Social media ‘has least influence on retail tech buying’

New research from CCgroup has revealed that social media has the least influence on technology purchasing decisions of all the possibilities.

The tech PR agency commissioned Sapio Research to interview senior decision-makers responsible for tech buying at over 30 tier one - turnover over £500 million - and tier two - turnover between £30-500 million - retailers.

When looking at information sources, social media was found to provide little impact, with 58 per cent of respondents stating it had no influence during longlisting or shortlisting. On the other hand, 42 per cent of respondents said that sponsored content on social media would influence longlisting, making it the second most influential form of content during this phase of the buying cycle.

During longlisting, web search (45 per cent) and direct marketing (39 per cent) were the most important source of influence, while press releases (45 per cent) and vendor whitepapers (42 per cent) were the most influential content types.

Ability to meet Request For Proposal (RFP) criteria (45 per cent) and providing cutting edge technologies (42 per cent) were the most influential capabilities.

During shortlisting, industry consultants (48 per cent) and internal business analysts (45 per cent) provide the most influence, while analyst reports (42 per cent) and direct marketing (39 per cent) were the most influential content types.

Value for money (65 per cent) and being flexible in adjusting to needs (61 per cent) were the most influential capabilities.

As online commerce continues to pull consumers away from bricks and mortar retailers, both traditional and online merchants are under mounting pressure to invest in technology to deliver a better service, stated CCgroup.

Yet, despite marketing’s influence on retail technology buyers, most agencies and marketers are working ‘blind’, without the benefit of quantitative data to help them understand how retail buyers identify and select technology vendors.

“Tech-led internet giants like Amazon and Alibaba are becoming dominant players in the retail market,” noted Daniel Lowther, head of FinTech at CCgroup.

“From IoT to robotics to digital signage and personalised shopping, retailers are in a race to deliver a better customer experience while reducing suffocating overheads – but most retail tech companies are marketing blind.”

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