Artificial Intelligence dominates retail innovations league table

14 June 2018: Artificial Intelligence is continuing to fuel innovation in the retail industry, according to new rankings published today. Conducted in partnership with Webloyalty, Retail Insider’s Digital Retail Innovations Report 2018 recognises the top 60 global retail technology initiatives of the last year, with innovations involving Artificial Intelligence (AI) claiming nearly 40% of the spots on the list, up from 30% last year.

Amazon dominates three of the top four positions in the rankings, with Amazon Echo being crowned digital innovation of the year over all. Amazon’s voice assistant Alexa has seen significant take up, with the AI-powered solution making up 68% of all smart speakers sold in 2017. Its new abilities to recognise multiple voices in the household means it can better personalise the engagement with individuals, and its number of skills continues to expand into selfies and fashion advice, via the voice-activated camera Echo Look.

Amazon’s grocery store, Amazon Go, remains second on the list. The store opened last year after much anticipation, providing a frictionless Just Walk Out (JWO) shopping experience for its customers. 

The report praised other AI initiatives from a variety of brands including Adidas’ SpeedFactory robots and Tesco’s tie up with Spoon Guru which offers dietary data processing. Facial and voice recognition innovations took numerous spots on the list, with the likes of Starbucks’ voice ordering and KFC’s ‘smile to pay’ technologies creating personalised experiences for customers.

Augmented reality (AR) innovations also featured heavily in this year’s list, with Virgin’s immersive holiday showroom and ASOS’ body inclusive AR technology recognised in the report.

A trend consistent with both the 2016 and 2017 reports is the prominence of the fashion industry, with nearly a third of this year’s list made up of fashion retailers. ASOS is ranked at both ninth and tenth place with its pay later solution and AR technology. The food and drink industry is also significantly represented, with a mix of grocers, restaurants and food waste initiatives claiming 22% of the list.

Download a free copy of the report here

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