How Will Retailers Go Touchless?

Sree Singaraju
Publication Date
22 July 2020

How Will Retailers Go Touchless?

Retailers need to pivot in H2 2020 & beyond

COVID-19 has changed the way that many people shop for the things they need and the things they want. With no concrete timeline for when things may return to normal, retailers will need to think about how they pivot.

COVID-19 has created a few problems for retailers, such as:

  • Reduced number of consumers in-store 
  • Retailers without well developed digital channels struggling to connect with consumers
  • Cleanliness and safety trump all other considerations
  • Regulations, geographical infection hotspots, and heightened consumer anxiety make business conditions difficult to forecast

Solutions that can support your touchless digital transformation

There are several digital channels that you can integrate into your strategy to satisfy customer demands in the uncertain months ahead. These solutions will ultimately benefit your business in the long term, as well, because customers indicate they’ll expect these convenient digital solutions even after COVID is over.

Digital solutions you can consider embracing as part of your business approach are: 

  • In-app ordering
    Enable your customers to order your goods and services directly in your mobile app. Reduce the risk for your guests by eliminating the need for them to be in your store.
  • In-app payment
    Make your customers’ experience even more effortless by giving them the opportunity to pay for goods and services immediately after they order to avoid interfacing with a cashier. 
  • In-app fuel activation
    For gas stations and convenience stores with gas stations, providing customers with the ability to fuel up with as little touch as possible will make them feel safer.
  • Customer loyalty & rewards
    Now more than ever, customers want to be rewarded for making purchases and remaining loyal to their favorite brands. Including this in your mobile app and omnichannel strategy is an important feature that should not be overlooked. 

Touchless digital solutions present new opportunities

The solutions mentioned above bring about many benefits that extend far beyond helping customers feel safe. Plus, they contribute to your greater business goals over the long term.

These opportunities include: 

Opportunity #1: Attract new customers through better digital solutions

Digital laggards are in the process of learning how to use digital solutions to get the products and services that they need. On the flip side, regular users of digital technology will be excited about the ability to interact with your business in a new way. If you can create more meaningful and seamless digital experiences, you’ll be more likely to attract new customers that otherwise would never have shopped at your business.

Opportunity #2: Retain existing customers for longer

Customers who have always used mobile apps for their retail purchases have different needs than they did a year ago. In our proprietary Friction Report analysis, we uncover real customer ratings and reviews of the top mobile apps, before and after COVID-19, to help retailers make enhancements that will allow them to provide better customer experiences. Download the Friction Report now. If you leverage these insights to improve your mobile app or other digital touchpoints, you can retain your existing customers by delighting them with the features and solutions that matter most to them.

Opportunity #3: Personalize offers and rewards

Personalization is a tool that many companies use to create unique experiences for customers. Showing your customers that you understand their needs on a one-on-one basis, especially during this time of decreased interaction, can create a number of benefits for your business, including increased revenue, frequency of purchase, and recurring purchases and basket size.

Opportunity #4: Increase Customer Lifetime Value (CLTV) 

By implementing new digital solutions, you are likely strengthening your relationship and improving the CLTV of your customers. Some of the benefits we’ve seen in the work we’ve done with our customers include increased number of loyalty members, increased monthly active users, and increased longevity of consumer spending.

How will you adapt to customer needs as a result of COVID-19?

There’s no question that retail experiences look a lot different these days. And companies that address the unmet needs of their customers will prevail, now and well into the future.

If you’d like to discuss how you can explore a touchless strategy for your business, let's talk.

Sree Singaraju

Sree Singaraju is the Senior Vice President of AI and Cloud Services at Mobiquity. In his experience, the cloud is the key enablement ingredient for any digital solution: mobile, voice, web, chat, AI/ML. Since the cloud is at the center of every Mobiquity engagement, Sree is a natural fit and great asset to every company engagement. Blending his experience leading transformations at organizations like Johnson & Johnson, Dun & Bradstreet, Merrill Lynch, and State Street Bank, with his expertise in cloud and artificial intelligence, Sree spends his time helping companies transform their goals into reality. A true believer in the power of personalization, Sree wants to support companies in their journey to create responsible AI. To do this, Sree’s work involves creating programs that cater to an audience of one, meaning every single engagement that a user has is personalized to them. No longer will customers get ads for credit cards they already have or promotions for meat lover’s pizza if they are a vegetarian. Rather, Sree is focused on creating meaningful experiences for each individual customer. In his spare time, Sree enjoys playing tennis with his friends and even participates in local tournaments. He has two sons and has coached their baseball teams. Sree is also very interested in podcasts, specifically ones that offer different perspectives so that he can learn new things and gain inspiration that can carry over into his work-life. Sree holds an MBA in Information Technology from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and is a graduate of Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University where he studied Civil Engineering.

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