As COVID-19 continues to impact market trends and influence consumer behavior, one of the significant areas of change is occurring where consumers shop — brick-and-mortar stores.
To align more closely with CDC recommendations for public safety, and to keep staff and visitors safe inside their establishments, more businesses are turning to contactless shopping methods.
These technologies can range from the development of an e-commerce platform that co-exists with a brick-and-mortar store, options for curbside pickup and contactless shopping, and a heavier reliance on contactless payments.
Contactless platforms not only offer protection against the transfer of infection, but they also give consumers ways to shop that emphasize security and convenience.
In the past, American consumers have been slow to adopt contactless operations. Still, the introduction of COVID-19 has spurred the rapid adoption of these technologies as consumer fears grow over contracting the virus.
How to Adopt Contactless Technologies for Your Business
As consumer behavior continues to move toward favoring technologies that support social distancing and reduced contact to stem the spread of COVID-19, new opportunities for businesses are expanding.
Businesses from restaurants and retail to service organizations are adopting contactless technologies to not only protect their clients and employees but to build a substantial competitive edge in today's volatile and rapidly changing markets.
Here are some ways your business can put contactless technologies to work:
1. Move to Ecommerce
The e-commerce market is booming — up a whopping 76.2% from just one year ago. Online prices, which dropped in response to COVID, are now accelerating and are tracking to exceed pre-COVID online spending levels.
As consumers continue to place a priority on safety measures, more of them are navigating to online shopping options. Regardless of your industry, your business can leverage this trend by creating an e-commerce store to supplement — or replace — your brick-and-mortar locations.
Even service businesses can benefit from the trend, with online menus that allow customers to evaluate their needs and choose the correct service with just a click.
2. Offer Curbside Pickup
Another option that gives customers a measure of safety while shopping is the option to receive goods at their car through curbside pickup. Using this method, a customer purchases items online or through a call center and then heads to a brick-and-mortar establishment to pick up their merchandise.
Online ordering can be conducted through a website or through a specially developed app that customers can even use in the parking lot for fast, concierge-like service.
3. Contactless Payments
There are many ways contactless payment systems can help your business limit contact among visitors to your brick-and-mortar store.
Using scan-and-go mobile technology lets customers scan items from store shelves, bag them on their own, and then pay by using the app's QR that has been specially generated for that purchase.
A more advanced technology called Artificial Intelligence (AI) Computer Vision (AICV) allows customers to walk into a store, scan a code or swipe a card through a card reader, then simply take what they want and walk out.
Checkout is automated through the app, and the technology can even support inventory management, automatically adjusting a store's inventory and alerting the right staff to depletion of goods.
Let Blue Technologies Help Your Business Go Contactless
At Blue Technologies, we have the right tools to help your business harness the power of contactless technologies to give your business the competitive edge you need to thrive.
We offer a full range of Managed IT and Communications services that can help your business adopt contactless technologies. Our team of experts will assess your current infrastructure and help you determine what technologies you need to implement your contactless shopping or payment initiatives.
After an assessment, our team will design infrastructure and recommend software to support your goals and then deploy your system with minimal disruption to staff and business operations. Most importantly, our team will expertly maintain and troubleshoot your system, freeing your in-house IT department or staff to do what they do best — get down to business.
Don't miss out on the opportunity to get ahead of the competition by adopting contactless technologies in your business. Contact a Blue Technologies consultant today and get expert help understanding, designing, and deploying contactless solutions.