The Discovery 50 report, published today by RWRC, showcases the world’s top tech start-ups and shines a light on innovative solutions that can support the retail sector – both during the pandemic and in the future.
- Top 50 judged and shortlisted by a panel of retail and business experts
- Report serves as a directory of the best innovative companies to work with, at a time when collaboration is crucial
Retailers worldwide are scrutinising their business models more closely than ever, as they grapple with the impact of the coronavirus crisis and seek to deliver sales and maintain relevance among consumers.
There is a growing realisation in boardrooms that collaboration with start-ups and third parties is crucial to achieve these aims and to better position businesses within the new post-Covid-19 world of commerce.
Profiling the top 50 global retail tech start-ups, the Discovery 50 report analyses the influential role innovative technology providers, including Mercaux, play in this new world.
Companies were judged and shortlisted by a panel of retail and business experts including retail consultant Ian Shephard, retail analyst Natalie Berg, former Morrisons CTO Anna Barsby, Co:Cubed chief executive Jeremy Basset, Retail Week head of insight Lisa Byfield-Green and more.
The Discovery 50 all started trading in the last seven years and have worked with a breadth of retailers and brands to help transform their businesses, either through a pilot or full-scale solution.
Many of the start-ups have helped brands to leverage their online presence, support the development of tribes and communities and take costs out of a business – all areas that are front of mind as the sector enters uncharted coronavirus-influenced waters.
Several others specialise in in-store solutions, which have the potential to help non-essential shops bounce back when the crisis passes.
The report also offers advice on how leaders can open themselves up to new and different ways of thinking and the benefits this can have on the bottom line.
For instance, a 2018 report from professional services company Accenture found only 6% of corporate businesses were generating a significant proportion of their income from new activities and investments. However, this same 6% reported the strongest financial performance of all 1,440 companies Accenture surveyed.
Retail Week commercial content editor Megan Dunsby commented: “The Discovery 50 shows how start-ups can offer a lifeline for retailers.
“Now is the time for businesses to think about how they could work differently with the start-up community and build synergies; from creating a fast-track, light-touch process for forming contractual relationships to pre-allocating some funding that can be used for trials.
“Many start-ups in the Discovery 50 have implemented pilot schemes within weeks of starting conversations with a retailer, while others have been able to integrate full-scale solutions in a matter of months that have delivered major return on investment.
“Retailers should look to the Discovery 50 as a directory of the best start-ups to work with.”