Blog | January 2, 2014

Where Retail IT VARs Should Focus In 2014

By Mike Monocello, editor-in-chief, Business Solutions magazine
Follow Me On Twitter @monocello

BSM-Retail Fronts2
I’m not a fan of articles where the writer uses their “wisdom” to make educated guesses and then emphatically recommends you take actions that could affect your business adversely. I’d rather leverage research and real-world data to make statements you can feel more confident about embracing.
 
In our December 2013 issue, the pages of Business Solutions included a research article entitled “Retail Tech Sales 2014: It’s All About The Consumer.” The meat of the article came from a survey conducted to the retailer audience of our sister publication, Integrated Solutions for Retailers (ISR). The editor, Matt Pillar described the value of the information best when he wrote, “The insight the survey uncovered provides a veritable road map for retail-focused VARs and ISVs.” Indeed, the survey highlights where retailers plan to spend their IT budgets in 2014. As the busy holiday shopping season draws to a close, new opportunities in this vertical will appear.
 
Not surprising, mobile was a hot category within the survey. Pillar wrote, “By now, good retail tech solutions providers have figured out how to capitalize on the high demand for mobile devices at the store level. In 2014, great retail tech solutions providers will capitalize on the more profitable network, mobile application, and device management opportunities created by the influx of mobile devices.” Forty-eight percent of retailers indicated they plan to invest in mobile POS hardware, while forty-four percent indicated they plan to invest in mobile POS software. “Margins lost to inexpensive hardware are more than recouped through application integration and the consultation and services that go with deployment and management of a fleet of mobile devices,” says Pillar. “While the hottest opportunities for growth are decidedly tied to mobile, the ISR report provides some good news to those clinging to box-based POS sales: traditional POS hardware and software deployments are still alive and well. Nearly 40 percent of retailers intend to invest in fixed POS terminals next year—presenting a better opportunity than both self-checkout and digital signage/kiosks — and traditional POS software tied mobile POS applications for the top priority heading into 2014. The word of caution here is that for most of the retail market, mobile or fixed is not part of the POS planning discussion — most are investing in both.”
 
Check out the full article to read more about where (marketing, operations, loss preventions, etc.) retailers plan to invest in 2014.
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