According to IDC’s recent ‘Asia Pacific Retail IT Spending Guide’, Australian retailer IT spending will reach US$1.24 billion in 2017, thereby positioning Australia as the second highest spender in the region after China.
As part of their customer engagement focus, Asia Pacific retailers are investing in customer-facing technologies, developing smartphone apps, leveraging on cloud infrastructure, and reinventing their stores to become fulfilment centres. Retailers are challenged to transform their business and recent IDC Retail Insights survey highlighted operational excellence, exploiting new markets and customer engagement as top 3 business priorities across the region. This has fuelled the retail IT spending growth in Asia Pacific.
“Despite ICT budget constraints, Australian retailers understand and appreciate the long-term benefits offered by cloud, mobility and particularly, big data,” said IDC industry analyst Jaideep Thyagarajan. “This shows they are committed to operating at their highest potential. Competition from international players has significantly increased in the last 6-12 months and retailers are intensely exploring opportunities to reposition themselves to improve customer loyalty and prevent loss of market share.
“Recent leadership changes in some of the big retailers and the ensuing announcements to digitally transform their organisations further testifies that retailers are committed to improve their digital health to cater to the needs of the ‘connected customer’ and to increase workforce productivity before it is too late. What we are really seeing is an ‘arms race’ across the retail sector.”