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IDC Retail Insights: Worldwide Retail Innovation Strategies

The retail industry context is characterized by a blend of traditional retail operations, omni-channel goals, and new commerce everywhere business models. The way traffic is built, sustained, and grown — and the way conversion targets are achieved — is fundamentally different than before. Furthermore, retailers are required to leverage data-driven collaboration with the ecosystem to generate new value in their extended value chains. So innovation has to become "business as usual" in retail. There are no longer retail channels per se and customer touch points; rather, there are a growing number of interfaces to the customer, whether digital, analog, or human. IoT commerce, voice commerce, and marketplace strategies will be critical to compete against Amazon, Alibaba, and digital natives. Customer experience is the trigger of retail innovation. In fact, commerce everywhere business models identify real-time contextual and interface-agnostic customer experience as the pivotal gear of the company's value proposition, which branches back in the extended value chain of the enterprise, suppliers, and partners. These new models are designed to operate "commerce" beyond the "transaction" and "everywhere" beyond "customer facing," and the ecosystem collaboration mindset that is required for their execution renders them intrinsically innovation driven. Worldwide, 90% of retailers don't have a defined innovation strategy and are executing an opportunistic innovation approach. The opportunity for retailers is enacting retail innovation excellence dynamics and embracing business model innovation at scale, while delivering profitable growth for omni-channel operating models. IDC Retail Insights: Worldwide Retail Innovation Strategies service supports retail business, digital, and technology executives in making better strategic decisions to define and execute retail innovation road maps at speed, deliver new business models, and identify the required organizational, process, and technology changes. It also provides technology market views to support the implementation of the unified, data-centric, retail commerce platfom and innovation architecture.


This advisory service develops unique analysis and comprehensive data through IDC Retail Insights' proprietary research projects, along with ongoing communications with industry experts, retail CIOs, and line-of-business executives, and ICT product and service vendors. To ensure relevance, our analysts work with subscribers to identify and prioritize specific topics to be covered in research reports. Our analysts are also available to provide personalized advice for retail executives and ICT vendors to help them make better-informed decisions.

Topics Addressed

Throughout the year, this service will address the following topics:

  • Worldwide status and plans of retail innovation
  • Maturity stages and benchmarks of retail innovation and their detailed characterization
  • Disruptive technologies that will enable retail innovation in the short term and long term
  • How to deliver retail innovation strategies through a retail commerce platform
  • Cases of co-innovation among retailers, IT vendors, and IT service providers
  • The transformation of retail organization structures to execute innovation strategies
  • How to support innovation leaders in defining and executing innovation road maps

Key Questions Answered

Our research addresses the following issues that are critical to your success:

  1. What are the business model options that will allow retailers to thrive in the next decade?
  2. What is the appropriate retail innovation model to execute the strategy toward innovation excellence?
  3. How will retailers move beyond channels and omni-channel models?
  4. How will retailers leverage new interfaces and engagement input (e.g., text, image, voice, video, and AR) to innovate consumer services?
  5. Who are the retail commerce platform providers and retail co-innovation services providers? What are their key capabilities, which platform should retailers select, and which co-innovation services should retailers consider?
  6. What are the peer innovation practices that reduce risks and increase ROI?

Who Should Subscribe

The IDC Retail Insights: Worldwide Retail Innovation Strategies service is ideally suited to support the needs of retail business and IT decision makers and executives (e.g., head of innovation, head of strategy, CDO, CTO, CIO, and VP of omni-channel) responsible for running all aspects of the companywide innovation process. Technology vendors, consulting, and services companies will also benefit from this research service as it will provide them with perspectives on retailers' challenges and directions in planning and executing innovation strategies.

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Meet the Experts
Giulio Raffaele

Research Manager, Retail Insights, IDC Europe

Ornella Urso

Senior Research Analyst, IDC Retail Insights