Robotics, automated deliveries and augmented reality AR shopping will have their place in retail post-pandemic (“Robots from Estonia boost supermarket spirits during pandemic”, May 29). But it would be too simplistic to see this as the “new normal”.

While we’ve seen robots being used to redefine convenience, we’ve also seen a return to the big weekly shop in-store. Hermès Guangzhou’s flagship took a record-breaking $2.7m in single day sales when it reopened after China’s lockdown. There’s clearly a global desire to return to stores, but some obvious challenges remain.

Innovation in the shopping micro-moments such as touching a product, experiencing a demo or testing a product must be reinvented with solutions that include motion, gesture and voice.

Maybe the QR code will be resurrected. Touchless retail will ensure people feel safe again in-store and will define the retail experience for the foreseeable future.

Simon Hathaway
Managing director Emea, Outform
Leicester, UK

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