Global brick-and-mortar retailers are struggling to compete against their digital rivals. Smaller retailers have been suffering the most, because they can’t compete on the same margins as larger competitors. Some experts have warned that small retailers will eventually be extinct. According to Marc Bain:
“In a recent survey (pdf), 58% of executives at US middle-market retailers predicted that brick-and-mortar-only stores are destined for obsolescence. The survey polled 250 respondents, and was conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of CIT Group, a bank that lends to small and middle-market businesses.”
Despite the challenges, many small retailers have found innovative ways to compete. Savvy retailers are collecting point-of-sale data to optimize their supply chain management strategies, understand consumer buying profiles and forecast future sales.
Toshiba and SAS recently formed a joint-venture to develop a predictive analytics tool for retailers across the globe.
"To be successful today, it's important that retailers keep in tune with their shopper's unique preferences and behaviors," said Fernando Yamada, president of Y. Yamada. "The combination of Toshiba and SAS coming together to bring visualization and predictive analytics to the retail industry is sure to better empower retailers around the world to optimize interactions with their customers across all channels and in a meaningful way."
However, these tools are often outside the price range of smaller retailers. Fortunately, newer and more affordable options are being released.
POS analytics technology used to be too expensive for SME retailers. However, new POS tracking and predictive analytics tools are much affordable.