Episode 5

High-tech, high impact

In our final episode, we’ll explore what we’ve learned so far and dive into what consumers will expect next. We'll hear from AI specialist Pascal Bornet and discuss ethics and sustainability with LEON.



Hugo Engel – Digital Executive, LEON

Discover how LEON has built ethics and sustainability into the core of its business and makes it easy for customers to make a difference.

Pascal Bornet – Intelligent Automation expert and author

Explore how intelligent automation can improve customer experience, simplify processes, and free-up valuable time by turning us into super-humans.

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Episode transcript

Colin: No one saw Covid-19 coming. In hindsight, it seems easy to say what governments and businesses should have done. But no one could have predicted how events would pan out.

Now, at least we can see a light at the end of the tunnel. And, even if COVID is around for a while, we’ll hopefully find a way to live with it.

So, what does this mean for consumers? And how can businesses ensure they’re offering a meaningful contribution to the communities they serve?

Kate Nightingale: I have absolutely a firm belief that brands actually create our societies and our humanity and the world we live in. So the responsibility that the brands have are absolutely enormous, but also the opportunity that stems from that responsibility is even greater. We already know that our customers vote with their wallets, right? There's nothing new about that. We have been seeing that, that accountability is stronger, but it is going to be even more important in how those brands impact in the world.

Colin: This is Retail Reawakened; the show that explores how retail and hospitality businesses can rise again in the aftermath of the pandemic.
And I’m your host, Colin Neil Head of Commercial at Adyen UK.
Adyen is a global payments provider for retailers like Hunter, SuperDry and Fortnum & Mason, and food and beverage businesses like LEON, Joe & The Juice, and Hakkasan.

Before working at Adyen, I spent 30 years in the retail industry, including working as Retail Operations Director at Burberry.

In our final episode of the series, we'll be looking to the future. We’ll ask the experts how they think the events of the pandemic have changed the retail and hospitality sectors.

We'll look at the emerging technology trends in Asia Pacific and discover how brands there are using QR codes, biometrics, and more to improve experiences.
And we'll explore how the mindset of consumers has changed since January 2020 and reveal how brands can secure their lasting loyalty.

Over the course of the pandemic, our relationship with technology has evolved.
Businesses had to pivot to ecommerce to stay open and consumers adopted digital channels, initially for safety, but increasingly for convenience. 
In fact, some estimate that the Western world saw 10 years' of technology adoption in the first few months of the pandemic.

But, to understand where we’re headed next, it’s worth looking East to Asia Pacific. Since, according to CEO of Emerging Communications, Domenica Di Lieto, it won't be long before we see similar experiences here too.

Domenica Di Lieto: think if anybody wants to really learn about how things are going to be in the UK in a couple of years time, they need to go to China because we're always going to get their technology. We're just a couple of years behind. I think the biggest thing that happens in China, that's been there for some time is AI. So you can go into Sephora Now I can say, I want to try on a load of lipsticks - I don't even have to put them on. You just click on the lipstick and in a virtual mirror, I'll see what it looks like. You can do that with haircuts. You can do that with clothing. You can do it with shoes. You stand in front of a virtual mirror, it will take your measurements and then you just hold up what you want to wear. And it will tell you what it looks like. It saves so much time. I'm now so fussy that I, I tend to buy everything in China because I expect things to be quicker and easier. So there's AI technology. There's robotics. So for example, you can go into bars in China and the cocktails are mixed by robots, and that's increasingly popular. You go to hotels. I have nothing but robotics running them. So it's quite an interesting concept.

Colin: As exciting as AI outfitters, augmented reality mirrors and robotic bartenders sound, there's another technology that's now woven into the fabric of life in Asia Pacific: The Super App.Here with an explanation of super apps is President of Adyen Asia-Pacific, Warren Hayashi.

Warren Hayashi: So one of the big trends across Asia Pacific is this concept called a super app. And it really started with two super apps in China. One is called Alipay. One is called WeChat pay. And one started as a payments app and extended into, you know, financial services and many other services. On top of that, you can order a ride. You can order movie tickets. There's banking services, all sorts of services available. And WeChat on the other side, started as a communication app, but then also extended it to many services. And it's really around trying to engage consumers and be the central point of connectivity for all sorts of services, from ride hailing, all the way to delivery of movie tickets, to food, and, of course down the road, banking services. And it's a concept that's still probably foreign to many parts of the world, but it's in a very active discussion with many large players that rolling out the super apps across the different pockets of Asia.

Colin: With super apps making it easy for consumers to access everything they need online, you might wonder where that leaves physical stores.
But these apps aren't attempting to usurp the in-person experience. They're there to enhance it and create truly unified experiences.

Domenica Di Lieto: Stores in China, especially in tier one cities, let's take Shanghai. Most things seem to start in Shanghai in terms of innovative, especially in the fashion and beauty sectors, you're not supposed to go in there and buy stuff because what you do is you go, I really like those trainers I've tried on and I've been dancing on their dance floor and watching myself on a large screen and competing with another million people virtually... And that's what it's all about. It's basically Showtime. And then essentially, I'll go on WeChat as I did and just bought a pair and it gets delivered to my hotel. Or if you live that gets delivered to your apartment or your house. That's how it works in China. Nobody talks about omnichannel in China because it's one thing. They talk to the customer, whether they're online, shopping through their phone or through Little Red Books through an influencer in the same way that they would to the point that I will go up to the counter of Mango in Shanghai and they will say hi Domenica. They know who I am. I'm on WeChat. I walk in, they recognize my weaker ID. And that's the level of technology. Same. When you go through the airport, facial recognition, I will stand in front of certain pillars at Shanghai airport and it will tell me, oh, that's Dominica your flight's leaving from gate 32.

Colin: So, Super apps aren't just an online checkout for your in-store purchases - they're also an engagement and marketing tool.Far from de-humanizing the shopping experience, they're actually making it much more personal by putting customers on a first-name basis with brands, at scale.

Asia Pacific’s comparatively quick recovery from the early waves of the pandemic offers a glimpse of how consumer attitudes have changed and, as Warren explains, how technology has been used to meet new demands.

Warren Hayashi: We're very fortunate in APAC. In many cities having gone through the pandemic in an earlier phase, it gives us a glimpse of what the future experiences, whether it's a shopping experience, a dining experience, a glimpse of what future experiences may look like. A lot of these are not new. These are conversations we've had with retailers, hospitality groups with FNBs before the pandemic. And this is really an acceleration of what's happened. And if you think about, you know, what were considered hygiene factors for a good shopper experience, well, they want that smooth or frictionless experience, but at the same time you want deeper engagement. And so there's a lot of creative experiences that we're starting to see across the region.I think we're all shoppers. We're all frequent diners. We all want to go out and we're starting to see that all across the region. There's so much enthusiasm around going back into a physical setting. But this is where I think we should start to see a lot of interesting experiences. And the thematic piece is really around contactless and of course, cashless. And I'm starting to really equate the two as one in the same when. We talk about contact less, it's not just about cards, right? Credit cards or debit cards, even before the pandemic. Over 90% of card transactions at the point of sale in Australia were already contactless. That's really by far the fastest adoption of contactless card transactions. But across the region, of course, we're seeing a high adoption, right? It's almost universal now across many large cities in countries here in Asia Pacific.

Colin: So contactless is the name of the game. The use of contactless payments and even QR codes is pretty standard in the UK too now. At least when it comes to food and beverage. I think we’re all used to sitting down at a table and scanning a QR code to view a menu and place orders. But QR codes aren’t just for restaurants. Retailers in Asia Pacfic are finding ways to take advantage of them too.

Warren Hayashi: We're seeing a lot of interesting use cases, particularly around convenience stores, right? Which is really around an entirely unmanned unstaffed a convenience store where you enter scanning a QR code and pay through either a card or a wallet that's tokenized on the app of the particular chain. And you go in and you just take all your items and essentially you walk out because the store is able to remotely see what you're taking when you're purchasing. So that's one experience that we're powering here in Singapore and it's early days, but that's definitely something that we see more and more.

Colin: The development of this pick-up-and-walk-out model is incredibly exciting. And we’ll learn more about the technology behind it in a moment. But, before it enters the mainstream, brands in APAC have found a way to streamline the existing self-checkout experience. In the UK, we still have to scan items one-by-one. But in APAC, this is carried out with a Formula-1-pit-crew level of efficiency thanks to RFID technology.

Warren Hayashi: The second part is around a checkout at a retail store. Now think about a very typical grocery chain experience where you take a basket full of items and you scan the items one by one. Yeah, it's great. You don't interact with a cashier, but having to scan each item, it takes a lot of time. Now we're seeing experiences where you take the entire basket and through RFID technology, you scan the entire basket all at once. I mean, it's equivalent to checking out a stack of books at the library, instead of scanning a library book one by one, it's about just being able to take a number of items and checking out in bulk. And that speeds up the process so much. So instead of interacting with a cashier, which may take, you know, multiple minutes, this is a sub one minute transaction. And for a retailer, that's also focused on efficiency. This is an incredible way of providing value onto both the store, as well as to the shopper.

Colin: Another technology that's also starting to find its place in the retail and hospitality sectors is IA. And that's not a typo. IA stands for intelligent automation. And here to tell us a little bit more about it is intelligent automation global expert and author, Pascal Bornet.

Pascal Bornet: I think you heard about cognitive automation, you might have heard about hyper automation. Automation, simply automation. And we think all those words are synonyms. Okay. Or if there are differences, there are such nuances that they are not worth being explained. Okay. Now what is, what is it? It's the combination of methods and technologies to be able to automate end to end processes that are currently performed by people, by workers. It combines most of the technologies you have heard about from the technologies that helps us to view, okay, like computer vision, the technologies that help us to talk and to understand, and to hear like natural language processing the technologies that help us to execute actions, like robotic process automation, and the technologies that, that help us to think, learn, analyse, like machine learning, deep learning. So combining those different technologies together, we are able to automate tasks and connect those tasks together so that we can automate end to end processes. And it's important to comment on the difference between intelligent automation and industrial automation. Okay. Industrial intermission started more than 200 years ago. It is about physical. Uh, automation, you know, basically manufacturing, intelligent automation is about the automation of, of intelligence. And when I say that I'm referring to knowledge workers, or we can call ourselves office workers, and basically we use our brain hence intelligent automation.

Colin: Intelligent automation can be used to carry out the tedious and repetitive work that's too complex for basic automation methods, but still too simple to be fulfilling for real people, freeing them up to focus on the important (more interesting) tasks. So where can this technology be used in retail and hospitality? According to Pascal, just about anywhere.

Pascal Bornet: What we've seen from our research and from our experience is that it is magic because it's applicable across industries and across business functions. But in retail and hospitality, I like to first divide it into the use cases that are front to the client and ones that are more back-office. And again, any process that is definable, that is documentable could be automated. In the front I would say the best example in retail of course, is Amazon Go. So basically this is a combination of different technologies to automate different tasks. First of all, you have cameras that are focused on the shelves and automatically those cameras can send a signal to the procurement so that they can replenish the shelves with the product that has been taken. When products have been taken by the client and the client is ready to go, automatically based on the cashierless model, the account of this client is debated by the amount of what he's he's purchased automatically. So no need to queue to get someone, to scan our products and then pay them. Those cameras can help not only to replenish automatically, but also to identify a lot of our behaviors as clients in what do we do take, where do we work in the different aisles  in the store and then where can we put promotions and where they can be useful and efficient and all this can be connected with external data. For example, I know the weather in two days will be good. Cause we're going to be very warm, I'm sure I'm going to sell a lot of ice creams. So I'm plan to have all the ice creams. Okay. So it's about not only utilizing the internal data, but also connecting it with external facts that helps you to create much more insights that we wouldn't as human be able to do it because it's connecting millions of data. I like to say it's changing us into super humans. We are able to manage millions of data and create value from it in just a few seconds.

Colin: IA's ability to monitor in-store factors such as stock levels and customer habits and reconcile that with external data, such as weather or even the football results, lets businesses stay one step ahead - anticipating demand to ensure they serve customers in the best way possible.
And while that presents a clear benefit to consumers, IA can also add value behind the scenes.

Pascal Bornet: There is again here, plenty of use cases. The most common ones across industry are finance function with the capacity to reconcile accounts, to automate payments, to reconcile bank accounts, for example, to digitalize paper invoices so that they can be automated and they can be managed automatically. For human resources or the capacity to screen automatically CVs, to send postings or job ads automatically based on the needs. To understand  the personalities and the sentiments of people so that you can build teams that work well together. And of course, procurement and supply chain, which are very important, especially in retailer can be confusing to me, to the almost end to end.

Colin: As great as this all sounds, it may also conjure the same fears as AI: That machines are coming for real people's jobs - Pascal argues that the real-life impact of IA is that it'll make all sectors more human.I'm driven by his conviction, that intelligent automation is making our work more human. And the reasons why I'm saying that are very diverse. Let's start with clients and their experience. We are all clients and we all like good experiences. So using intelligent automation helps us to get better products, better services, faster, cheaper. Okay. Secondly, as employees, we are all doing a lot of repetitive, transactional, tedious activities that nobody likes. Think of someone who's entering eight hours per day, invoices on a computer. I wouldn't even wish that to my worst enemy. According to a Gallup survey, they found out that more than 85% of the employees around the world are not satisfied, fulfilled by their work. And the reason why is because they think their work is too tedious, repetitive. We don't have time to think, but I don't have time to meet with each of my team members once in a week. Okay. Like I should be able to do that, but I don't have the time because to them spending time doing logistics, doing Excel files. So being able to automate those processes, not only help us to refocus on the work we should be focused on, it helps us to augment us, be able to do more. Be able to, to collect data and get insights from the data in just a few seconds and be able to act rapidly. We've researched as well, currently, our world is spending a lot of money on useless things. Or we are also losing money due to fraud. And fraud can be identified, tracked, and solved for large portion using intelligent automation from our analysis and research more than 10 trillion of dollars could be saved every year by using intelligent automation, 10 trillion of dollar, meaning we could double the budget for health globally. Plus we could double the budget for education globally.

Colin: Having all this extra time to concentrate on the important tasks and leaving the headache of the menial chores to computers probably sounds like a dream come true to a lot of brands. But as many of us know - cutting edge technology is rarely perfect straight out the box and it usually takes a few iterations to get things running as they should. Also, consumers can be understandably spooked if a previously human-powered process is abruptly replaced by a machine. But, in the same way that consumers don’t mind sharing data if they understand how it will be used, Pascal believes they’ll be supportive of automation as long as businesses are transparent about it.

Pascal Bornet: I think that's something very important that companies need to do. When they start implementing those technologies with their clients, and it's simply being honest with them. Simply explaining to them we are currently working on trying to improve your experience. So if you get this very clearly, very honestly said at the beginning, then people don't get angry, they understand the approach and understand the intent of the company. They also need to understand that it's just a technology that is currently being tested or being implemented. So, so being honest with the clients and communicating the right points is I think, so something very important.

Colin: Pascal isn't the only one who thinks that this level of openness and co-operation could be beneficial to brands.

Vice Chairman of the behavioural science agency, Ogilvy, Rory Sutherland, also believes that brands should do more to ask for help from customers and even competitors moving forward.

Rory Sutherland: I'd recommend that businesses adopt just a much more collaborative approach with other businesses to say, what are the problems which are effectively collective problems sector, problems category problems, that we can solve together? Rather than always operating in direct competition. And one thing that commercial entities never think of doing, but I think can be quite powerful is asking your customers to do your favor. Contrary to of standard economic theory, if you're an airline and you said to someone look, you've got to take it on the 10:00 AM flight. Would it be possible for you to switch to the noon flight, which is a lot less crowded? Don't worry if not, but it would help us out if you did. A lot of people will be perfectly happy to go along with what you might call voluntary yield management, simply if you ask nicely. And then if you sent them little, thank you afterwards, they'd be doubly pleased because they weren't even expecting it.

Colin: And this customer-brand relationship, Rory suggests, doesn't just stop at opening a dialog. Rory believes that brands now need to be more than simply present in their communities, they need to be active within them, helping causes where they can because this is what shoppers demand of the brands they rely on - especially in the wake of a hardship such as the pandemic.

Rory Sutherland: If you can be helpful. If you can help in any way,, then do that and then tell people about it. Because it's an absolute case where deeds matter more than words. It's very interesting, going back to the advertising that ran at the beginning of the first world war, for example, you know, Rolls Royce motors would advertise the contribution they were making to the war effort in the supply of vehicles, for instance. Boot manufacturers would talk about their military boots. And so that's generally good advice. If you can actually put your money where your mouth is, you know, principle is only a principle when it affects your wallet, then it's incumbent on you to do that.

Colin: But where has this burst of altruism among customers come from?
Consumer psychologist, Kate Nightingale tell us more about the psychological origins of shoppers' calls for social action and sustainability.

Kate Nightingale: When you are sort of faced consistently with an existential threat , you're basically asking yourself consistently a question of what legacy will I leave? And most of the people will probably say nothing. So, regardless of kind of where we are in our life, we still have that very wired in us need to, you know, to make an impact. But what are the brands doing? How are they creating communities or platforms where you have tools and support, where you are able to actually create that impact? The more people are surviving really difficult situations. Uh, the more they can endure. It's like, if you didn't entirely break food out this last year and you're still continuing or better yet you thrived you going to stick around and you're going to create something better and you're going to also demand from others, including the brands, to do better. And that's another element of that accountability that is going to stay for the brands. So what are you doing as a brand to really be transparent, to really honestly show proof of what you are doing because. Just saying you're sustainable, not going to stick. Just saying you're ethical, nu-uh, not going to stay.  Uh, all of those things, you know, we are just seeing through all of that kind of smokescreen right now.

Colin: This focus on sustainability isn't just a theory either. Shoppers are explicitly calling for it:

Vox pop: Most companies now, I think, are you thinking much more sustainably... some more than others.
Vox pop: Having more sustainable recycled items, and just being honest how your returns process works, if your returns process goes to landfill, or if it does get resold, like that's a really big thing, especially like, you know, young people and clothes shopping. We really do like to sort of be conscious of the fact that clothes aren't an unlimited resource. 
Vox pop: I think that they should do enough to keep that business going, but also make an effort to save the planet. 
Vox pop: I would hope that none of the brands I use would be using child labor or sweatshops  and sustainability wise, I think everyone's moving to lower quantities of packaging. I mean, we got a big family, so I struggle to get all the rubbish into the bin every week. So I don't need any more plastic or packaging that needs to go in a general waste stream, thank you very much.

Colin: Our research from the Adyen retail report revealed that 59% of shoppers will now go out of their way to shop with socially responsible brands.

So how can businesses weave sustainability into their products and services?
In the early days of the pandemic, the restaurant chain Leon converted restaurants into shops and worked with Feed NHS and Feed Britain to keep key workers from going hungry.

To tell us more about their community efforts is Leon's digital executive, Hugo Engel.

Hugo Engel: The first thing we did, as soon as the sort of first rock down set in was turn our restaurants into shops for just really basic goods, like toilet roll, eggs, milk. And it seems like a feverish nightmare looking back on it, but like which weren't available in the supermarket at that time, but we did have enough supply chain. So that was the first thing we did sort of for a short period when that was the big issue. And then the next thing we did was a campaign, a could Feed NHS where we worked in partnership with hospital trusts to provide the critical care workers who took us through the pandemic with one hot healthy meal for free a day. And so we'd work with the hospitals, asked them, you know, when's a good time to drop off all this food? What sort of food would really help your team? And try and mix it up as much as possible. And our restaurants, which always... some of our restaurants are open throughout the pandemic, some of them are located really close to hospitals in London. And they were effectively operating as like the catering kitchens for the hospitals. So they'd make a load of Brazilian black bean and then bring them to the hospitals there to feed the NHS team. And the third thing we did to respond to the pandemic, which was the thing that I was most involved in was Feed Britain. And so another consequence of the lockdown was supermarkets, shelves were emptying and they were down to wartime production lines. So you couldn't access all the amazing produce which we grow and create in the UK. The restaurant suppliers were seeing that business completely dry up because the restaurants were closed. So they had nowhere to sell their amazing cheeses and meats and sort of specialist projects, which were no longer on sale seven supermarkets. So we set up a direct to consumer e-commerce platform called Feed Britain, where we sold food boxes of ingredients of this produce so that customers could access this amazing produce and cook their own meals from it. And then I think for me, like the biggest or the main value from it was that. The restaurant suppliers had some way to continue generating revenue. And then any profits that we made from it, we then donated to the Feed NHS campaign. So it was a really, it was a strange time, but in some ways it was a really exciting time. And that was sort of everything that was going on and feeling that like the work we were doing was hopefully having a real impact on the community.

Colin: Even beyond the pandemic, Leon are focused on being a big name in sustainability thanks to their three-pronged approach.

Hugo Engel: Sustainability's core to our mission since we started. And I guess the way we see the sustainability, it could be split into three parts. The first is that we want to encourage people to eat more plants. We're not trying to convert everyone just to go entirely vegan because we think we can have more of an effect if we just try and encourage people to see meat as more of a side dish. Instead we try and put vegetables front and center. So we have sort of vegan innovation on the menu. So we have a love burger, for example, but then we also have our paprika chicken dish, which has meat in it, but what really comes out around the meat is the beautiful vegetables. So eating more plants is not just part of our sustainability strategy, but also just good for people's diets as well, which has been really important to our food philosophy since the start. And then the second thing is plastics. Plastics are a really complex issue, which is, which are often simplified. And the way we approach the issue is that we want to try and reduce the amount of plastics that people use. We want to encourage people to reuse plastics and we want to recycle plastics wherever possible. So there are lots of, or too many non-recyclable dead-end use cases for plastic. And we see this in the food industry, for example, where there's some quite outdated regulations, which mean that a lot of food products have to be contained in virgin plastics and that just sort of creates more wasted plastic and less ability to use recycled plastics. So we're always searching for alternative materials and encouraging people to reuse reusable cups, et cetera, where whenever safe and possible. And the third part of how Leon thinks about sustainability is in our energy consumption. So we work with a company called Ecotricity, which is the UK's is, um, greenest energy supplier to supply the energy for our restaurants. So wherever we buy energy for our restaurants, we buy renewable energy and we are just trying to spread the word about using green energy also to our customers too. So when we think about Leon, we think about what we can do in our restaurants and in our supply chains. But we also see Leon as a community of people which involves our suppliers, it involves our restaurant team, but also involves our customers too. And I think there's a, quite a good two-way relationship where our customers are the best people to be advocating for us to make changes and to hold us accountable. But we also want to encourage them to do the same too.

Colin: Encouraging customers to live more sustainably and operating in a more environmentally friendly way aren't the only ways in which Leon are trying to support the wider communities their restaurants are a part of. They're also getting involved with local causes with a helping hand from Adyen Giving.

Hugo Engel: I came across Adyen Giving as a way we could use the in-restaurant kiosks as a vehicle to fundraise and do more good in our local community. So we worked with an organization called Bags of Taste, which works with local communities to try and tackle food poverty at source. So Bags of Taste and believes that no one should have to rely on a food bank and instead if we can work out what the real challenges and blockers are for low low-income people to access and cook the food, they need to survive, then we wouldn't need food banks. So they work in a really data-driven way to work out. What's preventing them from being able to support themselves with healthy traditions food, and those things are equipment, knowing how to show up in a way to maximize your spend, and then the basic cooking skills to be able to cook that food? And for us, that is an incredible effective way for our customers to be able to help solve food poverty in their community. So Adyen Giving from a customer perspective, walk into one of our kiosk restaurants, and we're soon going to roll them out to all of our restaurants, you place your order on the touchscreen kiosk, you pay for your order, and then after you've paid a little message will appear on the payment terminal and saying, would you like to donate to Bags of Taste? You can then choose how much you want to donate and simply tap your card to make that donation. That money then goes directly to Bags of Taste. And what we really liked about Adyen Giving is that they absorb all that cost themselves. So 100% of the customer's donations go straight to the charity. They're never sitting in a Leon bank account and have to be transferred. And as soon as you pay that money is just going straight to the Bags of Taste. The other thing, which. I really liked is the optimization of the donations. So Adyen Giving provides you with a really great and easy to use dashboard where you can easily see what the average donation amounts are in different restaurants at different times. And so then we can use that to work out. Okay, we can only show three donation amounts on the terminal. Is it more effective to only show one donation amount, which is one pound, which might be clearer a message, or to show three different amounts, which give people different options? And over time, we were able to optimize the fundraising for Bags an Taste through the A Giving platform.

Colin: As well as improving a brand’s impact, sustainable practices and social responsibility empowers consumers. It gives them the opportunity to vote with their wallets, favoring brands which are actively contributing to a better future.

Kate Nightingale: I have absolutely a firm belief that brands actually create our societies and humanity, and the world we live in. And we are totally constantly exposed to brand communications and it shapes how we view the world and how we view our own identities. So the responsibility that the brands have are absolutely enormous, but also the opportunity that stems from that responsibility is even greater. We have been seeing that that accountability is stronger, but it is going to be even more important how those brands impact on the world. And I'm not talking about just sustainable and ethical considerations. But is your campaign, making people feel bad about themselves? Is it affecting their self-esteem? Is it contributing to people's depression? And so on? So on. So what is the impact that you actually making on the world? That stems from your purpose? Right, but how you're involving your customers to help you make that impact - not only can make that impact more powerful, but can make those customers be more loyal, more engaged , more ambassador-like, it will definitely improve the positive word of mouth. It is that kind of idea of how you are changing the world based on, you know, on what the customer wants. It's almost like, you know, like your tool for there for your customers to be able to change the world for better.

Colin: So contributing to good causes and trying to make a positive impact on the world aren't just a way to make brands look good. Customers want businesses to act responsibly because businesses are now the vehicles through which the customers themselves can do good. Brands are no longer just somewhere to shop, they're instruments for change.

On the surface, it really might have looked like the high street came grinding to a halt in 2020. But what we've discovered throughout this series is that the complete opposite is true.

Beneath the surface, retail and food and beverage businesses underwent a dramatic metamorphosis.

We've heard how online channels boomed as boutique stores and big brands alike developed their ecommerce offerings.

And we've discovered how people's call for better hygiene boosted the adoption of cashless payments and pushed businesses towards unified commerce.
And it's clear that businesses can't go back to how they were pre-pandemic.
The digital transformation that occurred during nationwide store closures revealed that locked shops didn't have to mean lost business.

The technology behind touch-free commerce, digital channels, and connected experiences helped businesses to thrive. These systems are no longer nice-to-haves, but essential in a world where brands need to expect the unexpected.
We've also heard why it's more important than ever to remain agile and flexible as consumers continue to demand more ways to interact with brands.

Gradually, UK businesses are opening up, welcoming back returning customers and greeting new ones. And it’s critical these customers remain central to every decision made.

A one-size-fits-all approach is no longer an option. Customers have seen what's possible: their preferred payment methods can be used almost anywhere, they can be treated as a valued individual online and in-store, and their purchases can be used to make a positive impact on the world. 

The future of British commerce is all about collaboration.

To truly thrive, brands must work with customers to understand their needs, they must work with competitors to resolve sector-wide issues, payment providers to offer the best and safest payment experiences. and the wider community to ensure they contribute to a better future.

And that's it for Retail reawakened.

A big thanks to Domenica Di Lieto, Warren Hayashi, Pascal Bornet, Rory Sutherland, Kate Nightingale and Hugo Engel for their contributions today.
If you want to find out more about the future of retail, head over to adyen.com/ukretailreport and download our latest research.
Retail Reawakened is a production of Lower Street Media in collaboration with Adyen.

This series has been produced by Isobel Pollard and Ryan Sutton and our audio editor is Alex Bennet and I’m your, host Colin Neil.

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