Bamboo Rose Blog | Retail News

Learn How 60% of Retailers Plan to Allocate Their IT Budget in 2021

For retail executives, the past few years have been a lesson in embracing change. Improving change management processes, optimizing order management, increasing inventory visibility, and streamlining sourcing are becoming increasingly important as global trade and the retail market at large continue to change in response to shifting consumer expectations and uncertainty surrounding the pandemic.

The RIS 31st Annual Retail Technology Study surveyed top retail executives to identify the most significant challenges retailers are facing today and find out where execs plan to direct their investments in the next 18 months to address these issues.

Overall, most retail execs agree investing in tech to improve business processes is a top priority. Sixty percent of respondents stated plans to increase their IT budget this year, with nearly a third reporting increases of 10% or more. This planned uptick in technology budget is especially significant when you consider how financially challenging 2020 was for retailers and brands.

Half of all respondents said application integration will be their biggest challenge for the next three years, and 43 percent stated that retiring legacy systems will be a definite consideration, while consolidating channel siloes is top-of-mind for 1 in 5 execs. These technology challenges highlight retail technology leaders’ desire for a fully connected and transparent value chain to support organizational resilience and agility.

”This commitment to the nuts and bolts of a successful enterprise highlight that, despite the changing marketplace, retailers are still focused on their long-term tech roadmaps while simultaneously equipping their businesses with the tools they need to compete now,” wrote RIS in the report.

Maintaining an agile supply chain is also top-of-mind for retail executives as consumers consistently raise their expectations for quick, reliable product delivery. Ensuring products get to their destination on time requires close collaboration with suppliers prior to order commitment and a real-time view into container location, inventory levels and sales data to support real-time allocation decisions.

Order management solutions are near the top of the list of technologies that retail execs plan to invest in the next year or two years.

“Top finishers in these current and short-term investment categories highlight the need for retailers to fulfill orders economically while still meeting shopper demand for speedy fulfillment,” wrote RIS.

Bamboo Rose CEO Sue Welch talked with RIS about why next-gen order management solutions are so important for retailers in the age of ecommerce in a recent interview.

In addition to ensuring customers get the products they want when they want them, retailers are also focused on streamlining the online shopping process.

Optimizing online sales channels is a business-critical initiative as worldwide social distancing measures and restrictions on in-person shopping limit consumers’ ability to buy products in-store. About 31 percent of all sales now come through online buying channels, compared to 21 percent last year. Given that consumers are generally attracted to convenience, this trend is likely to continue after the pandemic ends.

The Bamboo Rose multi-enterprise platform can help retailers revolutionize the way they handle order management, inventory transparency, and sourcing through its suite of product and supply chain solutions. Layering a digital purchase order management system on top of legacy ERPs enables retailers to collaborate with suppliers to make changes prior to order commitment, leading to a reduction of 3-6 weeks in the order cycle and cutting order changes in half.

Check out the Bamboo Rose platform today to see how you can make your order management processes and supply chain more efficient.