A glittering array of best-in-class tech was showcased as the winners of the 2021 Retail Systems Awards were announced last week.
The awards, now in their 16th year, bring together the brightest and best brands working in retail technology to celebrate success and innovation. After one of the toughest years retail has ever faced, they carry an even greater significance than usual and have recognised the technology vendors, brands and retailers who have diversified and adapted to the unique set of challenges posed by the global pandemic over the past 12months, as well as those technologies that will drive the industry forwards to recovery and beyond.
Here we’ve picked out our top tech picks that stood out from the award winners.
1. Eye of the Tiger – Sitoo win Best In-store with Tiger of Sweden
Sitoo picked up Best In-store for its work with Tiger of Sweden, having helped the Nordic fashion house accelerate its unified commerce capabilities.
Recognising the need to accelerate its omnichannel capabilities and improve customer experience, Tiger of Sweden – which shares its IT department and POS system with Scandinavian womenswear brand By Malene Birger – became increasingly frustrated with its legacy PC-based system. It wanted to find a modern solution that would help it deliver unified commerce to their customers, whilst simplifying its IT architecture,.
As well as seamlessly implementing its loyalty programme into its point of sale (POS) solution, Tiger of Sweden also wanted to be able to integrate Salesforce Commerce Cloud, which it uses as its eCommerce platform to improve its omnichannel capabilities. Partnering with Sitoo, they went live across 38 stores in six different countries on the same day.
As well as the award for best in-store tech, Sitoo also picked up the Best Omnichannel Solution award. “Winning these awards is an incredible testament to the dedication, hard work and commitment of our team,” says Jens Levin, Sitoo CEO and co-founder:
“Like everyone in retail, the past year has thrown all kinds of challenges at us. But we’ve adapted, we’ve overcome and we’ve always kept faith in our mission. In the past 12 months we’ve seen how important cutting-edge technology is for retailers who are serious about success. Retail is always going to be in a state of constant change. What the best technology solutions do is allow retailers to keep pace with this change and meet the expectations of their customers. For us, this is just the start. We’re honoured to receive these awards and excited to help even more global retailers bring the future of retail to life.”
2. Getting the green light during lockdown
Also receiving two awards was Greenlight Commerce for its work with Milk & More in the Covid Innovation and Technology Project of the Year.
Implementing a B2C SAP solution, Greenlight Commerce worked with Milk & More to update existing scripts, develop new code, and support the performance of its ecommerce platform so the website could continue to accept and correctly process customer orders for much-needed pantry essentials during the first lockdown, which proved especially important for those vulnerable groups who were shielding.
3. It’s double gold for Nuggets
Nuggets was also another vendor picking up double gongs, and took the win in the Most Disruptive Retail Technology and Alternative Payments categories. Describing itself as a decentralised, self-sovereign identity and payments platform, using blockchain technology it helps retailers brings together payments and identity, solving many of frictions for the customer when making payments whilst reducing the regulatory and reputational risks of data breaches for the retailers.
“It’s all around taking back control of your data as an end user, but also enabling businesses to better protect their customer data,” its co-founder Seema Khinda Johnson told The Business of Business in a recent interview.
4. OneStock stands out
Among the other vendors, OneStock stood out as the Logistics and Supply Chain category, applauded for its Order Management System (OMS) which helps brands and retailers unify their stock – from warehouses, distribution centres (DCs) and stores – to increase customer delivery experience while improving profitability.
Retailers were already facing significant challenges with cross-channel inventory visibility and stock availability and accuracy long before covid-19. Online out of stocks were rife, while at the same time the very same products that sold out online sat, un-sold, in-store, depreciating in value and often ending up as markdowns. This wasn’t just ebbing away retailers’ margins and profits; it was costing them future sales by severely damaging customer experience, eroding shopper loyalty and reducing customer lifetime value.
OneStock solves this issue as it enables retailers to create one single stock pool, allowing it to turn on ‘Ship From Store’, express click-and-collect and Dark Store capabilities, building in customer experience while reducing out of stocks.
“Rethinking the role of the store is the right approach both in the short and longer term,” OneStock’s CEO and founder, Romulus Grigoras, told Retail Times.
“Short term, in particular during lockdowns, stock that has been piling up inside closed stores needs to be released and what better way than to use the store as a ‘dark store’ or mini warehouse? The imperative to act in this way is strengthened by the fact that even large warehouses are not yet geared up for the huge growth in online orders and often have neither the staff nor the stock, let alone the systems to manage.”
The full list of winners at the Retail Systems Awards 2021 can be found here: Winners 2021 // Retail Systems Awards (retail-systems.com)