Retailers face increasing pressure to offer customers a fully integrated, multi-channel experience where products can be bought online and collected in store, for example. Traditional IT integration can provide this service but the evolution of service-oriented architecture (SOA) offers retailers an approach where they can achieve competitive advantage. This is according to a new report by independent market analyst Datamonitor, "Multi-Channel Retailing in a Service-Oriented Future." It predicts global spend by the retail sector on SOA will reach $9.5 billion by 2012. The report, which investigates the technological benefits of SOA in a multi-channel retail environment, also reveals the importance of small and medium-sized retailers in the SOA market and how vendors can help improve uptake in the retail sector in general.

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