E-Commerce Powering the Most Commonly Used Retail Tech

Posted on January 10, 2019

E-commerce as a whole continues to rise at an impressive rate. Most recently, e-commerce grew by 16 percent across North America in 2018. Sales for the year topped $500 billion. The holiday shopping season was especially strong once again, showing immense growth in the space.

At this pace, it won’t be long before e-commerce accounts for 15 percent of specialty retail in the region. (It already accounts for 23 percent in China.) And even now, 60 percent of all North American retail sales are influenced by the digital world. Especially as mobile continues to grow — and this is just the beginning — so will e-commerce. 

Even considering these conditions, it’s impressive to see the significant impact online sales are having on the tech decisions of retailers. A recent study of 235 retail professionals examined the most popular tech among retailers in the United States. The results very clearly revealed retailers aren’t just shifting focus to e-commerce, but that many are already fully fixated.

E-commerce platforms topped the list with 57 percent of respondents currently using one. With more than half the retailers in the study currently using a platform, it’s clear even those most dedicated to the brick-and-mortar model realize the need to adapt. This was the only tech being used by more than half the respondents in the study. Here’s the list of others that reached at least 30 percent:

  • Point-of-sale system: 49 percent
  • Analytics: 45 percent
  • Inventory management software: 44 percent
  • Order management system: 38 percent
  • Video: 36 percent
  • Customer relationship management platform: 33 percent
  • Payments: 31 percent
  • Order fulfillment software: 30 percent

The bottom of the list included security and fraud prevention software (21 percent), personalization (20 percent), and content management system (18 percent). All are tools in which e-commerce is driving the usage, so it would be no surprise to see each increase considerably in the coming years. Even making the list at this point is impressive for each, though one would think far more retailers should be interested in fraud prevention.

Regardless of what’s next in retail tech, it’s very clear e-commerce will be fueling that revolution for years to come.