With 2.64 billion people shopping online, retailers need technology to deliver an omnichannel retail experience. Gartner’s strategic technology trends give retailers insights into technologies that can help them achieve their yearly goals, from growing revenue to building a brand. Gartner trends 2023 is focused on themes like optimization, scale, pioneering, and sustainable technology, making this release one of the hottest topics in the industry. Therefore, like every year, we have prepared for our readers a breakdown of Gartner technology trends in 2023, along with advice for applying these trends to eCommerce, omnichannel retailing, and other facets of a retail business.
Gartner Trends in Less than 6 Minutes
Learn which tech trends will shape retail in the coming year. The video discusses superapps, industry cloud platforms, adaptive AI, and more.
Using the 2023 Gartner Trends in Retail
Efficiency and effectiveness are the key pillars of a digital transformation that will make eCommerce businesses align their strategy with the latest trends and stay on top of the competition.
Gartner Trend 2023 #1: Digital Immune System
What is a Digital Immune System? The digital immune system is one of the core Gartner cybersecurity trends of 2023. A digital immune system refers to the combination of software and practices a business uses to minimize risk. It helps keep apps up and running and makes them rebound from failure more easily.
Benefits of Digital Immune System for a Retailer: More and more retailers offer online shopping and omnichannel customer experience through apps. Whether customers are shopping in an app and picking up in-store or conducting their whole transaction in the app, it needs to be functional. Anytime the app is down due to a bug or software failure, a retailer loses money and risks losing customers.
Promising Startups/Companies in the Digital Immune System: Alibaba AI and Data Intelligence is a leading company in cloud infrastructure and app testing. This company can help retailers test their apps for system functionality and build resilience into the program.
How Digital Immune System Optimizes Resilience: By building a digital immune system, retailers can prepare for inevitable system failures and keep them from impacting the customer experience. A robust digital immune system can give customers a seamless experience and allow retailers to get the app up and running faster in case the app faces a failure.
Gartner Trend 2023 #2: Applied Observability
Applied observability is one of Gartner’s top 10 trends in data and analytics for 2023. Applied observability involves observing customers and app users and making business decisions based on their actions instead of trying to anticipate what customers will do.
Benefits of Applied Observability for a Retailer: Retailers often try to anticipate customer needs and fill them with their apps. However, they may miss the mark. Observing actual app users and customer behaviors allows retailers to make decisions, respond to customer challenges faster, and tailor their advertising based on customer actions.
Promising Startups/Companies in Applied Observability: Splunk offers an applied observability platform retailers can use to track customer behavior. LogicMonitor is another well-known company that monitors events across networks, apps, and websites.
How Applied Observability Optimizes Operations: By using this trend, retailers can offer better customer service and operate their businesses more efficiently. They can structure their support team, monitor inventory, and improve marketing based on actual observations instead of trying to anticipate needs.
Gartner Trend 2023 #3: AI Trust, Risk, and Security Management (AI TRiSM)
What is AI TRiSM? As AI continues to evolve and get smarter, some people may use it for nefarious purposes. AI TRiSM offers a framework to keep AI from harming people and society. Under this principle, AI developers have to protect people from potentially hazardous uses of AI.
Benefits of AI TRiSM for a Retailer: AI has allowed retailers to be more responsive to customers, solving their undemanding inquiries and freeing up resources to deal with complex issues. AI TRiSM is a Gartner security trend for 2023. As more companies start using AI, customers will need reassurance that they are safe from data breaches and other harmful AI uses.
Promising Startups/Companies in AI TRiSM: Anonos offers Data Embassy software that is on the cutting edge of AI cybersecurity. This software improves customer privacy while letting companies use AI. Company Arize is another leader in AI TRiSM, offering observability software that monitors AI programs to help ensure they are being used fairly.
How AI TRiSM Optimizes Trust: Although online shopping is convenient, customer data is constantly at risk. This risk increases with the rise of AI. By committing to AI TRiSM, a retailer can show customers that their information is safe.
Gartner Trend 2023 #4: Industry Cloud Platforms
Industry cloud platforms are integrated cloud software solutions created specifically for one industry. “Industry cloud platforms” is one of the Gartner healthcare trends for 2023, but it also applies to banking, retail, and other industries.
Benefits of Industry Cloud Platforms for Retailers: A retail cloud solution helps owners manage every aspect of their business in one place. Retailers benefit from having a single platform for point of sale, client relationship management, email marketing, and back-end functions like human resources.
Promising Startups/Companies in Industry Cloud Platforms: Retail Cloud has created a cloud-based platform specifically for the unique needs of retailers. Ridge Cloud is another retail platform that also offers analytics.
How Industry Cloud Platforms Drive Scale: Retail-specific cloud platforms help retailers automate various parts of their processes and make IT less complicated. With one platform, a business owner can manage each aspect of their operations, responding to customers faster and more effectively.
Gartner Trend 2023 #5: Platform Engineering
One of the more interesting Gartner automation trends in 2023, platform engineering, involves creating a cloud-based platform with various self-service features.
Benefits of Platform Engineering for Retailers: With platform engineering, retailers can tailor parts of their retail-cloud platform to their needs. They can customize their workflows and processes without relying on the software developer, creating a product that works for customers and employees.
Promising Startups/Companies in Platform Engineering: Port offers tools for creating developer portals without coding. App developers can use this tool to tailor websites, apps, and more. Cycloid is another self-service developer portal that allows retail IT professionals to maintain platforms and apps that may have gone out of date or non-responsive.
How Platform Engineering Drives Scale: Platform engineering tools mean retailers don’t have to wait for the original software developer to add features and refine the platform. They can use their own IT and development teams to customize for better performance.
Gartner Trend 2023 #6: Wireless Value Realization
What is Wireless Value Realization? In Gartner digital trends 2023, wireless value realization is defined as how new wireless technology can improve service and reduce costs to business owners.
Benefits of Wireless Value Realization to Retailers: New wireless technology improves location tracking and connectivity. With new wireless tools, retailers can connect to local customers more effectively and improve their local SEO.
Promising Startups/Companies in Wireless Value Realization: Leaders in wireless technology include AT&T, Samsung, and Qualcomm.
How Wireless Value Realization Drives Scale: As wireless technology becomes more reliable, retailers can reach more customers across the globe. They can also streamline marketing efforts to capture local customers.
Gartner Trend 2023 #7: Superapps
What are Superapps? Superapps go beyond a standard application, providing multiple services and the ability to develop mini-apps within the platform. These apps offer better personalization and let users perform multiple functions in one app without disrupting the customer experience.
Benefits of Superapps to Retailers: Superapps allow retailers to more effectively engage customers. Their customers can add or remove features from the app, including chatbots or immersive experiences such as an in-app game.
Promising Startups/Companies in Superapps: Superapps are big in Asia and Central and South America, but haven’t caught on as quickly in Europe and the United States. The most well-known in the retail space include WhatsApp and WeChat.
How Superapps Pioneer Engagement: Retailers who use superapps can make their shopping apps more robust and tailored to the customer experience. They can use various features to create a seamless customer journey for everyone and eliminate friction. With a better app, they can drive retail forward.
Gartner Trend 2023 #8: Adaptive AI
What is Adaptive AI? Adaptive AI is one of the Gartner AI trends of 2023. While traditional AI uses machine learning to improve its performance over time, adaptive AI takes it further. These programs can rewrite their code to adapt to unforeseen changes that weren’t taken into account when the program was developed.
How Adaptive AI Benefits Retailers: Adaptive AI gives retailers the chance to make their customer service smarter and more responsive. Current chatbots and other AI-driven tools are limited in their ability to be flexible. With Adaptive AI, the system can react more quickly and respond better to customer inquiries. This may be considered one of the Gartner outsourcing trends of 2023 because retailers can effectively offload their low-level customer service functions.
Promising Startups/Companies in Adaptive AI: Alation is a company currently pushing the boundaries of AI. In retail, the company’s applications can be used to deliver broader analytics and personalize customer interactions. Dragonfly is another AI company creating innovative tools for branding and ad design.
How Adaptive AI Helps Retailers Become Pioneers: With adaptive AI, retailers can offer better, more personalized service to each customer at any time of day. These platforms allow retailers to become more responsive and more adaptable to customer needs.
Gartner Trend 2023 #9: Metaverse
What is the Metaverse? The Metaverse is a 3-D digital space that uses augmented reality, virtual reality, and other technology that allows users to interact. It makes the internet more immersive. Users can play games with people on other sides of the world, shop in virtual stores, and even visualize x-rays.
How the Metaverse Benefits Retailers: The Metaverse offers new ways to engage with current and potential customers. Retailers can create ads within the digital environment to build brand awareness. They can also set up virtual shops with merchandise that users can use to dress their avatars, or they can set up virtual dressing rooms so online shoppers can try on merch.
Promising Startups/Companies in the Metaverse: Nike is already using the Metaverse to its full benefit, creating branded gear for avatars, hosting design events, and more. Accenture is a company that helps retailers establish their presence in the Metaverse.
How the Metaverse Helps Retailers Become Pioneers: The Metaverse is poised to become the next generation of the internet. Getting there first helps retailers establish themselves as leaders in the industry.
Gartner Trend 2023 #10: Sustainable Technology
What is Sustainable Technology? As consumers demand their desire for financial, environmental, and social sustainability, business owners need to make an effort or risk losing business. One of the Gartner PMO trends of 2023 is to incorporate metrics into sustainable goals. Sustainable technology helps companies track their sustainability initiatives, goals, and metrics.
How Sustainable Technology Benefits Retailers: Sustainability impacts the retail industry in multiple ways. Millennial and Gen Z consumers are more focused on ethical manufacturing and consumption than their older counterparts. Retailers can also use economic sustainability principles to prepare for the natural ebb and flow of the economy, weathering downturns.
Promising Startups/Companies in Sustainable Technology: Planetly allows retailers to track their carbon emissions throughout the manufacturing and shipping process. Retailers can use it to develop strategies that reduce their emissions. Accenture offers platforms that allow business owners to track each pillar of sustainability.
How Sustainable Technology Improves Enterprise-Wide Resilience: Using tools to track and manage sustainable initiatives helps retailers ensure they are meeting their goals. With more consumers demanding action, these tools can help retailers show their customers that they are committed to sustainability.
Gartner Hype Cycle 2022 for Retail Technologies: What it Really Means for a Retailer
Gartner’s Hype Cycle for 2022 focused on technology retailers could use to be more resilient in a rocky climate. It included tools for automation, developing immersive customer experiences, and strengthening store operations. We are already using many of these technologies, including omnichannel customer engagement, to automate customer service and offer a more immersive experience.
Gartner’s next Hype Cycle is scheduled for release in July, but will likely focus on many similar themes tying into the Gartner Top 10 Trends for 2023.
More Gartner 2023 Resources a Retailer Should Check
Gartner offers valuable insights to help retailers and other business owners optimize operations to function more effectively, including the following resources:
- 4 Actions to Ensure Your Tech Investments Pay Digital Dividends in 2023
- 5 Stages to Enhance Your 2023 Data and Analytics Strategy for Digital Growth
- Essential Guide to Prioritizing Decisions
- 2022 Leadership Vision for Midsize Enterprises
- The Secrets to Implementing a Successful Hybrid Work Model
Unlock Limitless Growth with Gartner Trends 2023
With Gartner Trends 2023, your finger is on the pulse of tech trends that will impact the retail industry over the next year and into the future. These insights can help you prepare for the upcoming landscape to stay competitive and anticipate what customers want. Use these insights to prioritize your technology investments over the next year, and offer better service to your customers.
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