From online shopping to price comparison sites, mobile sales alerts to ‘tap and pay’ functions, technology is fast changing consumers’ shopping preferences and habits—but more of the people making tech-related decisions in the Retail industry are among the slowest to adopt new technologies themselves, Roy Morgan Research shows.

3.5 million Australians are involved in making decisions about their organisation’s expenditure during the year, including 1.8 million who decide on investments in computers and software, telecommunications, online programming, and website and app development. Business decision-makers are also, of course, individuals with their own attitudes, interests, media habits—and pace of technology adoption.

Technology Adoption Segments

Across the whole Australian population (aged 14+), 19% of people are Technology Early Adopters and 18% are Professional Technology Mainstream—people classified by Roy Morgan’s Technology Adoption Segments as being among the first to adopt new technologies for personal or professional use respectively. At the other end of the curve, 24% of the population are Technology Traditionalists and 16% are Technophobes.

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Technology Decision-Makers and Technology Adoption

People whose job includes making business decisions about their organisation’s technology-related expenditure are understandably more inclined to be tech-savvy themselves. Almost three in five business technology decision-makers are Technology Early Adopters (31%) or Professional Technology Mainstream (28%). Conversely, less than one in four are Technology Traditionalists (16%) or Technophobes (8%).

Although this clearly shows that decision-makers for technology are ‘ahead of the curve’ overall, there is wide variation between industries*.

The Retail Industry’s Technology Decision-Makers

Less than half the Retail Industry’s decision-makers for technology-related expenditure are themselves early (24%) or professional (22%) adopters of new technology. Instead, they are somewhat more likely than their peers in other industries to be Digital Life (11%) or Older Tech Explorers (12%)—and over twice as likely to be Technophobes (15%).

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To put this in perspective, the people making decisions about what new technology to adopt in the Australian Retail Industry are actually only as tech-savvy as their counterparts working in Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing, Transport, Postal and Warehousing, and Construction.

The most ‘ahead of the curve’ when it comes to adopting new technologies are decision-makers in Information Media and Telecommunications, Public Administration and Safety, Education and Training, and Arts and Recreation.

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source, July 2014 to June 2016, sample n = 8,296 Australians 14+ involved in making decisions about business expenditure in the last 12 months. * Industries are defined using the latest Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC) codes.