More Than Half of Retailers Not Ready for GDPR; IT Chiefs Admit Their Firms Need Help with AI

RetailTechNews’ weekly roundup brings you up-to-date research findings from around the world. In this week’s edition: More Than Half of Retailers Not Ready for GDPR; IT Chiefs Admit Their Firms Need Help with AI; and Access to In-Store Mobile Technology Improves Shopping Experience.

More Than Half of Retailers Not Ready for GDPR

Over half (57%) of retailers say they aren’t ready for GDPR, while 41% are ready for the compliance deadline, according to data from Ecrebo. With personalisation playing such a key role in retail – 89% of retailers say they use data to personalise the customer experience – the pressure is on to comply. Nearly half (44%) say they are still working on compliance; while 13% say the don’t understand how it will impact them.

Only 64% of shoppers are likely to share their data with retailers in return for relevant, targeted offers. This contrasts sharply with the view of retailers: 81% believe customers are willing to share their data.

The research also uncovered that, despite the appetite for using personalisation, retailers still experienced challenges around implementing the strategy within their organisations. Less than one quarter of respondents said they were successful in delivering personalised offers, with technology and data cited as the main barriers.

The report also discovered the perceived impact retailers felt Brexit would have on their business, such as increased price of imported goods, complications in operating internationally, and future uncertainty. They were also questioned on their desire to implement new technology. Respondents cited increased use of mobile payments, augmented/virtual reality, and artificial intelligence as some of the technologies they wanted to implement within the next 12 months.​

IT Chiefs Admit Their Firms Need Help with AI

Only 19% of senior IT decision-makers in the UK say their company currently has what it takes to develop artificial intelligence (AI) initiatives, research by Feefo has found.

Despite 71% of respondents saying they believe AI will live up to its huge potential, more than a third (36%) said they will need to recruit extra staff with the right expertise.

The research finds that almost a quarter of organisations (24%) will buy ready-to-use AI solutions and a fifth (20%) will use outsourcing. The smaller an organisation, the more likely it is to opt for a solution that is readily available to enable them to take advantage of AI applications such as smart online review systems. Almost half (44%) of IT decision-makers at organisations with 24 employees or fewer will opt for a readily available solution, compared with 17% of those with more than 1,000 staff.

Customer engagement was top of the list when the IT managers were asked what they are already using AI for, or plan to (64% of respondents) – 46% selected the provision of AI-powered personalised online review summaries as a primary focus.

Access to In-Store Mobile Technology Improves Shopping Experience

Consumers have welcomed technology into the shopping experience and are more likely to return to retailers that offer digital innovation, according to new research conducted by SOTI.

The survey finds that self-service technologies and mobile devices are now playing a key role in improving the in-store retail experience for customers. Almost seven-in-ten (69%) respondents agree that technologies such as kiosks, digital signage, and self-checkouts improve their shopping experience. Meanwhile, 62% say that technology helps them to find what they need and two-thirds (65%) agree that technology makes it faster for them to check out.

Perhaps the most surprising finding is that the clear majority (80%) say they would be comfortable in a retail setting where only self-checkout technology was offered, highlighting a growing preference for shopping experiences that reduce the need for traditional payment transactions with retail staff.