Overview of Digital Innovation in Retail: in search of value


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  • Date January 11, 2016
  • Observatory Digital Innovation in Retail
  • Language Italian English
  • Pages 21
  • Function Marketing/Communications Information Systems
  • Type Business Scenario

Responds to...

  • What are the contextual changes affecting retail in Italy?
  • How are Italian retailers managing their digital innovation projects?
  • How much are leading Italian retailers investing in digital innovation?
  • Which digital innovations are capable of reshaping back-end and front-end processes in the retail sector?
  • What are the associated benefits of adopting back-end and front-end innovations in retail?


After six years of recession, consumption in Italy is rising once more. In 2014, monthly household spending grew by 0.7% compared with 2013 and this upward trend in consumption continued into 2015. At the same time, Italian users are becoming increasingly inter-connected, digitally aware consumers. As of 2015, the number of Italian Internet users is approaching 38 million, of whom 17.7 million are online shoppers. Similarly, the use of mobile technology is steadily shaping the consumers’ buying process and their relationship with retailers. In addition to managing these changes in consumer behaviour, retailers have also to face continuously more complex back-end processes and the range of available products has increased while the average product life cycle has shortened. In this complex and constantly evolving scenario, digital innovation can help retailers to respond more effectively to consumer requirements and design processes that are more efficient. This report provides an overview of the state of the art of digital innovation in Italian retail, providing as assessment of the value of the investment and examining the various digital innovations that are capable of reshaping retailers’ processes. The management process for projects in this area is then analysed, focusing on the potential benefits and the measurement and monitoring systems that are used.


  1. The retail landscape in Italy
  2. The innovation management process in retail
  3. Investing in digital innovation in retail
  4. Choosing and implementing digital innovation in retail
  5. Benefits of digital innovation in retail