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2018's Digital Innovations Report

The Retail For the fifth year running Webloyalty has sponsored The Retail Insider’s Digital Retail Innovations report. The Report highlights some of the most interesting technological developments which are taking place in the retail sector this year.

Previous versions of the report focused on the UK, however this year it has become clear that innovation knows no boundaries and exciting developments are taking place around the world so this year’s report reflects this.


Below are details of the top 10 innovations, if you want to see who else made it, download the report now.

Please get in touch via our contact page if you would like a free hard copy of the report.

Who were this year's winners?

10. ASOS VARIABLE VIRTUAL MODELS

Already a big hit with customers, ASOS has started experimenting with body inclusive AR technology, to allow consumers to see the same dress/clothing item on several different body types before they buy.

9. ASOS PAY LATER / KLARNA

Try before you buy has become a feature of the fashion retail world with Amazon fuelling the trend with the launch of its Prime Wardrobe service. Following suit, ASOS now offers
a Pay Later option that allows shoppers up to 30 days to pay for the goods that they choose to keep, with the remainder being returned to ASOS.

8. OCADO WAREHOUSE ROBOTICS

Ocado continues to invest in its warehouse capability. This has given them a unique proposition, which is now being leveraged by other food retailers overseas. The fleet of 1,000 robots at its Andover site, are now able to put together a 50-item order in five minutes, compared with the two hours that it previously once took.

7. WAL-MART / BOSSANOVA ROBOTS

Ocado continues to invest in its warehouse capability. This has given them a unique proposition, which is now being leveraged by other food retailers overseas. The fleet of 1,000 robots at its Andover site, are now able to put together a 50-item order in five minutes, compared with the two hours that it previously once took.

6. MOBY CONVENIENCE STORE

Based in Shanghai, the Moby convenience store is a prototype that features no staff, no cash registers, and runs on wheels, meaning that it can deliver orders or take itself off to a warehouse for restocking. To enter the unit customers have to download an app; they can then scan any items they wish to purchase. On leaving the store, the customer’s card is automatically charged and no further action is required.

5. ADIDAS SPEEDFACTORY

To massively increase the speed, flexibility and manoeuvrability of Adidas factory production, the company has invested in a state-of-the-art ‘SpeedFactory’. Staffed largely by robots and supervised by humans, the facility in Germany can make a pair of Adidas shoes from the basic raw ingredients in a day, compared with the months it usually takes in the hand assembly, Asian factories.

4. AMAZON LOGISTICS

At the start of the year Amazon announced plans to build its first cargo hub in the US that will cover two million square feet, reducing Amazon’s dependence on UPS and FedEx. The facility will house the firm’s fleet of planes and will be highly automated just like the rest of Amazon’s impressive fulfilment infrastructure.

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3. PIZZA EXPRESS / FLYT

Pizza Express partnered with technology platform Flyt, to develop a system that allows people to pay and leave in under a minute. Diners who have downloaded the app are given a table number when they arrive. After finishing their meal, they open the app and enter the table number – their bill then flashes up, they pay and are then free to leave without asking for the waiting staff at any point.

2. AMAZON GO

After much anticipation the first Amazon Go store opened (drawing long queues) providing a frictionless shopping experience, pioneering what the company calls ‘Just Walk Out’ (JWO) shopping. Customers check-in by scanning the unique code they are given in the Amazon Go app, they simply place their chosen goods in their basket and walk out Sensors and cameras closely monitor all movements.

1. AMAZON ECHO

Amazon’s voice assistant, Alexa, is enjoying significant take-up with the AI-powered solution, running on a hefty 68% of smart speakers sold in 2017. The number of skills continues to expand and the ability to recognise multiple voices in a household enables it to better personalise the engagement with individuals. The visual aspect of Alexa: Echo Look, is also gaining some traction, by connecting to Amazon’s social media platform Spark, which enables users to take selfies and ask other users for fashion advice. This complements the interaction possible through the AI capabilities of Alexa.

Read our Digital Retail Innovations Reports

Digital Retail Innovations Report 2017

Digital Retail Innovations Report 2016

Digital Retail Innovations Report 2015

Digital Retail Innovations Report 2014

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