2015 Buyer Spree Begins
Kicking off 2015, we saw Epicor continuing their acquisitive nature with several purchases of software firms to enhance their position in retail. ShopVisible is an order management platform for both B2B and B2C. Though Epicor has B2B seller products, ShopVisible provides a seamless linkage between ecommerce and fulfillment. Epicor’s ERPs had a solid Order Management System, but the retail portfolio lacked a multi-channel suite.
Another acquisition is QuantiSense, a retail analytics solution providing a complete analytics package that delivers actionable insights to every area of the business. The QuantiSense Playbook automates the process of predicting stock-outs and overstocks, allowing retailers to seize upside and cost savings opportunities. QuantiSense Retail Analytics consolidates huge volumes of data from disparate systems into meaningful, clear views of a retailer’s business for rich analytic functions.
“To meet the rising expectations of today’s ultra-empowered shoppers, retailers must respond by delivering true Omni-channel engagement, transactions, ordering, fulfillment, merchandising, and planning — with efficiency, agility, and ongoing process improvement,” said Noel Goggin, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Epicor Retail. “Epicor’s recent acquisitions of QuantiSense and ShopVisible will make this a reality.”
Epicor’s efforts over the last few years to develop a more modern platform allow them to integrate and take advantage of the fresher technology approaches these acquisitions represent. In addition, Epicor told us that these (and other future acquisitions?) signal a renewed focus on supply chain requirements for retail.
Dematic, long a leader in material handling/automation, with headquarters in Park City, Utah, has acquired the SDI Group, a supplier of garment-on-hanger and flat sorter technology in Europe. The purchase of SDI Group Europe will expand Dematic globally. I noted the increasing presence of grocery and apparel retailers when I attended Dematic’s Material Handling and Logistics event a few months ago. Hot topics of conversation were inbound responsiveness and Omni-channel fulfillment.
“The combination of Dematic and SDI Group Europe enhances our focus on providing customers with critical industry solutions powered by a talented team of solution designers, project delivery and customer service specialists dedicated to the e-commerce and apparel markets,” said Ulf Henriksson, Dematic President and CEO.
Another Utah company, Tomax, a well known Point-of-Sale solution with an impressive retail customer base, was acquired by Demandware® Inc.
Driving their thinking was what they called the digital transformation of retail. “While 90 percent of all retail transactions take place in the store, digital is expected to influence approximately half of all in-store sales by 2015. To navigate this transformation, retailers are incorporating digital functionality into the store experience, such as personalized merchandising, detailed product information, ratings and reviews, product recommendations and the mobilization of store associates. In addition, retailers increasingly want to move to a single consumer-facing platform to extract value from disparate back office systems and leverage data, business rules, functionality and processes across the enterprise.”
Devices, websites, and POS all need to reflect this information for sales associates as well as consumers to operate from the latest data — all operating from the same cloud source. Tom Ebling, President and CEO, Demandware, stated, “We have demonstrated that our cloud solution is a superior model for managing consumer engagement across channels.”
“By joining Demandware, we will continue to drive transformational change into retail through a single platform powered by the cloud,” stated Eric Olafson, CEO, Tomax. “The One Platform strategy will help retailers reach Omni-channel nirvana — a single point of control and digital backbone that continually innovates and provides actionable consumer and product intelligence to drive growth and optimize margins across the retail enterprise.”
Tech Companies Will Keep Shopping to Cash In on Retail
All these tech company acquisitions were talked about at the National Retail Federation Big Show 2015, as solutions providers across supply chain, store operations, and POS build broader platforms to capture retailers’ end-to-end business. This acquisition stampede will continue with more deals, surely, to come. Retailers are in the biggest tech acquisition mode in their long history, providing a huge opportunity for tech companies to cash in.
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