From Pinterest ads to Pokémon Go!, 2016 was a year packed full of technology innovations.

One trend that developed at pace this year was artificial intelligence.

Retailers from Ebay to Estee Lauder partnered with social media giant Facebook’s chatbot technology, offering users personalised recommendations and the opportunity to buy.

Shop Direct boss Alex Baldock told Retail Week the etailer was making a “big bet” on artificial intelligence to drive its personalisation offer forward and rolled out customer service chatbots on its Very app in November.

Technology investments and roll-outs came thick and fast at the grocers. Sainsbury’s opened a digital hub, launched its Smart Shop app and belatedly introduced contactless payment while Tesco launched its mobile payment app.

Despite the raft of tech investment, all in retail spent another year playing catch-up to Amazon, which remained the pacesetter for innovation.

The etail Goliath launched its Fresh offer in the UK and introduced instant re-ordering Dash buttons before opening its first Go store – a bricks-and-mortar outlet that uses mobile payment technology that allows shoppers to pick up items and leave with them without so much as a scan at a self check-out.