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The outlook for retailers have changed dramatically over the last few decades. This sector of the economy has shifted from a cash-driven, supply-driven industry to one that is very digitally-focused. And in an environment where competition is most intense, innovation on customer experience is key to increase sales.

Amazon, probably the world’s most customer-centric retailer, has announced more services this week that improve their customers daily life: AmazonFresh Pick Up drive up groceries delivered to your truck. In addition, members of its Prime subscription have now access to exclusive lounges and seating areas with the Amazon Tickets scheme. This is for sure, the ultimate disruptive retailer.

 

But more traditional retailers are also finding opportunities in the industry’s disruption. This week John Lewis’ annual start up accelerator announced its own expansion, with sister supermarket Waitrose joins the programme. Organisers of the scheme, run in partnership with technology entrepreneur Stuart Marks, say that this will make JLAB the UK’s largest retail tech accelerator, giving the start-ups that take part access to more opportunities for growth.

This year, between five and 10 retail tech companies will be chosen to take part in the 12-week programme, which runs from July. They’ll have free workspace, access to IRUK Top500 Elite retailer John Lewis and Waitrose to test their ideas, mentoring and the opportunity to apply for funding of up to £100,000 in exchange for a share in their businesses.

Small and large companies are seeing disruption all around them. There is an urgency in seizing partnerships and opportunities in order to innovate and offer a better service/product to their client. To make sure we are ahead of the game and understand the trends for 2017 and years to come, Osmii’s Marketing Manager, Paula Molinar, and Principal Consultant, Simon Gregory, will attend Internet Retailing Expo next week in Birmingham.

With over 5,000 European retailers and 300+ exhibitors descend upon the NEC each year, topics such as E-payments (AsiaPay), Machine Learning (Loop 54) and the Integration between physical and digital stores (where Lego’s case study will be shared), we expect to be immersed in two days of the UK’s largest multichannel strategies learning. With speakers from such exciting companies like Akamai, Klarna, SLI systems, Optimizely, and many more we are super excited to hear about their vision for the coming year. To learn more about what we do, please contact our Principal Digital Consultant Simon Gregory via simon.gregory@osmii.com and visit our website www.osmii.com