For a long time, the digital transformation in German retail companies was slow to take off. Then came Covid, and everything changed. Many retailers have undergone significant technological changes – and continue to do so. The recent study conducted by the German EHI Retail Institute reveals where the industry is headed.

For the German study “Technology Trends in Retail 2023,” CIOs and IT managers from around one hundred retailers in the DACH region were interviewed to understand the key developments in their companies and industries.

Most of them are convinced that artificial intelligence and machine learning will gain importance in many areas of retail in the coming years. Other top themes include seamless checkout, customer centricity, process digitization, and cloud. Moreover, current challenges such as the growing labor shortage will also impact technology investments.

What does this mean in detail?

  1. ERP Systems
    Whether it’s about new implementation, optimization, or technological transformation – ERP projects rank first among the most important projects in the coming years, according to the respondents.
  2. Cloud-based Infrastructures
    These form the basis for the implementation of ERP and other software solutions. So far, cloud-based applications are most prevalent in areas such as e-commerce, loyalty, marketing services, and analytics.
  3. Artificial Intelligence
    52% of the respondents consider AI the most important future technology for retail. Companies have invested in initial projects in recent years, but the potential is far from being fully realized.
  4. Use of AI-based Applications
    At present, AI-based solutions are dominating in the areas of forecasting and replenishment, pricing, and customer dialogue.
  5. Process Automation
    This is a clear focus for many retailers, particularly in physical stores – from seamless checkout to traditional self-checkout systems and scan & go, all the way to completely cashier-less stores.
  6. Personalization of the Customer Journey
    is becoming increasingly important, with a corresponding increase in investments planned planned.

To implement these measures, significantly more companies now have their own CIO – a whole 59% compared to 44% the previous year. Average IT budgets, relative to net revenue, have also increased again.

To learn more about the top investment projects of CIOs and IT decision-makers in the DACH region, the current areas where artificial intelligence is being utilized, and the relevance of sustainability in IT departments, you can find this information and much more in the complete study “Technology Trends in Retail 2023.”

Find out more here (German language)