Latest News
News Feature image

We look at how Majid Al Futtaim, which franchises the Carrefour brand in the Middle East and Africa, is investing in digital to create a more seamless customer experience.

More News

Walmart’s Store No. 8 incubator has announced the launch of its second portfolio company, Spatial&. It will focus on the opportunities to create new virtual commerce (V-commerce) experiences.

Focused on the opportunities within innovative technologies

Store No. 8 was established in 2017 to assess the opportunities for innovative technologies such as virtual reality (VR), artificial intelligence and driverless vehicles within the retail environment. It partners with venture capitalists and academics to help setup and support start-up organisations to develop solutions for Walmart. Last year it launched Jetblack as its first portfolio company.

Source: Walmart

Acquired Spatialand 12 months ago

VR has been a major focus for Store No.8. In 2017 it held a VR gala, Innov8, to showcase five VR developers focused on solving different problems in the V-commerce space, supported by VR platform and content studio, Spatialand. Last February, Store No.8 acquired Spatialand, forming the basis of this new portfolio company.

Opportunities for brands and story-telling

Spatial& will focus on pushing the boundaries of what's possible in VR and retail today and defining the V-commerce platform of tomorrow. Store No.8 expects V-commerce will be an essential role of how brands go to market and share the stories behind their products. This month Spatial& is collaborating with DreamWorks Animation to present a virtual reality activation to support the launch of the new movie, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World. As part of a virtual tour experience in selected Walmart stores, How to Train Your Dragon merchandise will be available for purchase in a branded, immersive gift shop.

Creating more immersive retail experiences

The launch of Spatial& highlights the growing role of VR within the retail environment as retailers look to create more immersive experiences. Some of the uses of the technology showcased by Store No.8 at Innov8 included photorealistic holograms, interactive virtual stores and educational V-commerce platforms. Beyond shopper-focused solutions, Walmart has also been using VR technology within its training academies to recreate in-store situations.

Shaping the future of retail

Store No.8 demonstrates how Walmart is looking at the opportunities for the business over the longer term. While it is currently aggressively developing its ecommerce business and reinventing its store formats to ensure their future relevance, these initiatives are focused on bridging the gap between its legacy store business and the next three to five years. The types of technologies which will be developed within Store No. 8 will be foundational to a much bolder change in how the retailer operates and goes to market.

Retail Analysis weekly newsletter

Keep up-to-date with the latest retail developments shaping the industry.

Sign up for our newsletter »

We look at the retailer’s launch of Kroger Pay and how it fits into its focus on improving the checkout experience.

Designed to reduce friction

Kroger Pay is a mobile payment solution that combines a customer’s payment and loyalty card information. This has been developed to help it deliver a faster checkout-experience and reduce friction. The retailer also continues to roll-out its self-scanning solution, Scan, Bag, Go, as part of its focus on making its large format stores more convenient to shop. This programme was extended to 400 stores last year. Mobile payments and wallets are a key focus for retailers in the US. Walmart, Target and CVS Pharmacy have launched their own solutions. Several retailers including Costco, Whole Foods Market and 7-Eleven have added Apple Pay as a payment option.

Source: Kroger

How it works

Kroger Pay provides customers with a single-use QR code that is scanned at either a traditional checkout or self-checkout. This communicates payment and loyalty card information, along with any digital coupons and personalised offers. Kroger Pay also rewards customers who use a payment option from the retailer’s personal finance business, enabling them to earn fuel points and grocery rewards with a single scan. Kroger Pay can also be linked to any major debit, credit or prepaid card.

Supports development of new profit streams

As part of this launch, the retailer is also introducing a new ‘REWARDS’ debit card. Customers using this new payment method will be able to gain bonus fuel points, discounts on private brand products and double rewards points when combined with Kroger Pay. Growing its Kroger Personal Finance business is a key element of the retailer’s Restock Kroger strategic plan, supporting its goal to generate alternative profit streams.

Retail Analysis weekly newsletter

Keep up-to-date with the latest retail developments shaping the industry.

Sign up for our newsletter »

Belgium-based Colruyt is trialling voice command shopping through Google Assistant with 100 customers. The retailer hopes to “see if voice technology is an efficient tool to prepare a shopping list”.

Linked to MyColruyt app and Colruyt website

Tests will be carried out using the Dutch and French version of the Google Assistant software. Customers will use their smartphones, or any other devices with Google Assistant, to create a shopping list which is then saved onto the MyColruyt app and Colruyt website. The voice command features will also help to suggest products based on the customer's previous orders.

Lists can be sent to Colruyt's Collect&Go service too

When customers want to add an item to their list, they can simply ask their device to add it. Orders can be modified afterwards through the app or website. After completing their list, customers can forward it to Colruyt's Collect&Go service or keep it on the app and carry out their shopping in-store.

Guy Elewaut, the brand's marketing director, commented, “We will analyse with our customers if voice recognition is an effective help during the preparation of races. This will enable us to know if our customers are preparing their shopping even more efficiently”.

IGD Retail Analysis subscribers can access our exclusive report, “Digital Personal Assistants”, for insight on how ecommerce, voice and apps are being used to meet shopper needs.

Presentations

15/02/2019
We look at Ocado strategy, its performance and the opportunities for manufacturers.
31/01/2019
Central and Eastern Europe is a region that illustrates great growth potential for both retailers and suppliers. The region also presents opportunity for retailers to evolve their business model to widen their shopper base and draw more traffic to their stores.
22/01/2019
We recently visited the CES Show in Las Vegas to discover the key themes shaping the technology landscape and what they mean for retail.
03/01/2019
We look at how ecommerce will develop in the next 12 months and beyond.
View all presentations

Key Presentations

We highlight the three key themes from this year's Digital Commerce Summit

M-commerce is continuously evolving, with great potential in emerging markets. We explore this further through assessing its challenges and opportunities further, and international inspiration for where it could develop in the future.

IGD forecasts the digital future for the food and grocery industry.

We've developed a single, universal methodology for calculating food and consumer goods retail data, supported by our programme of primary and secondary research. This makes Retail Analysis the most reliable and robust source available for data of this type. 

Get the latest industry news and insights straight to your inbox with our range of newsletters.

If you have a specific business challenge or training requirement we can put together something just for you.