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With a new year comes new trends, especially when ERP software in the retail industry is involved. After all, ERP (enterprise resource planning) software vendors are constantly working to create more powerful, less complicated and more affordable options for retailers.

So, what should you expect to see in the upcoming year? Here are five ERP software trends to watch in the retail industry in 2018.

1. Retailers using legacy ERP systems will be forced to change.

Believe it or not, there are still a few ERP vendors who have not encouraged their retailers to move away from the legacy ERP systems they have been using for years. These include systems such as Microsoft Great Plains, Oracle EBS and Epicor Prelude. However, as an increasing number of ERP vendors focus on cloud solutions, they will put less and less focus on legacy systems. In fact, they are almost certain to stop introducing new functions or offering long-term support for these dated systems. As a result, retailers will have no other option than to mitigate to a modern ERP software system. In fact, more and more retail companies are using omnichannel systems. Using an omnichannel system allows owners to see the connections between channels and the customer enjoys a unified approach to their purchase and to stay in touch with the company on many different levels.

2. More and more retailers will opt for a cloud-based ERP system.

At one point in time, retailers avoided cloud-based ERP systems like the plague. That is no longer true. More retailers than ever have been making the switch to a cloud-based ERP system, a trend that will continue over the next year. The reasons for this are simple. Cloud-based systems offer the benefits retailers are looking for, including enhanced security, better scalability and increased support. By 2020, it is estimated that the cloud ERP system software market will be worth around $26.5 billion [1].

3. Niche industries will begin using ERP systems.

Over the last few years, ERP system vendors have begun to see the importance of catering to small businesses and niche industries. As a result, they have been working to incorporate functions and capabilities they had previously overlooked. For example, traceability is a common requirement in the food and pharmaceutical industries. Vendors want to do business with these niche industries, which is why they are adding functions that trace everything from equipment used to test results. Now that the niche industries are noticing that their industry is being catered to, you will see them start to use ERP system software.

4. Retailers will take advantage of increased functions and capabilities by reassessing their business processes.

Again, thanks to the trend of migrating to cloud-based ERP systems, retailers will have the opportunity to outsource responsibilities, which could lead to changes in business processes. For example, they may choose to rethink the company’s organization and outsource some tasks. At the same time, they may take a good look at their data and decide to refocus the company’s values on the needs of today’s customers. More retailers are using eCommerce websites instead of Big Box stores since the trend of purchases are made online. To keep up with online sales; businesses need to utilizing e-trailing to stay abreast of customer needs.

5. The push for mobile ERP will only get stronger.

More employees are working outside of the office. They need to be able to easily collaborate with colleagues and access data on the go. In 2018, retailers will push vendors for improved mobile ERP systems, giving employees the chance to access reports, shipping/ billing details, etc. using their cellphone or tablet. Vendors will have to focus on this to keep retailers happy.

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[1] https://www.statista.com/statistics/681753/worldwide-cloud-erp-software-revenue/

 

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