Digital Innovation in Retail

Work Team


The Digital Innovation in Retail Observatory is concerned with studying the main digital innovations that can reshape the processes used by retailers, with the ultimate aim of sharing knowledge and creating wide-spread culture as regards the sector’s digitalization opportunities.


The Observatory's planned actions for 2019 are:

  • Field research involving the main players in the market, including the leading retailers (the first 300 retailers by turnover), medium-sized and small retailers and offer-side players (logistics operators, banks, ICT providers, etc.).
  • Numerous meetings and occasions for debate:
    • A workshop with the Observatory’s partners and sponsors, who will work alongside us to define the topics that will be investigated in greater detail during our research;
    • 4 workshops with the retailer, Partner, and Sponsor Community to share and discuss Research results and enable interaction and comparison between demand and offering opportunities;
    • A public convention to present the main findings of our research, with round table sessions and talks given by major players from the retail world.
  • A paper report containing the main findings of our 2019 research, which will be distributed during the convention.
  • Several in-depth online reports on the topics addressed during our research in 2019.


2019 research develops in the following areas:

  • Study the evolution of the Retail context and infrastructure in Italy and the world, focusing on main current trends and on the variables that are bringing the greatest changes to the sector;
  • Analyze the adoption of main digital innovations by Italian retailers and closely examine some important technology trends that can generate interesting opportunities in the Retail sector (Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain,…);
  • Study the presence and type of online and mobile initiatives of top Italian retailers and examine advanced omnichannel courses more in depth, that is, that aim for the combined and integrated use of stores and digital channels;
  • Analyze innovation development areas (digital and non-digital) of stores across different market sectors and examine new store formats based on variables (goals, location, …);
  • Analyze startups, both retailer and hi-tech service providers, at national and international level to delineate innovation drivers and to identify successful Open Innovation mechanisms;
  • Map IT players and the availability for retailers of digital solutions facilitating the matching of supply and demand and promote collaboration for the development of innovative project planning;
  • Identify and interpret the evolution of existing and emerging values of the Retail service. Map and code approaches, methodologies and innovative tools to develop human and digital touchpoints of the new Retail service;
  • Study the user experience in innovation contexts enabled by digital technologies in Retail.


Sponsorship opportunities

Every year more than 300 companies join the Digital Innovation Observatories activities, getting in touch with the corporate, institutional and academic decision makers

More Details

Partners and Sponsors

For further information, collaboration and support requests for the other researches of the Digital Innovation in Retail Observatory, please contact Valentina Pontiggia (email: valentina.pontiggia@polimi.it).