In 2006, US retailers’ technology budgets will increase by 3 per cent as a percentage of company revenues, up from 2.9 per cent in 2005, a new report by AMR Research predicts. Investment in self-checkouts and kiosks is tipped to be important, while hardware will take the biggest share of retail IT dollars in 2006. Before now, most retailers had extended their legacy POS hardware and software platforms, but hardware investments in 2006 will focus on core POS, payment systems and kiosks as retailers seek to reduce their operating and maintenance costs.
Twenty-nine per cent of respondents also plan to upgrade their POS software, with a total of 80 per cent reporting that the Sarbanes-Oxley Act is driving their IT investments. AMR Research also estimates the 2005 retail applications market at USD 6.6 billion, but projects that by 2009 this total will grow by almost USD 3 billion to USD 9.3 billion. Retailers seeking to invest in new legacy applications and to introduce more scalable, software platforms for in-store networking and multi-channel retail, will drive this expected growth in the retail applications market.