TECH BUYER Mar 2020 - Tech Buyer Presentation - Doc # US46171420

COVID-19 Impact on the Retail Industry

By: Leslie HandGroup Vice President, IDC Retail and Financial Insights

On-line Presentation


This IDC Tech Buyer Presentation examines the impact of COVID-19 on the retail industry. As the coronavirus continues to spread around the world, there have been significant impacts to consumer behavior, product demand, and retail store, factory, and logistics services availability. Growth estimates for global retail in 2020 will be halved from pre-COVID-19 forecasts, overall, but impacts are uneven. Fashion, furniture, and electronics retailers will be hit hardest as consumers forego discretionary purchases in favor of stocking up on food and household supplies. Grocers win, but at a higher cost of operations, and will be highly motivated to be better prepared for the omni-channel shopper and responsiveness to demand shifts.

Retail technology investments will continue to reflect digital transformation efforts, as retailers reserve capital for technology investments by reducing spending on store openings and remodels. The ability to adapt responsively to product, workforce, partner, and operations needs will separate the winners and losers during the COVID-19 crisis. Some of the technology areas that will be in high demand are:

  • Commerce and self-serve technologies — the future store — online and offline)
  • Distributed order management and fulfillment
  • Supply chain collaboration and automation
  • AI-enabled personalized marketing and content management
  • Cloud-based hiring and workforce enablement
  • Network infrastructure, edge, and IoT for stores
  • Contactless payments


  • 15 slides

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