The Retail revolution

With SONAR Trend Platform Reply is able to create an overview and mapping of relevant trends related to Retail Technology based on their occurrence within expert media articles, mass media, patents and scientific publications.

#Tech Trends

The changing
Retail Sector

Trends in retail are characterized by a shift from hype to maturity, retailers are using new technologies with a clearer business focus.

Technologies that have previously been considered in a marketing and experimentation context are increasingly being used to create concrete commercial value.

Main focuses

Leading trends are evolving around virtual and augmented reality for retail (V-Commerce), the use of data, machine learning and advanced analytics (Data-driven Enterprise) as well as the increasing use of voice assistants, chatbots and other digital interfaces in engaging with consumers (Human-centered Interfaces). Across all relevant trend fields, Chinese retailers and technology firms have developed into industry thought leaders and pioneers in execution. Companies like Alibaba, Tencent and JD demonstrate that the distinction between physical and digital retail is a thing of the past.


Virtual reality shopping is giving consumers the convenience of online shopping and the experience of being in a store at the same time – in order to experience stores, products and service in a whole new way. With the help of VR or AR applications customers will be able to try and test products – at home or in-store – more easily, and in a more personalized or gamified manner.

Data-Driven enterprise

The exponential growth of data is forcing companies to find fast and efficient ways to process and analyze them. By turning relevant data into useful insights, companies could come up with tailored solutions for internal processes and their customers alike. Having data-driven strategies via advanced business analytics, operational intelligence and machine learning, is a must for companies to preserve and leverage their position.

Human-Centered interfaces

The smartphone already allows us to take the digital world everywhere we go, leaving just a few taps on a touch screen between us and the real immersion. Now, human-centered interfaces such as voice and gesture-controlled digital assistants are removing this last barrier and leading into an era of a much more natural form of communication between humans and machines. In retail, this transformation will significantly alleviate obstacles within the customer experience, speed up communication and information access, and enable far more intimate and emotional customer relationships.

China Commerce

The era of “New Retail” that Alibaba founder Jack Ma envisioned is a seamless fusion of offline POS, digital technologies and next-level logistics for a dynamic new retail world supported by mobile online payment. China's e-commerce platforms are evolving into a new world order of retail, and their primary currency is data.

Learn more about SONAR

SONAR is an innovative, Data-as-a-Service Tool for quantified foresight. It recognises, compares and analyses existing trends, and identifies new developments in real-time.