Technology and retail: Get the balance right

TBWA\Hong Kong’s Asai Meyer and Terence Ling examine the balance that brands need to strike when applying advanced technology to retail operations.

While 2020 brought harsh contraction in various sectors, lockdowns and adapting consumer behaviour brought an accelerated adoption of digital retail and shopping solutions.

Worldwide, e-commerce sales rose 28% in 2020, compared to 20% annual growth averaged over the previous six years. Nine out of ten UK card payments in 2020 were contactless. Thus, it is perfectly understandable that brands took advantage of such rising acceptance to pilot ‘humanless’ retail concepts.


In Taiwan, 7-Eleven piloted X-Stores. Such convenience stores followed the unmanned retail model pioneered by Amazon Go, using technology to completely cater to the purchase...

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