LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Retailers in the U.K. are looking to upgrade their e-commerce platforms and improve customer experience in response to a pandemic-induced spike in online shopping here, according to a new report published today by Information Services Group (ISG) (Nasdaq: III), a leading global technology research and advisory firm.
The 2021 ISG Provider Lens™ Retail Software and Services Report for the U.K. finds nearly 30 percent of all retail revenue in the U.K. last year came from online shopping, with online sales jumping 45 percent from the previous year. Growth was largely driven by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Before 2020, the U.K. already had one of the highest adoption rates of online shopping among western economies,” said Mike Witty, a retail expert and director in the ISG Consumer Services practice. “U.K. shoppers have been taking advantage of a mature logistics infrastructure and the ability to move across channels.”
Still, U.K. retailers want to use more technology tools and services to improve online and in-store shopping, the report says. Many retailers here are applying data analytics, digital displays and shelf-monitoring technologies to their in-store shopping experiences. The aim is to enhance productivity, ease of customer access and personalization inside stores.
In addition, retailers are leveraging technologies across multiple supply chain touchpoints. For example, a robot can scan shelves for out-of-stock items, trigger a request for restocking, then prompt the backend system to dispatch a robot to fill the shelf with minimal human intervention. Retailers see these systems making the supply chain more agile.
U.K. retailers are also embracing drive-through pick-up locations after customers have ordered products online, the report says. Some small-format retail stores in residential areas are doubling as micro-fulfillment hubs.
Retailers are also using several technologies to improve the profitability of online shopping, the report adds. Fashion retailers are using smart-fitting technologies to help shoppers choose the right size clothing, and grocery stores are beginning to look at automated picking and packing systems, coupled with artificial intelligence-based delivery logistics algorithms to expand online delivery.
The report also sees U.K. retailers shifting to hybrid operating models, in which humans and machines work together to deliver services. Retailers are using this hybrid model in store operations, in customer-facing technology, in the supply chain, and in online and backend operations. For example, some stores are supplying wearable devices to store workers to help them assist customers, and others are deploying self-service checkout kiosks to eliminate cashiers.
The report also finds U.K. retailers embracing machine learning to obtain better views of customer behavior online. Retailers also are experimenting with algorithmic retailing, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things for tracking inventory, enabling their workforces to better serve customers and make store spaces and processes more efficient and intelligent.
In the area of platform migration services, the report finds some large retailers are moving away from packaged technology offerings and investing in developing their own microservices-enabled platforms. These companies are focused on shaping technology tools from scratch and having complete control over their shopping technology environment.
The 2021 ISG Provider Lens™ Retail Software and Services Report for the U.K. evaluates the capabilities of 33 providers across five quadrants: E-commerce Platforms, Merchandise Planning and Management Software, Retail Transformation Services, Platform Migration Services and Managed Services.
The report names Capgemini, Cognizant, HCL and TCS as leaders in three quadrants and Oracle and SAP as leaders in two. Adobe (Magento), RELEX, Salesforce, SAS and Wipro are named leaders in one quadrant.
The 2021 ISG Provider Lens™ Retail Software and Services Report for the U.K. is available to subscribers or for one-time purchase on this webpage.
About ISG Provider Lens™ Research
The ISG Provider Lens™ Quadrant research series is the only service provider evaluation of its kind to combine empirical, data-driven research and market analysis with the real-world experience and observations of ISG's global advisory team. Enterprises will find a wealth of detailed data and market analysis to help guide their selection of appropriate sourcing partners, while ISG advisors use the reports to validate their own market knowledge and make recommendations to ISG's enterprise clients. The research currently covers providers offering their services globally, across Europe, as well as in the U.S., Germany, Switzerland, the U.K., France, the Nordics, Brazil and Australia/New Zealand, with additional markets to be added in the future. For more information about ISG Provider Lens research, please visit this webpage.
A companion research series, the ISG Provider Lens Archetype reports, offer a first-of-its-kind evaluation of providers from the perspective of specific buyer types.
ISG (Information Services Group) (Nasdaq: III) is a leading global technology research and advisory firm. A trusted business partner to more than 700 clients, including more than 75 of the world’s top 100 enterprises, ISG is committed to helping corporations, public sector organizations, and service and technology providers achieve operational excellence and faster growth. The firm specializes in digital transformation services, including automation, cloud and data analytics; sourcing advisory; managed governance and risk services; network carrier services; strategy and operations design; change management; market intelligence and technology research and analysis. Founded in 2006, and based in Stamford, Conn., ISG employs more than 1,300 digital-ready professionals operating in more than 20 countries—a global team known for its innovative thinking, market influence, deep industry and technology expertise, and world-class research and analytical capabilities based on the industry’s most comprehensive marketplace data. For more information, visit www.isg-one.com.