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Crippling Tech Anxiety Could See Merchants Miss Out on Booming Online Sales

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US retailers are experiencing a 40% increase in online sales since the Coronavirus shutdown went into place, however a new study reveals many brands are falling to capitalise on the Covid-19 related growth in e-commerce due to crippling tech anxiety. .

Researchers found that 40% of retailers have been put off completely from making a technology investment because of the array of software options that are available to them and 51% agree that they are suffering ‘tech anxiety’ when it comes to software purchases.

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The new study by Brightpearl, a digital operations platform, set out to reveal what types of software retailers are investing in for 2020 by polling hundreds of merchants from across the US. One concerning statistic pulled from the study highlighted that more than half of American retailers (51%) admit they do not have the time or expertise to confidently make major software investments.

“The anxiety that retailers are experiencing is understandable but now is not the time for merchants to adopt a ‘wait and see” approach”, says Nick Shaw, Chief Revenue Officer for Brightpearl.

“In the face of rapidly changing consumer lifestyles and shopping habits, businesses are finding the need to pivot quickly to stay competitive in today’s landscape. Brands must think strategically and make the necessary adjustments to their retail operations to capitalize on the uplift of online demand, or they’ll potentially miss out on the ecommerce boom. We’ve seen a number of our ecommerce customers quickly adding multiple channels, changing their delivery models or offering curbside pick up as a response to the shifts in shopper needs and behavior but that’s only possible with the right technology in place.”

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Familiarity breeds contempt 

Another key takeaway from the study reveals that suggests that in the face of a wide array of technology choice, the majority of retailers (66%) will opt for the most familiar brand name. whilst more than a third of buyers (37%) would invest in the cheapest available software, two paths which carry risk, as one firm explains:

“When we were looking for an all-in-one solution to remove data entry errors, NetSuite looked like one we could grow with,” says Jon Rose, Co-Owner of MyMusicFolders and MyChoirRobes. “They set us up with everything we would need for multiple websites at a low entry cost, but within three years, we were paying four times as much for the platform alongside an eye-watering subscription for their ‘Silver Support’ package. We got to the point where we couldn’t afford to fix NetSuite anymore; we had so many failing workarounds and customers started seeing issues.”

Brightpearl’s Shaw adds “Merchants must keep in mind that the software they opt for is mission critical. While cheap and familiar might seem like a good short-term fix, a number of customers come to us because of issues they encounter over a two-three year period as they begin to grow. It is important to research all options and invest with a technology partner that is fit to scale with your business.

“For brands who are seeing a slowdown, this is a perfect opportunity to take the time to really evaluate your tech stack without worrying as much about disruptions.”

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