VR and robotics are vital solutions in FMCG to boost consumer trust during COVID-19

Manufacturers should explore new smart and connected solutions for purchasing, packaging and delivery to keep up engagement with the third of consumers worldwide (32%) that claim digital advancement often/always influences their product choices during lockdown, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

GlobalData’s latest report, “COVID-19 Case Study: Technology Solutions”, notes that some retailers are implementing virtual reality (VRsolutions to offer a more engaging visual e-commerce/v-commerce experience for shoppers. These offer a more familiar and visually appealing setting to consumers compared to the normal e-commerce – especially for those who are disabled or have limited exposure to physical stores.

Ramsey Baghdadi, Consumer Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Brands are progressing from the relatively simple social media campaigns at the initial stages of the pandemic to more innovative solutions such as artificial intelligence (AI) and roboticsIn the on-going lockdown conditions many countries face, it is expected that brands are adopting more of a digital space. However, manufacturers need to ensure that their digital solution aligns closely with their product/service. The digital strategy should ensure it goes beyond a social media campaign to boost consumer engagement.”

GlobalData’s report also explains the importance for inclusivity during the crisis, as 14% of older populations (65+) are starting to use digital platforms more often. Retailers have, for instance, been partnering with forward-thinking start-ups to develop solutions through robotics; Tesco’s partnership with tech start-up Starship Technologies to create delivery robots provides an opportunity to introduce a forward-thinking solution for consumerto minimize consumer contact and is accessible of all age groups.

Baghdadi comments: “Robotic partnerships in foodservice and retail align closely with consumer needs. It’s the increase in efficiency such as speedier delivery times that matter, and this allows chains to allocate more employee work time for other tasks – saving costs.”

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