Technical Expertise, Industry Knowledge, and Financial Stability Keys to Winning IT Engagements with Retailers in 2003, IDC Survey Reveals

FRAMINGHAM, MA – JANUARY 13, 2003 – Following a subpar holiday shopping season and facing an uncertain economy, 2003 could shape up to be a difficult year for selling IT to retailers. Despite these obstacles, a new survey from IDC reveals that retailers will continue to spend on IT over the next 12 months and shows how IT vendors can capitalize on this market opportunity.


With economic pressures mounting, retailers will turn to trusted IT vendors to help them solve problems and tackle projects in phases. IT solutions for retailers need to be modular and quick to install to achieve fast ROI over the next year, IDC’s research indicates. The ability to demonstrate technical expertise, retail industry knowledge, and financial stability will be key to winning IT engagements with retailers in 2003.

IDC has just published two new studies based upon its U.S. Retail IT Opportunity Survey, conducted in October and November 2002. This survey examined a number of emerging retail technologies to determine their current adoption rates and retailers' intentions to adopt these technologies in the near future. With retail IT budgets expected to be tight through 2003, IDC believes that vendors that specialize in these technologies will need to continue to educate the market about the benefits of their offerings in order to convert IT planners into IT buyers in 2003 and to be included in 2004 budgets.

"As retailers strive to achieve customer intimacy, they will continue to evaluate and implement new technologies that enhance the in-store shopping experience," said Christopher Boone, senior analyst. "Vendors that promote emerging technologies for retail stores should be prepared to accommodate extensive evaluation periods before commitments to buy are made. IT vendors that persevere, however, stand to reap large benefits from major contract wins."

To take advantage of growing needs for these new retail technologies, IDC recommends that vendors: promote current customer success stories; present a business case that clearly demonstrates how a particular technology solves common retail problems; and start small, think big.

IDC’s study, U.S. Retail IT Purchasing and Vendor-Selection Criteria: IDC's U.S. Retail IT Opportunity Survey, 2002, (IDC #28534) presents data about retailers at an aggregate level and company-size level on the following: IT priorities of retailers by retail business function; vendor relationship preferences of retail IT buyers; effectiveness of IT marketing channels according to retail IT buyers; and retail IT purchasing drivers and inhibitors. The study concludes with an outlook on how these trends will shape the next 12 months and provides recommendations to IT vendors on how to target retailers with their offerings.

IDC’s study, Adoption of Emerging Retail Technologies: U.S. Retail IT Opportunity Survey, 2002 (IDC # 28558) presents data about retailers at an aggregate level and by sub-industry on the adoption of the following emerging technologies: self-checkout systems; self-service scanners for in-store shopping; kiosks; electronic shelf labels; radio-frequency identification (RFID); and wireless handheld devices. This study concludes with an outlook on how the adoption of emerging retail technologies will evolve over the next 12 months, and provides recommendations to IT vendors on how to target retailers with these new technologies.

To purchase this document, call IDC's volume sales hotline at 508-988-7988 or email

For more information about IDC’s United States IT Opportunity: Retail and Wholesale Continuous Intelligence Service research program, please contact Virginia Lehr at 508-935-4188 or

About IDC

IDC is the foremost global market intelligence and advisory firm helping clients gain insight into technology and ebusiness trends to develop sound business strategies. Using a combination of rigorous primary research, in-depth analysis, and client interaction, IDC forecasts worldwide markets and trends to deliver dependable service and client advice. More than 700 analysts in 43 countries provide global research with local content. IDC’s customers comprise the world’s leading IT suppliers, IT organizations, ebusiness companies, and the financial community. Additional information can be found at

IDC is a division of IDG, the world’s leading IT media, research, and exposition company.


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