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Retailers still shopping around for IT

Although 2003 may prove to be a difficult year for retailers, they are likely to continue investing in IT solutions, according to research firm, IDC.

Although 2003 may prove to be a difficult year for retailers, they are likely to continue investing in IT, according to IDC.

The analyst house says that because of mounting economic pressures, retailers will turn to trusted IT vendors to help them solve problems and tackle projects in phases. The most successful solutions are therefore expected to be modular and quick to install. This will then allow for a fast ROI. The ability to demonstrate technical expertise, retail industry knowledge, and financial stability will be key to winning IT engagements with retailers in 2003, IDC adds.

With retail IT budgets expected to be tight throughout the year, IDC contends that vendors specialising in retail technologies need to continue educating the market about the benefits of their offerings in order to convert IT planners into IT buyers in 2003 and to be included in 2004 budgets.

"As retailers strive to achieve customer intimacy, they will continue to evaluate and implement new technologies that enhance the in-store shopping experience," says Christopher Boone, senior analyst, IDC.

"Vendors that promote emerging technologies for retail stores should be prepared to accommodate extensive evaluation periods before commitments to buy are made. IT vendors that persevere, however, stand to reap large benefits from major contract wins," he adds.

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