Technology has taken over retail, whether it’s customer experience software or employee performance platforms, companies are using retail technologies to improve consumers’ purchasing journeys and increase operational efficiency. Startup 50, a technology startup tracker founded by entrepreneur Jeff Vance, highlighted six innovative retail technology startups to keep on the radar this year.
Store associates are arguably the backbone of brick-and-mortar retail—and Theatro, a Dallas-based startup, is boosting their productivity with its cutting-edge technology solution. Theatro developed an intelligent personal assistant and voice-controlled mobile app platform that equips store associates with a software suite of communication and productivity applications. Using Saas (Software as a Service) technology, Theatro’s “heads up, hands free” mobile solution enables store associates to have one-on-one conversations, find product information and provide virtual support without losing focus on consumers.
Consolidating data into one place—including marketing, merchandising, distribution insights—could be challenging, but Snowflake’s cloud data warehouse is helping retailers efficiently manage their business divisions. The California-based startup provides company employees with data access at their fingertips, including business intelligence analytics, omnichannel social media information, retail trend insights, a 360-degree view of consumers and a zero-management platform for operations. Snowflake has worked with various e-tailers, including RuLaLa, to heighten their personalized marketing efforts and online merchandise inventory initiatives.
On e-commerce sites, consumers expect a convenient and seamless purchasing journey. Webscale, a global cloud technology company, is elevating e-tailers’ websites with its e-commerce cloud platform. The platform provides insights on organic search rankings, conversion rates, customer satisfaction and revenue to e-tailers. What’s more, the company’s cloud-based application delivery controller (ADC) manages site traffic and optimizes website content, so e-tailers can boost site performance, act quickly on digital errors and create a frictionless shopping experience for consumers.
[Read more on how technology is elevating retail: 7 Apparel Startups to Watch This Year]
Personalization remains a top priority for retailers and international data startup Treasure Data is breaking down consumer data silos with its Customer Data Platform (CDP). The CDP unifies consumer data for retailers into one place—where retailers can access insights on consumer behavior and purchasing preferences. With the platform, retailers can optimize their marketing strategies, efficiently target consumers based on their individual needs and reduce cart abandonment on their e-commerce websites.
Shiftgig, a Chicago-based startup, is ramping up retailers’ employee fleets with its connective technology platform. On Shiftgig, retailers are set up with pre-qualified professionals, also dubbed Specialists, who are available to work for long-term and temporary labor. First, staff are evaluated with a comprehensive virtual interview process, where they undergo mandatory background checks and training for available positions. From there, Shiftgig’s in-app workflow enables retailers to request pre-qualified work professionals and quickly act on internal hiring changes. Once retailers develop their team, they may rate team members on the Shiftgig’s platform and verify team members’ shift locations with Shiftgig’s geo-tracking feature.
Consumer experiences can make or break a retailer’s market presence and global technology startup, CloudCherry, is improving purchasing journeys with its VOC (Voice of Consumer) platform. Using the platform, retailers can engage with consumers across 17 physical and digital touchpoints on the purchasing journey. After identifying consumer experience stages, the platform allows retailers to identify the business metrics they should be tracking to optimize performance on their e-commerce and brick-and-mortar channels.
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