Retail startups aiming to change the way we shop in 2022 and beyond
The Covid-19 pandemic has ushered in an era of innovation for retail, and the changes coming go well beyond curbside pickup.
The dramatic shift in shopping habits that happened virtually overnight at the start of the pandemic made innovators realize that it was possible to rethink everything about retail, the way brands connect with it. customers to the way products are made and delivered.
Here are some of the companies that gained traction in 2021 and are well positioned to take off in 2022 in response to key retail trends:
TalkShopLive and Popshop Live: selling videos
Just as social media influencers have learned that videos are the best way to attract subscribers, retailers are embracing live streaming videos to increase sales.
TalkShopLive, the three-year-old Los Angeles-based startup that has helped celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, Paul McCartney and Drew Barrymore launch video sales channels, just announced a partnership with Walmart.
The partnership allows Walmart to embed videos with purchasable content on Walmart.com and social media platforms. TalkShopLive says its technology allows customers to make purchases in the video player on any site, “effectively turning anywhere a video is shared into a point of sale.”
Popshop Live, another video-selling startup, has carved out a niche for itself as a live streaming solution for independent stores. TechCrunch dubbed it the “hipster shopping platform,” but the Mall of America and major brands have also used the Popshop Live app.
Popshop Live announced in July that it was closing a Series A funding round, estimated by TechCrunch at $ 20 million, at a valuation of $ 100 million. He also announced that he has Instagram and Instacart tech veteran Bangaly Kaba and former Uber Eats chief Jason Droege to accelerate Popshop Live’s expansion.
Brik + Clik – Physical stores as a service
Others have tried creating storefronts for digital brands, but Brik + Clik seems to have found a formula that works.
The company, which describes itself as a retail tech solution, began opening stores in New York and California in 2020. This holiday season, it has installed a collection of five free-standing cabanas in the outdoor common areas. of the Westfield Century City shopping center in Los Angeles, the creation of a European outdoor market.
The stores, which opened on Black Friday, drew 160,269 visitors on the first two days of opening, according to a spokesperson for Brik + Clik.
Brik + Clik was founded by real estate entrepreneurs Hemant Chavan and Eric Hirani with the goal of providing online brands with a turnkey solution for physical retail, without the costs associated with opening their own stores. Brik + Clik accepts bitcoin and also operates a virtual reality online store for its participating brands.
At Century City Holiday Market, brands have been grouped into categories such as Pantry, Home, Wellness, housed in chalet-style mini-stores.
“The long term vision is to learn the issues of retailers and deploy a retail technology suite that truly solves the issues of independent retailers, which is an underserved and fragmented market,” Chavan said in a recent release. Press.
Brik + Clik also takes a different approach to its fundraising. It announced in November that it had launched an open investment campaign on the Republic investment platform, which allows individuals to invest in startups.
Fabric – Fast delivery near you
Micro-distribution centers – mini-warehouses run by robots and located in urban areas close to large numbers of consumers – are expected to grow rapidly in 2022, having been in the “coming” phase in 2021.
Fabric, an Israel-based robotics company that has been testing and refining its 1-hour automated micro-fulfillment centers in Tel Aviv since 2018, opened its first automated mini-center in that country, in Brooklyn, NY at the end. of 2020. It recently completed a funding round that it will use to expand its distribution center network across the United States.
The latest round of funding raises $ 200 million and puts Fabric’s valuation at over $ 1 billion, making her a micro-accomplishment unicorn, or as the company likes to say, a “robocorn.” .
Elram Goren, CEO and Co-Founder of Fabric, in announcing robocorn status, called the over $ 1 billion valuation a sign that micro-accomplishment has reached a turning point from a “hectic exploration.” to “full market validation and now rapid expansion.” ”
In Tel Aviv, Fabric set up its robot-equipped warehouses in spaces such as parking lots to show how they can operate even in crowded urban environments, and used them to enable one-hour deliveries for a drugstore chain and a supermarket. grocery store.
Fabric announced partnerships with Walmart, Instacart and FreshDirect this year.
Resonance Companies – Fashion, on demand
Imagine a fashion industry with no overstocks, markdowns or shortages of best-selling styles and sizes. New York-based tech company Resonance Companies is doing just that.
The company, founded in 2015 by Lawrence Lenihan and Christian Gheorghe, has developed a technology platform that gives designers and clothing brands the ability to design, manufacture and sell clothes one by one.
The fabric is digitally printed and cut at a Resonance factory in the Dominican Republic, then sewn in micro-sewing facilities like the one Resonance opened at Pier 59 in Manhattan this fall.
The platform gives brands the ability to make-on-demand and only make clothes that have already been ordered online, rather than having to guess how much of a certain style they can sell (with the items unsold. marked or discarded), or to have overproduced due to production minima.
This year, Resonance has produced on-demand orders for brands such as Tucker by Gaby Basora, The Kit by Daniel Vosovic and Rebecca Minkoff, and plans to open its platform in 2022 to more brands and designers. He also plans to open or partner with hundreds of micro-sewing factories across the country in the coming years, to facilitate rapid delivery of tailored clothing.