In the light of the COVID-19 global pandemic, the digital transformation of retail accelerated around the world like never before, completely reshaping and disrupting the expectations of consumers at each stage of the customer journey.
The adoption of new breakthrough technologies in the retail industry space such as Artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), blockchain, Virtual reality (VR), and Machine learning (ML) continues to help companies as well as business to adapt to ever-changing consumer expectations and address their desires in a timely and more effective manner.
Let's take a look at the new retail trends and news of this week.
What’s the latest news in the digital retail world
Taking it to the bank: N26, the fintech German startup has announced the launch of their newest product and service. The N26 Insurance will offer N26 customers several insurance policies and products, which they will be able to access via the N26 mobile app and website. The idea is that you’ll be able to purchase coverage, manage your plans and initiate claims within the N26 app. As N26 already has your personal information, it should be easier to sign up for a new insurance product through N26 compared to creating a new account in a separate app. The representatives from N26 say they are working on private liability insurance, home insurance, life insurance, pet insurance, and coverage for bikes, electronics, and large purchases.N26 Insurance is the first release of this new API-driven strategy. Partners will be able to integrate their products on their own and N26 will make it easy to share KYC files (‘know your customer’), transfer money between N26 and partners, etc. (TechCrunch)
Fan-favorite tokens: Rakuten Europe and Chiliz partnered up and launched a fan token partnership. If you never heard about Chiliz, they are the blockchain venture that founded the Socios.com platform, which allows football fans to engage. The partnership with Rakuten Europe will target primarily customers in the UK, German, and Spain, which will be allowed to use Rakuten points to redeem their fan tokens. These are collectible, tradable digital assets that provide owners with benefits including voting rights, VIP rewards, club and sponsor promotions, AR-enabled features, and super fan recognition on Socios.com. As of this point, Rakuten and Chiliz are offering fan tokens for FC Barcelona ($BAR), Paris Saint-Germain ($PSG), Juventus ($JUV), Atlético de Madrid ($ATM), AS Roma ($ASR), Galatasaray ($GAL) and AC Milan ($ACM). More, including the likes of Manchester City, will be added to its ecosystem and the partnership is set to expand into additional markets in Europe and worldwide. The two partners will continue to explore further possible integrations that will enable users to join a global space and use the interface and platform freely. (Retail Technology Innovation Hub)
Get a slice of the meat-free market: The Philippine food giant, Century Pacific Food announced they are seeking to get their own slice of the meat-free market with the launch of their new vegan range, unMEAT. The vegan food range will feature patties, sausages, nuggets, or giniling (ground beef). The CEO of the company stated that this new vegan range checks all the boxes as they wish to be healthier, more sustainable, and more affordable. A decision that drove the company towards the launch of a meat-free range in the first place. (The Financial Times)
The third time is the charm: Retail giant, Amazon has enriched its presence in the UK by opening its third London Amazon Fresh store. The White City store will offer the private food brand, ‘by Amazon’, Customers will also find a range of hot food throughout the day and on-the-go meals for any meal of the day. The third convenience Amazon store features Just Walk Out Shopping tech in the UK, which was pioneered at the Amazon Go offering in the States. Shoppers use the Amazon app to enter (no Prime membership required) and buy items, bagging them as they go. At the end, they don’t need to stand in a queue or check out. They are automatically billed as they leave. Talk about an easier shopping experience! The representatives from Amazon said that this shopping experience guarantees 100% customer data capture. Now, what does that mean in practice? For pure-play retailers, identifying customers is pretty easy. Cookie (or biscuits) data if you will be stored from browsing and mandatory passing of data when a customer places an order (you always give your name, address, email), allows pure-plays to get a good feeling for the simplest of customer metrics like frequency of shop, retention, and conversion. (Retail Technology Innovation Hub)
The importance of loyalty: In the US loyalty programs have become more significant to retailers’ sales growth and customer-engagement strategies following the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on consumer shopping behavior in 2020. The question, however, remains how can US retailers continue to drive growth and engagement from the established loyalty programs? (Coresight Research)