The Importance of Information Technology in Retail


The retail industry faces continuous technological advancements, which is evident both in-store and online. From the increased use of kiosks to the implementation of artificial intelligence and stronger warehouse management systems, technology continues to advance and help retailers in all industries with more efficient ways to conduct their operations, as well as simplify certain processes, better understand consumers, track inventory, etc.

One type of technology that can help achieve this goal, which in itself acts as an umbrella for other types of technology, is information technology, better known by its acronym “IT”.

What is Information Technology?

To put it simply, the purpose of information technology (IT) is to process, manage and store data and information. Through the use of computers and networks, hardware, software, operating systems, storage and various other technologies, computing can be used in a retail environment to speed up processes and create efficiencies across multiple platforms, including e-commerce, supply chains, customer data collection, etc.

Data collection is an important part of operating a retail business because it can provide the information retailers need to make important business decisions and be better informed about who their customers are and their needs. , while helping to plan ahead, among other factors. . To keep up with the competition, many retailers rely on large amounts of data, but it can be difficult to collect and then use it effectively. This is where IT can help. Using various software, systems, hardware, or networks, retailers can gain insights from the data that has been processed and analyzed, while having the ability to store it securely for immediate or future use.

An Example of IT in Retail: Electrical POS Software

One of the main benefits of using IT in a retail environment is that many software and systems that fall under IT use automation. For retailers who want to stay ahead of the game, automation can be extremely convenient, especially when entering and/or collecting data.

An example of software that uses automation is an electronic point of sale (EPOS), which is a system that performs business-related tasks electronically, such as the checkout process (i.e. scanning , payments, etc.), while managing customer accounts. , in-store inventory management, etc.

When a customer purchases a product, the retailer scans the barcode and the transaction is completed. However, with an EPOS, it captures data from the product(s) sold, as well as any customer data provided, and can track performance, sales, and more. Data is automatically synced, making it much easier for retailers. determine how well they are doing, while helping them track their inventory much more easily.

Thanks to this software (and similar), processes can become much more efficient. Relying on digital technology to track and store data that can then be turned into valuable information that a retailer can use later is invaluable.

Demand forecasting and inventory forecasting

Demand forecasting is an important aspect of the retail industry, as it is used to help retailers understand and forecast future demand for their products using historical patterns, as well as decisions and internal and external factors. Likewise, inventory forecasting allows retailers to have a better understanding of their inventory levels so they can reorder accordingly. For example, if an item is extremely popular, they can use data from previous purchases to determine how many items to order.

Demand forecasting and inventory forecasting require various technologies, such as machine learning and data, to operate effectively. The use of IT, for example as part of supply chain management, can help retailers regularly identify buying trends and make accurate forecasts accordingly. IT works to securely process, manage and store data using various software or systems, and that is why it is important for retailers to maintain up-to-date IT solutions in their retail stores (w whether physical or online), as it can help them get accurate forecasts of demand and inventory. This can help improve relationships with suppliers and customers, as it allows suppliers to plan product orders better, while customers can have their product needs met much more efficiently.

Collection of customer data

When a customer makes a purchase from a retailer, their information is collected. For example, many customers will provide their email addresses to receive special offers or information about new products or sign up for loyalty programs. The process of capturing this data and storing it securely later requires the use of computers.

Collecting consumer data can be extremely beneficial to a retailer as it can be used as a way to personalize the shopping experience of customers. And since consumers are 40% more likely to spend more than they intended when enjoying a personalized shopping experience, it can be extremely important for retailers to take this into account. Computing helps store customer data, which the retailer can then use to contact customers by email with personalized offers or with offers by mail, and during the checkout process, retailers can look up the customer’s information to make their experience fast and efficient. Regardless of how a retailer uses customer data to improve their experience, using up-to-date IT plays an important role in that regard.

IT plays an important role in the retail sector, as it can be used to make processes across all digital platforms more efficient. Staying ahead of the curve and implementing new technological advancements in retail operations, such as cutting-edge software and operating systems, can help make connecting and meeting customer needs that much easier. effective.

About Reshift Media

Reshift Media is a long-time partner of the Retail Council of Canada. The company is a Toronto-based digital marketing and development organization that provides industry-leading social media, research and web/mobile development services to retailers worldwide. Please visit to learn more.


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