State of Retail Tech

State of Retail Tech

Equity funding to retail tech companies slowed globally in 2019—down 31% to $45.2 billion—largely due to a slide in funding to e-commerce platforms and enabling technologies, finds CB Insights’ State of Retail Tech report, a comprehensive look into retail trends from 2019 and what to look for in 2020.

Specifically, funding to supply chain and logistics tech companies rose by 14% in 2019, reaching $15.7 billion (see chart), fueled by consumer demand for speed, as well as innovation in inventory management and unmanned delivery.

What should retailers watch for in 2020? Some vertical-specific highlights from the report include:

  • Robots will speed last-mile fulfillment. More retailers will test robotic last-mile fulfillment modes in urban areas in 2020, especially as more microfulfillment centers are created.
  • Stores will become smarter than ever. Autonomous checkout, artificial intelligence-powered inventory management, and real-time sales analytics will empower retailers to process consumer insights.
  • New retail formats will be everywhere. From new “retail-as-a-service” platforms to ride-hailing vehicles, the customer journey will expand beyond the traditional storefront.

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