Research & Advisory

Rise of the Digital Store – How Digital Orders Are Transforming Store Operations


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Product Overview

Date of PublicationJanuary 24, 2020
FormatElectronic PDF
GeographyNorth America

Despite a 1 week shorter holiday period 2019 ended on a very high note in retail for North America.  As an economy in the US, retail sales were up over $214b for the year ending 2019.  What does that mean for 2020?

In this collaborative study with RIS News you will see a view of what winning retailers are investing in for IT in 2020 vs. average or laggard retailers. Are we in the midst of a POS Refresh?  How are changes in customer experience driving customer engagements and how retailers are fulfilling orders from various touchpoints?  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?  And finally, which emerging technologies such as AI, Machine Learning, Edge Computing, Conversational Commerce, SDWAN, Beacons, IoT, Prescriptive Analytics, Big Data integrations and RFID are seeing growth in investment vs. declines?

With responses from over 220 top retail brands 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.


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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 2020?

What are the retailers’ Top System Priorities?

What does 2020 and 2021 look like for POS, Software, Emerging Technologies?  What are the trends driving change?

How fast is AI growing or SD-WAN or Edge Computing 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, 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

Budget Breakouts

Retail’s IT Transformation

IT Priorities

What Leaders are Doing Differently

Last Mile Transformation

Personalizing the Customer Journey

Traditional Store Systems Purchase Timeframe

Mobile Purchasing Plans

Emerging Technologies

       Which Customer Journeys Are Profitable…Where Are Retailers Losing?

Appendix and Methodology

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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 54% 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.

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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.

IHL Group License and Fair Use Agreement

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.

Practically, this implies the following:

  1. The purchasing company can use the data and research worldwide internally as long as the international organizations are wholly owned subsidiaries of the purchasing company.
  2. The data or any research cannot be distributed in whole or in part to partners or customers without express written approval from IHL Group.
  3. The purchasing company may quote components of the data (limited use) in presentations to customers such as specific charts. This is limited to percentage components, not individual unit information. Unit data cannot be shared externally without express written approval from IHL Group. All references to the data in presentations should include credit to IHL Group for the data.
  4. The purchasing company can reference qualitative quotes in printed material with written approval from IHL Group.
  5. All requests requiring written approval should be submitted to ihl(at) and will be reviewed within one business day.

For Distributed Licenses, if applicable, the research can be shared with prospective customers and potential institutional investors.  It cannot be shared with partners or other vendors who should be purchasing their own licenses.

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