The majority of Brazil's retailers - or 69% - expect to advance on business automation processes in the short to medium term, according to a survey carried out by Brazilian IT firm Bematech.
Bematech's Commercial Automation Panorama study found that only 31.6% of Brazilian retailers surveyed had some level of hardware/software automation in their business.
The survey polled 3,147 different retailers in all of Brazil's regions, focusing on firms that are not part of a franchise or chain.
According to Bematech, among the commercial establishments already automated, 42% of the retailers claim to have a receipt-issuing printer and 47% say they use a particular software solution.
The study also found that gas stations are the most automated commercial category, followed by the footwear sector and the cosmetics/personal hygiene vertical.
Bematech's survey places parking lots and eyewear retailers among those with the lowest automation levels.
For 31% of the interviewees, the main impact automation had on business was in streamlining sales and account balances, while 15% said it had helped to improve internal management control.
Among those who intended to get automated soon, the main reasons included the need to be in line with tax laws, as well as the goal of quickening and optimizing storage, inventory and financial processes.
Also according to the study, around 66% of commercial establishments already automated in Brazil accept some kind of electronic payment method, such as credit and debit cards or m-payment.
Among those, jewelry shops and department stores most often accept credit and debit cards.
Regarding mobile payments - which still have low penetration in Brazil - gas stations com out on top with 4% of establishments accepting this form of payment, followed by supermarkets with 2%.
As for online payment, hotels lead the category at 6% making use of it.
According to Bematech Center's intelligence and research head, Geisa Bonfiette, the study's main purpose was "to indentify the current stages of automation technologies in Brazil's retail sector" and to determine which sectors automation has the most space to grow in.