Retail solutions for the next generation of shopping

By Michael Krumholtz September 4, 2018

It’s no secret that shopping has dramatically evolved over the years, as we’ve largely migrated from the store to our phones when choosing our favorite products and making our purchasing decisions.

Though brick-and-mortar storefronts may be doing better than many people assume, it’s the dominant brands that are able to get people to trust them enough to enter their doors on a consistent basis. Even still, rising numbers from Target and Walmart are still dwarfed by online shopping giants like Amazon.

Startups and fintech solutions that have tried to enter the retail space can often find it very hard to convince these big brands to become regular collaborators or clients. The few that have found their niche in the retail space have done so by adding advancements in tech that the big boys couldn’t say ‘No’ to.

One example of a startup that has found its comfort zone in retail solutions has been Jifti, which offers frictionless POS financing and becomes the middleman on gifting solutions like gift registries and online eCommerce gift checkouts.

With bases in Ohio and Delaware, the solutions-based product has been able to partner with big names like Ikea, Nike and Mastercard.

“At Jifiti, we collaborated with Mastercard to offer retailers a zero-integration option for our platforms,” wrote CEO Yaacov Martin, according to Retail Insider.”Thanks to the international credit cards technological infrastructure we are able to offer a seamless transfer of funds between our gift registry and consumer financing platforms without requirements from the retailers own management system. This collaboration has let us work with large retailers such as Ikea  and others to implement our retail solutions on their sites.”

This success has largely come from not needing integration on all levels, as some startups often get fooled into thinking this is the appropriate first step. Startups and entrepreneurs need to value their company’s independence in the product-making realm and realize that not everything has to be automated or integrated all the time.

The biggest key for startups in the retail game need to remember is to be able to collaborate with the industry’s most important players without wasting their time or giving them more work than they already have. What startups will need to do going forward goes beyond just being automated, they’ll need to ensure that partnering companies needs are met without intruding on an already existing streamlined method.

Disclosure: This article includes a client of an Espacio portfolio company