As millions of us around the globe migrated our work, social and shopping lives online during lockdown, we all felt the positive and undeniable power of digital.

A digitally-fuelled future was always an inevitability, but one that has simply been fast-tracked this year, ultimately putting a spotlight on the need for brands to embrace the shift in consumer behaviour.

From tech-enhanced store design with invisible temperature scanning, to selfie mirrors, QR-fuelled stores or voice-activated shopping, we are likely to see new technologies experimented with – not only in the interim, to facilitate the emphasis on zero-touch stores while customers are hesitant to physically engage with spaces – but also in the long-term, as technologies become more prominent in creating seamless in-store experiences.

 

Sergio Rossi’s #WonderMachine pop-up store
Sergio Rossi’s #WonderMachine pop-up store in Milan has an invisible, infrared temperature scanner when you enter the store

 

However, the future isn’t just going to be about leveraging the latest technologies, but instead ensuring that technology choices are centred around human need, with an inherent understanding of what matters to the individuals that engage with it.

 

Spark New Zealand's Logitech experience in Commercial Bay
Spark New Zealand’s Logitech experience in Commercial Bay

 

As the distinction between digital and physical worlds becomes increasingly outdated, the brands that truly embrace technology to create a holistic and seamless experience for all their customers – successfully converging the on & offline experience – will ultimately win the greatest share of both sales and customer loyalty into the future.

And as soon as normality starts to creep back into life, pop-ups and temporary retail spaces will be perfectly positioned to achieve brand growth, acting as test-beds for technologies to enhance your omni-channel strategy, while treading carefully into the future.

This year more than ever, we’ve realised what it means to be human; and ultimately, the brands that continue to focus on creating honest, authentic relationships with their customers are the ones that will succeed in the future.

 

Spark New Zealand’s mission is to help New Zealand win big in a digital world; they engage in empathetic human-focussed dialogue with their customers.

 

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