It is pretty rare to see the name of a retailer (aside Amazon obviously) hitting the headlines of Techcrunch. But this time, pharmacy retailer CVS has invested in a Silicon Valley startup named Curbside, which allows customer to shop on mobile, and prepare the basket in store for pick up.
Aside of the innovative concept, which provides a better shopping experience, and is capitalizing on the large store network of CVS, I wanted to underline to me another very interesting trend.
Retailing is a business focusing on operations. And it needs to in order to leverage great results. But in our nowadays commerce land that is changing very fast due to Ecommerce, digitalization and mobile devices, using technology both to improve customer experience and to get an edge on competition is key.
We see in a lot of other industries companies acquiring innovative start up to get knowledge and technologies that could not be developped in a large corporation due to its structure and lack of reactivity.
And I believe retailers should really look closely at it. I know Carrefour has participated to a lot of start up events in order to build a bridge. But those investments will really pay off soon.
I believe it is time for start ups to look closely at retailing, and retailers at start up.