3 retail tech startups to watch
The Retail Industry Leaders Association on Tuesday announced three winners of the (R) Tech Retail CEO Innovation Awards from the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA): IamBot, Multifold and Persado.
The companies — one focused on messaging-based conversational commerce, another enabling augmented reality shopping experiences, and a third offering an artificial intelligence-based marketing language cloud — were featured in a showcase at this week’s RILA Retail CEO Forum in Tucson, AZ.
The companies, selected by RILA’s board of directors, CEOs and heads of innovation, "have embraced the charge from our consumers to deliver ubiquitous and ultra-personal shopping experiences and in turn, have developed game-changing technologies," RILA Senior Vice President of Research, Innovation and Sustainability Adam Siegel, said in the press release.
The three innovation award winners are living at the center of three of the hottest trends in retail technology. Two of them — IamBot and Persado — leverage AI, one of the biggest game-changing technologies in the retail sector.
Here’s a bit more detail on all three winners:
IamBot has an AI-based conversational commerce solution that integrates with retailers’ messaging channels —including Facebook Messenger, WeChat and WhatsApp — to provide enhanced customer service and support, and recommendation capabilities. It’s an interesting time for messaging-based solutions, as a recent LiveWorld study suggested an overwhelming majority of retailers feel two-way dialogue with customers is important, although they still seem uncertain about chatbots. The company, founded last year, also participated in a Berlin-based Techstars retail acceleration program.
Multifold Retail claims to smooth the AR path for retailers by providing them with a comprehensive set of tools enabling them to leverage the technology, including content creation components such as a 3D model creator, editor and library, AR and 360-degree viewers, marketing and advertising tools (social media, catalog, in-store/OOH campaigns) and tracking and analytics. The company is gaining notice at a time when some major brands have begun rolling out initial AR apps.
Meanwhile, Persado describes itself as "the Marketing Language Cloud," and also as "AI meets copywriting." Its focus seems to be all about getting AI to talk like a marketer. More specifically, it’s about getting AI-generated language to resonate directly with audiences, segments or individuals, and tracking performance with analytics. It uses a database of more than a million words and phrases tagged and scored for consumer marketing.
In just a year since RILA worked with Accenture to launch the (R) Tech Center for Innovation it has touted a high level of involvement from retail technology executives. Those execs have now spoken on which startups and innovations have most caught their eyes recently, which will make IamBot, Multifold Retail and Persado names to watch in the coming months.