Tech Disruption in Retail is Becoming the New Norm — and Investors Need to Respond
Not too long ago, bricks-and-mortar stores dominated the US and global retail market. When consumers wanted to purchase apparel, garden furniture, books, or music, they had few choices other than visiting nearby malls to browse for their goods. These days, popular stores such as Sears and Macys have exchanged places with eCommerce platform Amazon which dominates the retail world, recording profits of $2.5 billion in 2018. This didn’t happen by accident. New technologies have emerged, such as the Internet and the smartphone, and online retailers such as Amazon have capitalized on this. Now, AI promises to disrupt the online market, as an ‘arms race’ for cutting-edge tech develops. So, how do new technologies impact the retail sector?
How New Retail Technology is Launching a Wave of Disruption
A suite of new technologies will likely spark further creative destruction to the current retail models. AI takes center stage, holding the potential to slim down supply chains as never before and improve customer service both in physical retail locations and online. With AI in their corner, smart retailers will be able to maximize efficiency on the macro scale and personalize their offer to individuals. Furthermore, early adopters of augmented reality are finding new ways to engage customers, the Blockchain is changing the way companies authenticate their supply chains, and smartphone-based points-of-sale are becoming all the more mainstream.
Atheneum Helps Partners Master Disruptive Retail Tech Trends
At Atheneum, we know that disruption is a blessing and a curse. It’s never easy to take the risk to adopt transformative technologies, but without the knowledge needed to take these risks confidently, companies are sure to suffer the fate of Sears. In our investment work, we focus on retailers and tech partners who are at the forefront of new retail practices. Our teams help to make retail disruption a creative force, which eliminates waste and improves performance — without the damage that chaotic transitions can cause. It’s a delicate balancing act, but disruption in this field is unavoidable, and our expertise provides the tools required to navigate it successfully.