March: top ten coolest retail technology plays
Apr 4, 2022
RTIH Editor, Scott Thompson, brings you his stand out ‘future of retail’ systems deployments from last month, including omnichannel fashion personalisation and engagement platforms, automated fulfilment centres, and Metaverse Fashion Week.3DLOOK3DLOOK has announced the launch of YourFit 2.0, an omnichannel fashion personalisation and engagement platform. The out of the box solution is designed to help fashion brands and retailers fight massive increases in return rates. It offers the combination of a photorealistic virtual try-on experience with instant feedback on what size would fit best, powered by technology that captures and processes customers’ body data.YourFit 2.0 also introduces a new personalised recommendation engine that lets people virtually try on AI picked items based on the shopper’s body shape and measurements, fit preference, inventory and best sellers.A social sharing feature, meanwhile, encourages shoppers to share their try-on with a single tap.
Walgreens Boots AllianceWalgreens Boots Alliance plans to open 22 robot powered micro-fulfilment centres across the US to fill customers’ prescriptions.By 2025, as much as half of the retailer’s total prescription volume could be filled at the automated hubs, says Rex Swords, Walgreens’ Group President of Centralised Services, Operations and Planning.SodexoSodexo will bring eat>NOW autonomous grocery stores, high tech vending machines, and virtual dining concepts delivered by robots to campuses across the US this spring. “Students want three things: convenience, choice, and quality – often in that order,” says Kevin Rettle, Global Vice President, Sodexo Innovation and Digital, Universities. “Sodexo is in the business of helping our clients meet those needs head on, so we’re introducing campuses to the latest in innovative foodservice with eat>NOW autonomous grocery stores, high tech vending, partnering with the top brands that students are looking for, and delivering it to their doors.SelfridgesAs part of Metaverse Fashion Week, Selfridges unveiled a virtual department store in Decentraland, joining more than 70 brands, artists and designers in creating “a new experience at the intersection of fashion and technology’.In a LinkedIn post, Selfridges said: “For the first time, you'll be able to view the exclusive UNIVERSE NFTs by Paco Rabanne and Fondation Vasarely in-situ in our flagship metaverse store.”It added: “This is the first meta department store in the history of Web3 and anybody can visit. Interact as a guest or attach your crypto wallet to access all features, while keeping your in-world progress and digital assets safe.”KrogerThe Kroger Co. and NVIDIA have announced a strategic collaboration involving artificial intelligence powered applications and services.The pair will build an AI lab and demonstration centre.The aim is to expand Kroger’s freshness initiatives, improve shipping logistics and create a better shopping experience in stores through digital twin simulations — virtual models designed to accurately reflect store layouts and other operations.The Fresh MarketShoppertainment startup Firework has announced a partnership with The Fresh Market, an American chain of supermarkets.The tie up brings Firework’s full suite of live commerce and short-form shoppable video capabilities to The Fresh Market’s owned media channels. The Fresh Market first tapped Firework for a digital transformation initiative in Q4 2021, with the goal of “extending its reach to next-generation consumers and positioning itself for continued growth in the digital first era”.Perfect Corp.Artificial intelligence and augmented reality beauty and fashion tech solutions provider, Perfect Corp., has launched what is pitched as the first ever virtual try-on NFT collection.Boots UKBoots UK has implemented Recite Me assistive and language support technology across its online store.Director of E-commerce at Boots.com Paula Bobbett says: “We know that shopping online or in-store isn’t as easy as it should be for everyone.”“Hence why we’ve launched Recite Me to make it easier for people to navigate our site in the way that works best for them. We have also worked on a Boots best practice guide for our suppliers to ensure they also have this front of mind.”Argos and PinterestSainsbury’s owned retailer Argos and social media giant Pinterest have opened the doors of The Mood Hotel, pitched as a world first concept hotel curated using interior design products from the former, based on the hottest interior trends from the latter.This is located in the Town Hall Hotel in Bethnal Green, London, and brings to life the most popular Pinterest trends featured in Pinterest Predicts - through homeware and furniture from the latest Argos product ranges, curated by the retailer’s in-house team.Everything featured in the hotel is available to purchase from Argos in-store and online.The rooms are open to the public for complimentary overnight stays from Saturday, 2nd April to Monday, 4th April, with one of five Mood Rooms available for applicants to win.For those unable to visit the hotel, they can experience it through 360° video and high-res photography, as well as shoppable digital formats, on the Pinterest platform and Argos social media channels.EEEE has invited football fans to experience its 5G Superstore at Wembley Stadium, pitched as a world first 5G powered augmented reality shopping experience guided by an avatar of England and Liverpool FC player Trent Alexander-Arnold. Opening for the England international friendlies against Switzerland and Ivory Coast on Saturday, 26th March and Tuesday, 29th March respectively, fans were able to browse and purchase official England match day merchandise via AR tech.