Low-touch and contactless are the new buzzwords for brands in the time of pandemic

Meenakshi Verma Ambwani New Delhi | Updated on June 09, 2020

With a heightened focus on safety and hygiene protocols, brands across sectors are fast-tracking innovations enabling low-touch and contactless solutions for consumers. As retail stores, malls, restaurants and offices gradually open up, companies believe such innovations will be key to navigate the fast-evolving consumption trends.

PepsiCo India, known for its packaged water brand Aquafina, is piloting a low-touch water dispenser across six metros in collaboration with its partner. Geetha Radhakrishnan, Head, Bulk Water, PepsiCo India said that the company has been working closely with its partner, which makes the Atlantis brand of dispensers, to find low- or no-touch solutions for dispensing water.

“Together, we have developed a host of products – starting from add-on solutions for our existing dispensers to make them touch-free; to developing dispensers that are sensor-operated. After extensive research and trials, we were able to finalise the Aquafina low-touch dispenser model as a product that we could roll out now, given it meets key criteria including the safety of consumer, practicality as well as economies of scale," she said.

As part of this pilot project, the company aims to deploy 300-500 units of the low-touch dispensers by July 2020, mainly catering to the B2B space. "We anticipate large-scale adoption of the new dispenser amongst corporates and institutions, as the demand for such touch-free solutions grows in the future," Radhakrishnan added. The dispenser will be retailed by the partner and the snacks and beverage major said it would act as a facilitator to ensure demand from enterprises and corporates is well met in time.

German sportswear brand Adidas has begun piloting self-checkout kiosk at one of the brand's store in Bengaluru. Manish Sapra, Senior Brand Director, Adidas India said, "We will run the pilot for a few days to ensure consumers have a seamless experience. Once the pilot is completed, we will roll it out across other stores in the coming weeks."

Move over contactless deliveries, even dine-in experience at restaurants and food courts in shopping malls is set to change as players are working on deploying contactless ordering and payment solutions for consumers.

Moksh Chopra, Chief Marketing Officer, KFC India, "When the customers walk into our restaurants, they will be able to place orders by scanning a QR code and make payments through digital channels, for a completely contactless and cashless experience."

While contactless delivery has been operational for a while,we have also launched contactless takeaway service. Those already on the road, can place a takeaway order on our App or website, pay online and then walk into the restaurant at the pre-decided time to collect the order, or get the order delivered to their car or bike,” he added.

Published on June 09, 2020

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