As of today, the novel coronavirus has infected people in 188 countries, sent the global economy into a downward spiral, forced businesses to embrace work from home solutions, and been the most unexpected catalyst for tech adoption. Challenges that arose as the virus took countries by storm gave retailers little choice but to close their doors, or reposition their business to allow room for safe retail strategies that relied heavily on tech. Whether by fear, or government mandate consumers quickly followed suit. Online shopping and BOPIS rapidly developed into a new behavior for many, making early adopters into loyalists.
Economists have grappled with numerous options for re-opening, none of which are ideal. With the grim reality in mind that the economy cannot remain in full lockdown throughout the predicated 12-24 months of vaccine testing, governments and health organizations have resorted to lifting the lockdown on a larger scale while imposing strict rules and guidelines. This approach, however, relies heavily on individual responsibility. Furthermore, individual responsibility in the safe reopening of the economy will require consumers to continue to adhere to safe shopping habits, which gives retail experts reason to believe that long after lockdowns are lifted, the tech adoption will remain a behavior for years to come.
Today, retailers across the globe have implemented a slew of social distancing and safe shopping guidelines like restricted capacity, 6 feet distance stickers, QR code engagement, BOPIS, appointment shopping, hourly disinfecting, one-way aisles, AR interactions, voice technology, and gesture and motion sensors. As government restrictions loosen over the course of the coming months, strategists at Outform predict that many of those safe shopping guidelines will begin to drop off, though we expect to see technology like QR, AR, and voice enabled interactions remain as winners.
At Outform, we are on a quest for the ultimate shopper experience and are dedicated to understanding and changing consumer behavior. When we started to create the Interactive Collection several years prior to the emergence of COVID-19, our team was keenly aware of changing consumer behaviors when it came to touchless retail experiences. They were driven by a passion to influence behavior and have shoppers adopt touchless gestures as replacements to swiping or tapping. As the COVID-19 landscape continues to evolve and influence consumer behaviors and the adoption of tech experiences in retail, the launch of the Interactive Collection is providing many retailers with the solutions that their customers are asking for.
With options for several hands-free retail activations, such as touchless buttons, QR, and motion sensors, we are more convinced than ever that the Interactive Collection will provide retailers the solutions that they need to build trust and drive sales with holiday shoppers.
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