The Digital Innovations Report

The Retail Insider Digital Retail Innovations report highlights some of the most interesting technological developments which are taking place in the retail sector.

The report contains 50 top innovations from the UK & Ireland and 10 from the rest of the world. Below are details of the top 10 Innovations from the UK & Ireland as voted by the advisory panel who ranked each innovation. If you want to see who else made it, then download the report now.

Innovation at Starship Technologies

Who were this year's winners?

10. EBAY / FACEBOOK MESSENGER

A tie-up between eBay and Facebook highlights the move by retailers to utilise messaging apps, which are proving particularly popular among consumers. eBay is using Facebook Messenger to alert shoppers when an auction for an item they are bidding for is ending. Additional bids can then be placed directly through the Messenger notification.

9. SNAP FASHION

Online store Snap Fashion enables fashion followers to take a photo of any item they spot, and for something similar to be found for them. The visual search technology quickly finds the relevant items from within the collections of many brands. The Snap Fashion catalogue has products from 250 brands and retailers.

8. UNMADE ON-DEMAND CLOTHING

Knitwear brand Unmade opened a pop-up shop in Covent Garden to offer customers the ability to design a piece of knitwear via a tablet and then have it made for collection shortly afterwards. This ‘3D printing for fashion’ allows dynamic changes to be made to what was a static process – without any dramatic increase to the cost.

7. FITTERY

Online clothing marketplace Fittery has reduced the levels of returns to less than 0.5% through its FitMatch system that ensures shoppers select the correct size of products. When first using the store customers are asked for measurements as well as preferences, this information is matched to the precise sizes of garments.

6. AMAZON LOGISTICS

Amazon is edging closer to operating a full end-to-end retail model as it beefs up its logistics operations with the ultimate aim of reducing its reliance on delivery companies. It has leased 20 Boeing 767 freighter planes for use in the US and it is among the bidders for Hahn airport in Frankfurt, providing them with a European logistics hub.

5. DELIVEROO

Unlike the majority of food delivery businesses, which are purely online marketplaces for takeaway restaurants, Deliveroo also handles the delivery aspect of the process. This is a key component of its proposition because it partners with premium restaurants that don’t typically provide a delivery service.

4. AMAZON DASH

The Dash service from Amazon involving a button that is branded to an everyday item that customers press to order the product from the retailer. The company has teamed up with various appliance makers including GE and Whirlpool to incorporate automatic reordering into their products.

3. STARBUCKS MOBILE ORDER & PAY

Starbucks has been experiencing significant growth from its Order + Pay app that has recently been rolled out to all UK stores. It enables customers to order food and drinks before they arrive at the store and to pay through their device. Usage of the app has doubled to now account for eight million transactions per month.

2. GOOGLE HANDS FREE PAYMENT

Google has developed a hands-free app for in-store purchases. Shoppers create a profile requiring photo ID and credit/debit card details. When purchasing through Hands Free, the cashier confirms identity with the customer’s initials and profile photo using an in-store camera - which then immediately deletes the images from the system.

1. AMAZON ECHO

Looking like a wireless speaker, which now comes in three formats, it is capable of voice interaction, music playback, making to-do lists, ordering goods, setting alarms, as well as providing weather, traffic and other real-time information. It can also control several smart devices. Amazon is undoubtedly learning an incredible amount about the lives and behaviours of the growing number of people who have an Echo device sitting in their homes.

Read the Digital Retail Innovations Report 2016

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