Retail Technology Market Overview and Innovation Quadrant - Q1 2017

Venture Scanner

The following post highlights how Venture Scanner categorizes the Retail Technology startup landscape, and presents our Innovation Quadrant showing how those categories compare to one another. The data for this post is through February 2017.

Venture Scanner Retail Technology Logo Map

The above sector map organizes the sector into 22 categories and shows a sampling of companies in each category.

Venture Scanner Retail Technology Innovation Quadrant

Our Innovation Quadrant provides a snapshot of the average funding and average age for the different Retail Technology categories and how they compare with one another.

Heavyweights: These categories are comprised of companies that have reached maturity with significant financing.
Established: These categories are comprised of companies that have reached maturity with less financing.
Disruptors: These categories are comprised of companies that are less mature with significant financing.
Pioneers: These categories are comprised of companies that are less mature with earlier stages of financing.

The definitions of the Retail Technology categories are as follows

Automated Personalization Platforms: Companies that work with retailers to deliver custom ads, marketing messages, and dynamically optimize site pages for different users. Examples include platforms that allow A/B testing and platforms that tailor websites to each individual user's specific tastes. 

Coupons: Companies that focus on both traditional and digital merchant coupons, helping retailers to offer product discounts. 

Data and Analytics: These companies help with the acquisition, organization, and distribution of data that retailers can then utilize to enhance their applications and service offerings. Includes inventory management software.

Infrastructure and Enablers: Products and tools designed to help retailers increase functionality in their existing products and create new applications. Example include payment technology integration, and the white label creation of retailer-branded smartphone applications. 

In-Store Experience: Companies that enable brick and mortar retailers to enhance the customer journey through a store. Examples include digital engagement, mobile-first initiatives, and gamification.

In-Store Management: Applications that aim to improve the productivity of brick and mortar sales associates. Examples include productivity apps that track their effectiveness in-store as well as apps that provide them with insights to better do their jobs. 

Last Mile Logistics: Companies that are innovating on the last phase of the supply chain, providing delivery services from the store/warehouse to the consumer’s location.

Local Advertising Technology: Companies that alert the consumer of a retail product or service. The advertising models in the O2O market often center around targeted ads, real-time mobile ads, retargeting, dynamic ads based on proximity to clear inventory, ads targeted based on check-ins or social comments, and in-store up-sell ads.

Local Daily Deals: Companies that sell locally available, pre-paid vouchers for steeply discounted goods and services. This category also includes daily deal aggregators.

Local Incentives: These companies help retailers increase loyalty, customer base, and revenue from both new and repeat customers through deals, local offers, discounts, frequency rewards, gamified badges, and other techniques.

Loyalty Programs: Products that provide or power a merchant's reward / loyalty program. Examples include digital frequent shopper cards and tailored rewards based on spending.

Made to Measure Customization: Companies that use proprietary technologies and supply chain processes to enable shoppers to create custom fitted goods.

Marketing Platforms and Customer Relationship Management: Products that enable retailers to engage with their customers across social media channels and execute marketing campaigns. This category also includes customer relationship management tools used to improve customer communication, tracking, and overall relations.

Online to Offline Payments: Technologies and services that are changing the way we pay for goods. In addition to payment execution, this also includes companies that provide consumers with a mobile wallet (e.g. payment information, loyalty cards) or other digital storage functionality (e.g. receipts).

Physical Store Analytics and Indoor Mapping: Using sensors, cameras, and mobile devices to provide retailers more data about customer behavior in-store such as window conversion rate, customer dwell time, optimal shelf placement, and ideal store hours. These companies help retailers optimize the customer experience to increase revenue.

Point of Sale Payments: Companies centered around payment acquirers, providing physical payment solutions for brick-and-mortar businesses and organizations. Examples include mobile point-of-sales (POS) systems and POS innovations (e.g. QR code, palm scanners).

Price and Feature Comparison: Services that empower consumers to compare product prices at different outlets or compare features across similar products (e.g. scan and engage capabilities for QR codes, bar codes, or physical items to bring up product information and comparisons in real-time).

Product Recommendation: Companies that use crowdsourced data, individual stylists, and/or automated algorithms to determine the best products for a given shopper based on their individual preferences.

Retail Augmented Reality: Companies that enable consumers to interact with products using augmented reality (e.g. virtual manipulation).

Retargeting: Retargeting companies use cookie data to follow online users and serve dynamic, relevant ads all over the web.

Search and Local Availability: Companies that provide the means by which consumers can search and/or compare local availability of products and prices. This includes innovations such as store-level inventory searches and local comparisons.

Social Discovery: Platforms that allow for discovery of products through social sharing and location check-ins. Examples include discovery social networks for as well as platforms with integrated e-commerce functions.

We are currently tracking 1,537 Retail Technology companies in 22 categories across 57 countries, with a total of $37 Billion in funding. Click here to learn more about the full Retail Technology report and database.

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