Top 10 Technology Investments Online Merchants In US Are Banking On For 2022

A new study revealed:

  • Social media marketing (32%), e-commerce software (31%), email marketing  (29%), retail operations (26%) and online payments (24%) score highly
  • 63% of US brands plan to increase investment in retail software in 2022. Only 1% will decrease their investment

  • “The pandemic has been like a meteor hitting the retail sector, and software investment decisions are now reflecting a need for agility in a volatile environment”, says Stuart Pick, VP Global Alliances at Brightpearl

In-depth research conducted with the leaders of 500 of the nation’s most influential retailers has revealed what technologies will be at the forefront of retail strategies for the year ahead.

The new study by Brightpearl, a world leading retail operating platform, reveals what types of software US merchants are set to invest in next year by polling hundreds of companies from across the nation and found that 63% are planning to increase their technology investments over the next 12 months. Only 1% will decrease their investment.

It comes as growth projections estimate that by 2023, online ecommerce sales will exceed $29.7 trillion worldwide.

This year alone, online retailers have been seeing year-on-year sales increases of upwards of 700%, according to internal research from Brightpearl’s 3,000 strong customer base, which includes brands like Lovepop, Shopify and Puma.

What’s more, according to Brightpearl researchers, 40% of US consumers claim they will only shop online in the next five years, highlighting how integral online shopping has become to the majority of Americans.

Brightpearl’s study found that online firms are now prioritizing investment in major technology initiatives that include: social media marketing (32%), e-commerce software (31%) and email marketing (29%). Investment behind the ‘buy button’ into retail operations (26%) and online payments (24%) also score highly on merchants’ wish lists.

“There has been a big shift to online shopping since the onset of the pandemic, and in this new Hyper Scaleable Era we’re seeing online retailers reporting incredible growth rates,” says Stuart Pick, VP Global Alliances at Brightpearl.

“In the race to attract direct sales, it’s no surprise that online companies are planning investments that will have a major impact on conversion rates. However, what’s interesting is that the data suggests a huge shift to back-end business investment as e-commerce brands seek to address the operational complexities that lie beyond the buy button.”

Brightpearl data reveals that 61% of consumers have experienced issues buying from brands online since the onset of the pandemic.

The study also found 77% of all poor online shopping experiences are directly related to problems that crop up after a shopper hits ‘buy’ — namely issues with delivery and returns, such as not  receiving items on time, or products not being delivered where they should be.

“Investment in key areas that are ‘behind the scenes’ like delivery, inventory management and retail operations are a reaction to the problem associated with operational complexity,” says Stuart Pick. “Adding these solutions will go a long way in helping retailers enhance the experience customers receive and to adapt to their ever-changing demands – whether that’s the channels they buy on, the way they pay, or how they choose to communicate with you.

“As this data suggests, companies weighing up technology investments should start with making sure they have the right infrastructure in place to deliver an optimal shopping experience at all ends of the buying journey.”

Brightpearl’s study also reveals that nearly a third (30%) of online firms are planning to make technology investments this year primarily as a way of helping them to adapt to a new changing retail environment.

“The pandemic has been like a meteor hitting the retail sector, and software investment decisions are now reflecting an increasing need for agility in a volatile environment”, adds Brightpearl’s Stuart Pick.

“Unfortunately, time is not a luxury retailers have. To avoid failure, merchants must quickly adapt to the conditions of the new retail landscape, with the right partners and systems in place to ensure the entire retail operation is fit for purpose.”

Top 10 Investment Priorities For 2022

  1. Social media marketing (32%)

  2. E-commerce software (31%)

  3. Email marketing (29%)

  4. Customer service (28%)

  5. Retail operations (26%)

  6. Online payments (24%)

  7. Inventory management (21%)

  8. Customer relationship management (CRM) (22%)

  9. Order fulfillment (20%)

  10. Advertising software (19%)

Brightpearl has distilled the data, including the investment trends of e-commerce firms by size and category, into a new report, available here.

Contributed by: Bristol-based Brightpearl works with thousands of retailers introducing software that puts orders, inventory, financials, POS (point of sale) and CRM (customer relationship management) in one place. Based in Bristol (UK) and Austin, Texas (US), Brightpearl provides a retail operating system (ROS) for retailers and wholesalers. Its mission is clear: automate the back office so merchants can spend their time and money growing the business.  Brightpearl’s ROS includes financial management, inventory and sales order management, purchasing and supplier management, CRM, fulfillment, warehouse and logistics. In addition, the system has high-performing connectors to the major ecommerce platforms, including Magento, BigCommerce and Shopify. Brightpearl’s platform manages over 10m transactions and $5bn of business a year.

In 2022, Brightpearl became part of the Sage Group plc, with the combination of Sage Intacct and Brightpearl creating a powerful solution for retailers and wholesalers. 

Follow Brightpearl socially: Twitter (@BrightpearlHQ), LinkedIn (, and Facebook (

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