SaaS Article - How SaaS impacts the retail landscape (source: SaaS Industry)

Rising usage: How SaaS impacts the retail landscape

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At a Glance

SaaS solutions have been impacting the retail landscape for some time, helping online and even offline retailers in critical business applications. The retail cloud market is expected to register a handsome growth by the end of 2021, touching $28.53B at a CAGR of 20.9 percent from previous estimates.


Rapidly changing market needs and shifts in the economy have caused the need to have improved processes. And today, two of the biggest trends that shaped the world, cloud and SaaS adoption, are increasingly finding their ways into business applications. For B2B retailers, this is rejoicing as these solutions assist them in managing complex supplier networks, consumer expectations and other varying requirements.

As mentioned above, cloud and SaaS adoption has led to redefining workflows and businesses, establishing new trends. As explained by markets and markets research, the growth of the cloud retail market is forecasted to grow to $28.53 billion by the end of 2021, which is a jump from $11.06 billion in 2016 at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 20.9 percent. 

A global newswire report summarizing the retail software and the SaaS market report 2020 substantiates the markets research. 

The year 2020 has probably been one of the most bifurcated periods for retail software in recent memory. Areas such as order management, E-Commerce, mobile POS, touchless payment, etc, have had very good years as they’ve proven to be critical technologies in a Covid impacted economy

the research elucidates.

The numerous Benefits

The aforementioned markets research enunciates the various advantages that the retail cloud brings to the table. Retail organizations and retailers can move their business applications and infrastructure resources to the different service architectures of the cloud and its various models- SaaS, PaaS and IaaS, and become more agile. The features offered are enticing and pertinent to various critical activities driving the retail industry, such as Supply Chain Management (SCM), customer management, merchandising, workforce management and others. 

Other advantages include cost savings, usage-based billing and business continuity and agility.

A report by LS Retail, a provider of all-in-one business management software solutions, enumerates the various benefits that today’s retailers (online) can avail of using SaaS. Broadly, it revolves around transforming multiple aspects of their organization (for good) from the customer experiences they provide. 

For instance, having SaaS models would enable retailers to offer personalized, customized, digital and social experiences to grab customers’ attention. Since SaaS is flexible and agile to add more functionalities, real-time access to operational, financial and customer data across various channels are made possible. Secondly, it is easier to scale with a SaaS platform and expand into new markets. This is because SaaS offerings allow the unification of business processes across functions and geographies, and build an overseas presence with minimal upfront investment.

Moving beyond furthering businesses, SaaS plays a crucial role in managing retail store inventories today. Retailers do not run successful inventories by memories anymore as rapid technological changes have altered the status quo in this space. Reports highlight the need for retailers to invest in efficient inventory management software to meet customers’ demands without carrying excessive supply or running out of stock. A crucial requisite in inventory management is helping retailers with accurate information on the right time to replenish stock. Software Suggest enumerates some SaaS products that work towards helping retailers in this space.

Lightspeed POS, for instance, offers a cloud-based point of sale (POS) solution that allows ordering, quoting, reporting, and even analytics and ensures smooth running of other processes while managing the sale and optimizing stocks. Zoho inventory provides an AI-powered inventory management solution that empowers multi-channel selling. It offers retailers better control over the inventory, allowing them to manage their orders with proficiency and accuracy. There are numerous other SaaS offerings available for inventory management.

According to Tracxn, there are over 6370 retail SaaS companies worldwide. Here are some of the big names

  1. Shopify

Founded in 2006, the platform offers a cloud-based software solution for retailers to set up online stores. It provides retailers a professional online storefront, a payment solution to accept credit cards, and the Shopify POS application to power their sales.

Lightspeed

Founded in 2009, Lightspeed provides cloud-based retail management software for omnichannel retailers. The company’s offering caters to a wide range of sectors, including restaurants, fashion, automobiles, pet stores and much more. 

Magento

Founded in 2008, Magento offers an open-source e-commerce SaaS featuring content creation and promotion, business intelligence, a marketplace extension, disaster recovery, data retention, image optimization, account management and AI-enabled merchandising and analytics for retailers. The company caters to automotive, fashion, food, beverage and other industries.

RELEX

Founded in 2005, RELEX provides a cloud-based supply chain and retail ERP SaaS for retailers and covers demand forecasting, automated replenishment, inventory planning, promotion/markdown optimization and much more.

BigCommerce

Founded in 2009, BigCommerce provides an e-commerce platform for small and medium businesses. Its SaaS for retailers and merchants helps manage e-commerce online and features in-built analytics tools, multi-channel retailing, inventory control, and automated email marketing.

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