Top 10 Software Vendors in Retail

Customer feedback is critical to every retailer and essential to the "2020 RIS Software LeaderBoard." Based on retailer feedback, here are the top-10 software vendors of the year.

It is important to note the LeaderBoard features 51 best-of-the-best charts. None are actually billed as the “top-10 software vendors of the year.” However, the report includes a chart titled “2020 RIS Software LeaderBoard Top 20.” This chart is often referred to as the master list, so by focusing on the top half of this list we get a snapshot of the top-10 retail software vendors of the year.

Here are the highly ranked vendors on this important list:

Celerant Technology




Jesta I.S.

Zebra (Profitect)

Mi9 Retail



Manthan Systems

For the complete list of the top 20 software vendors and the 50 other best-of-the-best lists in the report click here.

Other vendors that achieved top rankings in the LeaderBoard report include: ANT USA, Appriss Retail, Lexmark, Logile, Logility, NGC Software, Relex, RTC Group, Salesforce, Symphony RetailAI, Tableau, UTC Retail, and Zendesk.

What You Need to Know about the LeaderBoard

To get an idea about the importance of the top-10 list shown above (or any list featured in the LeaderBoard), a few factoids about the report are in order:

  • This is the 19th annual RIS Software LeaderBoard, which was created by RIS editor-in-chief, Dennis Eskow, who oversaw the report for its first two years. Next year’s report will be the 20th anniversary edition.
  • There are 51 charts in the LeaderBoard. Of these, 50 are top 10 lists. The odd list is unofficially called the “master list” and it is a top-20 list based on a combination of three factors: Customer Satisfaction rating, Retail Concentration (the footprint of vendor’s software modules), and Revenue Factor.
  • Customer Satisfaction ratings are a signature element in the LeaderBoard found nowhere else in the universe of retail technology. By Customer Satisfaction we mean end-user satisfaction, i.e. retailer satisfaction with software they use every day.
  • This year 330 retailers submitted 610 evaluations of retail software vendors. Of these vendors, 49 received a minimum number of votes to qualify for ranking in the charts. This means that for every top-10 chart there are 39 vendors that didn’t make the cut.
  • The largest retail segment in the voting pool is “fast-moving consumer goods,” which refers to the group of retailers that includes grocery (and all food retailing), drug stores, and convenience stores.  There are 130 of these retailers in the voting pool. The second largest group is specialty retailers (91) and apparel retailers (78).
  • A hallmark of the LeaderBoard is independent, third-party, objective research. Litchfield Research is hired by RIS to use a custom-built survey tool and mail invitations to qualified retailers. Each invitation is uniquely coded and can only be used by the person receiving the invitation. When all votes are verified and tallied, a final report of results is sent to RIS.
  • LeaderBoard rankings are based on numerical scores. This means that Customer Satisfaction impressions or opinions are converted into numerical ratings. However, we also aggregate comments made by retailers that explain why retailers voted the way they did. More than 200 retailers provided comments this year.
  • The 10 Criteria that comprise the Customer Satisfaction score has remained consistent for the last 15 years. Each criterion is worth a maximum of five points. Added together the maximum score for Customer Satisfaction is 50.
  • Another hallmark of the LeaderBoard is Retail Concentration, a term used to describe the footprint of applications or solutions a software vendor offers for general availability. The maximum score is 50 and each vendor’s Retail Concentration score is verified by RIS editors.
  • A minimum of five votes is required to appear in the LeaderBoard’s 51 charts, but most vendors get far more. Eight vendors received 20 or more votes and 23 additional vendors received 10 or more votes.
  • 205 voters have annual revenue less than $1 billion in retail and 125 voters have annual revenue greater than $1B.
  • 40 voters have CEO or president titles and 36 have CIO or VP of IT titles.

As the only voice for customer satisfaction in the retail technology universe, the RIS Software LeaderBoard takes its responsibilities very seriously because customer satisfaction is one of the key indicators retailers use when making software purchase decisions.

By knowing end-user opinions, retailers can make informed purchase decisions and feel confident about implementing software their colleagues will use every day at work. The importance of knowing retailer feedback about using specific software before you purchase it is a no-brainer.

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