What Will I Learn?
Shopping at physical stores is still how the majority of purchases are made. With this in mind, a great many startups focus on using technology to improve the in-store experience. HEROFi falls into this category. The company provides display and device-based automated marketing that reacts to real-time data such as sales, inventory and weather. Percolata, meanwhile takes a different approach. It uses sensors as well as video and audio to collect data that provides retailers with insights into shoppers’ behavior. The other major trend in in-store optimization is in the checkout space. Several startups operate in this area, including Standard Cognition.
A clutch of startups is building solutions to these challenges, not least among them Bold Metrics, which predicts shoppers’ body measurements using artificial intelligence to help them purchase clothes at online stores in the right size and fit. Savitude is another startup operating in this space. Ditto, meanwhile, offers a similar service but focuses on eyewear. The company’s software, which operates both online and in-store, lets customers virtually try on glasses frames and makes recommendations. Other online shopping optimizations come from startups such as SupplyAI, whose platforms helps consumers track orders and simplifies the returns process.
Data Analytics for Retail
Another major trend in retail is the move toward greater usage of data. Companies operating in this vertical include Vue.ai, which is applying image recognition and data science to provide retailers with insights into a variety of business functions including marketing, product and customer experience.Startups Skupos and Wiser, meanwhile, offer big data platforms to track and analyze sales in real-time.
Tracking inventory and optimizing merchandising is another growth area in retail technology. Stitch is a leader in this area, offering automatic syncing of orders, sales and inventory across channels to give retailers a holistic picture of their operations. Bossa Nova, meanwhile, is taking a different approach, using robots scan store shelves to capture data on which products are needed in which locations. Companies operating in this area are typically using a mixture of artificial intelligence and cloud technologies.