UK retailers are not preparing for the future, new research suggests

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A large number of retailers are not doing enough to prepare for the future, according to new research.

From a survey of 100 top UK retailers, ecommerce agency PushON found that as many as 35% did not have a strategy in place for dealing with the rise of digital technology and changing consumer habits.

It also revealed that 20% have not invested anything in developing the digital side of their business in the past year.

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And even for those retailers that do have a strategy in place the news was not encouraging – with only 27% claiming that they were progressing well with their transformation.

Surprisingly, only 26% of retailers believed that digital transformation was crucial for them to survive in an increasingly competitive retail market, suggesting that huge proportions of retailers are not taking the need to evolve seriously.

The research was part of the ‘Preparing for the Future of Retail’ report, which explores the front and back-end technologies that retailers are investing in as part of their digital transformation.

PushON also surveyed 1,000 consumers to establish whether retailers are investing in the digital developments that their customers really want, with more than three quarters of respondents saying that they don’t think the majority of retailers are doing enough to keep up with digital trends and changing consumer expectations.

Sam Rutley, managing director of PushON, said: “Despite the rise of ecommerce and growing demand for omnichannel retailing over the past few years, it seems that a large number of retailers are still ignoring the need to implement a digital transformation strategy.

“Doing so will be crucial when it comes to keeping up with rapidly changing consumer demands, with shoppers’ expectations now higher than ever before, thanks to the rise of Amazon and other ecommerce trailblazers.

“While it’s reassuring to see that 65% of retailers have given the issue some thought, the results of the survey make it clear that customers are still feeling disappointed with the lack of progress made by many businesses, showing that more needs to be done – and fast.”

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Joe Peskett

The author Joe Peskett

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