By Diane Neaven, Epicor Software Corporation
In recent years, a variety of economic and social factors have challenged retailers' best efforts to maintain profitability and support growth. The recession — and the ongoing struggle to recover — have increased competition for market share. Many shoppers remain cautious about discretionary spending. Yet production and distribution costs have continued to increase, adding pressure to margins already squeezed thin.
At the same time, the increased use of mobile devices and Web-based applications, with their ability to deliver anytime, anywhere information, has raised consumer expectations to unprecedented heights. Today's shoppers have instant access to your competitors' offerings and an almost unlimited range of choices for how and where to get what they want at the best possible price. They are fully connected, omnichannel and fast, and they want nothing less from their retailers.