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October 31, 2012

Retail industry CIOs calling for more IT use in stores

Research reveals that CIOs want more technology in stores to help with sales for the holiday season.

By Tineka Smith

Over 70% of CIOs in the retail industry say the high street needs to embrace technology, especially with the surge in sales for Christmas shopping.

Virgin Media Business surveyed 500 CIOs and 50% reported that retail was the industry most in need of a technology revolution.

According to Office of National Statics, the average weekly spend across all retail in September was estimated at £6.6 billion.

However, the report suggests that retailers missed on an extra weekly spend of £507.8m to internet stores, demonstrating the need for retailers to offer shoppers the option of shopping online.

"A multi-channel approach to attracting customers into stores and making them part with their cash is now a necessity for retailers," said Tony Grace, chief operating officer at Virgin Media Business. "CIOs in the sector have clearly recognised this and are pushing for more to be done with technology on the high street. By making the right technology decisions, both in store and online, retailers and consumers stand to get the maximum benefits from digital solutions."

Some retailers who have picked up on the earning potential of offering an online platform have integrated mobile shopping applications, virtual fitting rooms, and the use of social networks to help encourage and influence purchasing online.

"New high bandwidth connectivity options for UK retailers are available to implement ideas and tactics that’ll tempt shoppers away from the keyboard," said Grace. "However, there’s clearly room for even more creative use of technology to influence and help customers make up their minds."

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