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Shopping is changing forever

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Credit: AdobeStock

Food stores around the world are being led by innovative staff risking their health to keep people fed during the pandemic. Finding new ways to work to minimise the spread of COVID-19 they deserve every plaudit for their work, the best available protection and a big pay rise.

Changes demanded by the outbreak are likely to be demanded by the public longer term. We reported in 2016 the Amazon Go store experience being facilitated by Just Walk Out Technology. It sees shoppers buy groceries without queuing. Customers simply use the Amazon Go app to enter the supermarket, pick up their goods and leave. Beyond this, mobile technology is likely to be further developed to help remove the need for direct contact with products, preventing contamination resulting from people constantly picking goods up and putting them back.

Last-mile delivery

Whether delivering groceries, fast food, or parcels, autonomous robots made by startups like Starship Technologies are going to become more visible on our streets. That’s because the pandemic is a behavioural game changer. It will accelerate the adoption by corporations of new technologies that offer safer everyday shopping options. The demand is here – and it is here to stay.

Online Malls

Consumers are increasingly turning to the internet for the shopping needs right now – but it doesn’t have to mean shopping alone. Thanks to innovations like TapApp, developed by Manchester-based entrepreneur, Steve Tucker, people can chat with their friends while shopping online, sharing their choices – and even buddy-up to gain coupons.

“Over 20,000 people signed up in January to be first on the beta,” Steve said. “And this was before the full magnitude of the pandemic became clear.”

He added: “It’s great to have a positive effect on people’s mental health, and that’s really why I decided to make TapApp free. It’s the least anyone can do to give something back.”

The pandemic has created a call to action to pioneer the future of shopping, one which startups and tech innovators around the world are responding to.

A huge thanks from all of us at Innovators Magazine to everyone who is working in grocery stores around the world.

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We are tracking information on online challenges, funding calls, and initiatives dedicated to tackling COVID-19. Sign up for our regular newsletters in the box below for all the latest on these and please share relevant details to colleagues and friends to help accelerate solutions.

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Susan Robertson
Written By

Susan is the co-founder of Innovators Magazine and a consultant for OnePoint5 Media. Susan is also a member of the UNFCCC-led Resilience Frontiers Nexus group and a board member of the APOPO Foundation UK.

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