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CART Virtual Pitch Event to Operationalize Innovation at Retail

LOS ANGELES – The Center for Advancing Retail & Technology (CART) today announced that it’s Virtual Pitch Event has grown with startup finalists pitching to CART panelists now representing over 18,000 stores in fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) retail. The program received several hundred startup applicants last year and is on track to see even more applicants this year as both domestic and international startups seek to participate. 

“The pace at which new technologies are coming to market is accelerating,” said Sterling Hawkins, Operations and Venture Relations, CART. “Many technologies are rapidly becoming a cost of entry as retailers race to understand virtual reality, 3D printing, robotics, IoT and other emerging technologies. CART vets hundreds of solutions each year as the company connects the retail industry to innovation.”

The virtual event gives up-and-coming solution providers the opportunity to pitch key retail, wholesale and brand decision makers who serve on the CART panel including executives from companies such as Albertsons, Woodman’s, KVAT Food City, C&S Wholesale, AWG, Unified Grocers, and others. Executive panelists will learn about the solutions and have the opportunity to pilot or consider investing in finalists.

The FMCG retail industry is being transformed and disrupted at every point across the supply chain” said Hawkins. “This event is designed to augment internal innovation efforts many companies have by providing a purpose-built vehicle to source, vet, and pilot cutting edge technology.”

The winner will be highlighted in CART media and pre-qualify for a potential $25,000 cash investment from CART partners and $25,000 in CART services. The competition will give participants exposure to potential investors, retailers, brands and media. 

Participation is open to startups of all stages worldwide at no cost. Applications are due by April 5, 2017. For more details and to apply, please visit: advancingretail.org/innovation

Published Thu, 03/16/2017
Retail Fundamentals Changing Documented in 2016 Retail Innovation Report

LOS ANGELES – The Center for Advancing Retail & Technology (CART) today released the 2016 year in review CART Retail Innovation Report revealing fundamental changes to retail in 2016. 

“2016 is the year that retail hit an inflection point, technology fueled innovation exploding across the industry, transforming and disrupting every step of the supply chain,” said Gary Hawkins, founder and CEO, CART. “The pace of change is only going to increase and industry executives need to accept fast innovation as the new normal."

The report highlights emerging technologies and more accountability in marketing and merchandising as key trends. “Technology is fundamental to retail success and piloting new innovations is fast becoming a required discipline,” said Hawkins.

"Looking ahead, 2017 will be a year of acceleration as the pace of innovation continues to grow and the retail industry comes to terms with operating in a new world driven by fast-paced change.”

The POS and robotics moving from warehouses into the store were also of note. The CART platform has over 45,000 users which provide great insight to what the industry is focused on and where it is going next. 

To learn more about the emergence of all emerging technologies and other retail trends catalogued through 2016, read the full report online: advancingretail.org/retailinnovationreport-Q4-2016.

Published Thu, 01/12/2017
Wyzerr Named Winner of CART Retail Innovation Pitch Event

LOS ANGELES – The Center for Advancing Retail & Technology (CART) today announced Wyzerr, a provider of enterprise software and smart technology for customer feedback, as the winner of the inaugural Retail Innovation Pitch Event. Judges representing over 15,000 retail stores identified Wyzerr as the most promising retail innovator in the competition, beating several hundred applicants. As the winner, Wyzerr earns recognition among their peers and gains access to potential investors and retailers. 

“We are honored to be named the winner of CART’s first Retail Innovation Pitch Event,” said Natasia Malaihollo, CEO, Wyzerr. “Customer feedback is necessary in all businesses, but especially in retail where the customer experience is so essential. This opportunity will allow us to improve our ‘Voice of Customer’ studies and bring enterprise-level market research to retailers of all sizes.”

Wyzerr’s innovative survey tool leverages gamification and artificial intelligence to source consumer feedback, amplifying the amount of information available to retailers. Wyzerr in turn transforms that information into real-time actionable tasks to help retailers increase sales and accelerate growth.

“Among the hundreds of applications we received, Wyzerr stood out to the panelists representing wholesalers and retailers across the country as the most innovative and valuable new tool on the market,” said Sterling Hawkins, operations and venture relations, CART. “Wyzerr’s tool has the opportunity to revolutionize the industry by providing retailers with the missing link between customer feedback and actionable insights.”

Other finalists for the inaugural Retail Innovation Pitch Event, included:

  • Doorstat: A provider of Google analytics for in-store environments.
  • Everfave: A social referral platform.
  • Virt: A 360 degree robotic video rover to create 3D environments.
  • umaSKIN: A multi-touch digital signage solution.
  • Kitchology: An integrated media and analytics platform for special diets.

More information on the finalists can be found, here

CART plans to hold the Retail Innovation Pitch Event biannually, with the next competition scheduled for April 2017. Participation is open to startups of all stages worldwide at no cost. For more details and to apply, please visit: http://advancingretail.org/innovation.

Published Tue, 11/15/2016
Emerging Technologies Become Retail Industry #1 Priority the CART Q3 2016 Retail Innovation Report Reveals

LOS ANGELES – The Center for Advancing Retail & Technology (CART) today released the Q3 2016 quarterly CART Retail Innovation Report revealing emerging technologies are the retail industry’s number one focus. 

“Emerging Technology as the number one area of interest this past quarter is indicative of how the retail industry is understanding the importance of technology innovation,” said Gary Hawkins, founder and CEO, CART. “Industry innovation is increasingly driven by consumer adoption of new technology and it is forcing retailers to keep pace.“

The report highlights eCommerce, data analytics, merchandising tools and mobile apps as ongoing priorities of the industry. “As the digital and physical worlds of retail meld, industry executives in even staid sectors like supermarket retailing increasingly realize that they ignore innovation at their own peril,” said Hawkins.

“Retail industry executives must keep in mind that we have entered a time of exponential technology growth and innovation may appear to move slowly but then quickly hit a tipping point and explode across the market. Consider that Amazon has been in business twenty years but has tripled in size in just the past five years. Or Uber quickly becoming a multi-billion dollar company in less than five years.”

Commercial use of drones and 3D printing were particularly trending areas within the emerging technology space. The CART platform has over 45,000 users which provide great insight to what the industry is focused on and where it is going next. 

To learn more about the emergence of all emerging technologies and other retail trends in Q3 2016, read the full report online: advancingretail.org/retailinnovationreport-Q3-2016.

Published Tue, 10/18/2016
Robotics and AI in Retail Growing the CART Q2 2016 Retail Innovation Report Reveals

LOS ANGELES  – The Center for Advancing Retail & Technology (CART) today released the Q2 2016 quarterly CART Retail Innovation Report revealing robotics and artificial intelligence interest growing fast amongst U.S. brands and retailers.

“The increasing pace of technology-fueled innovation is not an anomaly but, rather, a new reality,” said Gary Hawkins, founder and CEO, CART. “The ability of a company to both foresee and manage fast change increasingly dictates success in the marketplace and we’re seeing a growing number of retailers, wholesalers, and brand manufacturers diving into emerging technologies.“

The report highlights eCommerce as an ongoing priority of the industry. “The space is beginning to evolve as younger solution providers move to more fully develop their solutions, established companies move to next generation technology platforms, and retailers realize the need for efficient fulfillment operations and integration with other systems,” said Hawkins.

As new capabilities flow into the market, retailers are challenged to keep pace and there is a growing innovation-implementation gap. Compounding the challenge is that innovation is now being driven from outside the retail industry as retailers and brands are increasingly playing catch-up to consumer driven adoption of new technology like virtual reality. “The shift is accelerated by consumer expectations and demands.”

Rounding out the last quarter, retailers are focusing on new merchandising, data analytics, and payments technologies. The CART platform has over 45,000 users which provide great insight to what the industry is focused on and where it is going next. 

To learn more about the emergence of robotics, AI and other retail trends in Q2 2016, read the full report online: advancingretail.org/retailinnovationreport-Q2-2016.

Published Wed, 07/13/2016
CART Releases Loyalty Buying Guide for Supermarket Retailers

LOS ANGELES – The Center for Advancing Retail & Technology (CART) today released The Loyalty Buying Guide for Supermarket Retailers, identifying the top 10 things grocers need to consider when evaluating loyalty solutions, along with a scorecard listing the key features, functions and capabilities of the top solutions available today.

“The need for retailers to have customer-identified purchase data escalates as customers demand marketing relevancy and brand manufacturers increasingly tie promotion funding to shopper insights and targeting,” said Gary Hawkins, founder and CEO, CART. “Retail loyalty programs, executed properly, remain the most cost effective method of capturing enough data to power customer-centric retailing.“

Retailers, wholesalers and brands often struggle to sort through an overwhelming and expanding variety of solutions, capabilities and vendors all promising similar results. As with any retail segment, selecting the right solution can be made easier by analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of all providers, especially in the 10 most critical categories CART has identified – ranging from pricing to reporting, analytics to customer signup and beyond. 

“To understand the power of customer intelligence, one has to look no further than Kroger’s success: 50 quarters of same store sales growth, improved price perception and significant growth in premium, loyal shoppers,” said Hawkins. “Retailers of any size can use similar customer data tools to power improved decision making in merchandising assortment, promotion planning, new store locations and even customer service.”

To download the complete CART Loyalty Buying Guide for Supermarket Retailers, visit: advancingretail.org/buyingguide/supermarket/loyalty.

Published Wed, 06/29/2016
CART Launches Retail Innovation Pitch Event, Business Wire

LOS ANGELES -The Center for Advancing Retail & Technology (CART) today announced the inaugural Retail Innovation Pitch Event, designed to bring relevant and transformative innovation to retail. The Retail Innovation Pitch initiative recognizes the growing pipeline of domestic and international retail technology startups looking to penetrate the U.S. market.

“CART looks at hundreds of new companies every year,” said Sterling Hawkins, Operations and Venture Relations, CART. “Retailers and brands are struggling to keep pace with industry transformations as basic as eCommerce and as complex as virtual reality, 3D printing, robotics, IoT and other emerging technologies. Through the Retail Innovation Pitch Event, we will recognize top startups and help retailers and brands bring those technologies to market.”

The online event gives up-and-coming solution providers the opportunity to pitch key retail, wholesale and brand decision makers from companies such as C&S, Albertsons, Lowes Foods, Unified Grocers and more, who will serve as panelists representing over 12,000 stores. Panelists will learn about the solutions and have the opportunity to implement the latest innovations from participating startups.

“Several top tier retailers and brand manufacturers have created in-house innovation labs or incubators,” said Hawkins. “This event is designed to act as an accelerator for the broader retail industry, especially given that retail innovation is driven by rapid adoption of consumer technology and influenced by technology giants entering the retail space.”

The winner will be highlighted in CART media and pre-qualify for a potential $25,000 cash investment from CART partners and $25,000 in CART services. The competition will give participants exposure to potential investors, retailers and media.

Participation is open to startups of all stages worldwide at no cost. Applications are due by Sept. 1. For more details and to apply, please visit: http://solutions.advancingretail.org/innovation. See full article.

Published Wed, 05/25/2016
CART Releases New eCommerce Buying Guide For Supermarket Retailers

LOS ANGELES – The Center for Advancing Retail & Technology (CART) today released The eCommerce Buying Guide for Supermarket Retailers, identifying the top 10 things grocers need to consider when evaluating eCommerce solutions, along with a scorecard listing the key features, functions, and capabilities of each solution available today.

“eCommerce has exploded in the grocery industry as Google, Amazon, Uber and others continue to push into the space,” said Gary Hawkins, founder and CEO, CART. “Supermarket retailers are no longer just competing with each other; they’re competing with some of the best technology companies in the world.“

Retailers, wholesalers and, to some extent, brands, often struggle to sort through an overwhelming and expanding variety of solutions, capabilities and vendors all promising similar results. As with any retail segment, selecting the right solution can be made easier by analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of all providers, especially in the ten most critical categories CART has identified – ranging from user experience to security, data analytics to industrial focus and beyond. 

“CART looks at new eCommerce solutions on a weekly basis and has worked with retailers on a variety of deployments,” said Hawkins. “Having a global perspective of the most effective and important solution features has enabled us to guide retailers toward solutions that maximize customer engagement, support smarter business and deliver reliable growth.”

To download the complete CART eCommerce Buying Guide for Supermarket Retailers, visit: http://advancingretail.org/buyingguide/supermarket/ecommerce.

Published Wed, 05/04/2016
CART Retail Innovation Report Reveals Virtual Reality, IoT Emerging

LOS ANGELES – The Center for Advancing Retail & Technology (CART) today released the Q1 2016 quarterly CART Retail Innovation Report identifying virtual reality (VR) and the Internet of Things (IoT) as new emerging technology trends amongst U.S. brands and retailers.

“As seen in our last report, e-commerce remains the top priority across the industry but retailers are stepping back to understand the implications and integrations to other systems,” said Gary Hawkins, founder and CEO, CART. “The emergence of advanced technologies like VR and IoT are a new development for retail, especially as technology adoption moves so fast today.“

The report highlights the growing innovation-implementation gap. Retailers and brands are increasingly challenged to filter through the explosive growth of new solutions and capabilities to understand what to focus on, let alone try and implement. This growing gap opens the door to outside disruption and to existing competitors who are able to leapfrog using new innovation.

“In this fast-paced world, retailers are increasingly having to place infrastructure bets on what stores will look like and how they will operate in the near to mid-future,” said Hawkins. “All bets are that VR, in-store IoT and other emerging tech will quickly achieve critical mass, requiring retailers to foresee the impact and make decisions to accommodate those shifts now.”

The CART platform has over 45,000 users that provide great insight to what the industry is focused on and where it is going next.

To learn more about the emergence of VR and IoT and other retail trends in Q1 2016, read the full report online: advancingretail.org/retailinnovationreport-Q1-2016.

Published Wed, 04/20/2016
GMDC Launches Solution Innovation CART Portal, Globe Business Wire

COLORADO SPRINGS - Global Market Development Center (GMDC) has launched a technology-focused resource portal in partnership with the Center for Advancing Retail & Technology (CART). The platform allows GMDC members to find, learn about service, solution and innovations in retail and connect with providers in its ecosystem.

“GMDC is always looking to provide members with innovative and leading-edge solutions,” said Patrick Spear, president and CEO, GMDC “With a surge in new technology in recent years the CART platform gives our members the ability to quickly find and understand the latest tools that can support their business strategies and goals.”

In addition to new technologies that connect GMDC members, the CART portal features an evolving number of resources, including case studies, papers and publications that can be searched and downloaded.

“Technology-fueled innovation is transforming and disrupting the retail industry, challenging industry participants to keep pace, ” said Gary Hawkins, CEO and founder, CART. “CART is helping the retail industry connect with innovation.”

Partnering with CART and drawing upon their experience working with retailers and solutions providers, GMDC has created a platform that brings the latest service, solution and innovation providers to its retail and supplier members.

“GMDC realizes the importance of technology to retail today and is helping its members identify and deploy the best solutions for their business,” said Hawkins. “Today’s fast-paced innovation rewards those who are nimble and the GMDC team is taking advantage of that to bring leading-edge capabilities to their members.” See full article.

Published Thu, 04/14/2016
eCommerce Tops CART Composite Index as FMCG Retailers Shift Their Focus to Online, Business Wire

LOS ANGELES-The Center for Advancing Retail & Technology (CART) today released its inaugural Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) Retail Innovation Report identifying the top five solution areas of interest to retailers. Online shopping solutions topped the list, with retailers seeking eCommerce solutions at a rate 2.15 times the average.

CART developed a proprietary scoring index based on the search and related activity of more than 30,000 users representing every state in the U.S. The FMCG Retail Innovation Report provides industry executives objective insight and guidance to the specific areas of innovation their peers are focused on.

CART noted that eCommerce initiatives provide both risk and reward for FMCG retailers and brands. There is an opportunity for brands to collaborate with retailers to influence online purchase decisions in real-time through product suggestions and targeted promotions communicated through the online user experience. As a growing portion of industry sales move online, FMCG retailers must adapt or risk losing share to retailers that are embracing eCommerce.

“The eCommerce space is evolving rapidly, and each day that FMCG retailers delay puts them further behind,” said Gary Hawkins, CEO of CART. “There is an opportunity for brick-and-mortar retailers to learn from digital-only merchant best practices as physical supermarkets move online.”

Tablet POS & mobile checkout, inventory management, in-store marketing, and mobile workforce management rounded out the top five solution areas of interest for retailers in FMCG.

“It is apparent when reviewing the data generated by users of the CART platform that the retail industry is evolving rapidly,” said Hawkins. “While there is a lot of talk about the growth of eCommerce and online shopping, the importance to retailers of developing capability is driven home when seeing objective data showing that this is the number one area of interest. Likewise, understanding industry focus on transforming the checkout experience, along with merchandise assortment optimization, in-store marketing, and mobile workforce management clearly calls out what retailers must focus on to keep pace with their competitors.”

CART also found that retail innovation interest was predominant around the periphery of the country. The report shows that retail innovation is thriving in key areas as six states (California, Washington, New York, Illinois, Virginia and Texas) drove nearly 60% of platform use. See full article.

Published Thu, 12/03/2015
CART Launches Retail’s App Store, Business Wire

LOS ANGELES- The Center for Advancing Retail Technology (CART) today announced the launch of its enterprise platform advancingretail.org, a free service to help retailers and brand manufacturers find, learn about, and connect with the best solutions for their business.

An estimated 3,000 solutions are represented on the platform, making it the largest collection of retail solutions in the world today. CART attracts Silicon Valley startups and a growing number of international innovative solutions as they seek to enter the multi-trillion dollar U.S. consumer goods retail industry. These solutions, along with new products being released by established providers, add hundreds of products each month to the platform.

“Just as easily as you can search your smartphone for the latest apps, users can search CART for the latest retail solutions and connect with them through a single click,” said Gary Hawkins, CEO and Founder, CART. “CART is helping retailers and brand manufacturers keep pace with technology-fueled innovation.”

Solution providers can choose from several options to participate, including a free option. The CART platform also includes a large and growing number of resources, including case studies, papers, and publications from universities, that can be searched and downloaded.

“CART has helped us identify important new innovative solutions that can provide deep insights into shopper behavior to help grow our business,” said Michael Moore, Chief Marketing Officer at Lowes Foods. “The CART platform helps us understand and stay abreast of new capabilities coming into the industry.”

CART is launching the platform in partnership with a growing number of industry trade organizations and wholesalers including National Grocers Association (NGA), Retail World Alliance, the American Beverage Consortium, Certco Wholesale and Unified Grocers.

“Unified is a trusted technology partner to our members,” said Mike Brown, VP of Retail Services and Technology, Unified Grocers. “There have been dramatic changes in the use of consumer-level technologies in recent years and the CART platform gives our members the ability to quickly find and understand solutions that are recommended by Unified. The platform is a major benefit to our retailers.”

“The retail industry is undergoing a transformation the likes of which has never been seen before,” said Hawkins. “Two things are different this time. The first is that innovation is occurring in every part of retail simultaneously, not concentrated in one area as was often the case in the past. Second, the pace of innovation is continuously growing. There are no breathers or time-outs for industry leaders. This environment is putting tremendous pressure on retailers and brand manufacturers to keep up.” See full article.

Published Wed, 09/16/2015
Making Sense of Tech Solutions, Progressive Grocer Independent

CART’s website is a one-stop shop for retailers looking for the latest technology advances. Technology, and the pace at which it changes, can be overwhelming, especially for independent retailers who are often juggling multiple roles as CEO, COO and CTO of their companies. But technology is also the future, and retailers must hop on the train if they want to succeed. For those that don’t know where to turn, CART (Center for Advancing Retail and Technology) has set up a website, www.advancingretail.org, to act as a conduit for retailers, solution providers and brand manufacturers. See full article.

Published Sat, 02/14/2015
Why Video-Based Shopper Analytics Will Bow to Mobile, ComputerWorld

Right now there is a shopper entering one of ten special Lowes Foods grocery stores somewhere in the state of North Carolina. She is most probably rolling her cart past the fruits and vegetable section in the front right hand section of the store where unnoticed and probably unbeknownst by her, her smartphone, which is WiFi-enabled at the moment, sends out an inaudible ping that is picked up by a nearby unobtrusive sensor. That "ping" was sent courtesy a new initiative launched earlier this month by Wake Forest University School of Business, Lowes Food and a handful of vendors and partners including RockTenn Merchandising Displays, location analytics provider Birdzi and the Center for Advancing Retail & Technology, or CART. See full article. 

Published Thu, 11/20/2014