Touch Free Technology for a Safe Shopping Experience

October 28, 2020by Tech Innovation Forum

Touch free technology has garnered a lot of attention during the COVID-19 crisis, with many large retailers adopting it to restart their business operations and invite customers to their stores safely.

Who would have imagined that a time will come when people will shy away from touching a credit card machine or think twice before entering a shopping mall? The COVID-19 crisis has disrupted normal life and businesses like never before and has changed the way we shop and buy things. Contactless or touch free engagement has become the new order. A consumer survey reveals that 87% of US shoppers want to shop in stores with touchless or other robust self-checkout options. As retail shopping malls reopen, it is important for them to create a safe environment for customers to shop safely. Gemini’s Touch Free and Smart Venue Management Solutions help them build a safe environment in stores for employees and customers.

Gemini’s Smart Venue Management Solutions or retailers and shopping malls based on touch free technology cover the entire buying lifecycle. It helps retailers quickly build touchless shopping environments in their stores and restart their business operations with minimal staff. It also helps them offer their customers a superior shopping experience. To know more about our touch free technology and Smart Venue Management Solutions, click here.

Requirements of a Touch Free Retail Experience

  • Pre-visit
    • Alerts to customers on new shopping hours and policies like wearing of masks, temperature checking before entry etc.
  • In-store
    • Crowd management at the entry
    • Social distancing markers
    • Information display on the new floor & shelve arrangement
    • Price displays
  • Checkout
    • Self-scanning of products
    • Loyalty & Rewards management
    • Touch free payments
    • Curbside Ordering & Pickup Management
    • Parking Management

How Retailers can Create a Touchless Shopping Experience?

Gemini’s Smart Venue Management Solutions based on touch free technology take an integrated approach to the entire buying lifecycle in a retail store and offer a solution for retailers to offer a completely touchless or contactless shopping experience to their customers. The solution leverages multiple technologies like AI, the Internet of Things (IoT), mobile apps etc., to helps retailers invite their customers safely.

  1. Mobile Apps: Everybody is using a smartphone these days and the usage has surged during the COVID-19 pandemic. And that makes mobile apps an essential part of the touchless shopping experience. Retailers can build mobile apps for their customers as well as for their employees. They can constantly engage with their customers using app notifications and use the apps at various stages in the buying cycle. Any information you want to convey to your customer can be done through mobile. It’s the most effective and convenient way. Apps can also be used internally by your employees to get real-time information. Shopping assistants can use the app to get inventory status and provide information to customers. Apps can also be used to showcase product demos to customers. From pre-visit to checkout and parking- mobile apps are useful at every stage.
  2. Smart Stores Powered by IoT: Many retailers were building smart stores or were planning to do before COVID-19. Today it has become a necessity. A smart store combines physical and digital and is built using sensors, cameras, RFID tags, and digital displays etc. From temperature checking, real-time display to automatic opening/closing of doors to helping customers find parking space- all features can be enabled in smart stores. Conversational bots can be used to assist your customer support team in answering general queries on price/stock availability etc., from customers. The other big advantage of smart stores is that it collects a lot of data- right from the number of footfalls in the mall, shelve visits and capturing shopping trends, you get a lot of data and insights to drive your store strategy.
  3. Touchless Checkouts: Customers never liked queuing for billing and in present times it’s a strict ‘no-no’. There are also concerns about paying through credit cards or cash. You can offer them touchless checkout with self-scanning of products, automatic bill generation and contactless payments through tap-and-pay credit card systems and mobile wallets etc. You can replace paper coupons and loyalty cards with digital coupons and digital cards that can be redeemed/updated digitally.
  4. Curbside Pickup Using Mobile App: Many retail stores and restaurants have ramped up curbside and others are starting to follow their lead. Our platform allows you to quickly build mobile apps for curbside pickup. Your customers can place their orders on the app and the delivery can be made by employees on the parking or any other dive-in place. Grocery stores can offer Curbside Grocery Delivery to neighborhood freestanding pickup location. Customers can order groceries online, then pick a time slot for pickup. The store personnel will carry their order out to the location on the time slot for the customer to pick up. The app can have several useful features like order tracking, delivery management and designated parking etc., to facilitate smooth crowd management and deliveries.
  5. Loyalty and Rewards Management: The platform allows businesses to launch dedicated apps for in-store discounts or sweepstakes to increase sales. Retailers can create, distribute and validate scannable digital Coupons, Vouchers and Loyalty Cards., distribute among customers through the website and mobile apps. The customers can use these cards/coupons while ordering online or show it in-store at the time of billing. Similarly, reward points can be managed online allowing customers to redeem it on the app or website.
  6. Security: Retailers can also ensure robust security in the stores through smart solutions. Sensors, cameras and facial recognition features can be leveraged to keep an eye on every entry/exit in the store. Data/images can be relayed in real-time to security teams for their intervention.

The COVID-19 driven economic crisis has necessitated retailers to rethink and reimagine the entire in-store experience. Pre-COVID-19, a lot of physical retail stores were aggressively adapting to digital technologies to compete with online retailers. The crisis has accelerated its digital transformation journeys and touch free technology must be its part.

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