The pandemic upended global retail. The shift to online shopping coupled with supply chain disruptions prompted industry leaders to reassess investment priorities.
Deloitte, the accounting and consulting firm, surveyed 50 senior retail executives across multiple sectors from Oct. 29 to Nov. 9, 2021, as to their plans and priorities. The results Deloitte published in a study titled “2022 retail industry outlook” (PDF).
According to the study, upgrades to the supply chain — fulfillment, inventory, warehouse management — will receive the highest investments in 2022. Surprisingly, few executives plan to invest in warehouse robotics or materials handling, which Deloitte found alarming given the global labor shortage. Deloitte recommended merchants automate as much of their operations as possible, including automated driving and last-mile deliveries.
Deloitte assigned scores to each respondent based on the company’s (i) annual revenue growth in the most recent fiscal year, (ii) proportion of revenue derived from digital channels, and (iii) Deloitte’s confidence in the company’s ability to execute its strategy in 2022.
Deloitte then split the 50 respondents into three groups — including “leaders” (top 25%) and “laggards” (bottom 25%) — and queried each as to likely retail technology adoption in the ensuing five years.
The ecommerce sector was thriving before the pandemic. A recent blog post from McKinsey & Company cited a study from Euromonitor, a London-based research firm, on the promise of cross-border ecommerce sales. Euromonitor projects approximately $1 trillion of global cross-border ecommerce sales by 2030, roughly triple 2020’s amount.