The Latest in Retail Technology: 8 Updates to get Excited About

Your tea delivered by a drone, an Amazon college store in Purdue and an app to reserve those limited edition Adidas kicks – that’s just the beginning! There have been some very exciting developments in the retail tech space over the last week or so. Without further ado, we present our sixth retail wrap up. Enjoy! If we missed anything, let us know in the comments.


1)    The Drones are Coming

It looks like drone delivery is moving beyond the realm of speculation and into reality: Alibaba Group’s online marketplace Taobao has begun testing drone delivery on small tea shipments in China. Watch this space: 

2)    Data, Data, Data

The purchase of Fancy That (a retail analytics app) by Palantir is another brilliant example of the digitisation of brick-and-mortar shopping. By combining data, Palantir can improve consumer engagement by gathering insights into customer behaviour and forecasting inventory demand. Exciting times: 

3)    Adidas Confirmed

We LOVE this idea! Sportswear company Adidas has launched a sneaker reserving app, Adidas Confirmed, which will ensure customers don’t miss out on a particular product. This will prove particularly valuable for limited edition collaborations that seem to run out the door. And who has time to queue anyway? 

4)    MasterPass Away

Shopping has become a whole lot easier with MasterCard’s digital payment platform MasterPass. Designed to streamline payments and eliminate the need for continually entering card details – the platform is only going from strength to strength. They’ve recently partnered with big name retailers Neiman Marcus and Office Depot. Check it out: 

5)    Amazon@Purdue

Amazon’s first college campus store has opened in Purdue, Indiana, in the hopes of making college life easier and more affordable. Students will be able to pickup and drop-off rented items at the staffed location. Now that’s convenient:   

6) Wearable Tech

Both Swatch and Michael Kors have announced plans to develop smartwatches, contributing to the wearable tech space. Among other features, Swatch’s watch will feature near field communication (NFC) and will be mobile payment ready (YAY!). As two very on-trend retailers we’re excited to see the designs they will bring to market; especially considering that Michael Kors has a licensing deal in place with Fossil. 

7) Alibaba Acquires Smartphone Manufacturer

Alibaba has bought a $590 million stake in Chinese smartphone maker Meizu. While this is still a very new development, the acquisition signals that the e-commerce giant is looking to further expand their mobile business. We’re excited to see how this will progress:

8) Ready, Steady, Charge

Over the last few months retailers such as Bergdorf Goodman, Urban Outfitters and Staples have implemented in-store cell phone charging stations. This has proven to be a great method for brick-and-mortar stores to increase sales and foot traffic. After all, the way to peoples’ hearts (and wallets) is through their phones:

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