Inventory drones, augmented reality, smart tags: Retailtech Hub starts the New Year with a string of retail innovations

Munich, 06.02.2019: The Retailtech Hub innovation community has started the New Year with a brand-new batch working on plenty of innovations for the European retail sector. The products and services being developed by the 11 startups selected from 7 countries include smart snack machines, autonomous drones to check inventory, smart merchandise tags, and software which adapts business strategy to the weather.

Once again, the Retailtech Hub is underscoring its role as an innovation platform bringing together retailers, brands and selected startups to test and pilot new technologies and digital business models. And once again, the overall aim is the integrated digitalization of retail activities. The products and services offered by the start-ups on this fourth batch range from logistics solutions such as smart merchandise tags for real-time stock control, autonomous drones to keep tabs on inventory, and last-mile courier services to customer communication via messenger services and the use of artificial intelligence to improve customer service. Moreover, the shopping experience is being improved with self-checkout counters and also the use of augmented reality so that products can be tried out virtually before buying them.

As far as sustainability is concerned, Cellomat is developing a reverse vending machine where old or broken mobile phones can be exchanged for shopping vouchers. The startup is helping retailers automate their lifecycle services for mobile devices. This technology is already being trialled by Saturn in three stores in Berlin. Full details are available here.

BuyBuddy BuyBuddy develops smart merchandise tags which allow customers to pay for items without having to go to the checkout. What’s more, the smart tags enable retailers to track their stock in real time, monitor customer behaviour, and additionally protect their items.

Cellomat Cellomat develops reverse vending machines which enable customers to have their used smartphone valued in real time. They can then sell their phone for the price specified, trade it in for a new model with a corresponding discount, or purchase matching accessories. Cellomat helps retailers automate lifecycle services for mobile phones.

ebot-7 ebot-7 boosts the efficiency of customer service operations by adding artificial intelligence. The system analyses incoming messages and suggests exact responses. Once the technology has been integrated, average processing time is slashed by up to 80% and recurring questions are dealt with automatically.

Livello Livello is a food-and-tech startup. It has developed a smart refrigerator which automatically recognizes, manages and sells items like a snack vending machine. Offering businesses ‘fresh food as a service’, Livello replenishes the fridge with snacks, meals and drinks a few times per week.

MessengerPeople Messengers like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger are among the most popular consumer platforms with billions of active users every day. MessengerPeople enables businesses to communicate with their target groups via messengers for the purposes of customer service and marketing.

Metigate Metigate helps companies improve their margins by automatically adapting their business strategy to the weather conditions by means of an API platform and interfaces. Metigate translates standard weather forecasts into buying intentions and executes actions in AdWords, Facebook, CRM applications and ERP systems to capitalize on the potential harboured by various weather conditions.

OptioPay OptioPay has set up a platform allowing cash payouts to be replaced by shopping vouchers with a higher value. For example, suppose an insurance company has agreed to pay out €100 to someone whose smartphone has broken. Instead, the policyholder can opt to receive a shopping voucher worth €120 for their favourite consumer electronics store.

Orby The company develops autonomous flying robots for use by retail companies. These drones scan store aisles to check stock and provide detailed information about the quantities and locations of items. The Orby system can also perform surveillance functions.

Packator Logistics service provider Packator closes the gap between offline couriers and clients for the last mile. Packator puts retailers in touch with the best transportation solution from a network of partner couriers and also takes care of tracking consignments. Retailers and customers can track their deliveries on Packator’s online portal even if the delivery contractor doesn’t have an online presence.

Reactive Reality Reactive Reality offers an augmented reality solution for mobile devices that solves a major e-commerce problem: how to experience products before buying them. Using Reactive Reality, customers can virtually ‘try on’ a garment or see a coffee machine digitally shown exactly where they’re thinking of putting it in the kitchen. The technology thus helps boost sales and strengthen customer loyalty. In addition, it lowers return rates by allowing users to experience products before buying them online.

Tiliter This startup is working on a self-checkout counter for fruit and vegetables. Customers simply place their items on the scanner. The produce is automatically recognized and can then be paid for at the counter.

A video portrait of all the startups can be seen here.

About the Retailtech Hub

The Retailtech Hub is an innovation platform bringing together retailers, brands and selected startups to test and pilot new technologies and digital business models. It was launched in August 2017 and is made possible by the MediaMarktSaturn Retail Group in cooperation with the Plug and Play Tech Center from Silicon Valley and partners the Schwarz Group (the parent company of Lidl and Kaufland), property management company Aachener Grundvermögen, the s.Oliver Group, Albert Heijn B.V. and the ANWR GROUP. The core elements are a three-month mentoring programme with special emphasis on business development and concrete pilot projects. In addition, the Retailtech Hub is a network for open communication between companies from and serving the retail sector anywhere in the world.

Please address all queries to:

Christian Bölling

Tel: +49 (0)841 634 3320