Ngoar and US partner The Industrious have released a new research paper about how digital technologies can help retail face the challenges of COVID-19.
The Industrious in partnership with Ngoar, have released an insightful and thought-provoking research paper on how digital technology may be able to help retailers meet the many challenges now facing them in a world transformed by COVID-19.
Shopper insights: key solutions
It examines shopper insights and suggests some key solutions to the unprecedented issues that now exist in a customer engagement landscape transformed by the pandemic.
In “Retail Reconsidered: Bridging Social Distance with Digital Technologies”, the paper looks at how retailers can adopt and incorporate digitally distanced technologies into the everyday shopping experience, and so help businesses and brands succeed in this new normal.
It examines new and innovative ways to marry personal computing devices, gesture recognition technology, merchandising creativity, and inventory management to create an inviting, engaging, and safe space for retail commerce.
The paper covers these main core topics:
- Conditions in which consumers will feel safe returning to retail.
- Consumer requirements to interface in a seller-assisted, high-touch environment.
- Ways in which retailers can attract sales using other senses than previously used in the pre-pandemic store landscape.
- The impact of personal computing devices on creating a desirable retail experience.
- The new principles and values retailers should adopt and demonstrate.
- Some quick and low-cost adaptations retailers can employ immediately.
Shoppers’ five principal concerns
The research paper also discusses what they believe will be shoppers’ five principal concerns in this new normal going forward.
- Consumers will priorities personal safety before all else in making shopping decisions.
- Consumers will suspend retail as a leisure-time or entertainment activity.
- Consumers will favour retailers that prioritise and deliver transparency in product availability and assortment.
- Consumers will favour stores where the layout and merchandising are spacious and open, conveying a physical reassurance of security.
- Consumers will extend their power over retail via social media.
These principal points and other insights will be covered in more detail in a future article. It will be interesting to see how retailers and digital partners adapt to these new concerns and embrace using digital technologies to drive this change.
As Andy Austin, president of The Industrious, says, “Traditional physical retail, already in the midst of significant change pre COVID-19, is facing yet another existential threat. As cities and regions around the world start to reopen, it is critical for retailers to understand and adapt to how customer behaviours will change.
“We believe technology has the incredible power to shrink this physical space that must now exist between us, and that retailers can create a new, slimmer and more experiential retail environment that will be essential to rapidly and smoothly transition to success under this new normal.”
Ngoar CEO, Peter Meadows adds, “Having worked with The Industrious on a series of transformative projects in the space where technology meets retail, Ngoar understand how ahead of the curve they are as an agency. As their European Digital Partner and software/technology collaborator, we always relish helping their vision become a reality. The vision and insights in this Research Paper are very informative reading for anyone with an interest in how digital technologies can help make a difference in the retail industry today.”