KPMG: Retailers ready to spend on expansion, IT

New York -- Despite continuing economic uncertainty, new data from KPMG indicates retailers are ready to invest capital to spur growth this year. The 2013 KPMG Retail Outlook Survey shows that 85% of retail executives expect capital spending will increase or remain the same during the next year. When asked where they will increase spending most, executives most frequently cited geographic expansion (61%), IT (40% and advertising and marketing/branding (24%).

When asked which technology-related trends are having a significant impact on retail businesses, executives most frequently cited social media (71%), mobile and online shopping (52%), and mobile and online promotions and coupons (51%). The 71% of executives who say their companies are using social media to reach more customers and explore new ways of doing business is up significantly from 58% in last year's survey.  

In other IT-related findings, when asked about how their companies are leveraging data, executives most frequently cited that data analytics plays a key role in helping provide customer insight (72%), as well as in the areas of brand and product management (67% and pricing decisions (56%). Executives also say they use data to drive operational excellence and actionable insights (50%), and acquire customers (36%). However, a gap exists between this opportunity and retailers' ability to realize it, as 43% of respondents rate their companies' data analytics literacy as only average.  

"Technology is paramount to driving growth and enhancing customer engagement for retailers," said Mark Larson, KPMG global retail leader. "With consumer behavior, spending and demographic profiles changing rapidly, it is absolutely critical that companies take an omni-channel approach to engage consumers, utilizing all the platforms at their disposal, including brick-and-mortar, online and mobile."


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