Future Touchless Shop

The Future Touchless Shop project aims to develop new service concepts with an emphasis on the customer experience and safety aspects.

A snowy scene from Lumi Accessories game, created for Future Touchless Shop.

The retail sector is in a strong upheaval, accelerated by the current pandemic situation. Demand has shifted at anaccelerating pace to online stores and digital platforms, leading for example to the half empty city centers. Accordingto a recent study, 60% of European consumers have changed their buying behavior due to Covid-19. The challengefor the brick- and -mortar store is the reduced number of customers and the resulting profitability challenge. The store needs to develop new and experiential operating models so that more people would go shopping to the traditional shops. These new solutions require the development of a touchless business model and experientiality at differentstages of the customer journey. The Future Touchless Shop project responds excellently to the objectives of the ERDF priority by supporting the crisis survival and renewal of SMEs, with a particular emphasis on digitalization, as well asresearch and innovation.

The Future Touchless Shop project aims to develop new service concepts with an emphasis on the customer experience and safety aspects. The objective is to strengthen the attractiveness and competitiveness of small retailers in the Uusimaa municipality by creating, testing and implementing such concepts. The project plan follows a customer-centred approach with generation Z as the end-user. The steps include research and analysis on the themes, ideating (hackathon), market analysis for the participating companies, new technological innovations (e.g. VR shopping), andbuilding and testing prototypes.

The operations of the project promote the opportunities of retail companies to hire new part-time and permanent labor. It creates employment opportunities for both men and, in particular, women who have lost their jobs in the sales and service sectors affected by the COVID-19 epidemic. The project aims to promote the resource-wise utilization of natural resources through digitalization and the strengthening of local services. The project strongly promotes the sustainable development of the local economic structure by supporting the overall development of the participating companies in an economically and operationally responsible and sustainable way. The health-safe solutions developed during the project will promote the well-being of customers. Through the project, the availability of services will improve, which will promote social and economic equality for consumers.

The project will result in new operating models and technological innovations while generating knowledge and know-how to support the growth and recovery of the Uusimaa retailers. The project will produce 3-5 concepts for small retailers to implement in order to develop their business, solutions for touchless shopping, and a training package “Future Touchless Shop” to openly distribute the results, insights and solutions.

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