Gartner Research worked with RIS to conduct a retail study in the first two months of 2010. RIS has been conducting this survey for the last two decades. Some of the highlights of the 2010 study are that customers are in charge. With so much new technology the customers are sharing their retail experience world wide and can be more informed than store associates. With this knowledge 34% of retailers surveyed said they will be focusing on customer satisfaction in the next 18 months.

Another top priority of retailers for the coming year is IT initiatives. 43.8% of retailers surveyed said they will spend more on IT this year than in previous years. The reason for this change is that IT initiatives can help retailers achieve market advantages against competitors while producing measurable gains for cost-containment initiatives. The study shows that 62.8% of retailer’s budgets will be spent on IT and 38% of that on hardware and software.

While only 12% of the retailers in the study showed they were leading edge in their approach to adopting IT, 30% said they were quick adopters. The study shows that 45% of retailers are looking for IT consulting. For the top category, IT

Consulting, where do retailers go for more strategic and broad-based IT services? Among our respondents IBM is the first choice for 53%.

Two different technologies appeared in 1974 that changed the way retailers do business. The first was bar codes; the second was the point of sale system, POS played a much larger role by revolutionizing the ability to automate management and control. The heartbeat of a store today is found in the POS hardware and software. Right now 42% of retailers have up-to-date POS hardware and 36% have up-to-date POS software or they are currently finishing projects already begun. You can read the full study by going to: http://support.stcr.com/Newsletter/RIS_RetailTechStudy_040710.pdf