We are delighted to announce the launch of the Retail Insider ‘Digital Retail Innovations report 2022’ (sponsored by Trust Systems). This year a small company in the vanguard of apps tackling food waste has ranked highest of all – a reflection of the importance and intrinsic value that innovations in sustainability now enjoy. So congratulations to TooGoodToGo whose partnership with high street baker Greggs was ranked the overall winner by our expert panel.
Recent top-ranked behemoths such as constantly-innovating Amazon, IKEA, which again makes an appearance for the latest iteration of its Augmented Reality app, and the sportswear retailing giants such as Nike are of course still in the mix but there is an obvious and concerted effort going on to digitalise the optics market especially with two different optical innovations (ieye kiosks and Envision glasses) featuring in the top 10.
And the big supermarkets continue to make shopping ever more frictionless with the inclusion this year of Aldi’s Shop & Go, Tesco’s GetGo with Trigo and Walmart’s logistics all appearing at the top of the list.
Trends playing out further down the list include the gamification of retailing by several companies including shoemaker Clarks that has used the Roblox platform to engage younger users. Others on the list playing with the idea of avatars are Puma and Burberry.
Meanwhile, Marks & Spencer is one of the retailers included for innovating around digital store mapping to help customers find what they need quicker. Asda’s GoodMaps is also ranked for this and following on from past year’s the drive towards the perfect smart shopping cart remains hotly-contested. Amazon’s smart Dash carts and Albertson’s partnership with Veeve are both examples this year.
After peaks in innovation during Covid-19 the delivery side of retailing has slightly calmed down but is still well-represented with moves such as Waymo’s self-driving trucks, and the drones now in operation at Manna. The rise and rise of the AI-powered kiosks shows no sign of halting and now also spreads out more widely into robotic vending machines. JD.com, Wahlburgers and Robomart among others are continuing to blaze that particular trail.
But away from general trends the report is also full of one-off ideas from smaller companies that caught the judges’ eyes. Among the independent gems that will grab you with their sheer ingenuity and flair are Samsøe Samsøe with its resell tag. And it’s worth noting that the Co-operative continues to press up against what the public will accept with its facial recognition technology – this year involving an age verification feature.
Fundamental to the integrity of the report is the Advisory Panel, which is drawn from all sections of retail, who collectively rank the innovations based on a set of criteria. This independence and a robust methodology provides Retail Insider’s Digital Retail Innovations report with the credibility to ensure it is seen as a valuable resource within the retail industry.
Please note that although Jamie Crummie, co-founder of TooGoodToGo, was part of the advisory panel his scores for TooGoodToGo were averaged out to ensure fairness. The same strict ruling applied to all members of the panel, which comprised (in alphabetical order):
Jamie Crummie, co-founder – TooGoodToGo; Jacqueline de Rojas, President – Digital Leaders; Andrew Fox, Sales Director – Trust Systems; Michael Gabay, CEO – Trigo; Miya Knights, author and publisher; Daniel Lucht, global research director – Research Farm; Martin Newman, founder – The Customer First Group; Sarah McVittie, co-founder – Dressipi; Steve Robinson, CEO – Omnicommerce; Dr Nadia Shouraboura, board member – Ocado Group and Blue Yonder; Paul Wilkinson, group product manager for Grocery Partners – Deliveroo; and Barney Wragg, CEO – Karakuri.
Retail Insider would like to thank each member of the panel for their diligence and also to Trust Systems for sponsoring this year’s report.
To read the full report: click here.
Glynn Davis, editor, Retail Insider