The more contactless we go, the more important it will be to embrace core human needs


Future in-store experiences face new base lines as the pandemic made people perceive physical contact and social gatherings less lighhearted. For retailers, this posits a tough challenge since the touch and feel as well as the social exchange are crucial elements of unique in-store experiences. Contactless in-store experiences must be designed. For these retailers need to master the balancing act of creating sensual but safe experiences that pull customers into the stores.




In a collaborational project the wear tech expert Boltware and the H&M Lab developed an innovative jacket with which the wearer is able to send and receive touches. This is enabled through the integration of technology allowing users to send touches via an app to their counterparts. After the prototype was developed a campaign feauturing the overaching idea was launched. An open community discussion started on H&M’s digital platforms ranging from utter enthusiasm to reluctance.

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Our employees are our most important customers. They provide us with the most honest, direct and therefore best feedback. Because of Corona, cooperation with the whole team has become basically contactless. We had to adapt quickly and transfer all forms of contact into the virtual world. Every week, I will simply call three or four staff members without a professional background, making small talk and having a coffee. This way we can establish the new culture and even expand it – despite the growth of the team and the cooperation at a distance.

Benjamin Beinroth


The more contactless it gets, the more important it is for us retail designers to spotlight products, so that people are encouraged to touch and test them and, thus, the contact with the product can be leveraged to create feelings of excitement.

Alien Wolter

ARNO Group

Offering vivid face-to-face interaction combined with a positive in-store moments and food experiences, bears a huge potential opportunity for bricks-and-mortar retail.

It’s becoming more and more contactless, digital and anonymous. Retail can make all the more difference by having hosts in the store who bring in the personal, the inviting and the warmth that you cant experience in online retail. Conceptually, we can do everything right in terms of visual merchandising and the product, but if we don’t have good people in the store, especially in the jewelry sector, where personal advice and service are simply necessary in this price segment, then we won’t sell this piece of jewelry.

Jochen Schmidt


The customer will always take a great product for granted. That means he or she will move further and further away from the store. To put the customer in the center during contactless purchases is precisely the art to be mastered.

There is no “Digital First” anymore. It is “Digital Only” which really sets the standards and pace for buying and customer-brand-retailer interactions. In-store shopping is actually the exception for “digital hick-ups”. The physical interaction needs to be on point.

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