Three ways retailers can go touchless and reduce the spread of COVID-19

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The CDC estimates that 80 percent of all infections are transmitted by hands. It’s obvious that the coronavirus pandemic will change the way we participate in everyday life going forward.

Hands-free technology allows people to shop with limited physical interaction. 

The CDC estimates that 80 percent of all infections are transmitted by hands. It’s obvious that the coronavirus pandemic will change the way we participate in everyday life going forward.

But what if we as a society could implement a totally new way to transact, without touching anything?

The new tech being introduced identifies an individual by their mobile device once they come into a designated area. For example, when a shopper is pulling up to a coffee shop, a message appears on their phone asking them if they’d like their usual order. If the answer is yes, the shopper is asked to report to a particular zone. Once they arrive in that zone, shop staff are alerted and their order is placed for pickup. Payments are handled in advance through mobile.

Here are three ways retailers can change their environment to reduce the spread of disease. 

  1. Eliminate pin pads by asking customers to approve transactions at check out on their mobile device. These pin pads have been used by hundreds of people, and rely on store clerks to clean them. Retailers can save their supplies by reducing or eliminating this technology all together.
  2. Allow shoppers to pay for their items as they go. Retailers can take touchless a step further by activating in-aisle engagement and payment through their app. Shoppers can get personalized messages about product information that reduces the demand for staff interaction and questions. Shoppers can either scan and pay for their items on their own or by taking items to scanning stations located throughout the store. Consumers today are inundated with loyalty programs that require them to sign in and set up their preferences. This elongated process not only requires more physical interaction, it is avoidable because retailers can identify and authenticate their customers into their loyalty programs while they are in the ID zone. This allows retailers to provide responsive data as-it-happens.
  3. Hyperactivate data from loyalty programs. In this time of crisis, consumers turn to their most reliable and familiar brands to deliver for them historical preferences.  Instead of retailers asking their repeat consumers, “what are you shopping for today?” retailers should have a growing context of their shoppers and messages through mobile device and serve up frequently ordered options. This way, shoppers can reduce the time in store, speed up the time it takes to facilitate orders, and quicken the transaction. Loyal customers already know what they want. Why not commerce with simplicity?

“The tech world constantly focuses on eliminating or reducing human error,” says Ben Robertson, CEO of Simpello. “If we can reduce the amount of physical touches that occur in retail environments, we can reduce the spread of disease. It is possible to shop and drastically reduce what you touch, all while having the same, or better, in-store experience.” 

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