There’s enough talk about innovation in retail today to make anyone lose sight of what real “innovation” looks like. RIS recently released our annual “Pacesetters 2019: Fast Rising Retail Executives” feature to call out employees that are making an impact on the industry, but what about the companies that are fostering innovation from within?
“To be effective, innovation needs to become part of a retailer's DNA just as it is in a retailer's DNA to create a great customer experience,” RIS’s editorial director Joe Skorupa has aptly noted in the past.
While most companies claim to embrace innovation, Fast Company collaborated with Accenture to identify 50 organizations that actually cultivate big ideas and encourage experimentation.
Three retailers and seven companies within the retail industry landed on Fast Company’s inaugural “50 Best Workplaces for Innovators” list.
The publication notes that to compile the list, it set out to find companies that “empower all employees—not just top executives, scientists, or coders—to create new products, improve operations, and take risks. We searched for businesses where innovation isn’t just a buzzword but a part of the value system and culture.”
Click here to see the full list of companies across industries doing things like offering employees “time to pursue bold projects” and “giving people room to fail.”
Below RIS breaks out the best workplaces for innovators in the retail industry and dives into what makes the three retailers on the list shine.
Top workplaces for innovators in Retail
Amazon's approach to new product development is about “working backwards” from the customer. The product manager starts by writing a press release announcing the finished product. If the team begins development, the press release then serves as a guide for the team to reflect on and compare with what is being built. According to Fast Company, it’s how site features such as Prime Now and AmazonSmile began.
More than 360 companies applied between January 29 and March 22, 2019, answering 10 questions about R&D investment and company-wide programs and processes. All applications were assessed separately by Fast Company editors and Accenture researchers, and the two sets of scores were combined. The judging panel reviewed the 60 companies with the highest scores and recommended the final Top 50.
Offers CDN, DNS, DDoS protection and security
Workforce-management software company
Cloud-based software maker
Artificial intelligence company with a cloud-native, machine learning platform for retail
Customer relationship management solution
Analytics company which transforms data into intelligence