New study reveals the top 10 technology investments online merchants are planning for 2021

  • Web personalization (64%), social media marketing (63%) and online payments options (62%) score highly

  • 68% of retailers are planning to increase their technology investment over the next 12 months

  • However, 40% of retailers have been put off completely from making a technology investment because of too much choice and nearly half of merchants have made no tech prep whatsoever to manage new spikes of Covid-19.

  • “Covid is like a ‘meteor’ hitting the retail sector and is going to result in the eradication of many businesses if they do not adapt fast”, says Brightpearl CEO Derek O’Carroll

AUSTIN, Texas – 26 October 2020 – In-depth research conducted with the leaders of 500 of the nation’s most influential retailers has revealed what technologies will be at the forefront of retail strategies for the year ahead.

The new study by Brightpearl, a digital operations platform, set out to reveal what types of software retailers are set to invest in next year by polling hundreds of merchants from across the US and found that 68% of retailers are planning to increase their technology investment over the next 12 months.

Growth projections estimate that by 2023, online ecommerce sales will exceed $29.7 trillion worldwide. According to the study, 52% of consumers say they are spending more online since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, which highlights how integral online shopping has become to the majority of Americans.

Brightpearl’s study found that the major technology initiatives online firms are prioritizing in 2021 includes web personalization (64%), social media marketing (63%) and a broadening of online payment options (62%).

“It’s admirable that so many brands are offering new services to benefit customers”, says Derek O’Carroll, CEO, Brightpearl. “Though it’s noticeable that merchants are once again prioritising the pre-purchase journey over the post-buy button experience with regards to their investments. Long-term, this can have a major impact on customer experience”.

Brightpearl’s same survey reveals that 61% of consumers have experienced issues buying from brands online within the past 12 months alone.

The study also found 77% of all poor online shopping experiences are directly related to problems after the buy button like issues with delivery and returns.

“In the race to attract direct sales, few ecommerce brands are addressing the operational complexities that lie beyond the buy button” says O’Carroll. “As a result they end up letting down customers who are understandably upset about not receiving items on time, products not being delivered where they should be, or poor communications after their purchase. Companies weighing up technology investments for next year should start with making sure they have the right infrastructure in place to deliver an optimal shopping experience at all ends of the buying journey.”

Despite the growth in ecommerce and planned investments, the survey also found that 40% of retailers have been put off completely from making a technology investment because of the array of software options that are available to them.

Concerningly, nearly half of US retailers have made no preparations for a second wave of Covid-19.

Nearly half of US retailers have made no preparations for a second wave of Covid-19, according to a new Brightpearl survey.

“Retailers realize that they need to leverage technology on a global scale before they become irrelevant, but the array of choice can make it difficult to determine where to start”, adds O’Carroll.

“Unfortunately, time is not a luxury retailers have. Covid is like a ‘meteor’ hitting the retail sector and is going to result in the eradication of many businesses if they do not adapt fast. Merchants should take the time to run through an honest audit of the complete customer experience, identifying improvements and bottlenecks at all ends of the buying experience, and then look to recruit the right partners that can help ensure the entire retail operation is fit for purpose.”

Top 10 Investment Priorities For 2021

  • Web personalization (64%)

  • social media marketing (63%)

  • Increased online payment options (62%

  • Inventory management software (62%)

  • Barcode scanning technology (61%)

  • Delivery tracking (59%)

  • Buy Online, Pick Up In Store (58%)

  • Order management software (57%

  • Returns management software (56%)

  • Business intelligence and performance reporting (55%)

Brightpearl’s full study can be found here. The firm has also developed a free online health check to help retailers to gauge whether they are ready for the second wave of COVID.

ENDS

About Brightpearl

Brightpearl is the number one digital operations platform (DOP) for the retail and wholesale sector. Built to manage the complexity of modern business, the scalable platform offers  flexibility to respond to rapid changes in demand and smooth integration with other core operational systems within the organisation.

Brightpearl’s complete DOP solution includes financial management, inventory and sales order management, purchasing and supplier management, CRM, fulfillment, warehouse and logistics. In addition, the solution has high-performing connectors to the major ecommerce platforms, including Shopify, Magento and BigCommerce. Over 1,200 businesses in 26 countries use our platform. We manage over 10m transactions and $3bn of business a year.

Brightpearl is a flexible and agile solution that enables fast decision-making and insights. The platform is designed  for retailers and wholesalers  to manage the heart of their business easily from one single system. Brightpearl’s configurable automation workflows have measurable time and cost saving impact for our customers, allowing them to focus more resources on growing the business. Our team guides retail businesses through a highly efficient implementation process which typically gets them up and running in less than 60 days – twice as fast as our competitors.

Brightpearl’s US headquarters is in the heart of downtown Austin with a global headquarters in Bristol, UK. You can connect with us on Twitter (@BrightpearlHQ), LinkedIn (linkedin.com/company/Brightpearl), and Facebook (facebook.com/brightpearl).

Media contact:

Mark Hook

[email protected]

Nick Ward

[email protected]

Nicholas Ward
Oct 26, 2020