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Study: Social media has the least influence on retail technology purchases


Research from CCgroup reveals the biggest influences on technology vendor selection by major UK retailers

London, 6th February 2019 – Insight driven Tech PR Agency, CCgroup, today released the findings of its primary research study “How to influence retail technology buyers”. The results, collected from over 30 tier one (turnover above £500m) and tier two (turnover between £30-£500m) UK retailers, identified the information most important to decisionmakers when longlisting, shortlisting and purchasing from a potential technology vendor. port found that 42% of respondents would use industry analyst reports during shortlisting phase, making it the most influential content type.

When looking at information sources, social media was found to provide little impact with 58% of respondents stating it had no influence during longlisting or shortlisting. On the other hand, 42% of respondents responded that sponsored content on social media would influence longlisting making it the second most influential form of content during this phase of the buying cycle.

Other key takeaways from the research includes:

  • During Longlisting:
    • Web search (45%) and direct marketing (39%) are the most important source of influence
    • Press releases (45%) and vendor whitepapers (42%) are the most influential content types
    • Pure ability to meet RFP criteria (45%) and providing cutting edge technologies (42%) are the most influential “messages” and “capabilities”
  • During Shortlisting:
    • Industry consultants (48%) and internal business analysts (45%) provide the most influence
    • Industry analyst reports (42%) and direct marketing (39%) are the most influential content types
    • Value for money (65%) and flexible in adjusting to your needs (61%) are the most influential “messages” and “capabilities”

As online commerce continues to pull consumers away from ‘bricks-and-mortar’ retailers, both traditional and online merchants are under mounting pressure to invest in technology to deliver a better service.

Yet, despite marketing’s influence on retail technology buyers, most agencies and marketers are working ‘blind’ without the benefit of quantitative data to help them understand how retail buyers identify and select technology vendors.

“Tech-led internet giants like Amazon and Alibaba are becoming dominant players in the retail market. Whether you’re an online merchant or a high street retailer, technology is absolutely fundamental to success. From IoT to robotics to digital signage and personalised shopping, retailers are in a race to deliver a better customer experience while reducing suffocating overheads. But most retail tech companies are marketing blind,” said Daniel Lowther, Head of Fintech at CCgroup.

“We believe this report is the first and only piece of research to uncover what actually influences retail tech buyers. Understanding the sources of influence is critical in developing marketing and communications programs that drive the ultimate measure of success: sales.”

The research “How to influence retail technology buyers” is now available for download.

CCgroup commissioned the specialist research agency, Sapio Research, to interview over 30 tier one (turnover over £500m) and tier two retailers (turnover between £30-500m). Respondents were all senior decision makers, responsible for the purchase of technology, equipment, software or services. All the companies spoken to have been involved in a major technology purchase in the last six to 12 months.

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About CCgroup
CCgroup is an international B2B technology PR and marketing consultancy that trades on its deep specialist knowledge of key tech markets.

The retail technology sector is as dynamic as it is fragmented, with numerous niches and business models. Providers are often seeking to gain the attention of a specific sub-sector most relevant to its proposition. Using our unique strategic planning blue print, we ensure our retail technology PR campaigns use the right mix of activity across paid, earned, owned and shared to influence the target audience and deliver business success.

We help ambitious technology businesses get noticed by blending 30 years of experience in B2B technology markets with our unique ‘Catalyst’ audience insight programme that identifies how our clients’ customers behave in the buying process. We leverage our insight to create acutely targeted and commercially-focused PR campaigns.

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