Voice shopping, mobile payment app earn retailers ‘innovator’ status

Caltex, Winning Group, Muffin Break and Officeworks have been recognised as leading innovators in the retail, hospitality, tourism and entertainment sector by AFR BOSS magazine, which released its list of the most innovative companies in Australia on Friday.

Compiled by innovation consultancy Inventium, the list ranks 100 businesses on their innovation culture, strategy, resources and process.

This year, instead of compiling a single list, the judges broke down the list into 10 industry-focused categories, including the ‘Top 10 innovations in retail, hospitality, tourism and entertainment’.

Caltex Australia was the highest ranking retailer in the category, placing third for its FuelPay app, which allows customers to pay for their fuel without having to go into a store and queue.

Winning Group placed fifth for an internal team engagement and social collaboration tool called Heelix, which uses neuroscience to help team members work better together.

Muffin Break was ranked eighth on the list for its partnership with Simply Cups to reduce the number of cups sent to landfill.

And big box chain Officeworks was ranked tenth for its ‘Easy Replenishment’ feature for Officeworks Business customers. The tool allows businesses to replenish products using voice commerce, and comes out of the retailer’s early adoption of Google Assistant.

“I’m thrilled that Officeworks has been acknowledged as business that fosters a culture of innovation. We’re focused on helping make bigger things happen for our customers and growing our business to better meet their needs as their expectations change,” said Sarah Hunter, Officeworks’ managing director.

“We have a history of innovation and listening to our customers, being responsive to their needs. This means we’ve always stayed on top in terms of our range and relevance. We put ourselves where we believe they expect us to be, whether that’s online, in store, or with new technologies such as voice.”

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