Research & Advisory

2018 Retail Transformation Study


* For all license choices and descriptions, please see pricing tab below

Product Overview

Date of PublicationJanuary 2, 2018
FormatElectronic PDF
GeographyNorth America

From false reports of the Retail Apocalypse to now the Retail Transformation., the holiday season brought retail back with a roar with overall sales up 4.9%.  As an economy in the US, retail sales were up over $230b for the year ending 2017.  What does that mean for 2018?

In this collaborative study with RIS News you will see a view of what winning retailers are investing in for IT in 2018 vs. average or laggard retailers. How are changes in customer experience driving customer engagements and how retailers are fulfilling orders from various touchpoints?  How many retailers are growing their business through Cross-Border retailing?  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?  And finally, which emerging technologies such as AI, Machine Learning, Conversational Commerce, SDWAN, Beacons, IoT, Prescriptive Analytics, Big Data integrations and RFID are seeing growth in investment vs. declines?

With responses from many of the top retailers in North America, 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 and others who might have a vested interest in the North American retail market. The complete outline with chart titles is below.


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 2018?

What are the retailers’ Top Store System Priorities?

How is Unified Commerce Driving IT Spend?

Where are Retailers Spending in the Cloud?

What emerging technologies are retailers serious about and which are just buzzwords at this point?

Which segments are looking to replace POS clients, POS Software, POS Printers, POS Scanners and EFT/Debit/Signature Capture devices? Will it be a good year or bad year for POS and peripherals?

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

Table of Contents


Study Highlights

Growth Data

Stores & Remodels

IT Spend


Evidence of Transformation

IT Priorities

Cloud Spend

Sales Transition

Purchase Timeframes

It’s Not All About Amazon

E-Commerce Fulfillment Plans

Emerging Technologies


Appendix and Methodology


List of Figures

2018 Storecount and Remodels Growth

IT Spend Growth by Retail Tier

IT Spend Growth by Retail Segment

Annual Sales Growth Increase by Retail Segment

2018 Sales Channel Growth Expectations

Top Retail IT Priorities for 2018

Software IT Spend in the Cloud

Cloud Spend by Retail Tier

Store Systems Purchase Timeframe

Unified Commerce Purchases Timeframe

Warehouse and D2C Space Growth

How Retailers View Amazon

E-Commerce Fulfillment Method by Retail Segment

Spend Growth for Emerging Technology

Plans to Increase Spend on Emerging Tech by >10%

Staff Reductions Due to AI / Machine Learning

Most-Used Vendors

How Retailers View Vendors

Respondents by Retail Segment

Respondents by Job Title

Respondents by Annual Revenues

Click here for more information on this product.

Is this a comprehensive view of the marketplace?
No, this is a survey of more than 120 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 53% of the respondents were retailers over $1 Billion. Another 13% 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.

License Options

Single User License – a lower priced license that is designed for use for a single user, not to be shared internal with other users or externally to partner, customers or other parties.

Enterprise License – a license that allows for the research to be accessed and shared internally with anyone else within the organization and wholly owned subsidiaries.

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All of IHL Group’s generally available research are electronic licenses and are limited by the license type chosen for purchase.  For Single User Licenses this means that the person buying the research is the only person to use the research.

For Enterprise Licenses, these can be shared freely within the company. We only ask that this information not be shared with partners or others outside the purchasing company without authorization from IHL Group. The license does not extend to joint ventures or other partnerships. If the relationship is not a wholly-owned subsidiary, then both parties would need a license.

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