The rising competition in the retail industry calls for brands to reinvent themselves and bring fresh innovations to the table continuously. Over the years we have seen several innovations by companies – some were widely accepted while the others just went down the drain. When the customers embrace a retail innovation, there is a general tendency for other brands to hop on to the bandwagon and follow the trend. However, there are others who aim to lead the way to create something better. The ever growing ‘hunger-for-more’ by the customers are forcing players in the retail industry to be innovative and stand out from the crowd. We have curated the list of top 5 players who are the current pioneers of retail innovation:
Sports apparel giant Adidas has always given great emphasis on improving customer experience and ensuring customer delight. For years the brand has been at the forefront of retail innovation, with a goal to create and promote customer engagement and brand desire. But this company implements innovation into business only if aligns with the brand’s goals. A notable breakthrough in retail innovation by Adidas was the implementation of ‘shoppable windows’ which allowed customers to browse through and shop for products even outside the working hours of the store. Adidas was also one of the first retailer to introduce body scanners using which customers could virtually try out the product. Adidas also formulated 3-D printed shoes that could be tailored to the need of each runner’s foot.
Lowe’s is a home improvement chain that focuses on creativity and change. In fact, they run an innovation lab where technology experts and engineers are constantly at work to find new ways to make the shopping experience more memorable. A popular retail innovation that originated from Lowe’s innovation lab was the Holoroom, which is a VR tool for home improvement designs. With the help of this tool, customers can visualize and design their dream room concepts. The brand has also gained a strong foothold on social media by continually connecting with their customers and providing them with home improvement tips. Lowe’s follows an omnichannel approach to position themselves as a DIY authority online and reach out to their customers.
This e-commerce giant is one of the most significant disruptors in terms of retail innovation. Over the years, Amazon which originated as a digital bookstore has transformed into a digital retail giant. This company has always been ahead of the rest when it comes to formulating innovative ideas- from one-day delivery policy to attractive loyalty programs; Amazon has left no stone unturned to attain customer delight. Besides retail and e-tail business, Amazon also produces TV shows, builds hardware products and even gave birth to Alexa- The company’s very own artificial intelligence.
Sephora is a cosmetics company that has embraced retail innovation in the cosmetic industry. Several of the brand’s stores are digitalized and features technologies such as Fragrance IQ Kiosk, using which customers can find the perfect perfume with the aid of computer guidelines. Another such retail innovation that we can see at a Sephora store is Color IQ Kiosk where customers can discover the right shade of makeup to suit their skin tone. The critical factor fueling Sephora’s growth and popularity is the fact that they make their customers feel understood without having to explain themselves. This attribute has been garnering more customer loyalty over the years towards the brand.