Keeping up with trends can be hard.

When it comes retail tech, news about the latest “game changing technology” pop up on a regular basis.

With retailers embracing new technologies to stay relevant on the one hand, and startups striving to disrupt the market on the other, following the latest retail tech trends in particular can be challenging.

In this upcoming series, we will dive into the hottest trends in the field right now. These trends are also covered in Re:Tech and Viola Venture’s new report, which includes a comprehensive overview of the Israeli retail tech ecosystem.

Retail tech trend #1: conversational commerce

When I go shopping online, having a personalized ‘chat-like’ platform I can engage with while I’m shopping is a must. Websites that don’t offer some sort of automated customer engagement platform, seem outdated- or worse- not worth the buy.

2 years ago, that wasn’t the case. However, today consumer expectations are evolving around the use of what’s known as conversational commerce technologies. Whether it be voice shopping or an AI powered chatbot (the latter being more feasible in retail nowadays), the future is clear: by 2020 at least 60% of organizations will use AI to support digital commerce.

In the wide field of conversational commerce, there are a number of Israeli startups worth knowing. The technologies you’ll see below are helping retailers find their new digital home, and more importantly, keeping the costumers close.

how-conversational-commerce-will-transform-the-sales-experience

Image Source: Vocalcom

Twiggle – founded by two ex-Googlers, Twiggle uses natural language processing (NLP), machine learning and ontological modelling to build e-commerce search technology that understands shopper intent, and matches it with the products retailers sell online. Twiggle’s solutions creates a human-like understanding, mimicking how an experienced salesperson would (and should) behave.

Mmuze – The kind of startup that helps retailers on all levels. mmuze developes a variety of AI shopping assistants for text and voice interactions, by developing the technological infrastructure that automatically creates the required domain expertise and supports conversational interfaces across chatbots, smart speakers, VR, brand websites, and more.

Retail tech trend #2: cyber protection

One in eight retailers faced a cyber-attack over the last year. However, less than half of retail businesses have a cyber-strategy in place (46%) which is below the global average of 52% for all businesses.

At a time where retailers are storing not only critical transactional data, but business-related data relevant for operations, business management and logistics, cyber protection is more crucial than ever.

The technologies you’ll see below assist retailers around the world in their attempt to build stronger defense systems; By implementing these solutions, which provide real-time visibility of what’s taking place in their network, retailers cam mitigate intrusions before they become a breach- and avoid major reputational damage among their customers.

Cybersecurity-retail

Image Source: channelfutures

Cyberint – In the age of digital transformation businesses are opening themselves up to far greater risks and greater threats in their environment, Cyberint’s Managed detection and response services span globally, and allow retailers to combat and respond to advanced cyber threats that would normally go unnoticed. By providing cyber intelligence and protecting online activities, cyberint helps eliminates potential threats before they become crises.

Namoogo – Namogoo is pioneering the market of customer hijacking prevention. Namogoo’s disruptive technology identifies and blocks unauthorized ads injected into consumer web sessions that divert customers to competitor offerings, hurting conversion rates and damaging brand equity. By eliminating these invasive promotions, Namogoo consistently recovers eCommerce revenue; companies who use Namogoo report an immediate conversion uplift, and are able to win back more than 90% of their stolen revenue.

Cymulate Cymulate allows retailers verify their security posture through a unique breach and attack simulation platform. Cymulate’s advanced technology allows organizations to launch simulations of cyber attacks against themselves, immediately exposing vulnerabilities and providing mitigation procedures to close each gap. The company’s centralized platform allows security testing through multiple attack vectors such as email, browsing, internal network, data exfiltration and more.

Retail tech trend #3: IoT

One of the major game changers for retail this year is the Internet of things (IoT), which creates a network between internet-connected physical devices. According recent research, IoT in the retail industry is predicted to reach over $30 billion by 2024.

The rise of IoT offers multiple benefits for retailers: it can reduce inventory error, optimize supply chain management and even decrease labor costs.

It’s no surprise 3 of 10 retailers are currently piloting IoT, and 56% are planning to implement such projects within the next five years.

From beacons (small bluetooth devices that send alerts to smartphones based on location proximity), smart shelves, digital signage to sensors, IoT assists traditional brick-and-mortar stores in the competition against online shopping, by refining customer experience and reducing unnecessary expenses.

IOT

Image Source: Calvium

Lets take a loot at some of the advanced ioT technologies retailers have been embracing:

Keypod- Retailers are beginning to understand connectivity can improve their engagement with generation Z. Take for example KeyPod, a startup that develops a scalable IoT and big data platform for apparel brands. Its embeddable units facilitate connected apparel and wearable functionalities, which can aggregate the corresponding information to discover trends and surface patterns. Keypod’s small unit upgrade clothes while empowering their clothes with smartphone’s functionalities.

Water.io- You’re going to love this one. Water.io develops IoT smart packaging solutions for packaged consumer goods such as food, beverages, home products, pharmaceuticals, and beauty products. The company’s solutions use disposable sensors within packages to capture data about product volume, temperature, homogeneity, and use. Through data provided by monitoring user habit patterns on the Water.IO private label app, users are given a revolutionizing user experience that can give a powerful tool to improve their health, never run out of the consumer goods and get a product as a service. All the Data is transferred to the Water.IO cloud, and is accessible to the user anywhere they go.

Seebo- Seebo is a pioneer in process-based Industrial AI, which offers solutions to predict and prevent disruptions in manufacturing due to quality and downtime issues. Seebo’s Industrial IoT Platform delivers solutions for predictive quality, predictive maintenance, and Condition monitoring.

Final thoughts

The Israeli startups and tech companies mentioned above are working on the next generation of solutions for the retail industry. The strength of Israeli technology is demonstrated by the fact that in addition to Amazon, Alibaba and eBay have established R&D centers in Israel, showing interest in both Israeli technology and human capital.

Next week, we will dive into 3 more trends that are transforming the industry that can be found in our latest report.

Alla Foht

Alla is a Partner & CSO at Re:Tech, a one-stop shop for retailers looking to discover and implement next-gen tech solutions. Re:Tech works with clients such as ASOS, eBay and Farfetch to introduce and lead open innovation programs, aiming to create results that affect the bottom line.
Alla Foht