The challenges currently facing the global retail market should provide vendors with some food for thought as we enter the new year.
Retailers can be difficult to reach, but in 2018 the pressures on them to reshape for a digitally-influenced customer and to battle the growing number of online players might make the process increasingly tricky, which is why finding the right retail technology partnership could be fundamental to your success.
As we end the year with big name retailers testing new channels and strategies to remain profitable, I call on you – the retail technology community, our partners and prospective partners – to unite to help the industry thrive in the new year.
Finding the Right Focus
Technology companies that focus on the pain points – such as omnichannel execution or the need to make stores work harder and smarter – and those who offer useful solutions and products within well-defined areas of technology enablement, will be the winners.
Retailers know they need to change quickly to keep up with evermore demanding consumers, but they are often inundated with multiple suppliers promising them success in different areas. In my view, if you can team up with likeminded omnichannel-focused tech providers, you’ll gain a head start in grabbing retailers’ attention in 2018 and beyond.
The most successful CTOs, CIOs and technology managers build key relationships with their suppliers, and work closely to tailor solutions to meet their specific needs.
Relationships count, and retailers won’t be looking to build too many more long-term partnerships in disparate streams – you’re going to need to show how you fit in with what they’ve already got, or pitch to them as part of a suite of providers all singing from the same hymn sheet.
A CEO’s Retail Technology Tips
As vendors you should avoid hype and instead focus your solutions on your prospects’ problems, and by using plain and direct language you’ll have some real success.
Leverage your uniqueness, too. There are many retail technology providers out there that can’t offer it all, but when combined with flexible retail management systems they can efficiently solve real-life retailer issues, such as creating a single view of stock, or supporting international growth.
You also need to assert your values and be completely clear about what you do – this can be achieved by joining retail technology partnership programmes that sell into retailers as a complete Omnichannel package. There’ll be no gaps left in your offering if you find the right partners with whom to target the retail market.
Enter iVend Retail
We at iVend Retail have worked on putting together a competitive retail management solution for retailers aiming to lead in omnichannel, and our partnership programme presents opportunities for likeminded tech companies to join forces and benefit from such a noble goal.
As I’ve illustrated, suppliers will need to be even better at selling their products into the industry than before, so let’s tackle retail’s challenges as a collective. Together we’re stronger.
We continue to innovate our solution, too, so our existing VAR partners can impress their retail customers with fresh capability. We’ll be pushing forward with new developments in the 12 months ahead, so get in touch to see how we can support retail’s growth in unison thanks to strong and stable partnerships.