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Retail Tech Startup Tiliter Raises $7.5M for Cashierless AI Shopping Technology


Investor demand for innovative emerging companies remains strong with Australian AI tech startup Tiliter completing a $7.5 million capital raise, led by Investec Emerging Companies (IEC). Eleanor Venture, a tech investment syndicate for angel investors, and New York's Cornell University also participated in the funding round. Tiliter is a leading artificial intelligence (AI) provider whose technology uses computer vision to recognise products without barcodes. Its technology automatically identifies items, such as fresh produce, without the need for barcodes, packaging, and price stickers, making it easier for shoppers to manage during self-checkout. Tiliter is currently focused on the Supermarket vertical and its camera and software system uses AI to pre-select items and remove the need for manual entry, with over 99% accuracy and in under one second.

Technology adoption saves Coles more than AU$250m during FY20


Supermarket giant Coles has touted that during the 2020 financial year it saved more than AU$250 million by adopting more technology to drive efficiencies as part of what it has dubbed its "smarter selling" strategy. Under the strategy, the company said during the year it introduced data and technology-led solutions in-store, such as its deli easy order and bakery production tools; developed artificial intelligence tools for areas such as forecasting and markdowns; and transitioned more than 3,000 support team members Australia-wide to remote working. Coles also entered into long-term leases to develop its Ocado online fulfilment sites in Sydney and Melbourne, where construction for its Melbourne site has commenced. Despite the savings, the company's statutory net profit after tax was down by 9.3% from AU$1.08 billion to AU$978 million for the period ending 28 June 2020. Group sales revenue was reduced by 2% to AU$37.4 billion on a statutory basis, but it grew on a retail basis by 6.9% to AU$37.4 billion during the full year.

GPT-3 Creative Fiction


What if I told a story here, how would that story start?" Thus, the summarization prompt: "My second grader asked me what this passage means: …" When a given prompt isn't working and GPT-3 keeps pivoting into other modes of completion, that may mean that one hasn't constrained it enough by imitating a correct output, and one needs to go further; writing the first few words or sentence of the target output may be necessary.

Why European retailers are betting on AI


For today's retailers, AI is fast becoming an invaluable tool to understand what shoppers want – and ensure their experience matches up with their expectations. From supermarket chains with thousands of retail outlets to online clothes brands, fast-evolving AI technologies are helping them to increase sales, reduce excess stock and overall, improve profit margins. "Retailers are under increasing pressure," says Kate Edwards, Senior Research Analyst at JLL. "AI is a growing part of their business model to use the data they have to better understand their customers, predict future trends and boost business, from improving the customer-facing experience, to optimising supply chain processes." The growing focus on sustainability is equally driving uptake. For example, AI can help identify the opportunities for unsold products, reduce the levels of returned products and decipher optimal fulfilment options, delivering both cost and environmental benefits.

Cosmose AI raises $12 million to track brick-and-mortar purchasing habits


Keeping abreast of shopping trends online is straightforward enough -- whole categories of startups achieve this with predictive modeling. But what about when that shopping takes place in-store? Tracking the behaviors of mall, outlet, and department store shoppers is of critical importance to physical store brands, particularly considering that the percentage of brick-and-mortar sales increased by 2% from $2.99 trillion in 2016 to $3.04 trillion in 2017. To meet this need, Miron Mironiuk founded Cosmose AI, a Shanghai-based analytics software provider that anticipates how people shop offline. Brands like Subway, Samsung, Walmart, Airbnb, Tencent, Burberry, Omnicom, Mercedes-Benz, Anheuser-Busch InBev, LVMH, Kering, L'Oréal, Gucci, Cartier, P&G, Nestle, and Coca-Cola use its tool suite to granularly track offline visitors' purchasing habits and target them with online ads via WeChat, Weibo, Facebook, Google, and over 100 other internet platforms.

How Tech Startups Are Implementing Checkout-Free Platforms


According to a recent study conducted by Forrester Research, waiting in the checkout line is the top complaint among U.S. grocery, mass-merchandise, and convenience store shoppers. Mega-retailer Amazon and a quartet of well-funded retail technology startups -- Zippin, Standard Cognition, Grabango and Trigo -- believe they have the solution to the problem: Checkout-free stores powered by various technologies that enable shoppers to walk into the store, grab what they want off the shelves and just walk out. Autonomous checkout, another term for checkout-free, is becoming one of the hottest areas of retail investment today. It comes as the convenience expectations of today's Amazon-shopping, Grubhub-ordering, Uber-hailing consumers are ever-increasing, and informing their in-real-life (IRL) shopping demands. Brands are responding in kind, delivering digital services aimed at automating mundane tasks -- in this case, the checkout process -- so much so that the result is meant to feel "automagical," according to trend forecasting firm TrendWatching.

This start-up is launching a remote-controlled 'grocery store on wheels'


At first glance, the black and white Robomart vehicle, with its minimalist design and rounded body, looks like a vision of the future. But if you ignore the lack of a steering wheel and human driver, the electric, grocery-filled machine -- about the size of a minivan -- is actually something of a throwback. For much of U.S. history, perishable kitchen items such as produce, milk, eggs and ice arrived outside people's homes on a daily basis, first by horse-drawn wagon and later by truck. This curbside service would eventually fall victim to refrigeration, automobiles and the rise of the supermarket, making weekly shopping trips the modern American norm, according to Boston Hospitality Review. Now Robomart -- a Santa Clara, Calif.-based start-up -- seeks to merge the old with the new.

Stop & Shop is testing self-driving mini grocery stores


Grocery store chain Stop & Shop announced today that it will begin testing driverless grocery vehicles in Boston starting this spring, combining the hype of autonomous delivery cars, cashier-less stores, and meal kits into one experimental pilot. The launch is part of a partnership with San Francisco-based startup Robomart, whose vehicles will cart around Stop & Shop items like produce, convenience items, and meal kits to customers' doorsteps. The electric vehicles will be temperature-controlled to keep produce fresh, and controlled remotely from a Robomart facility. Customers can hail the mini grocery stores via an app, on an interface which feels a lot like calling an Uber. Once the vehicle arrives, customers can unlock the doors, and the items they grab are tracked with RFID and computer vision technology.

Why It's Hard to Escape Amazon's Long Reach


In 1994, soon after Jeff Bezos incorporated what would become Amazon, the entrepreneur briefly contemplated changing the company's name. The nascent firm had been dubbed "Cadabra," but Bezos wanted a less playful, more accurate alternative: "Relentless." Twenty-four years later, perhaps no adjective better describes Bezos' empire than the name he once wanted to give it. The company is known as the "everything store," but in its dogged pursuit of growth, Amazon has come to dominate more than just ecommerce. Amazon is a fashion designer, advertising business, television and movie producer, book publisher, and the owner of a sprawling platform for crowdsourced micro-labor tasks.

Amazon looks to new food technology for home delivery

Daily Mail - Science & tech Inc is exploring a technology first developed for the U.S. military to produce tasty prepared meals that do not need refrigeration, as it looks for new ways to muscle into the $700 billion U.S. grocery business. The world's biggest online retailer has discussed selling ready-to-eat dishes such as beef stew and a vegetable frittata as soon as next year, officials at the startup firm marketing the technology told Reuters. The dishes would be easy to stockpile and ship because they do not require refrigeration and could be offered quite cheaply compared with take-out from a restaurant. The world's biggest online retailer has discussed selling ready-to-eat dishes such as beef stew and a vegetable frittata as soon as next year, officials at the startup firm marketing the technology told Reuters Inc is exploring a technology first developed for the U.S. military to produce tasty prepared meals that do not need refrigeration.