More than 60 percent of retail companies expect a significant increase in their expenditures on customer relationship management (CRM) during the next two years, according to the CRMretail Survey, conducted for the National Retail Federation (NRF) by Gartner Dataquest. The study also found that 80 percent of retailers were endorsing CRM as a strategy to extend business, up from 74 percent last year. In addition, 64 percent of retailers are using CRM to boost current initiatives, up from 62 percent last year.
To date, 65 percent of retail companies said they had already implemented one or more CRM applications, and the majority of the remaining companies said they were likely to do so within the next two years. Retailers with revenues over $1 billion led CRM initiatives in the industry, with 79 percent of the largest retailers using CRM systems in their companies. "In our business, the customer means everything," says NRF President and CEO Tracy Mullin. "Retailers clearly recognize CRM's merits and are using it in highly effective ways to attract and retain customers while increasing sales."
Despite a sluggish economy and cautious business spending, the study found that 64 percent of companies planned to increase their spending in 2003. Additionally, 19 percent of companies planned to maintain their current CRM spending, 5 percent planned to decrease CRM spending, and 12 percent were not sure of their plans.