It is with great pleasure that we launch the annual ‘Retail Insider Digital Retail Innovations’ report for 2020 (sponsored by Webloyalty), which is arguably the most dynamic edition to date as highlighted by DNANudge heading up this year’s list of the Top 60 innovations.

Covid-19 has been a major driver of new consumer behaviours and the more proactive operators in the retail sector have been busy innovating during this period of disruption. As well as reflecting the impact of the virus it also highlights the most interesting and potentially impactful digitally-driven innovations in the retail industry.

Alongside DNANudge are some entirely new innovations that have been created as a result of Covid-19 and others that have come from existing technologies, which have pivoted to create tools that serve a Covid-19-impacted environment. Among the Top 20 innovations these include Lost Stock, Sunburst UV Bots, WeChat group buying, Ubamarket in-store app and Chowbotics Vending. 

Fashion and beauty again featured strongly in the report, with innovative solutions from the likes of Asos with Zeekit, L’Oreal with Modiface, Rent The Runway with W Hotels, Levi’s and HURR Collective.

What has also featured prominently this year, and might well have also been driven by Covid-19, are innovations around food. Specifically with regard to issues of waste reduction, provenance and efficient delivery via online channels. This brings in Ocado vertical farming, Mimica Lab, Accor Hotels with Winnow, and Co-op with Starship Technologies.

As in previous years there is no escaping the presence of Amazon, which this time featured as a result of its innovations with its Grocery Stores, Logistics, Zoox division, and Alexa text-to-speech solution with KFC.

Fundamental to the report is the Advisory Panel who have been drawn from across all fields of retail and collectively rank the innovations based on a set of criteria. This gives the report a robust methodology that provides it with the credibility to ensure it is hopefully viewed as a valuable resource.

This year’s panel comprised: Paul Wilkinson, senior product manager for Alexa Shopping – Amazon; Jacqueline de Rojas CBE, president – techUK, Nick Thomas, chief digital officer – Holland & Barrett; Tessa Clarke, co-founder – OLIO; Olly Chubb, strategy director – Structure; Tugce Bulut, founder & CEO – Streetbees; Miya Knights, head of industry insight – Eagle Eye Solutions; Ben Cronin, partner & go to market lead – John Lewis Partnership Ventures; Steve Robinson, non-executive director and consultant Martin Newman, founder – The Customer First Group; and Daniel Lucht, global research director – Research Farm.

To full report can be read by clicking on the link below:

Glynn Davis, editor, Retail Insider