Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Retailers not so tech savvy

Those making tech-related decisions in the retail industry are among the slowest adopters of new technologies themselves, according to research from Roy Morgan.

Three-and-a-half million Australians are involved in making decisions about the expenditure of their organisation in a year, 1.8 million of whom decide on investments in computers and software, telecommunications, online programming, and website and app development. Among the Australian population, 19 per cent of people can be classed as technology early adopters or professional technology mainstream – who are among the first to adopt new technologies. At the other end of the scale, 24 per cent of the population are technology traditionalists, and a further 16 per cent are technophobes.

Less than half the retail industry’s decision-makers for technology-related expenditure are themselves early (24 per cent) or professional (22 per cent) adopters of new technology. Instead, they are somewhat more likely than their peers in other industries to be digital life (11 per cent) or older tech explorers (12 per cent) – and over twice as likely to be technophobes (15 per cent).

“Roy Morgan estimates over 160,000 Australians in the retail industry are involved in business expenditure decisions such as computers, telecommunications, digital programming and online services,” Roy Morgan Research CEO Michele Levine said. “However, over half of the industry’s decisions on such matters are being made by people who aren’t themselves particularly interested in learning about or implementing the latest technologies until they become mainstream.

“This may help explain why the retail industry has – some might say – been slower to adapt to (and adopt) new technologies. From major department stores to local bricks-and-mortar boutiques, it’s taken many retailers a while to acclimatise to the new world – one in which consumers expect everything at their fingertips, with globally competitive pricing and simple, frictionless payment systems.”

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