Research & Advisory


Retail IT Market Leaders – Competitive Profiles


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Product Overview

Date of PublicationFebruary 17, 2016

Who is really winning among IT Vendors?  Who are customers increasing business with in 2016, when does SAP win verses Oracle verses NCR verses Demandware or Aptos or NetSuite?  When do they lose business?  What are the highest priorities for each vendor’s customers?  Are their customers growing faster than the market, increasing IT Spend or decreasing?  Are they increasing store counts or decreasing?  How fast are they moving to the cloud?

This is just some of the data that is included in this research.  We surveyed over 80 retailers with revenues over $500m in sales that operate with stores in 100 retail segments.  This is what they said who is winning their business and why.

Competitive profiles in this study for Aptos, Cisco, Cognizant, Demandware, Epicor, Fujitsu, HP, Infor, InfoSys, JDA, Manhattan Associates, Microsoft, NCR, NetSuite, Oracle, SAP, SAS, TCS, TGCS, Wipro and Zebra Technologies.

The IHL Insight Market View series of research studies build upon all this knowledge and add analyst insight to graphically display vendor positioning, drive for innovation  and projected growth.

The goal of this report, as well as the entire IHL Retail Executive Advisory Program (REAP), is to provide the retail community with the most detailed and complete picture imaginable of the retail technology landscape. We do this to assist retailers in vendor selection and to help the industry understand the trends, drivers and barriers that are fundamentally transforming our industry.

Retailers are encouraged to use these charts in discussions with their vendor partners. It is our intent that they provide unique insights into vendor strategy and provide thought-provoking questions as we all move though and prosper in the Era of Intentional Innovation.

NOTE: This study is available individually or at a discount as part of the IHL Retail Executive Advisory Program.

This is the third of several studies under the IHL Insight Market View series of research that is part of the Retail Executive Advisory Program (REAP) at IHL.  This study looks at top vendors and what their customers are saying about them for their investment plans in 2016.

This data is the result of a primary research study and was collected from 80 different larger retail chains with stores in 100 retail segments.  This data was piggy-backed onto the survey we did that generated the Brave New World of Unified Commerce Study.  The data is a cross-tabbed view of individual vendor’s customers and their responses. The manner in which it is written is recommendations from the data to each individual vendor represented based on their data, but there is GREAT competitive value in the data and insight for retailers considering each vendor.  For it helps them understand why other customers buy their solutions and why.

Each profile is a series of charts and reviews of the data in the broader study.  Here are some of the data points that you get on each vendor.

Business Increasing or Decreasing Among Core Segments – This measures purchase intent among this company’s customers and what percentage are increasing business, decreasing, not changing, don’t work, or won’t work with in 2016.

How Customers View Themselves in Tech Leadership – This is a picture of the vendor’s customers vs. everyone in their key segments as to whether they consider themselves a Leader, Quick Adopter, Late Adopter or Trailer in terms of adopting technology.

Key Store Priorities – Looking at the top Store Priorities in the Brave New World of Unified Commerce study, how do this vendor’s customers prioritize these items verses the entire market.  This shows where this vendor wins and doesn’t win.  There is great insight in this data.

Customer 2016 Growth Plans – This looks at the vendor’s customers vs. the market in terms of plans for growing store count, enterprise IT spend and store level IT spend.  Together with the first measurement, this shows how their overall business is likely to grow, indicating potential takeover targets and updated competitive positioning.

For Core Segments, % of Software Spend Cloud-Based for 2016 – By key line of business categories and in the segments this vendor operates, what percentage of software budget in 2016 is being spent in cloud technologies of total software budget.

Customers Spend on Emerging Technologies – This looks at differences between this vendor customer’s plans for budget growth in emerging technologies verses the overall market in their segments.  Are their customers more or less bullish on Beacons, Predictive Analytics, and Data Visualization?

Who Are Prospective Customers Increasing Business With – This is an Apples-Apples comparison in this vendor’s core markets.  For instance, if this vendor is only in Dept. Stores and Specialty, this data is limited only to that view.  But what is shows is how a vendor stacks up against competitors in their core market based on the percentage of how each vendor’s customers are increasing their business with that vendor or decreasing.  So for instance if the profile is for Aptos and it says JDA – 16%, that means in the segments that Aptos operates, 16% of the customers currently using JDA are increasing their business with JDA.  This compares to 20% for percentage of Aptos customers increasing their business with Aptos in those segments.  What this data shows is level of influence, level of customer engagement when comparing like vendors.

Internal Software Development On The Rise – This table does not share any competitive data, but rather how in the segments this vendor operates, what percentage of Leaders/Quick Adopters are increasing or decreasing internal software development and how that compares to Laggards/Trailers.  For instance, in General Merchandise segments Leaders/Quick Adopters are Increasing Internal Software Development at a rate 88% faster than Laggards/Trailers.

Your Customer’s and Competitor’s Customer’s Plans on Internal Software Development – This looks are how this vendor’s customers look at increasing spending on internal software development verses the overall average and other competitors.  This figure is a proxy for how much customers trust and affordability of the entire software stack of this vendor.  If the numbers are higher than overall, this means that customers are having to do a bit more customization and internal development to bolt on other applications.  If it is lower it demonstrates that customers tend to trust the comprehensiveness of that vendor’s stack.


How To Read This Report  
Vendor Profiles  
Manhattan Associates
Overall Market View – Apples to Apples On Who Is Winning In Their Markets

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What Segments Constitute Your Definition of Retail?

We use the following segments to define Retail and some examples.  This research uses all of these segments.

Food/Grocery (Kroger, Safeway, Trader Joe’s, Wakerfern, Tesco,)
Drug Stores (Walgreens, CVS)
Superstore/Warehouse Clubs/Hypermarkets (Walmart, BJ’s Wholesale, Costco, Auchan)
Mass Merchants (Target, Meijer Stores)
Department Stores (JC Penney, Sears, Kohls, Kaufaf, Marks and Spencer)
Specialty Hard Goods (Home Depot, Lowes, Best Buy, Rooms to Go, Canadian Tire)
Specialty Soft Goods (H&M, Limited Stores, Wet Seal)
Convenience/Gas/Forecourt (Chevron, Exxon,)
Fast Food (McDonald’s, Subway, Burger King, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell)
Bar/Restaurant (Applebees, Buffalo Wild Wings, Chipotle)
Lodging (Marriott, Sheraton, Hilton)
Entertainment:Casinos and Cruises (Carnival, Harrah’s, Wynn, Caesar’s Palace)
Entertainment:Museums, Theme Parks, Theaters, Others (Disney, Universal, AMC, Carmike)

What types of software are included?

In total there are over 116 software categories included in the research.  These fit into the following categories:

Store Systems
Commerce Solutions
Enterprise Accounting, Finance, and HR
Enterprise Application Development
Enterprise Collaboration
Legal and Real Estate
Merchandise/Supply Chain Management
Sales and Marketing
Business Intelligence

Is this put together by primary research, secondary research?

This particular research was a primary research survey of North American Based Retailers.  Many of these retailers are global in nature, but they were based in the US.  In total there were 80 retailers representing 100 stores.  The ratio of respondents by size of company was the following:

Greater than $5B – 24%
$1-5B – 33%
$500M – $1B – 14%
Less than $500m – 29

Why is there no profile on IBM in this study?

While IBM is clearly a market leader in hardware, software, SaaS and services in retail, an anomaly in the data in terms of who responded to the survey did not put together a sample size that was statistically significant for IBM customers.  Quite simply, not enough IBM customers completed the survey to where we could be comfortable with the data.  No other reason for them to be excluded and IBM is clearly covered in numerous other REAP studies.

Can I share this study in my company?

Yes, if your company has an advisory relationship with IHL, you can share internally.

Can I share the data externally?

Not specifically, we ask that you reach out to us in writing to ihl(at)

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This research is available individually or via a subscription of our Retail Executive Advisory Program.  Please click here or contact us at and we can customize a program specifically for your company.

Each of the research studies comes with an Enterprise license so the data, studies can be shared internally among your entire team. For more questions and to begin, contact us.

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