A recent study by eBay Enterprise reveals that almost 75 percent of American retailers are prepping for a massive revenue spike this year—to the average tune of 17 percent. Cloud tech and mobile investments are supporting this boon, but the report showcases that while moving to cloud tech is the best approach, a lot of retailers haven’t done so yet. After studying data from over 1,000 e-tailers and professionals in retail marketing (all boasting revenues of at least $3 million and upwards of $250 million), it was found that there are some key indicators of “fuel growth” taking place in 2015.
The biggest motivators are global e-commerce expansion, mobile commerce and online engagement. Using innovative products and keenly targeting them with digital means are how most retailers are planning to nurture growth this year and beyond. Right now, 55 percent of those surveyed said they plan to adopt cloud tech this year for e-commerce hosting. They’re also planning to embrace inventory management tools (46 percent have this plan), while 40 percent are getting ready for better marketing program management and another 40 percent are focusing on CRM in the cloud.
As always, the biggest hurdle for cloud adoption is security. In fact, 26 percent of retailers say that’s the main reason they haven’t made the move yet. They cite minimal IT support staff (16 percent are worried) and shared resources (17 percent are concerned) as the primary challenges. However, 26 percent of the bigger retailers, defined as those with at least $50 million in annual revenue, say that cloud tech is necessary for growth.
According to the president of eBay Enterprise, Craig Hayman, “The distinct advantages of cloud, such as the ability to access unprecedented real-time data and flexibility, puts it on the short list of business transformation enablers for retailers looking to deliver the seamless experience that today’s consumers expect. Working with a broad range of cloud hosting partners…and drawing on our extensive experience across more than 240,000 sites, we empower retailers, brands and branded manufacturers to embrace the cloud-service delivery model that best fits their unique business needs.”
Going After Major Demographics
In all industries, globalization is happening at a rapid pace. However, e-tailers are particularly interested in China during the e-commerce expansion. Almost 50 percent of those surveyed said they feel prepared for worldwide expansion, and an impressive 73 percent say they’re “ahead of the curve.” The biggest target is China, with the majority of retailers calling it a “third priority.” However, that brings up the issue of localization, since 39 percent say that’s one of their biggest barriers. An additional 87 percent claim that they’re worried about brand value dilution when entering a global market.
The best way to tackle this is via partnerships that nurture localization. That’s why 45 percent of retailers say working with reputable tech partners is critical, and another 41 percent cite working with service partners as their secret weapon. With China’s mobile traffic going up 83 percent from 2013 to 2014 according to Cisco, it’s no surprise that this massive country is the ultimate goal for US retailers. Over half (54 percent) of American retailers say they’re investing in the optimization of mobile devices and 46 percent have dabbled in mobile app development in 2014.
The divide between Android and Apple is pretty even, but more retailers will likely go after both as their budgets and time allows. Until then, focusing on global appeal with the help of technology will continue to gain in importance. Is your business ready?