Results presented for the study conducted by the Digital Innovation in Retail Monitoring Center and promoted by the company in collaboration with Milan Polytechnic University
Milan, 14 December 2016 — Tyco Retail Solutions (www.tycoretailsolutions.com), a part of Johnson Controls, has sponsored a study by the Digital Innovation in Retail Monitoring Centre promoted by Milan Polytechnic University, entitled "Digital Retail in Italy: people, technologies and experiences". The results of the project, which started in early 2016 and involved approximately 300 large retail groups operating in Italy, provide an overview of the state of the art of digital innovation in the retail sector in Italy and form the basis for an analysis of project governance and decision-making processes in this area.
Taking a closer look at the report, it may be noted that 93% of interviewees adopted at least one back-end innovation (in 2016 the priorities were CRM, electronic invoicing, ERP, business intelligence analytics and inventory management solutions), whereas over 40% of them stated that in 2017 they were potentially interested in investing in systems for monitoring customers in stores (through cameras and sensors), systems for tracking products throughout the supply chain (using RFID) and intelligent transportation system solutions.
In Italy, six start-ups that provide innovative solutions relating to back-end processes in the retail sector received financing from institutional investors, and the average amount of such financing was eight million dollars. Business intelligence analytics systems are the technologies most commonly offered by Italian start-ups.
Eighty percent of those interviewed had adopted at least one customer experience innovation in their stores: in 2016 the priorities were innovative payments, couponing, kiosks and digital signage.
Most (80%) of top retailers who participated in the study have developed at least one front-end digital innovation in support of the customer experience. The solutions on which investments focused the most in 2016 were innovative payment acceptance systems (22%), couponing acceptance and loyalty systems (19%), kiosks, totems and touchpoints (15%), advanced cash register systems and mobile POS terminals (15%), and digital signage and intelligent display windows (13%).
Looking to the future, attention is focused on innovation aimed at making the buying process more personal, i.e. more responsive to each customer's needs, and more experiential, i.e. aimed at surprising customers. Over 55% of retailers state that they are potentially interested in investing in 2017 in indoor positioning systems, digital signage and intelligent display windows, smart mirrors and dressing rooms, augmented reality technologies and 3D printers.
In Italy, 15 start-ups that provide innovative in-store customer experience solutions received financing from institutional investors, and the average amount of such financing was 1.7 million dollars.
“The report provides an interesting snapshot of the main solutions adopted by or of interest to Italian retailers,” explained Andrea Natale, marketing manager at Tyco Integrate Fire & Security. “As a retail innovator, Tyco wanted to do its part by sponsoring the study and participating in three workshops aimed at consolidating it.”