Best-in-class retailers are focusing on the use of enterprise business intelligence (BI) to enable rapid response to changing market conditions, according to a recent study by Aberdeen Group.
Best-in-class Have Pervasive BI
“Pervasive Retail Business Intelligence” indicates that 63% of best-in-class retailers are turning to pervasive (enterprise-wide) BI to increase consumer-centric data accessibility. Another 56% have established well-defined skillsets related to the delivery of actionable data within the enterprise, and 53% are developing a formal pervasive BI deployment procedure.
Need for Consumer Insight Leading BI Driver
Aberdeen analysis indicates that slow growth in consumer spend, along with the rise of competitive cross-channel shopping alternatives, are shifting demand on a daily basis. Thus, it is not surprising that almost two-thirds (63%) of survey respondents cited the need to increase overall consumer insight as a pressure driving BI adoption. The second-leading pressure, need to improve speed of access to relevant business data, was cited by 56% of respondents, and 21% cited the need to improve data accessibility for customer-facing employees.
Ease of Use Targeted
Sixty-one percent of respondents are targeting ease of use when it comes to strategic BI actions. BI-related tools that are easy to use help in the three key areas of data collection, assembly, and delivery/view. Another 33% are identifying areas of the business for obtaining most rapid ROI for BI, 28% are deploying BI enterprise-wide, and 22% are identifying data sources for BI applications.
Retail IT Spending to Increase $20B
Despite the negative impact of the recession on retail sales, retailers continue to increase their IT investments beyond BI, according to a recent study from ABI Research.
“Next Generation Point of Sale Systems and Retail Technology” indicates that in investment in the retail technology hardware market, consisting of integrated point of sale (POS) systems, payment terminals, POS barcode scanners, POS printers, and electronic article surveillance (EAS) systems, managed to continue growing during 2009. Retail IT spending totaled approximately $14.8 billion last year.
In addition, retail IT spending is expected to continue growing at a rapid pace during the next four years. By 2014, ABI predicts retail IT spending will have undergone approximately 50% growth from its 2009 level, reaching almost $21 billion.
About the Data: Aberdeen surveyed 117 retailers between January and April 2010. “Best-in-class” is defined having at least 33% gross margin, 17% increased year-over-year return on net assets, and 28% increased year-over-year customer retention.