Research & Advisory

Building an Insurmountable Lead – How Technology is Separating Leading Retailers from Competitors


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Date of PublicationDecember 5, 2022
FormatElectronic PDF
GeographyNorth America


Since the start of the pandemic, Retail is experienced a once-in-a-generation increase in IT spend due the change in shopping journeys for consumers. This has only continued in growth as we look at Retail Technology Trends: Insights & Analysis for IT Spend, Digital Journeys, and Emerging Technologies in 2023. See the insights & analysis for profit leaders & successful retailers.  Although consumers have come back to stores, the digital increase is here to stay. Retailers must get these transactions profitable. Add to this the ongoing labor challenges and retail is automating everything that they can automate. And there are clear differences in the technology stack of those retailers that are winning in sales growth by making things easier for consumers to buy. As well, there are clear differences among profit leaders on the technologies behind the scenes that are continuing to improve their margins and offset the impacts of inflation.

In this collaborative study with RIS News you will gain insight into what some of the more successful retailers have been doing to pivot their businesses during trying times. Which technologies lead to profitability for new digital journeys? What technologies are Leaders looking to adopt? What types of retails struggled to survive, never mind thrive? How is BOPIS driving store investment?  How many are not only growing stores but growing the sales in those stores vs those who are simply accepting a lower sales per store?  What about ecommerce growth, how much of this is expected to be desktop vs mobile? What percentage of budget is available for innovation vs just keeping the lights on?  And finally, which new initiatives such as Edge Computing, SD-WAN, Microservices Architecture, IoT, Store-level 5G, and Dark Stores / Dark Kitchens are seeing growth in investment vs. declines?

With responses from over 269 top retail brands we have produced the results in a detailed, but very easy to read study. You also get the raw data to do your own analysis by segment.

The report is designed for use by Retailers, Hardware Providers, Software Providers, Service Providers, Investors, Property Managers and others who might have a vested interest in the North American retail market. The complete outline with chart titles is below.


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Along with research study analysis your license also includes the raw data in spreadsheet form to do your own cross tabs.  You can cross tab any answer to any other answer for unique insight.

We break down the data to find answers to questions that many in our industry are asking, like the following:

What do the IT Spend, Store Growth and Store Remodels look like for 2023?

What are the retailers’ Top System Priorities?

What does 2023 look like for POS, Software, Emerging Technologies?  What are the trends driving change?

How fast is Edge Computing, SD-WAN or Microservices growing?

What digital customer journeys are profitable for retailers and which are optimized?  What is the value of optimizing these journeys.

Which segments are looking to replace POS clients or POS Software? Will it be a good year for Contactless Payments?

Who is planning to deploy which Mobile Platforms, and when?

Table of Contents


Study Highlights

Growth Data

Stores & Remodels

IT Spend

Retail Sales Expectations

Digital Customer Journeys

Sales Change by Journey

Sales as % of Total

Overall % of Sales that has a Store Component

Retailer Priorities for 2023

Traditional Technologies and Purchase Plans

Emerging Technologies and Purchase Plans

       Spend for Innovation of Existing Systems

Appendix and Methodology

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Is this a comprehensive view of the marketplace?
No, this is a survey of more than 265 retailers with stores in all retail segments and their purchase intentions. While a full market overview would include everyone, this is just the answers of those that responded to the survey. Caution should be used in extrapolating these results to the entire market. For some comprehensive market research on store automation technologies, you should Click Here.

Did this survey cover larger or smaller retailers?
Actually both. Roughly 45% of the respondents were retailers over $1 Billion. Another 10% were retailers over $500 Million but less than $1 Billion. The remaining retailers were under $500 Million in annual sales. The data is broken down by retailer size so you can see the differences.

Can I share this study in my company?

Yes if you have an enterprise license.  See below for more.

Can I share this study with partners and clients?
Not in entirety unless you have negotiated a distribution license with IHL. Basically we don’t want the study going to partners and clients who should otherwise purchase a license. This is what we do for a living, and if people violate this we can no longer do the research. Contact us at ihl(at) with any questions.

Can I quote this study in my presentations and press releases? In most cases this is fine but we ask that you run it by us first at ihl(at) Typically things shared in percentages (ie. this is 20% increase) then that is fine. Items in raw $$$ or units typically we will not allow to share. But we can work with you on this. We realize that you buy the research to use, so we can usually find a nice compromise that protects our IP and meets your needs.

Can I get access to the analysts who wrote or partnered in the study?

Yes, one of the core differentiators of IHL Research Studies is that included in part of the price is up to 1 hour with the analyst to ask follow-up questions or dig further into any assumptions. This does not extend to getting more data, just better insight into how we arrived at the data and came to the conclusions from that data.

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