In the time that I have been tracking the retail online to offline space at Venture Scanner, I am even more convinced that startups in this sector are among the most exciting and innovative. With the most up-to-date one-pager below, it is easy to see the breadth of categories covered as well as the investor interest.
I have also noticed a few trends while watching this space that I thought would be worth mentioning here:
- The interest and number of companies using beacon have grown significantly in the past year, paralleling the trend of IoT (hardware is becoming cheaper).
- The prospect of mobile is still apparent, but there continue to be barriers with execution and adoption (see my article on mobile coupons).
- The lines between online and offline are being further blurred with new point of sale systems, and mobile payment offerings from historically online-only players.
- While still early on, new retailing technologies and techniques such as augmented reality and in-store customer relationship management seem to hold promise.
And while there are numerous companies cropping up, it will be interesting to see how the retail space evolves with overlapping sectors such as IoT and FinTech. My prediction, with 90% of retail sales still occurring in brick and mortar stores, this space will continue to see strong growth while e-commerce and physical retailers continue to try and co-exist.