Whether it’s a trip to the mall to buy new clothes, to the supermarket for groceries, or to the drug store for cough drops, nearly every citizen in the world is an active participant in the monster industry known as retail. As the holiday season comes upon us, stores begin preparing for what, for many of them, is the crème-de-la-crème of the fiscal year, and a large chunk of their yearly profits. Despite a raise in sales from last year, the outlook for the retail industry is dim. An article by VOA News elaborates on this. Everything isn’t all gloom-and-doom, though. There is hope on the horizon for retailers.

The declining housing market, tightening credit, and perpetuation of an apparent economic recession have already resulted in discretionary spending among consumers, and this trend won’t appear to buck for the holiday season. Retailers should focus on keeping their inventories and payrolls low in anticipation of a dismal holiday selling season.

As technology continues to advance, retailers have begun utilizing it in order to better understand what products their customers want, as well as the best way to present such products to the customer. In an article by MarketWatch, they describe the services of QuantiSense, a technology and management consulting firm which has designed an offering called “Developing Your Playbook,” which aims to help retailing firms implement Business Intelligence software in the most effective manner possible.

As the purse-strings tighten and people begin to worry more about buying the essentials rather than the pleasurable indulgences, retailers will see a decrease in sales. However, by using technology in a manner which can better sharpen the aim of retailers into selling what customers want in a manner they want it, retailers can use technology to help minimize losses in the near future.

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