Retail vertical market means big opportunities for VARs

Michael Hougton AvnetSPONSORED CONTENT – Most solution providers probably would agree that specializing in a vertical market is a great way to build their business. After all, the more you know about how another business operates, the more qualified you are as an IT partner to recommend and implement the right technology solutions. The real heavy lifting is in determining which vertical is right for your business, which has the highest profit potential and how to get started. One excellent opportunity to consider is the retail market. Here’s why.

The retail market is estimated to be a $40 billion opportunity in North America—typically broken down into specialty retail, hospitality, and convenience and grocery store segments. One of the truly interesting aspects of the retail market is its growing integration with mobility. Mobile commerce is set to be the fastest growing area in mobility, fueled by—among other things—the growing popularity of comparing prices online before or during a trip to the store. The analysts call this Cross-channel marketing, and it’s becoming the norm for many retailers and a prime opportunity for savvy solution providers.

If the retail vertical isn’t a good fit for your business, don’t worry. At Avnet, we’ve created solution practices aimed at helping partners enter and excel in today’s other fast-growing verticals too, including Health Care, Government sales, Energy and Utilities, and Financial markets. While these solution practices focus primarily on opportunities in the United States, our collective solutions expertise is available to partners throughout North America. And we like to share.

As the economy continues its steady climb, growth-minded solution providers have many options to consider. I encourage you to put retail or one of the other booming vertical markets at the top of your list to investigate. If you’re not already an expert on the market you choose, you’ll be money ahead by working with a partner who is.

Michael Houghton is vice president of vertical markets for the Americas at Avnet Technology Solutions. Guest blogs like this are part of’s 2011 Platinum Sponsorship package. Find out more here.