We asked our expert RetailTech recruiters which areas of the industry they think will be the most fascinating to watch in 2022. This is what they had to say about it.
- Which specific sector within the industry do you think will be a hot topic this year? And why?
- Any companies in particular and why?
Kirtana Kumaran | Sales & Marketing Consultant
“I think that personalisation within Marketing Automation will be a hot topic in RetailTech. Many established brands that are transitioning to omnichannel personalisation rely on the help of start-ups that have already targeted the right audience. Several start-ups have concentrated on the opportunity to connect personalised shopping experiences by collecting first-party data.
The most difficult challenge for marketers in personalisation has been determining how to find the right targeted audience. A simple solution that start-ups have realised is to begin with CRM, target 3-5 channel customers, and then proceed to evaluate the data, making relevant personalisation easier. While B2B personalisation is more complex than B2C personalisation, it is not impossible to implement because each stakeholder receives personalised information and content for frictionless customer shopping behaviour.
A company of interest is JIVOX. Using big data, the series E-funded organisation provides digital marketing solutions and omnichannel personalisation for a frictionless online shopping experience. The company has assisted many retail brands in taking their omnichannel personalisation to the next level by making it relevant to consumers while avoiding the mindset of “high content creation costs” through the automation of multiple versions of content delivery across multiple devices. Forrester Research has named the company a market leader twice, and it recently closed its Q4 in 2021 with 46% ARR growth, propelling SaaS-based Martech personalisation to greater heights in 2022.”
Ben Watts | Engineering Consultant
“B2Cs that fully leverage Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning will be the big thing this year. The value they can provide to the consumer cannot be compared to traditional retail in terms of the ease and convenience they bring to the table. They can assist in removing all barriers that consumers are used to facing when purchasing a product, such as repeatedly entering payment, shipping, and loyalty information.
Nate is a Series A company based in New York City whose app makes purchasing goods even easier by bringing a seamless and universal way to purchase goods online. The convenience that they provide to consumers by using AI to help facilitate purchases is a great model for how it can be applied to other industry sectors.”
Tara Hipwood | Product Consultant
“I personally believe that Mobile Commerce is the hottest area of RetailTech in 2022. The United States alone had $3.56 trillion in sales in 2021, representing a 20%+ increase over 2020. Given that approximately 4.3 billion people are expected to own a smartphone by the end of 2023, this figure is bound to rise exponentially.
These trends are also reflected in the growth of Snapcommerce, a message-driven commerce platform. They use artificial intelligence to connect price-conscious consumers to the best promotions via mobile, with their flagship product, Snaptravel, providing great deals via SMS, Messenger, and Whatsapp. They exceeded $1 billion in total mobile sales in 2021, and this figure is only expected to grow from here.”
Thomas Lui | Engineering Consultant
“The return and rise of brick-and-mortar retail, I think, will be the hot topic in the market this year. I feel that since the outbreak of the pandemic, people have missed out on the opportunity to shop in physical stores. Many companies have developed ‘frictionless’ stores by incorporating technology to improve their stores’ convenience and efficiency. If retailers create a more immersive and engaging brick-and-mortar store, customers will want to go in person not only to get what they need, but also for the shopping experience itself.
Kohl is one of the companies that has nailed this. They collaborated with Avanade to create a digitally interactive fitting room. Customers not only see how the clothes will look on them, but also how different sizes will fit on them and how they can accessorise their outfits.”
Isabella Malvaso | Sales & Marketing Consultant
“One of the hottest retail technology sectors this year, in my professional opinion, will be rapid delivery. Even though COVID is gradually fading, the habits we have formed over the last two years are not going away. Statistics show that 67% of people no longer want to physically go to stores.
A company that is making moves in the space is Zapp. They are a rapid delivery leader with a strong focus on the customer experience. Its ‘Zappstores’ and smooth supply chain enable it to connect with customers best by providing what they may need at the last minute. They raised a massive $200 million in Series B funding just two weeks ago, and I expect to see a lot more from them in the coming months.”
Eben Dundas | Product Consultant
“In my opinion, the logistics and supply chain sector will experience exponential growth and funding by 2022. As the pandemic spread, having a good freight supplier became increasingly important for e-commerce businesses, as only those who identified challenges and complications early on grew to outperform their competitors in delivery. Companies that recognise supply chain as a critical component of their operations are progressing in terms of delivery and performance as we return to the new ‘normal.’ I also believe that this industry will be a hot topic in terms of growth in 2022, as it enters a phase in which more and more advances in Electronic Data Interchange (ADI) are being developed, effectively giving organisations greater visibility and control over what’s being transported.
SPS Commerce is one company that I’ve been hearing a lot about. Since their inception, they have been a dependable partner for over 95.000 companies in retail and e-commerce by constantly adapting their supply chain software. In the last six months, they have onboarded over 200 new employees, demonstrating that they have successfully navigated the pandemic as a cloud-first SaaS platform.”
Duarte Bacelar | Sales & Marketing Consultant
“I think that virtual shopping will become an even bigger hot topic in 2022. With the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies in a variety of sectors, including fashion, beauty, furniture, and so on, were forced to shift to online shopping. The idea is that people could be in the comfort of their own homes, browsing the websites of their favourite luxury brands, and have the same (or similar) experience that they would have in person.
With cutting-edge technology, we can now browse and “walk” inside a store using a virtual shopping experience. How is this accomplished? A RetailTech collaborates with a well-known brand to transform an actual store into a virtual store.
Obsess is an example of a company that has done this successfully. They bring products to life and create an immersive user experience with their seamless e-commerce integration, 3D designs, and advanced content capabilities.”
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