We may yet see a consumer experience that goes beyond omnichannel retailing, and because of the public’s forced digital interaction due to COVID-19

Touchless Connections

In our last issue, we introduced the “New Normal” impact map and how the retail experience is affected in the three major areas across Digital Connections, Brand Communications, and the Physical Environment. For this issue, we introduce three new trends and share more insight on how brands may adapt in a post-covid world.

Part A – Trending: Touch-Free Commerce

The online shopping experience could be changing in big ways due to the Covid -19 crisis. The Chinese saw a dynamic merging of Livestreaming and E-commerce, two of Asia’s largest digital waves, whose unity has created extensive market growth. This growing method of “Shopstreaming” involves live, interactive communications with the products and services that provide a personal connection with the customer. Due to prolonged periods of social distancing and quarantine, customers’ buying habits are moving to these online platforms and allowing them to experience and engage with products like never before.
Food & Beverage: UK herd farm offers live video cattle viewing using social media to reach potential buyers. Learn more →
Automotive: Kelley Blue Book has introduced Dealer Home Services where potential buyers can virtually shop, do a video walkaround, arrange a test drive and purchase a vehicle. Learn more →
Health & Wellness: Popular fitness service, Peloton closes all studios and retail locations to host Livestream classes from a closed set. Learn more→

Part B – Trending: Livestream Everything
The demand for contact-free interaction is driving the growth and integration of touchless technologies in everyday lives. Smart cars, online customer support, virtual assistants, smart home technology, and augmented & virtual reality are just some of the advancements in touch-free tech, and our ability to communicate with it is growing. Today, voice recognition, gesture recognition, and sensory technology are evolving at a rapid pace and when combined with AI and Autonomous tech, we may see a large increase in contact-free interactions for product and service purchases, which may have an immense impact on the retail experience as a whole.

Automotive: Chinese car company, Geely, launches contact-free car buying experience and drops off new vehicle car keys by drone. Learn more →
Retail: A clothing shop in Colorado USA gets creative with weekly window updates and touch-free pickups. Learn more →
Technology: Google Develops Sensor Control Technology that could eventually power gesture-based user interfaces in everything from VR headsets to cars. Learn more→
Health & Wellness: Florida-based Mayo Clinic deploys self-driving shuttles to transport medical supplies and COVID-19 tests. Learn more→
Automotive: Cazoo, a U.K.-based company, allows customers to purchase and finance cars entirely online and delivers purchased vehicles to their homes within 72 hours. Learn more→
Technology: Amazon begins selling cashier-free “Just Walk Out” technology, originally developed for Amazon Go stores in wake of COVID-19. Learn more→

Part C – Trending: Large-Scale Telecommuting
With the coronavirus pandemic forcing companies to implement a telecommuting policy, there are many concerns, but more than that, the pandemic has generated excitement from younger workers looking for flexibility and companies that support “output over hours”. In a post-corona world, businesses will need to evaluate their physical footprint and may realize that paying for unnecessary office space and stations may not be the best use of the company’s resources. Access to broader talent pools is among many of the benefits employers may discover when utilizing a work-from-home policy. In the end, we may see a large-scale telecommuting workforce that changes the dynamic of work as we know it.
Technology: SPACES lets people join Zoom meetings from within virtual reality. Learn more →
Marketing: In a post-covid world, telecommuting may become the norm Learn more →
Marketing: Working from home may actually work, as companies see an increase in productivity. Learn more→

Case Study Spotlight
Digitizing the Human Experience + Social Distancing

Last week’s issue explored trends in digital human connections and social distancing within our built environment. Today, we are highlighting a London-based company, We Are Social, that combines both. The tech company recently developed a Snapchat filter that combines Augmented Reality with social media to show users adequate social distance between themselves and others. The “Snap Safe” Lens aims to keep people safe while promoting social distancing to help fight the spread of COVID-19. Learn more→

Our View
Design Thinking for the New Normal.

Livestream. Everything. The concept of live streaming to connect with one another using social media platforms is not a new one. Musicians and Influencers have been using this as a method to connect with followers for some time now. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic forcing the shutdown of retail stores and public events, live-streaming products and services have become amplified, and brands have an opportunity to make meaningful connections with potential customers like never before.
This notion of social connections with consumers using digital technology is inherently another method to stimulate “Touch Free Commerce”, a trend that we’ve highlighted in this issue, where innovative tech and strategy are allowing for contactless transactions within our physical environments. Ultimately, what our Eview Think Tank is seeing, is a fascinating fusion between digital social networks, virtual experiences, and how the public has begun to engage with those digital technologies in our physical environment. We may yet see a consumer experience that goes beyond omnichannel retailing, and because of the public’s forced digital interaction due to COVID-19, brands have an opportunity to create an experience that has adapted; A branded digital-physical experience that is seamless and essential to the way we live.

How is your brand adapting?
In this new normal, positive customer engagement in and outside of the retail setting is critical. How is your customer journey affected by COVID-19? Let’s connect and discuss your brand’s retail touchpoints to see how you can further engage your customers in a post-corona world.