New AVIXA Research Indicates Retail is Thriving, Presenting Pro AV Opportunities

New AVIXA Research Indicates Retail is Thriving, Presenting Pro AV Opportunities
(Image credit: Perch Interactive)

Contrary to popular belief, retail is healthy, reaching approximately $5.1 trillion in revenue in 2017 and growing 4 percent annually for the past 8 years, according to the U.S. Census, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the National Retail Federation. With less than 10 percent of revenue captured online, brick-and-mortar stores still present an industry rich with opportunities for pro-AV providers. According to AVIXA's Industry Outlook and Trends Analysis (IOTA), retail is expected to generate $19.6 billion in pro-AV solution revenue globally in 2018. AVIXA's new 2018 Market Opportunity Analysis Report (MOAR) covering retail investigates the opportunities and challenges for providers of pro AV solutions and technologies.

MOAR: Retail marks the first in a series of vertical market studies, conducted throughout 2018, with forthcoming reports on corporate, sports venue, hospitality, education, and transportation. Consistent with AVIXA's focus on exceptional experiences created by integrated AV solutions, AVIXA has employed a design-thinking approach to understanding the markets.

MOAR starts by attempting to understand consumers on their journey through the retail experience. The report then focuses on the clients of AV solutions—often referred to as end users—including the influencers and decision-makers involved in pro AV systems integration projects. For the retail vertical, this includes those who are responsible for the consumer experience and/or the audiovisual technologies deployed in stores. Finally, the study provides a view from pro AV integrators on their successes and challenges working in retail.

According to AVIXA, only about half of AV providers are currently active in retail.

According to AVIXA, only about half of AV providers are currently active in retail. (Image credit: AVIXA)

The 2018 MOAR: Retail offers rich insight into the retail market. Highlights include:

  • Looking to stay competitive against the rise of e-commerce, brick-and-mortar retailers are evolving into more experiential locations with AV as a strong component. Survey results show large capital improvement plans among retailers in support of this trend, generating about $6 billion in projected AV related spending in North America alone.
  • Surprisingly, only about half of AV providers are currently active in retail. Reasons vary, but lack of knowledge about the space plays a key role. Retailers say they often will work with more traditional IT firms, general contractors, or architects instead. This may keep some AV providers out of the mix, noting they are less familiar with the category and unsure how to break into the market.
  • The majority of retailers surveyed are planning to integrate mature technology, such as audio equipment and video displays. The same is true of the bundling of technologies into solutions such as security, point of sale, and digital signage. Retailers are not yet investing in newer technologies like augmented or virtual reality, although the interest is there.
  • Both end users and providers of AV solutions agree the two biggest challenges faced by retailers are technology selection and adherence to budget. Retailers rely on AV providers' knowledge of the various options to help them determine how to efficiently and effectively create exceptional consumer experiences.

"As shown in this report, a large portion of AV providers are not playing in the retail space. And with a thriving industry, they're doing themselves a disservice," said Sean Wargo, senior director of market intelligence, AVIXA. "This is leading retailers to rely on service providers that don't necessarily have AV expertise to deliver experiential retail environments. This report will outline the opportunities retail presents for pro-AV providers and offer thoughts on successfully breaking into the market."

The 2018 Market Opportunity Analysis Report, is available for purchase at AVIXA members are eligible for discounts.

The AVNetwork staff are storytellers focused on the professional audiovisual and technology industry. Their mission is to keep readers up-to-date on the latest AV/IT industry and product news, emerging trends, and inspiring installations.