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Leading Vendors report says online retailers will invest more in technology in 2023

The pandemic thrust many retailers into ecommerce — and shoppers became comfortable shopping online. Retailers are now taking a step back to reassess what technologies will help retain existing customers and entice new ones. Digital Commerce 360’s 2023 Leading Vendors Report includes survey data and case studies demonstrating how technology helps retailers.

According to Digital Commerce 360’s Digital Technology survey, conducted from September to October 2022, three-quarters of surveyed retailers (76%) plan to increase their investment in technology to attract new and retain loyal customers in 2023.

The next question retailers need to ask themselves is whether to outsource technology or build it themselves. According to the survey, 70% plan to outsource the task rather than attempt to build a tech stack in house.

What technology is important for retailers?

Online retailers are prioritizing which technologies will have the most impact. They want to automate where possible and learn how to decipher and use data to their advantage. That requires investment. Three in four retailers expect to increase spending by 15% or less. Meanwhile, 39% predict they will spend 10.1% to 15% more.

When asked to narrow down their top priorities, nearly half (46%) said investing in an ecommerce platform topped their list. Other priorities included customer relationship management technology (34%), online marketing (30%), and 27% cited content management and customer service software, respectively.

Technology must be easy to implement and use

Learn how PacSun is retrofitting its 15-year-old legacy enterprise software with updated technology to link its online and in-store customer journeys as well as update its shipping and fulfillment strategies. Digital penetration is about 35% of the entire business, says Shirley Gao, chief information officer. By deploying various technologies, PacSun is figuring out how to cut costs while providing the fast shipping turnaround customers expect.

It’s important to more than half (54%) of retailers that any new software is easy to implement as well as use. Learn how Jen Partin, Hickory Farms’ senior marketing manager, email and SMS, uses email software to automate and collect data on open rates. Hickory Farms’ web sales increased 59% in 2021 compared with pre-pandemic 2019. To capitalize on its newly acquired customers, Hickory Farms invested in software to minimize bounce rates. Bounce rates nearly tripled leading up to the holidays — its busiest time of year — in 2021.

“You’re fighting for room in the inbox and sending four emails a day — and it’s Dec. 12. You need to figure out how to get noticed,” Partin says.

Retailers want to automate where possible. Learn how technology allows retailers of all sizes to free up personnel to tackle more complicated tasks.

  • Case studies and interviews with retailers
  • Survey data indicating what factors are most important to retailers when investing in technology
  • In-depth looks at online advertising and marketing, social media, email, omnichannel, fraud and affiliate marketing strategies

The 2023 Leading Vendors Report is available as a downloadable PDF for $399. It is also included in our Gold and Platinum memberships, which provide full access to all of Digital Commerce 360’s published reports and certain online retailer databases. Learn more here.

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