Signup for our weekly recap of cool technologies, cutting-edge campaigns and the innovative brands and retailers changing an industry.
Retail technology is hot. The entire industry is reinventing itself centered around technology to facilitate organizational transformation. If you've been reading along, you may have been thinking as I have, "why are retailers acquiring these technology companies versus choosing to license their technology?" It's a good question and it comes down to people and organizations.
Nike recently acquired Invertex to acquire tech IP in computer vision. The lead: "to deepen our bench of digital talent." L'Oreal acquired Modiface in the last month to take a key position in the use of AR and AI in cosmetics. Nordstrom recently acquired MessageUp and BevyYes to improve customer service. Yes, they could have licensed the technology, but would that create the type of organizational DNA around using technology to solve the problem? Probably not. That takes time. These are acquihires as much as they are technology IP acquisitions.
That's not to say that's the only path of course. Home Depot recently announced they are opening up 1000 (!?!?) new tech jobs to compete with Amazon. That is a 40% expansion from their current tech organization. Everyone is coming to realize that the future is technology enabled and you need that core DNA in the organization to compete with Amazon, who spends more on R&D than any company. A lot more. 41% more than even last year.
And why? Because retail is a $4 trillion dollar market that is growing 4% per year over reliably over the last decade. Because this is real transactions and commerce, not advertising or ad tech which has a string of recent hits. This is a good business with a solid foundation. So much for the "retail apocalypse" narrative.
And this is a battle for customer share, CRM and data. So we are seeing a ton of acquisitions to expand in industries that are strategic to growth. Here is a fun infographic of recent acquisitions in the retail market of those acquisitions as well. Gobble, gobble, gobble or get eaten by ghosts...