Analyst: Online retailers are investing in tech

Analyst: Online retailers are investing in tech

But online retailers have avoided mobile technology and are sticking to the basics first

Online retailers are looking to invest in technology but mobile technology is not important, according to a study by research firm, Forrester.

The study interviewed 334 e-tailers for their views with 48 per cent claiming they would increase their investment in technology and a further 21 per cent significantly boosting spending. Only 2 per cent claimed they would decrease spending.

Forrester Research senior analyst, Steven Noble, said the desire of so many retailers to get better technology correlated with the rising number of retailers selling online. This was despite the Global Financial Crisis and a slowdown in retail spending.

“We’re seeing both an increase in the number of retailers and an increase in the amount of business online retailing is doing,” he said.

Of the surveyed online retailers, 53 per cent are after e-commerce platform technology. 43 per cent want content management tools while 42 per cent want back end integration.

The results come as major retailers like Harvey Norman ramp up spending in the online space. Noble said while introducing the major players with bigger budgets and more brand recognition would be tough, smaller retailers could still survive and thrive.

“It is going to pose significant competitive pressure on the existing players, without a doubt,” he said. “With any industry you see new companies enter and others go out the back door.

“You play to your own strengths and identify a unique space in the market.”

But Noble said one new and emerging hotspot for the Internet, mobile broadband access from smartphones, was not a priority for online retailers with long wish lists and limited budgets.

“[Online retailers] have so many urgent, pressing technology investment priorities that they have to rate them carefully,” he said. “As much as many of them are intrigued by it, it’s really not hard to find a range of other areas that they have to address urgently and first.

“They’re really going to dominate their technology spend for the year ahead.”

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Tags smartphonesForrester Researchtechnology investment


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