i3 - September/October 2020 - 14

Tech

By Susan Schreiner

C 4 T R E N DS

Reimagining Retail

 B 

Many consumers are looking to limit
physical contact with potentially contaminated surfaces. For many, it's difficult to imagine browsing alongside
other shoppers, trying on clothes, going
into a store to 'test-drive' the latest gadget touched by others and interacting
with another human at checkout.
Contactless technologies offer businesses a winning strategy by allowing
the public to feel safer during their
shopping journey, from ordering, browsing, checkout and payment to delivery.
During the pandemic, 30% of consumers started using contactless payments like NFC-equipped cards,
smartphones and wearables to pay for a
purchase, according to RTi Research.
Some retailers are investing in virtual

14

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2020

i3_0920_14_Tech_C4trends.indd 14

Screens, kiosks and
vending machines are being
retooled to reduce human
interactions. PopCom, the
automated retail platform
company, is developing an
alternative way to deliver
product. By delivering a software solution that makes
kiosks and vending
machines intelligent,
'try-ons,' self-cleaning surPopCom enables retailers to
faces and robots. There are
provide customers with
also other products based on
seamless access to their
technologies like voice interproducts, while also gaining
action, gesture interfaces,
The SHOWFIELDS
Magic Wand app.
customer insights based on
facial recognition, sensordata collected from facial
based and RFID technolorecognition, AI and blockchain technolgies, or companion apps that use a
ogy that is incorporated into its softconsumer's own smartphone to operate
ware platform.
a public device.
"COVID has changed PopCom's business," says Dawn Dickson, its founder,
Remote service in-store will reduce
CEO and director. "Retailers are lookbrowsing times and offer advice
ing for more frictionless transactions
remotely. Experiential retailer
and they need to move faster. Vending
SHOWFIELDS is using the Magic
machines are increasingly part of the
Wand app. For the instore experience,
new supply chain since the transaction
the app serves as a virtual store advisor
is about self-checkout, self-service and
to minimize human interaction.
frictionless payment," she adds.
Consumers point their phones at disPopCom has pivoted to upgrading its
plays and products to get more information rather than interacting directly with touchscreens to be contactless, allowing
them to be used with a pen or a stylus
the product. Customers can also add
or while wearing gloves. PopCom is
items to a virtual cart while in the store
before checking out via its app. The pur- rolling out its solutions to the retail sector in the fourth quarter as well as into
chase is ready for pickup when they
the regulated retail economy including
leave the store.
cannabis, pharma, alcohol and tobacco.
It also plans to license its intelligent
Inventory tracking is getting
software platform.
smarter, thereby reducing employee
Aside from current challenges, a
contact with items. Apps from compabyproduct of this disruption at retail
nies like Displaydata and EDITED help
are the exciting new opportunities
retailers optimize promotions and
for retailers, smaller businesses and
reduce contact for shoppers hunting for
brands as well as nimble entrepreneurs
merchandise. Touchscreens are everyand innovators.
where - from ATMs to self-service
supermarket checkouts - but in the age
of COVID-19 consumers may be relucCONTACT: Reach Susan at
susan@c4trends.com
tant to touch these public devices.

Leo Patrizi/Getty Images

ecause of the health crisis with COVID-19,
retailers are starting to innovate and experiment. Acceptance of online shopping and
curbside pickup has accelerated during the pandemic
but how can retailers entice consumers back into stores?
Retailers are deploying new strategies designed to stimulate consumer interest, loyalty and engagement as
consumer behavior is reshaped by the 'mask economy.'

I T I S I N N O VAT I O N

9/1/20 10:25 AM


http:// https://www.popcom.shop/ https://showfields.com/ https://www.displaydata.com/ https://edited.com/

i3 - September/October 2020

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