Retail Vertical Market: Big Opportunities Await VARs
Most solution providers probably would agree that specializing in one or more vertical markets is a great way to build their business. After all, the more you know about how another business operates, the more qualified you are as an IT partner to recommend and implement the right solutions. The real heavy lifting is in determining which verticals are right for your business, which have the highest profit potential and how to get started. One potential opportunity: The retail vertical. Here’s why.
The retail market is estimated to be a $40B opportunity in North America—typically broken down into specialty retail, hospitality, and convenience and grocery store segments. One of the truly interesting aspects of the retail market is its growing integration with mobility. Mobile commerce is set to be the fastest growing area in mobility, fueled by—among other things—the growing popularity of comparing prices online before or during a trip to the store. Cross-channel marketing is becoming the norm for many retailers, and it’s a prime opportunity for savvy solution providers.
We’re so confident in the growth potential of the retail market that Avnet Technology Solutions recently exhibited at the 2011 National Retail Federation’s Annual Convention and Expo (known as the “Big Show”) held in New York City. With retail sales on the rebound, attendance at the event was up 20 percent, giving us a terrific opportunity to discuss retail market solutions with the estimated 20,000 retail executives and vendors from more than 60 countries. The major industry themes of this year’s sessions focused on the rebounding U.S. economy, consumer spending, sustainability and mobile retailing. We knew we were in the right place.
We shared space in three booths with nine of our solution provider partners and two of our suppliers. All of us were delighted to watch hundreds of prospective customers stop by to learn more about the retail-specific solutions our partners could deliver. The solution providers sharing booth space with us weren’t there solely because we had good candy (though according to Joe Delgado, director of our RetailPath solutions practice we did); they were there with us because they understand the value of partnership and the rewards it can bring.
Amid the improving economy, 2011 brings with it many exciting growth opportunities for solution providers. As you’re working through your business plans for this year and beyond, I encourage you consider retail or one of the other booming vertical markets out there right now. If you’re not already an expert on the market you choose, you’ll be money ahead by working with a partner who is.