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What Innovation Acceleration looks like

Mike Butler

Hotwire has over 20 years of igniting possibilities for tech businesses. Hear our expert views and insights from our team on the latest developments in the industry.

At Hotwire Marketing we work with so many of global IT’s biggest names that it’s always a real pleasure to have the opportunity to connect with the smaller, fresh ReTech innovators – and to help connect them with UK retailers.  This was one of the things that happened at Innovation Acceleration last week, a unique online event held one midweek lunchtime which brought movers, shakers, investors and consultants together from all sides of the retail fence.

And I couldn’t help but marvel at some of the innovations being showcased, many of them from companies associated with the Israeli ReTech boom that continues to go from strength to strength.  In no particular order, I’d love to share with you my ‘top ten’ selection from the day.

Blink is developing next generation eye-tracking technology involving deep learning to revolutionise how retailers think about their spaces – both physical and digital.  Blink’s technology can determine exactly where customers are focused, for how long, and identify exactly what it is on a store shelf (or a digital menu) that grabs their attention.  From there it’s a small step to determine if those customers made an action based on that engagement.

The technology determines if the items’ presentation or an advertisement location can get the ROI intended by the store owner (and designer) across time and audience.  It also has the capability to recognise repeat customers and tailor their experience based on prior interactions: it can make recommendations and provide data points of consumers’ behaviour based on previous preferences

All in all the Blink offering is helping retailers redesign the customer experience based on this new paradigm in consumer insight – and, not coincidentally, maximise ROI while they’re at it.

Caja Robotics are visionary software and robotics experts on a mission to change the world of warehouse logistics and order fulfilment.  They provide a scalable and responsive robotic fulfilment system which comprises of advanced software, specialised robots, and user-friendly workstations. Their robotic fulfilment solution for unit picking increases order picking efficiency and storage capacity of warehouses, whilst improving the work environment of warehouse employees.

The beauty of the Caja Robotics model is that its success achieved without large investments in warehouse infrastructure, as the robotic system adapts to the warehouse and not vice versa, by using existing infrastructure like flooring, mezzanines, shelving, and boxes.

The world of online social shopping is set to be disrupted by the likes of Gamitee whose innovative solution allows users on eCommerce websites to shop with their peers, on-site.  By giving users the option to invite their peers to edit and comment on their wishlist, the Gamitee plug-in optimises websites’ conversion rate, brings quality traffic, and increases AOR.

Staying with eCommerce for a minute, MySize is directly taking on some of the common frustrations of online shopping – from size uncertainty to the hassle of returning items that don’t fit. MySizeID tackles this issue head on with size and fit tech that boosts shopper confidence by recommending shoppers the correct size and fit for their body shape. This is helping retailers minimize the returns that can be such a blow to their bottom line.

Clinch is an AI-powered Creative Personalization platform that delivers consumer-tailored ad experiences across all channels, driving online and in-store performance and sales. Clinch gives brands and agencies an omni-channel solution that leverages data to automate, personalize and optimize display and video ad experiences at scale.  And when they say scale they’re not messing around – it operates across programmatic, social media, in-app, native, and OTT / CTV.

Another AI-powered platform changing the way retailers think is Pecan, a predictive analytics platform that solves business problems by generating actionable, accurate predictions in the shortest time possible. The platform can rapidly solve some of the most challenging supply chain, marketing, and sales challenges including demand planning, customer churn, customer lifetime value, promotion optimization, and next best offer by automating the heavy lifting in data science, without any coding or data engineering experience needed from the users’ side.

Also making very smart use of AI, Quicklizard is an innovative, real-time dynamic pricing platform that enables e-commerce and omnichannel retailers to optimize pricing using AI. Retailers can monitor, calculate and apply optimal prices based on real-time market trends. Quicklizard’s technology helps businesses to apply better and more effective prices to their entire catalogue, whether they serve customers online, in-store or through a combination of channels.

Loyalize is making carrying plastic loyalty cards or scanning additional codes a thing of the past.  As a white label engagement platform that combines payment and loyalty into a single transaction, the technology provides a suite of features that deliver personalised, frictionless shopping experiences for customers, and real-time, omni-channel insights on customer purchasing behaviours for merchants. Leveraging open banking means customers can connect their accounts directly to a loyalty programme, ensuring they automatically get rewarded on every transaction, online and in store. Implementing Pay-by-Bank technology further generates significant commercial savings and instant cash settlement for merchants by eliminating the need for intermediary payments partners.

Supersmart is looking to become nothing less than the best checkout technology available in the market today, providing a pleasant, seamless 3-second shopping checkout experience. Supersmart’s tech gives global retailers the ability to implement self-service with an almost risk-free AI-driven checkout technology that dramatically improves the operational and revenue benefits. Their clients report increases in their total revenue between 0.5%-2.5%, additional increased transaction volume, and improved business operations. It’s enabling retailers to offer a superior, secure customer shopping experience, and giving shoppers more control over their time.

And last but not least, I’m always personally happy to see businesses innovating with RFID.  RFKeeper’s platform leverages the endless capacity of IoT and RFID technology to help retailers operate as practically and efficiently as possible, with highly advanced capabilities for both online and offline operations. Combining the physical and the virtual, the easily-deployable solution streamlines retail supply chains and reduce costs. The cutting-edge cloud-based network gives retailers real-time visibility and control of their supply chain, from source to point-of-sale.

If you’d like to find out more about any of these, or connect with Israel’s Retail Innovation Club, I’d be very happy to help you make the connection.  Just drop me a line.  The Innovation Acceleration event also featured two fascinating speakers which you can read more about in my blog here.