Research & Advisory

Competitive Market Leaders – When and Why Vendors Win


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Product Overview

Date of PublicationJanuary 27, 2021
GeographyNorth American Based Retailers, Many With Global Operations
LicenseEnterprise License - $3,995.00 | Posting License - $5,995 | Distribution License - $14,995

Who is really winning among IT Vendors?  Are retailers really shunning Amazon Web Services (AWS).  Who are customers increasing business with in 2021?  Does that differ by segment?  How are solution provider’s customers performing? Which vendors has customers best positioned for 2021?  Who is getting the largest deal sizes in 2021?

This is just some of the data that is included in this research. This is what they said who is winning their business and why.  This is a ranking of vendors, but it’s not a popularity contest.  This was one additional question in a survey of 300 major brands about who they were increasing business with, decreasing business with, don’t do business with or won’t do business with.  The result is a series of rankings.

Rankings include the following: Amazon (AWS), Aptos, Blue Yonder, CDW, Cisco, Dell, Fujitsu, GK Software, HP Inc., IBM, Infor, JDA, Manhattan Assoc., Microsoft, NCR, Oracle, SalesForce, SAP, Shopify, Toshiba GCS, Sensormatic Retail and Zebra.

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 one 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 2021.

This data is the result of a primary research study and was collected from retailers representing over 300 retail brands.  The data is a cross-tabbed view of individual vendor’s customers and their responses.

The result is a series of 16 rankings that are highly graphical.  It is designed so that solution providers can use the rankings to share for benchmarking, for retailers to use to compare vendors, and for potential investors to see who really has momentum.  The TOC below shares the tables and rankings included.  Each ranking has an explanation of what it measures and what the rankings mean.  And nearly every ranking has a different leader.  There is not just one leader, there are many based on focus, segment and retailer plans.


Top Vendors Increasing Market Share in 2021 – Overall
Top Average Deal Leaders for 2021 – Overall
Top Vendors Increasing Market Share in Food/Drug/Mass Merchants/C-Stores 2021
       Top Vendors Increasing Market Share in GMS for 2021
       Rank for Average Deal Size in Food/Drug/Mass Merchants/C-Stores 2021
       Rank for Average Deal Size in GMS for 2021
       Who are Winning Retailers Increasing Business With in 2021 
       Average Deal Size in Winning Retailers
       Vendor’s Whose Customers Are Growing the Fastest?
       Vendors Whose Customers Are Increasing Profits Fastest?
       Vendor Rank Based on Customer Sales Increase Expectations for 2021
       Vendor Rank Based on Customer Profit Expectations for 2021
       Rank by 2021 Customer Expected Sales Growth 
       Rank by 2021 Customer Expected Digital Order Growth 
       Rank by 2021 Customer Expected Digital Orders for Store Fulfillment
       Rank by Vendor for Total Store Fulfillment of Orders in 2021 




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Why These Vendors and Not Others?

We actually included a lot more vendors in the research, however, we did not receive enough answers for each of those vendors to make what we believed was a fair assessment about their business.  These are the top 30 or so vendors by number of responses.  If a vendor did not achieve a minimum level of retailers or restaurants in the responses, we did not include.

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, Aldi)
Drug Stores (Walgreens, CVS)
Superstore/Warehouse Clubs/Hypermarkets (Walmart, BJ’s Wholesale, Costco)
Mass Merchants (Target, Meijer Stores)
Department Stores (JC Penney, Kohls, Beall’s, Macys)
Specialty Hard Goods (Home Depot, Lowes, Best Buy, Rooms to Go, Canadian Tire)
Specialty Soft Goods (H&M, American Eagle, Coach)
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)

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 retailers representing 300 retail brands.

What is different about this than other vendor rankings out there?

First and foremost, it is blind.  Unlike other reports where the vendors are recruited to promote the survey and things sort of become a popularity contest, this had no vendor input at all.  This was based on one question of a 20 question survey that looked at all aspects of retail and digital sales, how 2020 was and prospects for 2021.  This question was cross-tabbed with other questions to reveal 16 separate rankings that we feel are important.

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?

Only with a Posting or Distribution License.  Questions, contact us at 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. You can receive immediately by ordering via the button above.

We have three licenses for this product.

Enterprise License – Can be used internally and shared among team.  Charts can be used in individual presentations with clients.

Posting License – Inclusive of Enterprise License, allows the vendor to post charts in which they are referenced on social media and website

Distribution License – Allows buyers to use the content in part or in total for lead generation distribution purposes.

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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