Digital transformation is forcing companies to increase their IT budget – 83 percent of companies will do so in 2019 in order to drive digital transformation. The retail, banking, telecom, health, insurance, and media industries will benefit from the largest spending budgets allocated by millennials, whose spending habits contribute to the growth of the Romanian e-commerce market.
Worldwide spending with technologies and services that allow the digital transformation of business practices, products and organizations is forecast to reach nearly USD 2 trillion in 2022, according to a market study by International Data Corporation. At the same time, a study conducted by The Economist Intelligence Unit shows that in 2019, 83 percent of companies will increase their digital investments to feed future digital transformations, in order to remain competitive, reduce costs and increase profitability.
All these in a context in which the millennials, who currently have the highest purchasing power of all generations, spend the most and will have a major economic impact in retail, banking, telecom, insurance, health, media etc.
“IT investment will grow at an accelerated pace in the coming years. Companies that prioritize digital transformation and are willing to improve customer experience by adopting innovative solutions can achieve significant operational efficiency,” said Rafael Campos, Sales VP for Europe at VTEX.
The share of millennial customers is increasing in the total number of customers who buy online. This is also an important factor for the growth of the Romanian e-commerce market.
Main investment directions for online retailers
The number one priority for the retail industry is the implementation of an omnichannel strategy that will generate worldwide investments of over USD 27 billion in the next 3 years in omnichannel trading platforms, augmented virtual experiences, contextualized marketing and solutions next-generation payments.
“In Romania, investments in IT, software and process have been done exclusively by the big players, but nowadays it’s possible to find a software as a service solution where you don’t need infrastructure; it’s cheaper than an internal development and can be implemented quickly for almost every business need,” highlighted Campos, regarding current access to different solutions. “A few years ago, companies were building their own infrastructure. Nowadays, they can have access to the most secure and reliable infrastructure in just a few clicks. Less than 10 years ago, companies were concerned about their software version, updating, etc. Now they can conduct a Google search and find a thousand cloud solutions for their business needs.”
Investments will also increase in Romania due to companies’ digital transformation.
Below are the main directions on which online stores will focus:
Delivering directly from the store – Full control over the delivery of products from an online store means that the retailer can offer the lowest possible shipping rates, faster deliveries methods and more same-day-delivery options.
Pick-up store and Pick-up points – Developing a network of delivery points and integrating it into the online platform, whether it’s about picking up products ordered online from physical stores or picking them up from a place specially tailored to deliver products, offering an enhanced shopping experience. It also offers customers the freedom not to depend on the courier company’s schedule and to pick up products whenever they want.
One click-buy – refers to the one-click payment solution that improves users’ shopping experience and, at the same time, contributes to an increase in the conversion rate. Local companies like F64, a retailer of professional photographic equipment and accessories, are already using this technology.
This solution also stimulates purchases directly from mobile phones, so users do not have to enter their card, personal or delivery data at each purchase, radically improving their shopping experience.
Face Recognition – It’s a new method of paying for online orders, at an early stage of development, but it’s growing. Practically, through a face-recognition system linked to the online shopping account, where bank data is stored, any customer can pay for the purchased products, just staying motionless for a few moments in front of a camera.
Infrastructure – Companies need to create flexible and secure systems that balance security and confidentiality with the need for capacity fluctuations as business requirements change.
Intelligent and integrated workflows – Continuously rethinking processes to maximize the capabilities of both, people and technology, and create environments to deliver maximum business outcomes.
Business model adaptability – continuously re-evaluating and adjusting the business models and revenue streams used by the business.
Overall, all these investments in new technologies are meant to provide customers with the most enjoyable, seamless shopping experience that suits their wishes perfectly, anticipating preferences, making purchasing easier, faster and more fun than the customers are used to.