It is no secret that retailers have only recently started to truly understand the need to invest in technology and innovation to gain insights and differentiate from the competition. But, when digging into retail innovation, analysts RSR discovered that that retail winners are big believers.
In the report, Ramping up Retail Innovation, which is sponsored by Software AG, RSR said that retail winners are most willing to spend money to make innovations a reality.
But this spending comes with a condition – return on investment. They expect innovation to drive concrete results. “Retail winners go straight for the bottom line,” said the report.
Not only that, they expect innovation to lower their costs. This is surprising, as innovation should be more about differentiating from the competition, rather than getting operating costs down.
Winners overwhelmingly want to be leaders along the innovation curve and consider information a strategic asset in achieving retail success. The under-performers want to be fast followers, and about a third do not appear to consider information as an asset.
RSR said this is “almost shocking,” given that “information has become the coin of the realm for every company from Facebook to Google to Walmart.”
Winners are also keen to experiment more with innovation, while the others are left in the dust - believing that they are less innovative than others in their retail vertical.
So who’s really driving the innovation bus? At many retailers it is senior management. Interestingly, it is rarely IT driving - but the Chief Innovation Officer is obviously part of the strategy.
RSR’s report goes into much more detail, discussing business challenges and organizational inhibitors to innovation, as well as who they turn to for ideas (hint, it is the technology partners!). We will discuss all of these in our next posts.
Download the full report by clicking below.