Disruptive technologies such as AI, Robotics and IoT are undeniably determined to blur the current status quo; the way we communicate, the way we move and definitely the way we buy. Retailers have an infinite number of possibilities to provide customers with not only products, but also new amazing services and experiences.

Before a new technology is accepted in the market and gets viral, several indicators emerge letting us drawing a predictive scenario about what is about to happen. Can you imagine the value of anticipating the WhatsApp entry for a Telco company? Or UBER and Autonomous Vehicles solutions for the transportation industry?

With this aim, we have scouted current RetailTech landscape seeking main areas of opportunity as well as challenges and threats. By using the everis NEXT platform, an everis AI-powered solution that allows to track and analyse the Global Startup Ecosystem, and after analysing 1,167 retail-related start-ups (where $30b have been invested). We have found out that, not surprisingly, around 75% of this funding is concentrated in marketplaces, aggregators and social platforms related start-ups. Despite Amazon or Alibaba, this market is huge. There is space for new players: Lazada Group (Singapore), wish (USA), and Coupang (Korea) had raised more than $1b funding since 2015. Product Marketplaces are leading the investment in this category, with an overwhelming 76% of the investment. But the most interesting part is, if we take a deeper look at this category, the new trends/applications emerging to improve the online selling experience: Product Personalization through 3D printing (Acustom Apparel) or Social Discovery & Recommendation engines thanks to AI solutions and Influencers’ marketing (JOYUS).

One step forward, Big Data, AI, IoT are certainly leading the total number of investment operations, whereas Payments are set in the first position. If we focus on the total amount invested, flowed by Artificial Intelligence and Last Mile & Logistics.

Retailers are currently facing multiple and diverse challenges: new consumers’ behaviour and demands, currency weakness, new competitors in both the niche side and new technological giants. The good news is disruptive technologies take-up could leverage companies not just boosting efficiency, but also providing differential customer experience and opening new opportunity areas. Bold companies certainly willing to test new technologies (stop thinking, start acting!) will benefit from this strategy as Amazon, Burberry or Starbucks among many others, already have done.

At everis, we have defined a disruptive innovation framework designed to discover and rapidly execute new business opportunities based on the start-up methodology to help teams to move fast, fail fast and think big with the aim of helping companies accelerating corporate innovation, converting technological threats into profitable assets. Are you ready for disruption?