All eyes are on the retail industry, which is undergoing transformational changes. Mergers & Acquisitions' series examines the impact of 7 technologies on M&A in the retail sector.
#1 IoT adds customization
Technology: Internet of Things
Why this is important: IoT enables enhanced personalization, such as custom drive-thru menus
Players: Nike, McDonald's, PayPal
Deals: McDonald's is buying personalization company Dynamic Yield for a reported $300 million
For more, see Retail Tech M&A #1: Nike, McDonald's, PayPal, add customization, IoT
#2 Artificial intelligence helps retailers lure customers
Technology: Artificial intelligence
Why this is important: Artificial intelligence applications predict customers’ needs
Players: Walmart, McDonald's, Amperity
Deals: Walmart acquired Israel-based Aspective in 2019
For more, see Retail Tech M&A #2: Why Walmart and other retailers are buying artificial intelligence startups
#3 The race to build fulfillment centers
Technology: Data centers and warehouses
Why this is important: Retailers are adding more fulfillment centers to meet consumer demands for faster shipping
Players: Blackstone, Sterling Construction, Alibaba
Deals: Blackstone is buying Colony Industrial, the warehouse arm of Colony Capital
For more, see Retail Tech M&A #3: Amazon leads race to build fulfillment centers
#4 Robots do it better
Technology: Robots
Why this is important: Robots fill orders more quickly Players: Shopify, TH Lee, Hitachi Significant
Deals: Shopify bought 6 River Systems for $450 mllion in 2019
For more, see Retail Tech M&A: #4: Do robots fill orders faster
#5 Voice tech offers more ways to communicate
Technology: Voice technology
Why this is important: Voice- and text-assisted technology provides customers with hands-free shopping experiences
Players: McDonald's, Nordstrom
Deals: Nordstrom purchased two messaging technology companies, BevyUp and MessageYes, in 2018
For more, see Retail Tech M&A #5: Voice recognition gives retailers more ways to communicate
#6 Data improves customer service
Technology: Data and analytics
Why this is important: Analytics give retailers a better understanding of consumer behavior
Players: Lowe's, Nike, Cisco
Deals: Lowe’s acquired the retail analytics suite of products and services from Boomerang Commerce
For more, see Retail Tech M&A #6: Data improves customer service
#7 Mobile ordering provides convenience.
Technology: Mobile payment processing
Why this is important: Mobile payment processing provides consumers with on-the-go convenience
Players: Uber, DoorDash, Pizza Hut
Deals: Uber is buying a majority stake in online grocer Cornershop
For more, see Retail Tech M&A #7: Demand for convenience drives growth in mobile ordering