Israel’s Retail Innovation Club Unveils New Technologies to Get Brick & Mortar Stores Back on Track Following COVID Lockdown
Israel has leveraged technology to overcome the current health crisis, with different innovative solutions that track the spread of the coronavirus. This tech allowed the country to build models and intervene rapidly when necessary before communities and health facilities were overwhelmed.
Now that schools, offices and shops are going back to “the new normal”, the country’s retailers also turned to tech and innovation to revitalize their businesses.
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Physical stores are an essential part of most of our daily lives, and in spite of the huge growth of eCommerce, it still accounts for under 15% of retail sales globally. However, the latest crisis requires the improvement and evolution of the current methods retailers manage their stores – especially with travel restrictions, distancing rules, and new behavioral habits.
Retail has been given a special opportunity to rethink and re-tool. On the one hand, customers will behave differently in stores. Technologies such as Trigo’s, which provide self-checkout for retailers through AI and computer vision-powered technology, will be increasingly relevant for stores rethinking the flow of people to minimize crowds around tills.
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On the other hand, business dynamics are also shifting. Updating and managing branches across retail chains is becoming increasingly challenging with staff reduction and no district managers available for frequent travel between store branches. Retail-tech startup Mystore-E is helping to lead retail brands in effectively managing their store branches remotely. Their platform delivers custom insights to every store digitally, centralizing all communications, updates, and tasks into one personalized news feed. This is made possible thanks to an algorithm that mimics the work of retail managers, such as district and visual merchandise managers.
The platform autonomously detects, forecasts, and alerts on events that impact revenues on an individual store level. In return, the HQ can apply the right changes to manage an unlimited number of stores and employees remotely, centralizing all communications, tasks and insights into one personalized news feed, guiding its managers to excellence.
Mystore-E’s new technology gives retail chains the ability to automate the way in which they manage and personalize their day-to-day tasks with each store – including updating store displays, planograms, inventory balance and more. The current health crisis has triggered a quicker adoption of these technologies, but it will help retailers improve and reinvent store operations far beyond the COVID-19 crisis. As with other crises in the past, COVID-19 has become a catalyst for innovation and change. Retailers now have a unique opportunity to modernize their communication with each of their stores efficiently, and to leverage technology to reinvent the in-store experience for every customer and employee.
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The Investor Perspective:
IVC Data and Insights, the leading business information company for Israel’s high-tech industry, shows that Israeli Retail Tech companies have raised $243 million in venture funding so far in 2020, in spite of the industry’s worries throughout the tremendous recent uncertainties. The capital funding raised by fifteen companies in the first half of this year is already bigger than the overall VC funding in the retail-tech industry across the whole of 2015 (with $197 million raised by 56 companies). However, stakes for emerging startups are high, as there are fewer, yet vastly larger deals – with investors betting for long-term initiatives that will help the Israeli retail-tech environment scale and deliver massive global impact.
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