Last week we brought you 5 of the 10 most innovative retailers of the year. This week we conclude the list with the top 5 most innovative companies. Read on to find out what is the secret to their success:
Zulily launched its flash-sale e-commerce site for baby and children products five years ago. The site now reaches 4.5 million customers, enjoying a 72% year-over-year sales increase. Zulily has now expanded its product line to housewares and adult apparel, and to keep up with customer demand it has built fulfillment centers across America. The idea to steal: Tap into customer segments with high buying power and a strong desire to buy – like new moms.
Westfield Labs is the research & innovation department of Westfield Corporation, one of the world’s leading shopping center companies. Westfield Labs is working to revamp the tired concept of the shopping mall with the use of new technologies. On top of renovating the Westfield malls, Westfield Labs’ innovations will enter a large new project: the World Trade Center retail complex in Manhattan, opening later this year and already slated to become the mall of the future. The idea to steal: Use technology to repurpose old models to suit new generations of consumers.
Eataly is an Italian grocery store / market/ emporium where customers can eat, taste or buy high-quality foods in an environment that combines elements of marketplaces, supermarkets, and bustling piazzas. Eataly now has locations all around the world, from Italy, to Japan, Brazil, UAE and the USA. Its New York City location, in Manhattan, is now doing $85 million in annual revenue. Eataly CEO Oscar Farinetti says that he wants to create an environment mirroring the Italian street markets, where "there is no distinction between restaurant and retail: you can eat and buy, or buy and eat." The idea to steal: Retail/ hospitality mash-ups are among the retail trends you should keep an eye on. Partner up with like-minded brands to create a space that can give your guests an original lifestyle experience.
Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce giant, owes part of its success to the courage to make risky investments in different fields. Alibaba has expanded into different markets, and now owns, among its other enterprises, an Internet finance branch, offering Alipay customers higher returns than the state-run banks, and a crowdfunding platform for movies that lets ordinary people become movie producers, revolutionizing traditional film financing in China. The idea to steal: Alibaba has managed to become a global mammoth by using the age-old strategy of “offering a good bargain” across different fields.
1. Warby Parker
Warby Parker is an American brand of eyewear which started as an e-commerce store in 2010. Five years later, Warby Parker has 10 retail stores across the USA, and its yearly revenues surpass $100 million. The company sells its own selling designer glasses directly to customers, which enables them to maintain affordable prices. Warby Parker is also strongly committed to giving back: the company is 100% carbon neutral, and through its “buy a pair, give a pair” program it has already donated over 1 million eyeglasses to people in need. The idea to steal: Create a brand with strong values and a well-defined image, and attract consumer who care for the same causes as you do. Does your retail business need revitalization? Steal a few tricks from some of the most successful retailers in the world. Renew yourself, aim at the right target, and you might just end up on next year’s list. [hubspot id="4"]