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BizReport : : October 25, 2012

Retailers must keep up with next wave of technology or risk sales

Just as retailers are getting to grips with mobile and tablet technology, they're told that if they hesitate to invest in the next wave of technology they risk losing out on sales.

by Helen Leggatt

Interactive TV, image recognition, smart devices, augmented reality and other in-store technologies are set to revolutionize retail in the UK, according to research from eBay. And we're not talking too far in the future.

These technologies could boost UK retail sales by a significant $3.8 billion (GBP 2.4 billion) by 2014, says eBay, the equivalent of 8% of online retail sales in the country that year.

"Technology is changing the way consumers shop and has the potential to provide a valuable lifeline to the retail sector," said Angus McCarey, UK Retail Director for eBay.

"Previously, consumers viewed online and offline shopping as distinct, but that's no longer the case. Today they don't see a channel, but a brand. Retailers who embrace these technologies to deliver an integrated and seamless multi-channel shopping experience will be the ones who survive, and ultimately, thrive."

But, according to eBay's research, almost 4 in 10 (38%) UK retailers have no plans to implement these 'third wave' technologies any time soon. Apart from confusion over the sheer number of new technologies, retailers aren't sure which are applicable to their business and have concerns about upfront investment.

The challenge for UK retailers is which technology is the best to invest in, and when. Hesitation to adopt 'third wave' technologies could see many get left behind.

Tags: eBay, mobile shopping, online shopping, retail sector, retail technology, retail trends, tablet shopping, UK

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