The Rise of Touchless Retail

It’s no surprise that retail’s going digital.

Instead, the question becomes how digital and how quickly is it integrated.


Touchless is more than online shopping

In this post we take a closer look into touchless retail. 

Exploring the  innovative uses that can help ease societal concerns about entering brick and mortar stores while continuing the omnichannel experience that shoppers today expect. “ Brands need to use their physical footprint as a hub for highly targeted events that will appeal to their customers and keep drawing them back.” – RETAIL FOCUS


The rise of touchless retail has grown exponentially in a world forced into social distancing. Propelled by evolving consumer preferences and market competition, these innovations in retail aren’t turning back. 

It can sound gimmicky but the potential to provide a cleanlier, social distanced environment while enhancing the shopping experience has lasting potential. Touchless technologies offer the ease and convenience of touchscreens without the concerns of touching germs.


By adding more smart devices to their shopping experience, both retailers and shoppers are benefiting from the technology. For example, the data collected can be used to suggest more personalized recommendations, helping customers select better products for themselves while boosting overall sales. The innovations in retail technology also allow stores to record which products are more successful via facial and hand gesture recognition. Noting a nod or slight smile. 

Nicknamed “frictionless commerce,” touchless retail comes in a variety of formats, utilizing a combination of motion sensors and visuals. These visuals could be played on monitor, across multiple monitors or projected anywhere in the room, for example the floor or walls. While the sensors can range in sophistication, from camera-based body tracking to facial recognition software, linking to databases of preloaded actions based on shopper reactions. 

Read our previous blog post on how retailers are/were encouraging social distancing: READ MORE

Touchless Retail in action.


Examples of touchless retail can vary depending on its location. Starting with the exterior with curbside pickup (BOPIS) to the stand alone displays sprinkled through the store, personalized fitting rooms, and self-checkouts.



By now, most consumers have been exposed to the convenience of the Buy Online, Pickup In-Store model. Either using it themselves or at least knowing that it’s an option. An extension of e-commerce, it gained popularity as social distancing was strongly recommended. 

Contactless Delivery

Similar to BOPIS, it became a new standard in online delivery. 

Fitting Rooms

Fitting rooms are evolving to meet the demands of today and tomorrow’s shoppers. 


Initially these spaces were a convenient way to try before you buy. And an opportunity for retailers to boost sales with a “concierge-like” experience. But with their ubiquity came standardization and loss of service.


Now, we see a 180 shift back to providing customers with an unmatched personalization with retailers integrating “smart mirrors.” These mirrors are connected to a database of products, offering recommended products and virtual try ons. Imagine trying on a shirt and swiping through all the various colors and prints. With an ability to order and have it shipped to your home, all from your dressing room. 


Tommy Hilfiger’s (PARIS)


Adapting to the changing needs of their customers, Tommy Hilfiger invests in their “living and evolving assets.” 


The 940 sq-ft immersive space features an Endless Aisle touchscreen installation, smart fitting rooms and RFID tracking, which “suggests complimentary products that can be ordered directly from”, according to RETAIL FOCUS.


Rebecca Minkoff (NYC + LA) 


The team behind Rebecca Minkoff truly created a shopping experience designed for the tech savvy fashionista. Outfitted with an interactive videowall, self checkouts for small items and accessories and “Magic Mirrors” 


These “Magic Mirrors” enable shoppers to see different styles and colors, change mood lighting and order free beverages to their room. Although these aren’t exactly touchless, it does aid with social distancing. 


Interactive shelves provide shoppers with the convenience to scan QR codes for more product information. 




Adapting to the changing needs of their customers, Tommy Hilfiger invests in their “living and evolving assets.” 


The 940 sq-ft immersive space features an Endless Aisle touchscreen installation, smart fitting rooms and RFID tracking, which “suggests complimentary products that can be ordered directly from”, according to RETAIL FOCUS.


Touchless Displays vary from low to high tech, each with their own advantages and challenges.


In an omnichannel world, in-store displays of the future are an extension of a brand’s digital presence and vice versa. And with faster, more reliable internet, it’s easier to integrate. 


Simple, inexpensive QR codes and NFC chips can be impeded or adhered to graphics, guiding customers to custom landing pages. These are great low cost solutions that can easily be updated from a central hub and opportunities to grow relationships with shoppers. As great as these solutions are, QR codes and NFC chips assume you already have their attention. 

Retail is competitive and getting the right attention is crucial. The investment into motion sensors and holographic / projection technology can create an immersive experience. Utilizing gesture tracking to allow customers to test products. Using AR/VR to personalize the content with custom mobile apps. Laying in a 3D multi-media animation with sound and video. 



The future of retail depends on how quickly we adapt to the shopper’s preferences. And as the line between digital physical blurs, the expectation is omnichannel and with a concern with health and safety. Touchless could be the solution for it all. 


Depending on where it’s implemented there are high and low cost options to enhance the experience for both the patron, retailer and brand. 


We’d be happy to explore which touchless solution is the right fit for your next retail project. Reach out to us at



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