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Therefore, such companies must either increase their efforts into finding the resources that are required by investing in technological developments, or not address them and risk reduce their customer base.
Innovation is influenced by a series of factors. Such factors include: level of financial, technical, and human resources, government's incentives, the general innovation orientation of the country, talent pools, the collaboration between companies and universities. But there are also several implications of the innovation process that must be taken into consideration. Such implications refer to education, the partnership between the public and the private sector, immigration, culture, and the business process.
It has been observed that large companies are significantly more capable of developing successful innovation research processes in comparison with smaller firms. The financial resources that large companies benefit from allow them to make important investments in innovation, while small companies must allocate their resources in other areas. The growth process of large companies allows them to improve their skills in developing partnership agreements, and in improving their abilities in their research and development activities. Larger companies have the possibility of collaborating with top universities in developing innovation programs. Their experience allows them to identify business partners that are able to support their innovation efforts.
However, small firms have certain advantages in comparison with large companies. For example, small companies seem to be more able to attract top talent than large companies (Leavey School of Business, 2009). This is because small companies provide better incentives packages that are based on rewarding individual contribution, in comparison with large companies that provide traditional packages based on employees' merits. In addition to this, innovators' property rights are better protected in the case of small companies. The size of small companies allows them to avoid information overload. This is intended to encourage and support innovation.
Technological developments in the retail industry are used in order to reach different objectives (Aruba Networks, 2012). These objectives refer to attracting a larger number of customers, increasing accessibility to retailers' products, improving customer experience, and others. If certain retailers are successful at implementing these technologies, it is likely that competitors will follow.
It is important to understand how the use of technological developments and their evolution in time. Mobile points of sale and wireless communication were considered innovations initially. In the beginning, a reduced number of companies used them. Such technologies helped them improve their activity and reduce their costs. Therefore, their competitors had to apply this strategy based on technological developments. More and more companies started to use mobile points of sale and wireless communication until they became something normal and necessary to all retailers.
In addition to this, technological developments help improve business security. This refers to all types of activity, and it is not limited to the retail sector. Inventory management can also be improved with the help of technological developments. This helps improve the merchandise flow from suppliers to customers. This is a great benefit for retailers. It helps them manage their stocks, and identify their supply necessary.
Other technological developments refer to the marketing strategy. This is mostly the case of digital marketing. It seems that certain digital marketing techniques are considered technological advancements. This means that they have not been used intensive enough in order to become a habit for most companies.
Marks & Spencer is one of the most important retailers to address such a strategy. The company has stated that it will develop a digital lab intended to speed up retail technology development (Finnegan, 2013). This digital lab is intended to develop certain e-commerce and in store technologies, like digital marketing platforms that employees can use within the company.
However, not all technological developments can be used on any type of retailer. It is important to identify several options, and to select the solution that is in accordance with the requirements of each business (Taylor, 2012). This objective can be reached by determining what the right improvement is for these businesses.
Technological developments have become a must in the retail industry. This means that in order to be successful and address their competition, retailers must invest in implementing such technologies, even if this requires significant investments. The important thing in such cases is to identify the right type of technology that is required in each case. Certain companies need to improve their supply chain management, other companies must increase the number of customers they reach, other companies must improve customer satisfaction.
There are also certain technological developments that can be applied by all retailers. These mostly refer to technologies that help improve customer experience. This is the case of reducing time spent in order to make the purchase, collecting information on the products, comparing prices, and others.
It is difficult to determine how the field can work in order to alleviate the issue of accessibility to such technological developments of retailers. This is because retailers do not have much to say when it comes to technologies. In such cases, it is the customers that decide what technologies they need in order for the retailers to satisfy their needs and requirements. Therefore, retailers must follow the trends imposed by customers' needs.
Technologies in the it field take place at a fast pace. It is difficult for small retailers to keep up with these improvements. Larger companies can purchase and implement such technologies, which increases the gap between them and smaller competitors. However, this is not always useful to customers. This is because in such situations, certain small retailers must sell their business to larger retailers, and to transform it. Their loyal customers are affected by this situation (Vedamani, 2003). Therefore, it is important to identify the necessary technologies that must be used in order to improve each business.
In such cases, it is important that authorities reveal their interest in helping smaller retailers address technological advancements intended to help their business. This is also useful to authorities. This is because the state budget is influenced by the taxes collected from the activity of these retailers. Therefore, governments are interested in the activity of these retailers in order to benefit from the taxes they collect from them.
It is little that the industry can do in order to influence authorities in this direction. In addition to this, certain members of the industry are not interested in uniting their efforts in order to make these technologies more available. This is because they are not interested in doing so. This would mean that they do not activate in a competitive manner. Their interest is to address technologies that are not available to competitors. Basically, this is the reason for which they invest in such technologies. When these technologies become available to most retailers, they are not efficient. This issue is to identify technological developments that are not addressed by other companies.
In order to develop successful strategies based on technological developments, companies should develop their in house technology labs. These labs can focus on different technology fields, like information, communication, distribution, and others. It is important that companies focus on developing their productivity.
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2. How Do Size and Experience Affect Innovation? (2009). Leavey School of Business. Retrieved June 14, 2013 from http://www.scu.edu/business/mindwork/spring09/large-firm-small-firm-madsen.cfm.
3. Technology Advances in Retail: Improving Margins Using Wireless Networks (2012). Aruba Networks. Retrieved June 14, 2013 from http://www.arubanetworks.com/pdf/technology/whitepapers/wp_Retail_advances.pdf.
4. Finnegan, M. (2013). Marks & Spencer Creates Digital Lab to Speed Retail Tech Development. TechWorld. Retrieved June 14, 2013 from http://news.techworld.com/applications/3424361/marks-spencer-creates-digital-lab-speed-retail-tech-development/.
5. Taylor, a. (2012). New Directions in Retail Technology. Retail Week. Retrieved June 14, 2013 from http://www.retail-week.com/technology/new-directions-in-retail-technology/5037924.article.
6. Varley, R. (2006). Retail Product Management: Buying and Merchandising. Retrieved June 14, 2013.
7. Vedamani, G. (2003). Retail Management: Functional Principles and Practices. Jaico Publishing House. Retrieved June 2013.
8. Dawson, J. (2012). Retail Geography. Retrieved June 14, 2013 from http://books.google.ro/books?id=seV2L-nA6Q0C&pg=PA161&dq=retail+technology+developments&hl=ro&sa=X&ei=HF27UazXCqKt4ATe4IGYBA&ved=0CF0Q6AEwBg#v=onepage&q=retail%20technology%20developments&f=false.[continue]
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