The outbreak of COVID-19 has had an enormous impact on store design and the customer experience. Where stores are able to operate, many have introduced new policies and procedures to minimize disease spread. Stores that take action are protecting customers and associates. This creates a safer shopping experience for everyone.
In addition to social distancing signage and improved sanitization methods, stores are installing safe shopping technology. The use of technology to mitigate disease spread is not new, but the rise of the Coronavirus and the increased risk means many are looking for new ways to help keep customers and associates safe.
Enter safe shopping technology. Stores are finding ways to use technology for safe shopping experiences—for customers and associates alike.
How Do Diseases Spread?
There are two main ways diseases spread: through contact and through air. The germs found on door handles and POS stations can transfer from one person to another. In addition, researchers have found that inhalation of viral particles spreads the disease from infected people coughing or sneezing.
While the COVID-19 crisis is an urgent concern, many diseases spread by touch and by air. Installing touch-free shopping enhancements and using technology for safe shopping experiences can minimize the risk of disease spread and create a safer and healthier shopping experience—for today and in the future.
How Can Technology Mitigate Disease Spread?
While regulators find a balance in health and safety policy, multi-site retailers and restaurants are tasked with finding ways to protect associates and customers right now. Store technology updates provide a measurable way to collect data and reduce unnecessary interactions.
Store technology updates:
- Create a “contactless” shopping experience
- Reduce face-to-face interactions
- Expedite shopping trips for individuals
- Monitor employee and customer health
- Improve sanitization
Using technology to mitigate disease spread helps multi-site stores show a commitment to health and safety. It also protects customers and employees and promotes safe shopping experiences.
How To Use Technology For Safe Shopping
There are a number of technologies stores can use to create a safer shopping experience for everyone. Technology updates that reduce the spread of Coronavirus are an important step businesses can take to protect health and wellness. Protect customers and employees by matching technology to the latest shopping trends.
Touch-free Mobile Payment
By providing touch-free payment options through mobile payment systems or store apps, customers have an improved experience during the purchasing process. Help customers learn about touch-free mobile payment by providing instructions on your website or store app. Offer directions at check-out and integrate with self-checkout kiosks to increase the impact of this technology offering.
Antimicrobial Door Hardware & Coating
Installation of antimicrobial door hardware on entrances, breakrooms, and restrooms will help reduce the spread of germs and keep customers and associates protected. This is an easy step to take and makes an immediate difference in contact spread of a virus. With new technology advances, antimicrobial ‘stickers’ now exist for retailers to add to existing doors and handles, which need to be replaced every three months.
Advanced thermographic cameras are strategically placed in high-traffic areas near entrances or restrooms to detect individuals with elevated body temperature. Some solutions also provide shopper and marketing insights including people counting and shopping patterns. Make sure your customers are aware of these cameras and that your customers’ personal information and data privacy remains top-of-mind as you use this data.
Ultraviolet Lighting Sanitization
Conduct facility-level cleaning with germ-killing UV light to disinfect through a whole room or mobile unit. This lighting solution provides clean surfaces and peace of mind to your associates and customers. By using ultraviolet lighting sanitization in combination with EPA-approved cleaners, you can make the entire shopping experience safer.
Automatic entrances provide a touch-free method of entering your facility—something that all guests will appreciate. It also makes it easier to move large orders. As your business grows, automatic doors are an expectation most customers will have.
Protect Customers And Associates With Technology For Safe Shopping
As customers and employees adjust to a new way of shopping, taking action to protect health and safety is more important. Using technology for safe shopping experiences is one important step stores can take to reduce disease spread.
For more safety tips and peace of mind solutions, download the complete Biological Defense Preparedness Guide for associates and customers during COVID-19.