keeping ahead of the competition (68%) and improving visibility (66%).
Darragh Fanning, Celtech CEO, said: “The findings indicate a worrying pattern – that although retailers are aware that existing technologies could be hindering the potential of their business, the majority are not actively looking for a new solution.
“Retailers can easily and cost-effectively improve their business through a true real-time multi-channel solution. By providing the ability to see exactly what is happening as it happens, the business can react immediately to market changes and so provide the best possible service to their customers and position themselves ahead of their competition.”