Despite unfavorable economic conditions all over the world, the prospects for the retail software market look particularly promising in the emerging Asia Pacific and Central and Eastern European markets. A Frost & Sullivan analysis on world retail software market, finds that the retail software market earned revenues of over $9.31 billion in 2007. Of this, software licensing accounted for $3.07 billion in 2007 and will reach $5.88 billion in 2014.
The increased penetration and the transition toward organized retail in several countries across Asia Pacific, Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East, and Latin America, coupled with increased liberalization and disposable incomes, present huge opportunities for the growth of the retail software market.
“The primary driver of the growth of the retail software industry is the growing focus on business integration and optimization,” said, Frost & Sullivan research analyst Prasanna Prakash.
Retailers have been substituting their legacy systems for modern day solutions built on industry-leading platforms facilitating the flow of business information across the entire value chain. As these solutions offer extensive performance enhancements, there is a wide scope for the uptake of advanced end-to-end solutions.
Retailers are mainly turning to customer-centric solutions and Business Intelligence (BI) to build customer loyalty and improve the customer shopping experience. Solutions such as customer relationship management (CRM) enable retailers to target premium customers using customized promotions and advertisements, thereby increasing the customer lifetime value (CLV) involved. Investing in cross-channel solutions can also result in effective understanding and management of their business.
Besides reducing total cost of ownership, retail software also assists in providing uniform brand communication across various channels. Optimization across the various processes and channels allows the retailer to respond quickly and more efficiently to customer requirements.
Retailers are hesitant to invest in solutions such as point-of-sale (POS) upgrades and other additional expenditures on hardware as investments have taken a backseat to cost-cutting during the current economic slowdown. SaaS can help counter this by reducing upfront capital expenditure. It is leased out to retailers on a yearly basis and its SOA, allows the software modules to be used as middleware once SOA has been deployed in the store.
“The growing popularity of the SaaS model and packaged solutions in Asia Pacific and Latin America will gradually make the solutions more affordable for small and medium sized enterprises. Further, to overcome competitive pressures from regional vendors, global vendors need to increasingly focus on after-sales services, such as maintenance and consulting, and customized solutions,” said Prakash.