Summary of Accelerating Digital Innovation in Retail

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The rocketing growth in online retail sales presents rich opportunities for online retailers. Yet consumers’ demands for convenience, personalization and delivery are ratcheting up, too. To stay in the game, retailers must innovate. Based on a survey of traditional retailers, the Boston Consulting Group details the activities that set e-commerce innovation leaders apart, the benefits they reap and the crucial investments that will underpin retailers’ IT-enabled innovation. This insightful and actionable report is a valuable read for any retailer seeking a leg up online.

About the Authors

Brad Loftus is a senior partner and managing director at the Boston Consulting Group, a global management consulting firm. Ashwin Bhave, Chris Biggs and Shishir Pathak are partners and managing directors, and Peter Burggraaff is an associate director.



Between 2018 and 2022, online retail sales are set to rocket at five times the pace of overall retail sales. Customers’ expectations are growing apace in terms of increasing demands for convenience, quick delivery and a personalized purchasing experience. To find out how retailers are meeting consumers’ demands through operations and innovation, the Boston Consulting Group surveyed 24 traditional retailers with revenues greater than $150 million.

Retailers are spending a median 1.2% of revenue on IT operating expenses. But retailers, even above-average spenders...

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