Retail Innovaiton

In today's digitally empowered business environment, retailers must stay on top of the latest technology and marketing trends in order to remain competitive. The companies that will thrive moving forward are actively testing and implementing innovative ideas and solutions. Retail TouchPoints stays on the cutting edge of retail innovation by hosting the annual Retail Innovation Conference, interviewing industry leaders, and tapping our collective experience to deliver insightful reporting on the most important retail stories.

Mastercard Pop-Up Experience Showcases Literal Window Shopping

I recently had the opportunity to get a sneak peek into a new pop-up in New York City, presented by Marie Claire magazine and Mastercard. The experience, called The Next Big Thing Concept Shop, brought to life a variety of unique technology innovations for retailers that can help brands merge the physical and digital shopping experience for their customers.

Innovators Point The Way To The Store Of The Future

The so-called “retail apocalypse” may have been debunked, but there’s still no question that the industry is in the midst of profound change. Retailers aren’t just looking for ways to tweak the shopping experience; many seek to reimagine every aspect of how they will interact with consumers. Pano Anthos, Founder and Managing Director, XRC Labs, brings a perspective that is both future-oriented and grounded in today’s retailing requirements. He has identified five key themes that are reshaping store-based retail:

New Jersey Mall Adds Italian Lessons To Sistine Chapel Exhibit

This month, the Westfield Garden State Plaza mall in Paramus, N.J. introduced Up Close: Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel, an exhibition that allows visitors to experience Michelangelo’s famous ceiling frescoes from the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel without having to hop on a plane to Italy. In addition to this unique experience, visitors have the opportunity to learn the Italian language while surrounded by the near life-size reproductions.

Target Aims To Outrun Competition With ‘Innovation Sprint’

  • Published in News Briefs
Target is partnering with BCG Digital Ventures to conduct a 14-week “innovation sprint,” designed to help the company develop a portfolio of new growth ventures, according to a company blog post. As various types of innovation labs become a greater priority in retail, Target has continued to test out different…

Early Birds Get A Jump On Retail Transformation: RIC18 Reg Is Open

The premier event focused on retail innovation and transformation is open for Early Bird registration now! The 2018 Retail Innovation Conference (RIC18), set for May 1-2 in New York City, is offering a limited-time discount for retailer attendees who book early. Launched in 2014, the Retail Innovation Conference sought to expand Retail TouchPoints’ mission to empower and connect the retail world. Since the inaugural event, the conference has successfully brought together today’s top retail leaders, innovators and forward thinkers so they can better collaborate and share their perspectives on must-have tools and tactics for success.

AR And VR: Shopping Enhancements Or Shiny Distractions?

Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are already making inroads in retail. Lowe’s, Wayfair and Design With Reach, for example, use these technologies to help customers visualize how furniture and other design changes will look in their homes. AR’s ability to bring ratings and reviews, long a staple of e-Commerce, into the brick-and-mortar environment presents an exciting prospect, according to Pano Anthos, Managing Director of XRC Labs. “Customers walk into a store and we’re blind as bats,” he said during a session at the 2017 Retail Innovation Conference. “We don’t know if the product stinks or falls apart in five minutes, or anything about where it comes from. Everyone online looks at ratings and reviews, so why not in the store? AR provides the first wave of that potential by having the digitization of ratings and reviews dropped onto your phone.” Despite these real-world use cases, opinion remains sharply divided about the ultimate value of AR and VR, as well as how much — and how quickly — retailers should invest in the technology. Members of the RetailWire BrainTrust recently debated the technologies’ merits: Art Suriano, CEO, The TSi CompanyI can see the strongest benefits of AR and VR…

Mastercard Brings Contactless Payments To Fitbit

Mastercard is integrating contactless payment functionalities into Fitbit’s first smartwatch, Ionic. Fitness enthusiasts using the device will be able to add their eligible cards to the smartwatch, and pay simply by tapping their device near a contactless terminal at more than 6.6 million merchant locations globally. Starting Aug. 28, users can preorder the Fitbit Ionic device, which will be available in October on The payment functionality will initially be supported in the U.S. with participating issuer banks, and will expand to other markets across the globe soon after.

Target Appoints New Chief Strategy And Innovation Officer

Target has appointed Minsok Pak as EVP, Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer, effective Sept. 11, 2017. Pak brings many years of experience leading global retail and consumer companies. He will be responsible for enterprise strategy development and retail innovation designed to help enhance the retailer’s guest experience and accelerate growth. Pak will report to Brian Cornell, Chairman and CEO of Target. 

Peapod, Dillard’s And Panera Reveal Winding Paths To Innovation

It’s an eternal struggle within any organization: whether to devote time, money and resources to coming up with the Next Big Thing, or to focus on the mundane (but very necessary) job of Keeping The Lights On. Or as Peapod Chief Marketing Officer Carrie Bienkowski put it, “When we have a limited number of development hours and have to ask ourselves what our development team is working on from a roadmap standpoint, do we focus on brilliant basics or innovation?” As any retailer knows, it’s not an academic question. If the scales are tipped too far in either direction, the results can be disastrous. And to make things even more complicated, it’s not always clear which category a particular project or initiative falls into. Sometimes “innovation” actually moves a company in the wrong direction, while a “brilliant basic” can produce something new that provides the retailer with real-world, measurable improvements.

Cost Plus World Market Shares Personal Customer Info In Billboard Ads

Home goods retailer Cost Plus World Market is taking a new approach to crowd sourcing for its latest campaign. The company partnered with its agency barrettSF to ask customers personal information, such as their location and how they live, to create a variety of out-of-home ads targeting twenty-something urban consumers moving into their first apartments.

Execs From Ahold Delhaize & TreeHouse To Present At Retail Innovation Lounge During

Kwolia, a strategic advisory firm, has teamed up with the NRF to host its Retail Innovation Lounge at 2017, taking place in Los Angeles, Calif. Sept. 26 and 27. The Lounge will take place on the main expo floor to provide a “lounge and learn” experience during the industry event. Retail TouchPoints is a media sponsor for the event.

Thisopenspace Brings POS Tech To North American Pop-Up Shops

Thisopenspace, a marketplace for short-term retail space, has partnered with Shopify to deliver the commerce platform’s POS technology to 20,000+ brands. With the partnership, thisopenspace users and Shopify merchants will have access to a network of retail locations equipped with Shopify’s Chip & Swipe Reader in the U.S., and Shopify’s Swipe Card Reader in Canada. As many as 20 of the high-traffic retail spaces will be outfitted with a retail package including receipt printers, a cash drawer, an iPad, an iPad stand and a barcode scanner.

Warby Parker, Net-a-Porter Founders To Judge Retail Concept Competition

Appear Here, a marketplace for pop-up shops, has announced its second Space for Ideas competition to discover the next three big retail concepts. The competition aims to provide a platform for talented entrepreneurs to turn their ideas into reality and will be judged by: Neil Blumenthal, Co-Founder of Warby Parker; Natalie Massenet, Founder of Net-a-Porter; Nick Jones, Founder of Soho House; and Ajax Ahmed, Founder of AKQA.

ROI Of AI: 5 Ways Retailers Are Embracing The Innovation

“Artificial Intelligence (AI)” is being touted as one of the newest, most promising business technologies of the 21st century — even though its roots go back nearly 80 years. The fact is, the basics of AI can be traced back to Alan Turing and the Theory of Computation in the late 1930s; and the 1950 paper that helped inspire the 2014 film, The Imitation Game: Computing Machinery And Intelligence. But as AI has moved out of the theoretical realm and into the practical, confusion about what AI is — and what it can do — has grown. Even today’s smartest and wealthiest business executives seem a bit stumped by what, exactly, constitutes an AI solution. As recently as July 25, 2017, Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk got into a social media feud over each other’s understanding of the technology.

AI Sharpens Promotion Planning For Earth Fare Grocery Chain

  • Published in News Briefs
At the 41-store Earth Fare chain, the food is organic and natural but the intelligence is artificial — at least when it comes to promotion planning. For the past year, the retailer has used an Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based solution to help its category managers determine which items to feature in weekly…
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