Christy Weeks

Senior Brand and Product Marketing Manager

Industry Solutions

The Retail Industry Has Changed Forever

08 July 2021 • 7 min read
Main page » Industry Solutions » The Retail Industry Has Changed Forever

The pandemic has brought a lot of challenges to the world of Business, especially to the world of Retail, but with challenge also comes opportunity. As lockdowns end and countries start opening up, people are getting back to the High-street, but the High-street might not look the same as it once did. So let’s have a look at the impact Covid-19 has had on retail, the resulting behavioural trends and some of the ways HYPERVSN could help make your return a success.

The world is finally opening up again. Like a butterfly in the cocoon for far too long, we all watch in awe and anticipation as life restarts. The streets are fulling up, the roads and trains are starting to return to capacity, the tube is starting to return to double the capacity as usual. And boy are we glad. Yes, even filing in on the tube feels like a privilege these days. So what does this mean for retail, and how has consumer behaviour changed? Everyone is wondering what the effect of the lockdown is on peoples’ lives; are we just going to go back to how it was, or is the world changed forever?

The truth of it all is nobody really knows for sure. For once, there is hardly any data on the after effects of a pandemic like this, and no one can accurately predict what the world will look like in a few months, let alone a few years time. So what does this mean for retail?

1. People want a human connection

People have felt isolated and alone for too long now. They feel disconnected from society, and they are craving powerful human connections. Starbucks CEO, Kevin Johnson says ‘People around the world are craving that human connection’, and so they are using the “great human reconnection” as a basis to orient their stores and their store experience on. We see this trend a lot in retail; putting a face to a product or brand and speaking human to human.

HYPERVSN Holographic Human is a perfect solution for this. You can use your brand ambassador, founder, influencer, or employee to tell your story or endorse your product. Whether it is a product endorsement, Management presenting a store opening like Ikea Egypt, the latest fashion trends being shown on human models like at Ski Storsenter Shopping Mall, Holographic Human can be used to connect with your audience on a much more personal and impactful level.

2. Safety first

People are cautious and want to feel more secure when shopping. Whether it’s following arrows, spaced out queues or sanitiser offered at the door, people want to feel safe. “Balancing a safe environment with the joy of shopping in store will be key for retailers in the post-pandemic era” says Lee Edwards, vice-president and managing director at Adobe.

So how do we do this? Well for a start, clear messaging. Make sure your safety messaging is clear, the direction or flow in the store is controlled and people know what to do, and how to navigate so they can get in and out. That doesn’t mean we need to literally put-up red tape though. The best way to give clear messaging is to give it in a fun, eye catching way that people can’t help but notice. You need consumers to see your messaging and you want it to be entertaining, so what better way to do this then to use 3D holographic content! Use HYPERVSN Solo to communicate safety information or help consumers navigate your premises. The best thing about using the HYPERVSN platform is that when guidelines change, you can change your messaging in real-time.

3. Hands-off. The spike in touchless browsing.

There is a big consumer trend right now for hands-free capabilities. People are happy to look with their eyes, but they do not want to physically touch merchandise (completely understandable!). With this knowledge we created the HYPERVSN 3D Catalog, a hands-free solution to browse through a selection of 3D content. If you have a digital catalog of all your amazing products, why not let your consumers scroll through it using gesture controls! The 3D Catalog works with a Leap motion controller, so you can see the 3D content and swipe, all without touching a thing. Read more about this amazing touch-free solution.

4. People are more fussy

People don’t want to enter a physical store unless they have to. So retailers need to give consumers a good reason! When people are walking down the Highstreet, they are now, more than ever, on a mission; they have a plan of where they are going, and they are in and out. There is a huge decrease in browsing or just popping in for no reason. This means you need to stand out and you need to give people a reason to enter. One way to get people in the door is to amaze them, show them something they haven’t seen before and make them stop in their tracks. That is where HYPERVSN Wall comes in; Wall has the potential to increase the foot traffic into your store by 30%+. A holographic display is 50% more likely to be seen than a 2D advert, so this means HYPERVSN Wall has the potential to transform your store and your statistics and revenue.

5. Creating an unforgettable experience

A huge trend in retail is using the physical store to create an immersive brand experience. A physical store is there to gain brand affiliation and create an experiential environment.

In an article on the top Innovative retail trends on Tunuite, one trend stands out for brick-and-mortar stores, that being that “successful retailers become experiential”. Great retail stores now focus on creating unique shopping experiences and “provide value by strengthening customers’ relationship to the brand.” An example of this is the Nike flagship store in Times Square, complete with a basketball court and treadmills with screens of famous running routes. The goal of this is not to directly increase sales, but to create brand loyalty or “brand love”. Brands can create the most incredible immersive brand experience with HYPERVSN. View how HYPERVSN can be used in retail here.

6. People want interactivity

The pandemic brought a huge challenge for the retail industry, pushing brands all over the world to brainstorm new ways to create exciting and interactive e-commerce experiences for their customers. According to the Office for National Statistics, in 2020 e-commerce sales grow by 46.1% compared to 2019. Today, as people are returning to the High Street, all those new customers that you’ve got online, can’t wait to be introduced to your physical store. These customers expect to have a fully immersive offline shopping experience, one that they were missing for so long! Interactive solutions especially handsfree ones are best to engage your customers, delight them, help them visualize the products they want to purchase. Bring innovation, create truly phygital (physical digital) customer experiences by allowing them to communicate with Virtual Assistant using HYPERVSN Holographic Human, or choose the product they want with 3D Catalog.

7. A sense of community

Don’t forget people have been through a lot over the last couple of years. They have sacrificed and they have lost. It’s been tough, and people want to feel some sense of community again. Whether its pride for a vaccination program, thanking key workers or just being kind to each other, brands need to step up and have a voice.

8. The rise in strong Values

Consumers are rapidly changing their buying behaviour and choosing brands that match their values. In a recent study done by Accenture, “50% of consumers say that the pandemic caused them to rethink their personal purpose and re-evaluate what’s important to them in life”. These consumers will “abandon brands that don’t support their new values—and pay more to those that do.” So what is important for brands is to define their values, stick by them and communicate these values. Whether it’s telling consumers about your green sustainability programme, changing your logo colours for Pride month or communicating your core values, consumers are more conscientious than ever. Use HYPERVSN to communicate your values in store.

9. Getting back to normal. Or the new normal. Or the next normal.

People are moving on and just want to get back to normality. But what does normal look like now? Well, in a Deloitte report on Retail trends in 2021, retail innovation is at an all-time high. They say necessity is the mother of invention, and with the global pandemic, new regulations and lockdowns, the retail industry was forced to innovate. Deloitte looks at the creativity and innovation taking place across the retail industry. Innovation and creativity is at the heart of the HYPERVSN Platform. Go “Holographic” to Make your Window Display Stand Out and use the technology of the future, today.

Mark Leadbitter, Global Retail Innovation Consultant says, “if retailers are looking for innovation, HYPERVSN, with their incredible 3D display solutions, are definitely a brand to watch.”

The future of retail is here

Whether you are a shopfitter, a store owner, or a retail brand, the industry has changed drastically over the last year. Customers can’t wait to return to stores and have experiences that they can’t have online. It is time to innovate and prepare for the new normal, with revitalised consumers with a fresh perspective on the world. It’s time for maximum engagement. Inform and connect with your consumers in a personalized and meaningful way. Learn more on how HYPERVSN can be used in retail and the solutions we offer.


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