The retail industry is on the cusp of digital transformation as retailers are predominantly seeking to deliver better customer experience. The evolution of technologies like artificial intelligence, computer vision, robotics, and others are significantly driving digital transformation in retail stores and enabling retailers to leverage such technologies for a superior experience. Moreover, the emergence of e-commerce has also reshaped the retail industry. Already, companies like Amazon, Walmart and others are leading the industry, making tremendous leaps towards delivering effective services and customer experiences.
Here we have brought 10 most promising retail companies across the world delivering enhanced customer experience and redefining the industry in 2020 and beyond.
Alepa is a Finland-based grocery shop chain that is using smart tech to deliver a brilliant benefit to its local customers. The company’s newly built chatbot, powered by Facebook Messenger, enables customers to request specific items to be stocked in their nearest Alepa store. Alepa uses digital screens to advertise the new products arrived, and references the person who requested them. It also learns about what its customers want which can feed into its overall business. The company delivers services requested within 24 hours.
Primark, a Mayfair, London-based Retail Company, which offers the latest fashion, beauty and homeware at the best value on the high street. Started in 1969 with the first store opened in Dublin, Ireland, the company now successfully operates 325 stores in 11 countries. Each store occupies a retail space of several thousand square meters, offering fashion, shoes and accessories for women, men and kids, alongside homeware and beauty products. To meet the constructive business trends and to prepare for the further growth in the central European market, the retailer has established a new distribution center in the Netherlands.
CaaStle, a New York-based company, provides a fully managed service that allows retailers to offer Clothing as a Service (CaaS) to their consumers. By offering a CaaS model, retailers can enable their customers to get the opportunity to experiment more deeply with the brand not only by owning garments, but by accessing a rotating collection each month. With a proprietary, turnkey, and cloud-enabled fully-managed service supporting major retail brands, CaaStle delivers the platform, technology, reverse logistics, operations, and data to create a new relationship between retailers and consumers.
Member of the DIAM International Group, CONEX is a company dedicated to the development of digital solutions for the high-end retail market. The company aims to transpose what DIAM is developing in the visual merchandising/ point of sale retail environment in a more dynamic and digitally impactful way. CONEX builds smart visual merchandising and life-like quality images for interactive displays. The company works with brands to develop and design their point-of-sale environments. To remain at the forefront of the beauty industry, it develops creative and innovative retail experiences that create a link between the brand and consumer and allows the development of strategies that can help drive the business forward.
Warby Parker, a New York-based lifestyle brand, which offers designer eyewear while leading way for socially conscious businesses. As disrupted the world of prescription eyewear, Warby Parker last year expanded into a new category, contact lenses called Scout. It is a comfortable, breathable, and affordable daily contact lens that comes in an innovative, space-saving flat pack. The company also works with experienced non-profit partners to ensure that each sale of its frames will give someone in need access to affordable glasses.
Frayt is an on-demand courier service that helps improve and grow retail and e-commerce businesses. With a local, same-day delivery service, the company helps get retail customers what they need, when they need it. It has developed an on-demand shipping and delivery platform that connects shippers directly with drivers to get purchased goods delivered on the same day. This is especially useful for small to medium-sized businesses with slow turnaround times.
Camp is a New York-based family experience retail chain that built to engage and inspire families. The company offers a rotating selection of toys and other goods alongside experiences like cooking and craft classes. Camp integrates merchandise, play, and media throughout its stores to create an enriching and fun experience for kids and grown-ups. It also offers an entirely new experience with each visit, as the company rotates its theme every 8 -12 weeks. Camp offers a range of themes, including Base Camp, Toy Lab Camp, Travel Camp, and Cooking Camp.
Farmstead, an online grocer based in San Francisco, which uses artificial intelligence (AI) to reinvent the grocery buying experience and rewire how food moves across the country to significantly reduce food waste. The company introduced a Smart Shopping List feature, designed to envisage what products customers need based on factors including weekly shopping history, buying signals and what is already in their cart. Using AI and machine learning technologies helps Farmstead to keep prices for certain products below the averages in Bay Area supermarkets. The company is trying to create an entirely new model for grocery stores by limiting its physical footprint and using AI to intelligently curate its inventory.
ThredUp is the world’s largest online secondhand shopping destination where people can buy like-new styles and sell high-quality secondhand clothes. The company received roughly 100,000 clothes and shoes each day from would-be sellers in 2019 and processed its 100 millionth item in the same year. The company makes sure every single one of the 15 thousand new arrivals it adds to the site every day is 100 percent authentic and in such good shape, anyone could mistake them as new. ThredUp joined hands with companies such as Reformation and Amour Vert to enable users of those brands to send ThredUp old clothes in exchange for shopping credit at their stores.
Etsy is the global marketplace for unique and creative handmade and vintage goods. In a time of increasing automation, the company’s mission is to keep human connection at the heart of commerce. Etsy’s platform connects it with millions of buyers looking for an alternative – something special with a human touch, for those moments in life that deserve imagination. As it offers a much wider variety of products, handmade and vintage items, Etsy, in 2016, acquired machine learning company Blackbird Technologies Inc. to help improve search and product targeting for its digital channels.