Digital Retail Innovations 2016: what made the list?

Amazon Echo has topped the list of the top 50 digital innovations in retail. The hands-free speaker has been given the accolade in the 2016 Digital Retail Innovations Report because it demonstrates frictionless digital retail.

Retail Insider’s Digital Retail Innovations Report 2016, produced in partnership with Webloyalty, identifies the top 50 retail technology initiatives, covering trends including fulfilment, virtual reality, analytics, robots and mCommerce.

Amazon's Internet of Things (IoT) innovation, Dash, which allows customers to order replenishable FMCG brands at the touch of a button, took fourth place in the top 50. Meanwhile, Google's hands-free payment app that enables Papa John's and McDonald’s customers to make in-store purchases without using either a phone or wallet, took second place, and third place went to Starbucks' Order + Pay app, which allows customers to pre-order and pay for their coffee before entering a store.

Retailers on the list included: Tesco for its RFID shelf-stacking robots (11), John Lewis' visual search technology (17), Boden's 3D body scanning of customers (21) and Waitrose's cashless stores (42).

"The retail industry is an exciting place to be," said Guy Chiswick, MD of Webloyalty, Northern Europe. "The innovations we’ve seen in delivery methods in particular show that retailers recognise the process is no longer about just fulfilling orders. Retailers should also provide flexibility and convenience to consumers in the way they receive their goods."

Fulfilment companies were strong contenders this year, with new entry, Deliveroo, entering the top ten at number five, ahead of Amazon Logistics at number six.

Meanwhile, Doddle's Neighbour proposition came in at number 19, which encourages customers to earn money by acting as parcel collection hubs, who then deliver to neighbours within a defined radius.