SMB retailers in Asia to spend more on IT

Driven by need to remain competitive, small and midsize retailers--particularly those in India and Indonesia--increase their IT spend to US$11.6 billion, new study shows.

Small and midsize (SMB) retailers in Asia are seeking new ways to carve a competitive edge, and many are turning to IT as the answer.

According to AMI-Partners' latest study, IT spending by small and midsize retailers in the Asia-Pacific region, excluding Japan, is forecast to hit US$11.6 billion this year.

Retail SMB IT spending in India, Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam, is forecast to grow more than 15 percent year-on-year in 2007. "More mature markets" such as Singapore, will grow less than 10 percent over 2006, Nishant Dave, AMI's Singapore-based Asia-Pacific research director, said in a statement.

Retailers in the SMB segment are hoping to reinvent themselves by adopting new technologies, where PCs, server hardware and IT services are the top drivers of spending in 2007, according to AMI.

The market analyst also estimates that nearly 150,000 new retailers in the region will invest in basic PC infrastructure this year.

The study indicates that countries such as Australia, China, India, South Korea and Taiwan, will drive the sector's IT spending. Storage and security are expected to be the fastest-growing categories for retail IT spending, growing more than 20 percent year-on-year in 2007.

IT managers in these top five retail IT markets are also looking to upgrade POS (point of sale) systems, set up inventory and SCM (supply chain management) applications, and implement employee monitoring and service quality measurement systems, AMI said.

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