WFM Software: Not an Easy Buy for the Retail Industry

Digital Content Market

The standard for management of retail stores has skyrocketed as companies constantly compete for an edge in the market.  Increasingly, retailers are taking advantage of Workforce Management (WFM) software which provides functions like labor planning, monitoring time and attendance, tracking payroll and benefits and staff performance reporting in order to boost productivity and efficiency.  The expansion into the retail sector is driving market growth at a CAGR of 5.67 percent for the 2012-2016 period.

Expanding into new industries is a good thing, but the Retail Industry has a laundry list of challenges for WFM Software vendors to overcome, like the three detailed below, before the market can expect to see an increase in profit.

  1. High Implementation Cost

Despite its ability to increase efficiency and productivity, WFM software may lose out in the competition because of its exorbitant cost.  Even if end-users can afford the initial hardware and software costs, there are continuous upgrades that require training to use. 

  1. Lack of WFM Software Awareness

A large number of retail companies still don’t understand the importance of WFM software and the ways to effectively use it to boost productivity and efficiency. 

  1. Emergence of Open Source WFM Software

Several open source solutions have flooded the market which are proving to be stiff competition for commercial WFM software vendors.  Open source software can be downloaded for a one-time fee and run on all platforms which are slicing profit margins by the thousands. 

Vendors in the WFM Software Market are already on the front line in the fight to overcome these market challenges.  As a result, a few trends are beginning to emerge which are expected to have a very positive effect on the market, like the three mentioned below.

  • Cloud-Based WFM Solutions
  • Mobile WFM Applications
  • Reduced Software Costs

Indeed, most vendors have reduced WFM software costs to combat intense competition in the market and with competition as high as it is, making WFM solutions cheaper and more accessible to end-users is beginning to attract the smaller and medium-sized fish in the vast sea of retailers.  Furthermore, vendors and even some large organizations have started providing education and training to employees, suppliers, and distributors to get them better acquainted to WFM Software.  All things considered, even with challenges on the horizon for WFM software vendors, the trends we’ve mentioned should be more than enough to keep revenues up for the foreseeable future making the WFM Software Market in the Retail Industry one to watch.

For more information, view our 2012-2016 report on The Global Workforce Management Software Market in the Retail Industry.