IT infrastructure rationalization and cloud are hurdles for retailers. Improving customer experience could bring more sales, a better reputation and a higher market share.
Monday 2 June 2014 – London, UK – New research from InfoVista, the industry leader in network solutions allowing enterprises to guarantee their application performance, reveals that technology challenges are significantly hampering retailers’ attempts to meet changing consumer expectations and deliver an optimum shopping experience via a single, seamless purchasing platform. 79% of respondents say that getting the omni-channel experience right is crucial for survival but most (65%) admit that realizing this goal is a challenge and cite underperforming technology, changing IT trends and the complexity of the organizational infrastructure as the primary reasons.
Key findings: The customer challenge
Retailers’ increasing focus on customers is driving the omni-channel challenge. They see the customer-centric experience as comprising of a number of important elements including excellent customer service (58%), fast transactions (55%) and interchangeable purchase channels (49%) but with only 35% of respondents describing their customer experience as excellent, it is clear that retailers are grappling with this challenge.
Key findings: The technology challenge
Back-office technology underpins the delivery of the omni-channel experience but respondents cite a number of technology issues hampering their omni-channel efforts including a sprawling IT infrastructure (74%), business pressure to provide technology innovation (71%) and cost pressures. In addition, companies are wrestling with a host of IT priorities such as cloud deployment (57%) and mobile application development (55%), supply chain optimization (54%), which are creating the need for a host of network design changes, including:
- Increasing bandwidth (52%)
- Server virtualization (52%)
- Network architecture (47%)
- Content delivery (43%)
- Hybrid networking (39%)
Key findings: The application imperative
The vast majority (76%) recognize the importance of excellent application performance but lack confidence in the ability of their IT infrastructures to deliver it (78%), roll out new applications (78%) or manage application SLAs (77%).
In addition, retailers believe that guaranteeing consistent and high levels of application performance can have a major impact on:
- Customer / shopper satisfaction (54%)
- Employee productivity (50%)
- Brand reputation (49%)
- Company financial targets (41%)
In fact, if retailers made significant improvements to their omni-channel approach by the end of the year, more than half would expect to see an increase in sales (55%), increased market share (47%), positive word of mouth (47%) and cost savings (46%).
Commenting on the research findings, said Matthieu Silbermann, Product Management Director, Ipanema solutions, at InfoVista, said, “As the trend towards the omni-channel continues, so will the pressure on IT departments to close the application gap so that the business can deliver on commercial objectives. The ultimate shopping experience depends on a robust omni-channel that delivers speed, quality of service and a seamless channel service and guaranteeing the performance of key retail applications is the surest way to close the gap and deliver that experience.”
To know more:
- Download the retail survey report and infographic: The application gap in retail
- Watch the retail video: Delivering engaging shopping experiences & maximizing your business efficiency
Loudhouse is an independent research agency based in London. As part of Octopus Group, it is one of the UK’s leading performance and influencer marketing agencies, working with blue chip clients in technology, business services, finance and retail sectors.
About the research
InfoVista commissioned the survey to understand the opportunities and challenges retailers are focused on in an evolving consumer culture and retail marketplace. Independent research agency Loudhouse interviewed over 400 IT decision-makers involved in networking in retail organizations. The respondents’ organizations had at least 1,000 employees and between 10 and 250+ global sites linked via wide area networks. Interviews were carried out with participants in the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Benelux, Switzerland and the United States.
InfoVista is the leading provider of network performance orchestration solutions that enable efficient network and IT transformations in today's fast-paced digital world. Our award-winning solutions empower communications service providers and large enterprises to ensure a high-quality user experience by guaranteeing business-critical application performance and achieving optimal network performance. InfoVista’s expertise and innovations provide more than 1,500 global customers with a new level of actionable application and network intelligence, visibility and control across all services, all technologies, and all domains of both the fixed and mobile networks. Using our solutions, they deliver high-performing and differentiated services, plan and optimize networks to match application and service demands, and streamline network operations while keeping total cost of ownership as low as possible. For more information, please visit www.infovista.com.