Mobile shopping expected to continue to grow.

To navigate a consumer-centric market where shoppers are more “digitally fluent,” retailers need to digitally transform themselves while finding new avenues of innovation, according to just-released report from IDC Retail Insights.

In “IDC FutureScape: Worldwide Retail 2017 Predictions,” researcher Leslie Hand, vice president at IDC Retail Insights, also urged retailers to better integrate IT and operations as well as “rethinking the future of work.” Some of Hand’s predictions include that by 2019, “digital transformation investments [will] triple, “drawing funds away from store capital” and changing how business is done.

IDC also expects by 2018 that 30 percent of major retailers “will adopt an omnichannel digital B2B2C commerce platform, improving customer experience, process efficiency and inventory management.”

On the security front, Hand expects a surge in cyber security breaches that will “result in a 20 percent escalation of spending on managed services by 2018.” And by 2019, IDC expects “mobile investments” to triple while wireless infrastructure spending will double. This prediction comes on the heels of a Thanksgiving and Black Friday holiday season kickoff that experienced robust online sales especially on mobile devices.

And also by 2019, Hand said use of robotics and IofT technologies will “increase in-store, in-warehouse and in-distribution center productivity by 1.5 times” for early adopters of the technology and by 3-times for later adopters. IDC also expects artificial intelligence to “change how 25 percent” of retailers, marketers and planners work while improving productivity by 30 percent.

Hand said “retailers must recognize and drive digital transformation. Retailers dealing with legacy, disconnected, and siloed systems have latencies and speeds that cannot support modern commerce, nor do most of the legacy systems allow retailers to quickly launch the types of services that customers today are expecting.”

“At a time when customer expectations are rising and customers are more digitally fluent and digitally equipped than ever before, customers are expecting that their shopping experience will be easy, convenient, frictionless, and available anytime everywhere,” Hand added.