Retailers in the UK need to invest more in digital technology, according to new research.
A survey by e-auction giant eBay and research firm Conlumino claims that although 90% of retailers view digital and multi-channel is a key factor in long-term growth, 66% of high street retailers in the country are not investing enough in technology.
The study claims that the average spend on digital technologies such as virtual mirrors and facial recognition amounts to less than 4% of annual turnover.
“Investment in technology has to fight for its place in a challenging retail environment and it is more important than ever for retailers to understand what shoppers really want so they can separate future from fad,” claimed Valerie Nygaard, eBay’s senior direct of user experience.
“Traditional ROI (return on investment) and sales metrics are difficult to apply to these emerging technologies, but taking a leap of faith to give customers a better experience can drive revenue and growth,” Nygaard added.
Both eBay and Conlumino claim that the main barriers to technology investment are justifying return, budget confines and how it will integrate with existing systems.
Furthermore, 95% of the study’s participants claim that they find it difficult to know what technology to invest in.
However, the research suggests that investment in digital for retailers is essential as 75% of shoppers quizzed said they want to use new technology in high street stores.
Some 40% of respondents wanted to see virtual fitting rooms, 28% want 3D printers, 26% want wearable devices and 22% would like to see facial recognition for personalised services and payments.
Despite this, the percentages of organisations offering such services are very low.