How Retail Tech Startups are Providing E-commerce Brands With a Competitive Advantage by@empirenews

How Retail Tech Startups are Providing E-commerce Brands With a Competitive Advantage

The rapid rise of retail tech has touched almost every part of shopping; from discovery apps like Yelp to Buy now pay later brands like Klarna and Afterpay. This article is not meant to focus on Ecommerce as a whole but is meant to deliver commentary on the underlining technology that helps facilitate and level up Ecommerce. What are the trends in this area or products that I am the fondest of? Here we have a rising demand of Retail tech startups that are playing in this field.
image
Empire News HackerNoon profile picture

Empire News

Your Source for high quality Tech Analysis


Which of the following topics am I most excited about?

Ecommerce has innovated the way people shop and consume. This is already a given and hardly any news. Almost every big retail brand has built several divisions and infrastructures that support selling online, and the pandemic has accelerated the need for that when Ecommerce sales by 50% to $870 billion. This article is not meant to focus on Ecommerce as a whole but is meant to deliver commentary on the underlining technology that helps facilitate and level up E-commerce. This is where Retail Tech comes in.


Retail Tech, and why it excites me?

When you think about online shopping, you can’t help to think about the technologies that fuel Ecommerce and make it an attractive and easy way to shop and consume. You think about Amazon’s one-click checkout, you think about entrepreneurs building Shopify stores, and you can’t help but notice how younger generations are keen on live shopping via platforms like Tik Tok, YouTube, and Instagram. All of these would not have been possible without Retail tech innovations and startups. The rapid rise of retail tech has touched almost every part of shopping; from discovery apps like Yelp to Buy now pay later brands like Klarna and Afterpay. Let’s take a closer look at how some of these startups have been able to transform the industry.


What are the trends in this area or products in this area that I am the fondest of? Why?

When we think about consumer experience we need to zoom out. There are many factors that lead to a successful purchase, and each element has been thought of in a careful manner to ensure an optimized experience and result. Let’s start off with the Discovery process:


Apps/Softwares Used for Shopping Discovery

Improvement Aspect

Amazon

Instead of going out of your house, sitting and traffic, and trying to find a specific item, you can just log on to Amazon and find what you are looking for.

Yelp

You are already out and about, you need to buy something, you open up Yelp and search what is nearby. Yes, the sale itself does not happen online, but the discovery process did.

Ali Express

You go to a store, you want to buy something, but the price is high. Well, why not buy it straight from the source. No need to pay for the extra fees induced by an array of merchants.

The examples listed are definitely more centralized in essence, and if want to spread it out we can include specific retail brands like Armani or others that have built their own ecommerce shopping experience. Moving forward, after the discovery phase, we have the actual online experience to take care of. Here we have a rising demand for Retail tech startups that are playing in this field:


Startups

Improvement Aspect

Rep

The startup provides AI-Powered guided shopping assistance to website visitors. Rep was founded in 2020 after Yoav Oz went shopping for his partner’s birthday present and wanted to buy her sportswear from a well-known sports retail store. After feeling very confused and frustrated by the variety of options, a nice store associate offered him assistance which in the end led him to find the perfect gift. Guided by the help of the store’s sales associate, he was persuaded to even buy something for himself. He quickly realized that this experience of a brick-and-mortar personal shopping assistant doesn’t exist in e-commerce.

renovai

renovai is the company behind the world's first AI-based interior designer. With the vision of creating inspiring and engaging online interactions, the company developed a complete suite of AI Design solutions addressing all visual commerce needs. Powered by decades of design knowledge and best practices, renovai integrates with leading retailers, giving them a competitive edge by providing real-time realistic product display options and hyper-personalized journeys, significantly increasing conversion and average order value.

Bolt

I bet you have heard about Bolt’s outspoken Co-Founder Ryan Breslow, well they are decentralizing the one-click checkout process. Essentially what Amazon has built for herself, Bolt is helping integrate for all other retail brands. What’s interesting about Bolt, is that they are aiming to provide the one-click checkout opportunity to creators as well. On their website, it seems as though they will be able to utilize social feeds as a point of sale. Would be very fascinating to see this in action.


Alright, we touched on the discovery, then we talked about the optimized experience, now what about payments? Let’s take a closer look at some of the Buy now Pay Later companies:


Company

Improvement


Klarna

The tech giant that is based in Sweden has been one if not the first pioneer of the “Buy now, Pay Later” industry. Klarna lets shoppers do a purchase and pay it later in several installments. Klarna does not charge the consumer with additional fees (unless they are late with the payment) but they do charge the brand/merchant.


Afterpay

Afterpay is very similar to Klarna. Also a “Buy Now, Pay Later” giant. The company is owned by Jack Dorsey’s Block, Inc.


Square

Talking about Jack Dorsey’s company. Square has been able to innovate the onsite retail arena by providing merchants with a suite of services and products to help fulfill sales transactions, employ marketing tactics, and manage inventory, staff, and finances. Again, the point of sale is not necessarily online (while they do Ecommerce products), but the underlying structure of it is.





What are the positive impacts they can have on society?

As demonstrated in the previous paragraphs, the vast options and improvements in the online shopping, or essentially any shopping industry, are guided by Retail Tech startups and companies that decided to tackle the gaps in shopping with tech solutions that provide a simpler and more stress-free shopping discovery, experience, and delivery,


What are the negative impacts they can have on society?

Traditional shopping has been attributed to direct sales, human touch, and the ability to form a spontaneous connection with the person in front of you. While technology aims to optimize everything, I am not sure how it optimizes that. We will need to find a way to balance technology with the much-needed human touch.


What are my predictions on how these technologies will evolve?

More startups are entering the retail space, but only the ones who have true value will, in my opinion, be able to become a real dominant player. This won’t be tied to the funding amount of the startup but will be more attached to the way regulations and the younger generation adopt a certain element of technology.


react to story with heart
react to story with light
react to story with boat
react to story with money
L O A D I N G
. . . comments & more!