Retail Technology Budgets up by 50% – Invest in EPoS and grow your business

EPoS Investment

Retail Week’s recent survey of 50 retailers with a digital presence in the UK shows that the majority have increased their retail technology budget by up to 50% in the last two years, with further EPoS and back office investment to come.

The report claims that those set to come out on top are the retailers who focus on providing a seamless customer experience across all touchpoints. For these retailers, investment is required cross their entirety of their operations, from the warehouse to the shop floor and beyond to the online presence.  The outcome of the report is a roundup of five key areas for investment which should be a priority for omnichannel retailers should they wish to grow in challenging market conditions.


epos innovation

Despite the tough economic climate and increasing prices, shoppers are expected to continue to spend their money online with an increase in eCommerce sales of nearly 2% up on 2021. This continued growth in the face of recession has boosted confidence with 30 of 50 surveyed increasing their retail technology budgets, 9 of whom have boosted budgets by more than 50%. This budget is reported to be largely earmarked for meeting customer demand and improving the customer experience, leading to greater investment in EPoS solutions.

Lisa Byfield-Green of Retail Week says:

“Businesses need to invest to excite their customers and to make sure they maintain customer loyalty, particularly in an inflationary environment where we are likely to be considering discretionary spend a lot more carefully and also potentially be less loyal.”

Return on Investment

While budgets are largely on the increase, the need to demonstrate return on investment hasn’t disappeared – in fact it’s more important than ever. Cloud-based Software as a Service (SaaS) has overtaken the popularity of the in-house solution which requires heavy up-front investment and a team to maintain it, so much so that only 9 retailers surveyed plan to invest in in-house development over the next year and a half, while the remaining 31 are planning to outsource their software.

Of ‘plug and play’ solutions, Accenture’s Kelly Askew says:

“[Retailers] are looking for these packages and platforms that will continue to evolve and add features and functionality and manage a lot of that process of adapting to changing consumer demands and market trends with little to no cost to the retailer.”

Investing in Customer Experience

epos customer experience

Nearly half of those surveyed reported an even split between investing in customer-facing retail technology and back office tech over the next couple of years, although for the remainder there was a clear trend towards front-end investment.

For 9 retailers surveyed, customer service was top of the list for investment as shoppers, with supermarkets such as Tesco and Sainsbury’s leading the charge in experience personalisation.

Chief Marketing Office for Sainsbury’s, Mark Given, said the My Nectar Prices initiative allows the supermarket to:

“personalise loyalty and really reward customers with consistently great value in a way that works for them and on the products where it matters most”.

Rivals Tesco have opted for a similar strategy with their Clubcard app, credited with being used alongside 75% of all transactions which helps the retailer to personalise offers and coupons according to individual spending habits.

As Matt Grest from The Very Group puts it:

“The more we understand, the more we can bring our customers’ experiences to life … by 2025 we want every customer to have a different experience, bespoke and unique to them.”

Investing in the Back Office

While we know that customer experience is a determining factor in loyalty and repeat business, and so front-end investment seems the obvious choice, it’s worth remembering that what goes on behind the scenes also contributes heavily to customer satisfaction.

For 17 retailers surveyed, software which facilitates detailed performance analysis is the number one priority and, as Byfield-Green explains, getting away from software systems that “don’t talk to each other” is a significant benefit to back-end investment. Increasingly retailers are recognising the benefits of a Single Pane of Glass (SPOG) – that is a single interface from which all data can be interrogated.

With increased business intelligence and performance oversight, better and more impactful decisions can be made.

The Future

So, what will the outcomes be of investment in these priority areas?

According to Retail Week, hybrid experiences are expected to be the biggest trend emerging from increased investment, for example Buy Online Pickup In Store (BOPIS), with 18 of those surveyed placing this at the top of their list.

While many jumped on the BOPIS bandwagon during the pandemic, the retail technology used at the time was often a sticking plaster solution; a quick response to temporary market conditions. However what many failed to predict was that once pandemic restrictions were lifted, this trend would continue and so now is the time to invest in the long term solution.

Byfield-Green says of the hybrid trend:

“If [retailers] can serve somebody using the same technology, whether they’re online or in the store, then that absolutely makes sense because people’s journeys now are not predictable at all.”

The Solution

Investment in retail management solutions is a clear priority for leading UK retailers and, thanks to the flexibility and affordability of SaaS models, smaller retailers needn’t be left behind. Whether you’re an ambitious retailer with plans to grow, or you already manage an estate of stores, OpSuite has all the features you need to achieve your business goals, including:

  • Omnichannel functionality
  • Stock management
  • Customer loyalty
  • Reports and analytics
  • Accounts integration
  • CRM
  • Integrated payments

So, whatever the size of your business, OpSuite can provide you with the competitive advantage you need to exceed your customer’s expectations and reach your business’ goals.

To find out if OpSuite is a good fit for your retail business, book a discovery call with one of our team of experts. We’ll assess your requirements and provide free, no obligation and impartial advice on whether OpSuite is the right solution for your needs. Simply call us on 0800 138 0050 or click here to contact us and begin your journey with RMS.

Why choose RMS?

RMS have worked with ambitious businesses for over 18 years, supplying tailored software solutions and EPoS hardware throughout the UK and further afield. Please contact us and discover how we can support your business to increase profits with the latest retail technology.

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