Mobile solutions continues on the upswing

IDC Canada and the Retail Council of Canada (RCC) estimate that mobile solution spending this year will total $84 million, a figure that is expected to grow to almost $200 million by 2016.

This represents a compound annual growth rate of 18.7 per cent. The findings are additional results from a survey undertaken by IDC Canada and RCC. The survey examined how Canadian retailers are responding to the advances in mobile technologies and their impact on interactive retailing in Canada.

IDC Canada’s Leslie Hand said the findings are a compelling indication of what Canadian retailers need to do to keep up. The results also show how Canadian retailers are responding by expanding their IT investment in the face of competition from the U.S., from the marketplace and from the empowered consumer. Innovative retailers understand the need for increased capital investments in omni-channel retailing to better compete in this ever-changing marketplace.

Diane Brisebois, president & CEO of the Retail Council of Canada, said that while a majority of Canadian retailers are just starting to fund mobility initiatives, the spending estimates from the survey for retail mobility in Canada reflect significant spending ambition for the next several years. As Canadian consumers continue to embrace digital technologies to shop and make purchasing decisions, Canadian retailers are recognizing the need to respond by engaging with the consumer in more innovative ways.

Mobile solution spending includes the hardware (devices, routers etc – but not the network infrastructure), software and services to enable customer and employee access to offers and information. The survey also revealed that the increasing presence of US retailers and a competitive retail environment mean Canadian retailers must differentiate themselves through enhanced customer and employee engagement.

The Interactive Retailing Maturity model, which shows the stages of mobile technology penetration for Canadian retailers, was derived from the findings of the 2012 Retail Mobility. The model highlights six phases of Interactive retail maturity:

The majority (57 per cent) of surveyed retailers have not yet enabled interactive retail solutions (None & Phase 0). Of those that have made the move to mobility, most are still at a foundational stage (Phase 1)building infrastructure and conducting pilots. Only 14 per cent of retailers have progressed beyond this initial phase.

IDC Canada and RCC’s Enterprise Mobility survey of Canadian retailers took place between February and March 2012.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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