As we all know, our world has changed forever. The pandemic has ravished through infrastructures and left an indelible mark on all aspects of our lives. We are so much more aware of the health dangers that proximity and contact with one another can bring.
One industry particularly affected is the in-store retail sector. Which was already suffering a deep decline in popularity before the pandemic.
The situation rapidly forced retail bosses to seek solutions to offer a safe, personalised and enhanced consumer service to entice their customers back to their stores. As well as offering a way to protect the health and safety of their employees.
A solution many have found in the increased use of contactless biometric technology. And through the merging of face-to-face and digital experiences in-store.
What this means, in reality, is replicating the consumer home digital shopping experience to the high street. This includes allowing onsite shoppers to authenticate a payment through facial recognition, touchless fingerprint, iris, or voice technology.
Indeed, for many consumers it’s the only way forward, with over, ‘73% of the respondents wanting to use biometrics for payment authentication’ according to a VISA study done in Europe. This research predates the pandemic, so suggestions are it will now be a lot higher.
Arana Security Sales Director, Ali Nasser, said “Post Covid 19, consumers and employees will be asking brands, ‘what adjustments have you done to make this environment safe for me to be in?’
The integration of contactless technology, like our Biometric Solution ‘Biowave’, which offers touchless multiple access authentication, offers reassurance to people who want a quick and efficient process, but who don’t want to touch surfaces that others have”.
But it is not only for payments, savvy retail operators are also maximising on the technology by using facial technology to personal greet premium customers as they walk through the door.
Or integrating voice technology in the changing rooms, so customers can pay for their items or order alternative sizes and styles.
Similarly, gone are the days when people have to or feel comfortable queuing to gain access or pay to get into venues or hotel rooms.
Technology like Biowave, enables a frictionless personalised experience for customers as they move through different environments and multiple venues, such shopping areas, hotels, stadiums or airports. By automating systems, consumers can be seamlessly processed, and their customer experience enhanced.
Restaurants and food courts too are utilising biometric applications to improve customer experiences. The challenges of COVID have forced the industry to make changes to how people ordered and paid for their food. With point-of-sale terminals and self-service kiosks being common solutions to minimise contact.
This is set to become the new norm. A recent report forecast that the appeal for self-service kiosks will grow by 11 per cent over the next decade. In particular voice-controlled systems.
Overall biometric industry growth is expected across the board. A recent global forecast by the Biometric Systems Market Research, claimed the biometric system market is expected to grow by $33 billion by 2023.
Would this growth have happened if Covid had not? It is fair to say that as the popularity and acceptance of biometrics grew, so would demand. But the speed of growth is the one aspect that all agree has been accelerated by the pandemic.
Consumers need to feel safe in retail environments like never before. They expect retailers to implement touchless digital experiences that supports their expectations.
Fortunately, companies like Arana Security continue to innovate and push boundaries with biometric research. Which means the technology can keep up with consumer demands in our new post Covid world.