Profiles of Key Innovators Shaping Retail Technology

Using research from GlobalData’s Influencer platform, Retail Insight Network has named ten of the most influential people in retail technology.

The same database has been used to identify the most influential companies and the top trending topics on Twitter over the last 90 days.

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Biggest influencers in retail technology: The top 10

1) Tamara Mccleary

Job title: CEO at

Biog: Tamara is an international branding expert, technology futurist, social media marketing/digital strategy consultant. She has been ranked by Klear in the Top 1% of global social media influencers and listed as one of the Top 50 social influencers of 2015 to 2018 by Onalytica.

  • Twitter followers: 291,000
  • GlobalData influencer score: 85

2) Professor Dr. Vladimer Botsvadze

Job title: Entrepreneur, speaker

Biog: Vladimer Botsvadze a digital marketing and social media influencer, Fortune 500 consultant, thought leader, professor, keynote speaker and  TV commentator.

  • Twitter followers: 53,500
  • GlobalData influencer score: 62

3) Michael Fisher

Job title: Systems Analyst at Whitcraft Group

Michael is a cybersecurity consultant, technology expert, thought leader and blogger.

His specialities include network security, infrastructure architecture, VMWare v Sphere, Cisco iOS/ASA, Microsoft Windows, Linux & Unix, Hardware & Software, and consulting.

  • Twitter followers: 70,100
  • GlobalData influencer score: 59

4) Nicole Reyhle

Job title: Founder of Retail Minded

Nicole is an experienced retail and wholesale professional with a passion for small businesses. She founded Retail Minded in 2007 to support independent retail businesses find success in their various small business goals.

  • Twitter followers: 21,700
  • GlobalData influencer score: 53

5) Michael Schiemer

Job title: Digital marketing manager at Colbea Enterprises

Michael has ten years of experience in social media and digital marketing. He is also a publisher, author, blogger and former marketing consultant.

He has provided social media and content marketing campaigns for hundreds of companies including Allstate Insurance, Reebok, GNC, Uno’s, DuPont, Monsanto, UnitedHealth Group and Post Holdings.

  • Twitter followers: 231,000
  • GlobalData influencer score: 51

6) Andrew Busby

Job title: Founder & CEO at Retail Reflections

Retail Reflection is a retail consultancy firm delivering practical insights and perspectives, providing content for clients and keynote speaking on a range of subjects including the consumer, customer experience, technology and consumer psychology.

  • Twitter followers: 26,700
  • GlobalData influencer score: 50

7) Sanford Stein

Job title: Founder and moderator of RETAIL SPEAK

Sanford launched Retail Speak in 2014. Retail Speak is a LinkedIn platform for sharing ideas on all things retailing.

He is also an author of Retail Shmetail: ONE Hundred Years, TWO Immigrants, THREE Generations, FOUR Hundred Projects, which is an examination of retailing in America over the last 100 years.

  • Twitter followers: 5,303
  • GlobalData influencer score: 50

8) Ed Cleary

Job title: Senior Director of Sales at Shoptalk and Groceryshop

Ed has over 18 years of media advertising business development and marketing experiences. His specialities include development of new markets, extensive phone sales background, extensive face-to-face sales and presentations, major media plan negotiating with Fortune 500 companies, development of extensive product marketing plans, custom publishing plans in a variety of vertical markets, targeted lead generation plans, social media consulting and management.

  • Twitter followers: 25,700
  • GlobalData influencer score: 45

9) Bob Phibbs

Job title: The Retail Doctor, Retail Sales Expert, Speaker and Sales Trainer

Phibbs helps retail companies and brands grow their bricks and mortar business through motivational speaking, in-person retail sales training, and online sales training.

He is also a motivational speaker, retail sales trainer, business makeover specialist, marketing.

  • Twitter followers: 16,300
  • GlobalData influencer score: 44

10) Graham Soult

Job title: Owner of and

Soult is a retail consultant, blogger, writer and media commentator. He said he built his business around the things he loves: shops, high streets, and the web.

In addition to his companies, Soult also appears on television, radio and in the press, commenting on the retail issues of the day.

  • Twitter followers: 11,900
  • GlobalData influencer score: 44

Top ten trends

These are the top ten most talked about trends in retail by key influencers on Twitter over the last 90 days as tracked by GlobalData’s Influencer dashboard.

  1. Online retail
  2. Stores
  3. Electronic Retailing
  4. Shopping
  5. Artificial Intelligence
  6. Digital Transformation
  7. Retailer
  8. Fintech
  9. Internet of Things
  10. Augmented Reality

Top ten most influential companies in retail technology

These are the top ten most influential companies in retail technology on Twitter over the last 90 days as tracked by GlobalData’s Influencer dashboard.

1) Walmart

American retail chain of hypermarkets, discount stores and grocery stores.  Headquartered in Bentonville, Arkansas, Walmart Inc was founded by Sam Walton in 1962 and incorporated on October 31,1969.

  • Twitter: @Walmart
  • Twitter followers: 948,000
  • Tweet count: 507

2) Alibaba

Alibaba group is a Chinese conglomerate specialising in e-commerce, retail, internet, AI and technology. It was founded in 1999 by Jack Ma, Joseph C. Tsai, Peng Lei, and Jianhang Jin.

  • Twitter: @AlibabaTalk
  • Twitter followers: 82,700
  • Tweet count: 231

3) Nordstrom

Nordstrom is an American chain of luxury department stores, also operating in Canada and Headquartered in Seattle, Washington. The company was founded in 1901 by Swedish American John W. Nordstrom and Carl F. Wallin.

  • Twitter: @Nordstrom
  • Twitter followers: 751,000
  • Tweet count: 107


NIKE is an American multinational corporation engages in the design, development, manufacturing, and worldwide marketing and sales of footwear, apparel, equipment, accessories, and services. Nike is headquartered near Beaverton, Oregano and has been founded in 1964 by Bill Bowerman and Phil Knight.

  • Twitter: @Nike
  • Twitter followers: 7.67m
  • Tweet count: 101

5) Sephora SA

Sephora is a Paris, France-based multinational chain of personal care and beauty stores founded in 1970.  The company features nearly 300 brands, along with its own private labels. Offerings at Sephora include beauty products such as cosmetics, skincare, body, fragrance, nail colour and haircare.

  • Twitter: @Sephora
  • Twitter followers: 2.38m
  • Tweet count: 90

6) J.C. Penney Company

J.C. Penney is an American department store chain with 864 locations in 49 US States and Puerto Rico. Apart from selling conventional merchandise, J.C. Penney stores also house several leased departments such as Sephora, auto centres, optical centres, jewellery repair etc.

The department store chain is headquartered in Plano, Texas and was founded in 1902 by James Cash Penney and William Henry McManus.

  • Twitter: @jcpenney
  • Twitter followers: 459,000
  • Tweet count: 88

7) Whole Foods

Whole Foods Market is an American supermarket chain which sells products free from artificial colours, flavours, preservatives, sweeteners and hydrogenated fats.

It is the only USDA Certified Organic grocer in the US.

The company was founded in 1980 in Austin Texas by John Mackey, Renee Hardy-Lawson, Mark Skiles and Craig Weller.

In 2017, Whole Foods Market was acquired by Amazon for $13.7bn

  • Twitter: @WholeFoods
  • Twitter followers: 4.49m
  • Tweet count: 86

8) Amazon

Amazon is a multinational technology company focusing on e-commerce, cloud computing and artificial intelligence headquartered in Seattle, Washington.

Amazon is considered one of the Big Four of technology along with Apple, Alphabet and Facebook due to its market capitalisation, disruptive innovation, brand equity and hyper-competitive application process.

It was founded in July 1994 by Jeff Bezos and is currently the largest e-commerce marketplace in the world measured by revenue and market capitalization.

  • Twitter: @Amazon
  • Twitter followers: 2.91m
  • Tweet count: 85

9) Sears

Sears, Roebuck and Company, also known as Sears is an American chain of department stores founded in 1893 by Richard Warren Sears and Alvah Curtis Roebuck.

The company headquartered in Illinois, US operates 506 locations across US, Mexico and Canada and offers products including clothing, footwear, bedding, furniture, jewellery, beauty products etc.

  • Twitter: @sears
  • Twitter followers: 209,000
  • Tweet count: 83

10) Starbucks

Starbucks is an American coffee company and coffeehouse chain. It was founded in Seattle, Washington in 1971.
As of 2018, the company operates 28,218 locations worldwide.

Starbucks locations serve a variety of hot and cold drinks including coffee, teas, smoothies, as well as baked goods and sandwiches.

  • Twitter: @Starbucks
  • Twitter followers: 11.5m
  • Tweet count: 79


GlobalData’s analysis is based around relevance, number of followers, connections, engagement and expert analysis.

The influencers are evaluated on a series of specific topic-related keywords that they have tweeted about in the last 90 days. More detailed daily analysis is available for GlobalData subscribers.