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Post Pandemic Retail; the adapting retailer 

When COVID-19 began, some companies spoke about COVID-19 but described it as a temporary inconvenience or a supply chain challenge. Stores had to shut down and only essential stores could remain open. That ended up lasting on and off for 2 years. I am sure we are all familiar with the story.

Retailers had to find different ways in order to keep their businesses alive during pandemic.

Before the pandemic, a big part of shopping was the hands-on experience: Eating samples at the grocery store. Spending an afternoon in the fitting room. Trying lipstick at the beauty counter. Swiping a credit card on a long-desired purchase.  

sustainable screen

Many retailers are now trying to stand out for the opposite reason: They are making it easier for consumers to avoid shared surfaces and limit interactions with employees or other customers. That’s led to investment and expansion of contactless checkout approaches.

Customers shopped online before the pandemic, but a desire to limit trips to stores created a new demand and encouraged retailers to find new options. 

Despite this, the pandemic has provided new opportunities for retailers to embrace change and speed up their omnichannel strategies. One key change lies in the expanded role of stores in digital transactions – including Ship from Store, Click & Collect, and Kerbside Pickup. As a result new habits have started to arise as now customers will continue to shop at stores, but they also may schedule curbside pickup or click & collect even after the pandemic is over.


Post Pandemic Retail

Physical and digital shopping has emerged like never before. Retailers have to adapt their methods according to their customers’ new behaviours and needs in order to stay relevant and successful. For many years physical and digital teams have been operating separately, but now the physical world has well and truly emerged.  

Retailers have recognised the need to up their game in order to bring customers back to physical stores, and what better way than bringing the digital world into physical spaces and creating interactive omnichannel stores that will bring the brands to life and elevate the customers’ experiences.

On the other hand e-commerce  based retailers  have understood the need of a physical space to represent their brand and story and have customers experience their brand identity in a physical space. Now people are demanding a merge that will connect both of the physical and digital worlds together for the ultimate digital experience. 

Technologies that are here to stay even after the pandemic; 

The pandemic created new demands and needs for the safety of their customers and retailers had to start incorporating them more and more into their stores in order to keep up with the new normal. As a result many new and not so new technologies made their way into the retail industry and are now very much part of the new normal even after the pandemic. 

Here are some of the touch-less technologies that we discussed in one of our blogs during the pandemic: 

Gesture Recognition

By using simple gestures, customers can interact with devices without even having to touch them. Hand movements or head movements can control content on digital screens. This means customers still have touch points to interact with, they just don’t have to do any of the physical touching! No more drilling ‘look don’t touch’ into your kids when you take them shopping, because ‘look and learn’ could be the thing of the future.

Touch-less Sensing

We’ve all experienced touch-less sensing without even realizing it. Walking into a building with an automatic door? Touch-less technology. Similar to gesture recognition, touch-less sensing works on recognising the presence/motion of a person in its vicinity.

Facial Recognition

At the moment facial recognition is most popular in personal devices like mobile phones and tablets, but it’s gradually making its way into public spaces.

Lots of brands, especially in the beauty industry are focusing on developing AR software that allows customer interaction with products. This software can operate both in store and online – allowing for an omnichannel experience.


Charlotte Tilbury are amongst those testing the waters with tech having recently developed their ‘Magic Mirrors’. Customers visiting a counter with a magic mirror can now physically try on makeup and interact with the products without having to touch them. On a personal note, we also recently worked with Sports Direct to develop a ‘selfie mirror’ working through facial recognition, providing a great in store experience for the new experiential customer. This AR software has been extended past the face to recognise the whole-body allowing customers to also try on clothing and interact with other products.

Voice Recognition

Familiar with Alexa? She works on voice recognition – like a whole host of other interactive speaker devices. Voice recognition operates by learning your voice and then responding to it every time you speak to it.

Until now voice recognition was only really something we did at home or when we are out and about with our phones. A new demand means software is now being developed to enhance the in store experience from the perspective of the sales assistant.

Remember the days of going into a store and asking for a pair of shoes in a different size? Only for the sales assistant to disappear off for what seems like hours trying desperately to locate your new dream footwear…Well those days could soon be long gone. Voice recognition software has been put to use by The Container Store, who with wearable touch free technology are now able to check stock levels with just one word.

Interactive technologies that have become more popular post pandemic.

Having a physical store is essential to create connection between customers and the brands. With the help of our interactive technology you can only elevate that connection as well as the experience into your store.

We’ve listed 4 of our most popular interactive technology; 

1. Selfie/ Boomerang mirrors

Selfies have been the latest most popular trends in social media the last decade and many big brands such as Nike and Boohoo have incorporated it into their marketing strategies with bringing the application in store and creating an interactive experience that would not only connect the customers with the brand, but also advertise their brand on social media through the experience of their own customers by encouraging  them to post their selfie on their social media.

2. Social Wall

selfie & boomerang mirrors

Similarly to the selfie/boomerang mirrors, Debenhams wanted to establish its digital presence and so our team at inurface media together with our partner brand Xi created the social wall. The social wall helps connect actual customers with the brand by making them the heart of the store. By simply snapping a picture and uploading it to social media with the #debenhamsbeauty the content is then shared to the social wall. This activation helps engage consumers with the brand and promotes the ‘real people’ aspect, with actual consumers having the chance to feature on the social wall.

3. Lift and Learn Technology

Another innovative interactive application is the lift and learn technology. This exciting install brings products to life. The lift and learn technologies allow users the opportunity to physically interact with products. Located with the football boots, the lift and learn wall provides content on certain football boots. By lifting a boot digital content is triggered and displayed on LED screens to provide the user with information about the product.

4.  In store Analytics

With the outbreak of covid many customers’ behaviors and needs have changed. A huge part of understanding the ever-changing customer journey is data. As omnichannel experiences become essential, more brands and retailers are realizing the power of first-party data. Understanding the consumer helps determine which modes of shopping work best for them and it helps refine the message that resonates most. 

Using retail analytics and hard data is a great way to help you make smarter decisions instead of having to play guessing games. It is a lot more time efficient and it will lead you in higher profits as well as achieving better customer satisfaction.


91% saying they are more likely to shop with brands who provide relevant offers and recommendations.



One thing is certain. The pandemic exposed where retailers needed to change parts of their business, but it also showed them that with high level efforts, teamwork and the will to work quickly and more efficiently than ever before, anything is possible to drive better customer experiences. Here at inurface media we have a team of experts that will help you guide you through the process and take you step by step into the new post pandemic new retail world and help you elevate your store experience with creating omnichannel environments that will help you connect the customers with your brand.