VDC Research Unveils Top Predictions for Retail Technology and Enterprise Mobility

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Leading M2M Research Firm Provides 2013 Trend Forecast in Advance of the National Retail Federation Conference

VDC Research (VDC), a leading market intelligence firm that provides technology suppliers and engineering leaders with research-driven insights to help guide their product development and technology strategies, today unveiled a list of top predictions for 2013. VDC has been covering the retail technology and enterprise mobility market for over 20 years with detailed analysis and forecasts that are widely considered the leading authority on the Barcode, RFID, Near Field Communication (NFC) and Real-Time Location System (RTLS) technology markets. VDC's Enterprise Mobility practice is the authority on the market for technologies that enable the mobile enterprise.

Before revealing the top trends compiled by the leaders of VDC’s AutoID and Enterprise Mobility practice areas, VDC’s CEO Mitch Solomon stated, “Connected consumers, connected retail employees, and retail environments that are animated by M2M technology are going to transform the retail business and the consumer shopping experience. The retail industry is at the forefront of unprecedented change in how consumers, retailers, the store itself, and the products they offer will interact to deliver value for retailers and their consumers. VDC believes brick and mortar retail is about to experience a new set of changes on par with the radical transformation brought about by online shopping and ecommerce.”    

VDC’s 2013 retail technology predictions are as follows:
The Year of Mobile POS – 2013 will be a big year for the mobilization of Point of Sales (POS) technologies, with retailers rolling out a range of technologies that enable them to engage and transact directly with consumers on the retail floor. These include mobile transaction processing solutions, mobile barcode scanning solutions and mobile receipt and ticket printing solutions.

Catching Up To Consumers’ Apps - Consumers are increasingly interested in using retailer-developed and third-party apps within retail environments, and many of these apps require the consumer to present a barcode. In fact, VDC believes consumer interest and behavior is well ahead of what most retailers can support and that a coming wave of retail industry investment in consumer-facing barcode scanning technologies that will enable retailers to support their customers’ barcode-based apps.

Ongoing Struggles To Develop Home-Grown Apps – The synergies that exist between shopping, dining, consumers and apps are tremendous, so it’s no wonder that every major retailer wants its own killer app. But VDC’s research continues to show a radical shortage of mobile app developers who are interested in or available to develop apps for the enterprise. As a result, most retailers are either deploying simple apps that generally fall short of consumer expectations, or remaining on the sidelines until the app developer community catches up to the market need.

Another Slow Year for Mobile Payments and NFC – The Near Field Communications (NFC) revolution didn’t happen in 2012. VDC does not expect to see it happening again in 2013. The complexity of the ecosystem that must take shape for NFC to become the payment processing standard of the future is just too great, and without a strong leader or catalyst with NFC continuing to move forward in fits and starts.

A New “Old” Source of Consumerization – The largest retail technology vendors were caught off guard during the past few years by retailers’ adoption of consumer-grade devices, particularly for customer facing activities. VDC believes that “the heavies” of the retail technology industry will begin fighting back in 2013 with their own devices and solutions that are both consumerized and optimized for the unique requirements of the retail enterprise. VDC envisions strong retailer interest in these solutions given the trusted sources from which they will come, as well as the large installed bases of legacy system to which they will connect.

VDC Research is the leading market intelligence firm that provides engineering leaders and technology suppliers with research-driven insights to help guide their product development and technology strategies. Based on a unique blend of quantitative and qualitative analysis that offer granularity and breadth of coverage, VDC is organized around four practice areas, each with its own focused area of coverage. Together, they enable a unique 360-degree perspective of the opportunities and challenges resulting from The Internet of Things and M2M. For more information visit: http://www.vdcresearch.com

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Ellen Slaby
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