Meanwhile, the share of voice for ‘touch free’ amongst all the shopper experience categories we studied increased by 24 percentage points in 2020 compared to 2019.
To find key topics within the online conversations around touch-free shopping, we used Brandwatch’s AI-analyst Iris to detect what was driving peaks in conversation. We examined these trends and split them out between what the media were saying and what consumers were saying.
So what made the news around ‘touch free’ shopping experiences in 2020?
In the press, there was a lot of positive buzz regarding how the pandemic was changing the way we shop, with digital adoption around shopping increasing dramatically since the beginning of last year. Even in those early stages of the pandemic, many retailers were innovating.
A number of companies were praised by the media for being at the forefront of innovation in retail by offering technologies like contactless payments or the ability to try on glasses and clothes virtually using online tools.
Here are some typical headlines we saw relating to touch-free shopping experiences in 2020:
- “Here’s where you can order great prescription glasses online during the pandemic”
- “Coronavirus pandemic changes how people bank, spend money”
- “How the pandemic may change the way we grocery shop”
In-store shopping experiences have been very limited for the last year, and retailers started experimenting with new technologies to help consumers try on clothing and accessories without having to be there in person. Through virtual fitting rooms, virtual try-on for eyeglasses, and even virtual makeup makeovers, innovators in the retail industry have made every effort to reduce potential physical contact, making the online shopping experience as close to the in-store experience as possible.
While all the hype around these touch-free shopping experiences early in the pandemic will have driven lots of customers to try the new technology out, has it led to long-term uptake?
Google Trends data suggests it has, with a sustained increase in searches for ‘virtual try on’ since the pandemic was declared.