The ongoing pandemic has compelled retailers to turn to the latest technology to meet the daily challenges. Besides having a massive impact on the economy, it has also affected regular shopping.
Many countries across the world maintained strict lockdown. As a result, eCommerce boomed unlike ever before. Shoppers turned to online delivery channels to purchase daily goods instead of getting out physically.
Although restrictions are easing and the majority of the offline stores are functioning, risks of contamination cannot be ruled out. Shops are taking proactive precautionary measures to gain customers’ trust, but people still don’t feel safe.
To solve these problems, technology has proven to be a boon. From pay and go to QR codes and digital signage, technological solutions emerged as the quintessential bridge between consumers and retailers. It has enhanced the shopping experience.
Here are 3 examples of technological innovations in the Covid-19 era.
#1: Scan, Pay, Go
This technology allows customers to scan their goods using their smartphones as they look around the store. They can scan using a specific app before making payment and moving out of the store. No need to queue or checkout.
Even before the Covid-19 pandemic hit the world, this technology was considered to offer an efficient experience for shoppers. Some supermarkets even conducted trials. Today, the need for this kind of technology is even stronger to reduce queues and improve the flow. It would drastically reduce the need to come in close contact with customers and spread the infection.
With this technology, customers can also scan their products from home and choose Click & Collect option or even home delivery. It further reduces the total time spent in the store and makes it easier for retailers to place a limit on purchase quantity.
#2: Digital Signage
Placing stickers and marking on the floor is a common way of enforcing social distancing. It also helps to manage overall shoppers’ flow throughout the retail store. However, with covid-19, retailers are now inclined to digital signage.
Digital signage statistics show that it increases customer satisfaction by 46%.
It is a versatile way to perform tasks. For instance, it can be paired with a form-factor camera or Near Field Communication (NFC) to count the number of people entering or leaving the store. It also counts the number of people wearing masks and maintaining social distancing protocol.
It creates an immersive and touchless experience for both parties. As it is digital, you need not touch it or get closer. Digital signage easily pairs with mobile. Customers can scan the QR codes to get hourly updates, menus, and deals.
Digital signage is the key to unlock a better experience for customers in these worrying times.
#3: Vending Machines
Contactless retail is the new normal in the world today. Vending machines are one of the most promising tools in these times. The otherwise humble machine is now transformed into a high-tech, slick, and safe device to sell anything starting from masks and medical supplies to hot meals and salads.
Grocery retailers reimagine the vending machine as the source of condiments, pre-packaged foods, and fresh produce,
Aldi Sud, a German retailer, tested a 24-hour vending machine that sold 25 to 30 different types of grocery products. Consumers could buy groceries despite the store being closed.
Regardless of the challenges imposed on humanity during the pandemic, technology has been a lifesaver and the only opportunity to maintain retail.