Tech Trends

Cool retail tech tendencies from a sizzling summer season

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The summer season of 2021 featured some intriguing developments in retail expertise.

With Labor Day weekend on the horizon, it’s time to say farewell to a different summer season. The notable occasions of summer season 2021 included the postponed 2020 Olympics and excessive climate circumstances. The season additionally delivered the next three retail expertise tendencies.

Billionaires in house
In July 2021, two billionaires with roots within the retail and expertise industries took transient journeys to the sting of outer house. Virgin Galactic, the business house journey subsidiary of worldwide conglomerate Virgin Group, efficiently reached house in its fourth rocket-powered spaceflight – the primary with a full crew within the cabin – on Sunday, July 11, 2021. Colorful Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson, who examined the personal astronaut expertise, was a part of the crew.

Blue Origin, the spaceflight providers firm launched by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos in 2000, efficiently reached house on Tuesday, July 20, 2021 – the 52nd anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon touchdown – with Bezos on board.

In addition to gaining untold quantities of worldwide publicity, each of those check flights had been small however vital steps towards business house journey, and probably even transporting people to extraterrestrial settlements. Most doubtless, Tesla founder Elon Musk will quickly comply with Branson and Bezos to the boundary of house. The potential retail purposes of personal house journey – from offering members meals and clothes to establishing off-Earth shops and distribution networks – are practically as limitless as the celebrities.

Rise of the robots
The concept of utilizing robots as a retail expertise is nothing new. However, summer season 2021 noticed new robotic deployments at quite a lot of retailers throughout the enterprise. On the achievement aspect, on-demand achievement platform Grubhub is rolling out supply through Yandex robots at The Ohio State University campus.

And Dallas-based native comfort chain Urban Value Corner Store is partnering with e-commerce resolution supplier Vroom Delivery and last-mile robotic expertise specialist Tortoise to supply on-demand robotic supply of 1000’s of merchandise within the coming months. Delivery assortment will embrace grocery staples similar to milk and eggs, in addition to drinks, ice cream, snacks and extra, all delivered in underneath an hour.

In the shop, regional chain Schnuck Markets grew to become the primary grocer to deploy synthetic intelligence (AI)-based robots chainwide. A multi-year, full-scale roll-out will convey Simbe Robotics’ autonomous shelf-scanning “Tally” robots to all 111 Schnucks areas within the United States.

In the distribution middle, Walmart and Kroger each used robotic expertise to automate palletization actions. Ahold Delhaize USA utilized an attention-grabbing twist by scaling up using AI-based, wearable robotic expertise designed to boost the security and effectiveness of distribution middle associates.

Over the previous yr, Ahold Delhaize has examined wearable Verve Motion robotic techniques generally known as exosuits for tens of millions of lifts of product. The Verve Motion system is designed to scale back pressure on an affiliate’s again by 30-40% throughout a typical workday. During the pilot, Ahold Delhaize stated {that a} “overwhelming majority” of distribution middle staff reported diminished fatigue and soreness, in addition to higher posture. 

Third-party adverts
Grocery and CPG retailers have been opening their advertiser bases to third-party advertisers for a while. In August, Walmart introduced it’s going to launch its deliberate demand-side platform for suppliers and their media and advert businesses in time for the 2021 vacation season, in partnership with The Trade Desk.  regional grocer is shifting its omnichannel purchasing and promotional actions onto a third-party digital media platform.

In addition, regional grocer The Save Mart Companies started leveraging the Swiftly platform throughout its banners, connecting digital and in-store purchasing experiences, and offering a seamless buyer expertise all through the shopping for journey. 

Summer 2021 additionally noticed retailers exterior the grocery/CPG vertical Consumer electronics big is signing on with a digital third-party advert community. In August, Best Buy began enabling advertisers to make use of Criteo’s cross-retailer, self-service platform to achieve its web shoppers within the U.S. and Canada. Through sponsored merchandise, the platform will assist Best Buy clients additional uncover and buy items.

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