Retailers keep a tight rein on their technology spending as CRM tools fail to satisfy


Retailers keep a tight rein on their technology spending as CRM tools fail to satisfy

Business Focus is a weekly column providing at-a-glance statistics and commentary on spending priorities and trends across particular sectors. This week we look at non-food retailers.

Among larger non-food retailers, annual IT expenditure per desktop is £5,113, putting it some way short of the UK business average of £8,455.

This picture is repeated among smaller retailers, which spend on average £1,594 per desktop, barely more than half the UK average spend among small and medium-sized enterprises of £3,132.

Much of retailers’ IT spending is focused on merchandising, supply chain, human resources and electronic point of sale systems, which may account for the low per-desktop figures. However, the overall findings also suggest that retailers are not investing as heavily in IT as businesses in other sectors.

Research conducted in March by Martec International on behalf of retail IT consultancy Charteris found that, of the 40 major high street chains surveyed, 92% did not have a single view of their customers across all their sales channels.

A single customer view can enable cross-selling, targeted marketing and efficiencies in administration. Retailers’ customer relationship management systems were found to be the main sticking point in achieving this. And most of the retail IT managers surveyed said they were less satisfied with their CRM systems than they were with their supply chain and buying systems.


The analysis is based on Computer Weekly’s database of more than 60,000 IT budget holders, twice yearly user IT expenditure surveys, CBI/Kew senior executive surveys, government surveys, government demographic data, HM Treasury economic forecasts and Cambridge Econometrics industry sector forecasts.

Further details:


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This was first published in May 2006


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