Focusing on improving customer communication
Approximately 83 per cent of enterprises* in the retail sector have seen an increase in their enterprise ICT budget in 2022 compared to 2021, driven by the increasing adoption of digital technologies for streamlining supply chains and improving customers’ experiences, found GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.
GlobalData’s report, ‘Enterprise ICT Investment Trends Retail’, which is based on the company’s recent ICT customer insight survey, reveals that about 55 per cent of respondents, who are key ICT decision makers in enterprises, claimed that there has been a 5 per cent increase in their enterprise ICT budget in 2022 compared to 2021, while another 28 per cent claimed that there has been a significant increase (greater than 6 per cent) in their enterprise ICT budget in 2022 compared to a year earlier.
Aasif Iqbal, Technology Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “COVID-19 forced many retail enterprises to adopt digital technologies to ensure contactless commerce, with many countries enforcing strict physical distancing and lockdown rules. Retailers are utilizing new ICT technologies to enhance the shopping experience for their customers, boost operational effectiveness, enhance industry competitiveness, and implement digital transformation of their businesses. So, on one hand we see increased investment on emerging technologies such as Internet of Things (IoT) which helps in monitoring the overall supply chain process, but on the other, we see a greater emphasis towards investments in contact centers and communication solutions that help in transforming the overall customer communication channel to improve customer experience.”
In its survey, GlobalData also found that more than 60 per cent of respondents claimed that their individual enterprise hardware and software budget allocation towards communication devices and communication and collaboration software increased in 2022. The retail sector has been prioritizing upgrading existing communication & collaboration tools. France-based leading retailer Carrefour is upgrading its internal communication, as well as customer interaction using multiple communication platforms and services provided by social media company Meta.
Managing customer experience in a rapidly evolving retail environment, with almost universal access to smartphones and social media, is also one of the key reasons for companies’ increased focus on social media-based communication tools, which allow them to promptly respond to customer requests as well as potential complaints.
Iqbal adds: “Retail enterprises are also not shying away from using disruptive technologies to achieve digital transformation, as indicated by the survey results, where more than 65 per cent of the respondents from the retail sector confirmed that their enterprise ICT budget allocation for disruptive technologies has increased in 2022 over 2021 with IoT and edge computing proving to be the most popular investment areas.”