Friday, October 5, 2007

Multi-channel retailers spending more on improving e-commerce platforms

Multi-channel retailers are allocating more of their IT budgets to improving the cross-channel customer experience, including improving or replacing business-to-consumer e-commerce platforms, according to a new study from AMR Research Inc.

57% of retailers surveyed said they are adding to or improving their e-commerce platforms, while 30% said they are maintaining their current platform, according to AMR. The remaining 13% are not using an e-commerce platform.

AMR also found that more retailers are bringing their previously hosted e-commerce applications in-house to exercise more control and flexibility in their cross-channel operations and visibility to consumer activity. Only 27% of those surveyed outsourced web hosting in 2007, down from 35% in 2006.

Retailers also are spending about 40% more on security and compliance budgets this year as the deadline looms for compliance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards, according to the survey. Budgets for PCI data security standards jumped to 57% of the total security and compliance budget, up form 41% in 2006.

In addition, to improve cross-channel retailing services, such as cross-channel returns or online ordering with in-store pickup, 4% to 9% of survey participants are adopting inventory, order, and returns management applications for the first time, AMR found.

Overall, growth in IT capital costs is expected to increase 3% this year to an average spend of $27,359, up from $26,464 in 2006, AMR says.

Source: Internet Retailer

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