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ISG to Publish Two Reports Focused on Digital Transformation of the Retail Industry

ISG Provider Lens™ reports will examine providers of retail platforms and services as industry seeks to rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic, adopt digital-first mindset

Information Services Group (ISG) , a leading global technology research and advisory firm, has launched a research study examining how retailers across the globe are using IT platform and service providers to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and address new business conditions.

The study results will be published in two comprehensive ISG Provider Lens™ reports, called Retail Platforms and Retail Services, scheduled to be released in June. The reports will cover platforms and services targeted to retail companies as they seek to embrace digital technologies and transform their businesses with a digital-first mindset.

Enterprise buyers will be able to use information from the reports to evaluate their current vendor relationships, potential new engagements and available offerings, while ISG advisors use the information to recommend providers to the firm’s buy-side clients.

The new reports look at ways providers are helping retailers bounce back after the COVID-19 pandemic and compete in today’s environment, said Jan Erik Aase, partner and global leader, ISG Provider Lens Research.

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“The retail industry, which was already reeling under pressure due to new-age digital players and ecommerce disruption, was further hit by the pandemic”

“The retail industry, which was already reeling under pressure due to new-age digital players and ecommerce disruption, was further hit by the pandemic,” he said. “This unprecedented disruption served as a much-needed catalyst to accelerate the transformation retailers were seeking. To navigate through the pandemic, retailers had to quickly evolve and adapt to changing consumer behavior by expanding ecommerce and embracing new retail strategies.”

For the Retail Platforms report, ISG has distributed surveys to more than 60 platform vendors working with the retail sector. Working in collaboration with ISG’s global advisors, the research team will produce two quadrants representing the platform solutions the typical enterprise client is buying in the retail space, based on ISG’s experience working with its clients. The two quadrants are:

  • Omnichannel Commerce Platforms, covering retail platforms offering a wide range of out-of-the-box services, including profile management, promotions, checkout services, storefront services, order management, inventory management and intelligent search. Platform vendors are expected to provide a platform that is essentially in the cloud with architecture that offers modules for microservices and API-driven ecosystems.
  • Merchandise Planning and Management Platforms, covering merchandising platforms that are integrated with AI capabilities to improve customer demand forecasting across channels by fusing data from stores and online ecommerce sources. Features include continuous inventory planning and data analytics and reporting.

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For the Retail Services report, ISG has distributed surveys to more than 70 technology and service providers. The three quadrants that will be covered in this report are:

  • CX Transformation Services, looking at a variety of services helping retail outlets improve customer experience. Services include omnichannel commerce, integration with critical applications, point-of-sale services, warehouse automation, and implementation of advanced technologies such as augmented and virtual reality, blockchain, artificial intelligence, big data and metaverse.
  • Platform Migration Services, examining services that help retailers re-platform and modernize their IT landscapes, with the cloud playing a critical role. Retailers are seeking agility and lower IT costs by modernizing critical business applications and remaining platform agnostic through a platform-as-a-service model. They want to ensure applications or platforms are API- and microservices-driven and cloud native.
  • Managed Services, assessing providers that typically take over a retailer’s entire IT landscape, including application development and maintenance, infrastructure, and service desk to help companies focus on core capabilities, save on costs and manage IT complexity. Service provider approaches are driven by AIOps to enable significant automation and predictive healing for achieving extreme efficiencies through the application of automation and AI.

The Retail Platforms report will cover the global retail market, and the Retail Services report will examine services available in the U.S. and Europe (excluding the U.K.). ISG analysts Prateek Samtani, Riya Munjal and Sidhanth Prasad will serve as authors of both reports.

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