The New Normal: Sodyo Scan Technology During Covid and Beyond
by Amanda C. Thompson, on Jul 8, 2020 5:55:50 PM
“What is normal?”
It’s always been an existential question, and thanks to Covid-19, the answer is more unclear than ever. But, also thanks to Covid-19, businesses have an opportunity to shape that answer going forward, while getting back on their feet here and now.
Embracing the right technology at the right time can offer both instant and future gratification for the discerning business. Sodyo is ready to help define the New Normal, promoting safe social distancing with our colorful scan matrix at retail stores, restaurants, bus stops, sports stadiums, and beyond.
Scan technology has clear applications today, while the coronavirus pandemic is still going on and people need to minimize contact with others as they salvage what they can of old routines.
The long-distance capability of the Sodyo Marker compared to QR codes encourages six feet of social distance between customers and reduces or eliminates the need for them to touch anything other than their own smartphones. Contactless interactions can help businesses get back on their feet, even with partial staffing and partial operations, thus keeping things afloat while minimizing risk to their most important assets: their employees.
But scan technology also offers a path forward to resuming “business as usual.”
Here are 6 ways the Sodyo Marker could help different verticals get back to some kind of “normal.”
- Grocery: Save customers the frustration and risk of repeated trips to search for hard-to-get items like toilet paper and Clorox wipes. Instead, let them scan a Sodyo Marker at the shelf to be notified when the item comes back in stock, or even have it shipped straight to their door, avoiding a second trip to the store altogether!
- Queue Management: As long as stores are enforcing capacity limits, there will be lines out of doors and around the block as people wait, six feet apart, for their turn to enter and shop. But nobody wants to stand waiting in these socially distant queues in extreme weather – spring rainstorms, summer heat, winter cold and snow.
Imagine instead that they could pull up, join the queue digitally, and wait in the car until it’s their turn to go inside. Then, just like waiting to be seated at a busy restaurant, they receive a ping and can accept or decline the option to enter the store.
- Big Box Retail: Restaurants are leaning on take-out and delivery to stay afloat. Walmart and other big-box retailers introduced curbside pickup even before the Covid-19 crisis. Now is the time for merchants to add or expand such offerings so that even more customers can take advantage.
Sodyo Markers could help facilitate a smooth “buy online, pick up in store” experience for almost any product, from simple groceries to art or gardening supplies. Customers just drive up to the curb, scan the Sodyo Marker from afar to announce their presence, and wait for their goods to be brought to the car. Or, use a locker system that can be unlocked only by scanning with the correct mobile device.
Imagine: the convenience of Starbucks mobile order-ahead, applied across all of retail!
- Retailers and Shopping Malls: Provide paperless coupons, promotions and deals that are customized for each person who scans, even though the marker is the same. This function can nicely complement loyalty programs and contactless payment capabilities that are already in place, marrying the two for an even better customer experience.
It’s also scalable across, say, an entire shopping mall, so visitors can scan a marker to find deals or a directory rather than engaging with a shared touchscreen map.
- Restaurants: Envisioning a soft reopening when all of this madness subsides? Sodyo Markers can help reduce the wait staff needed and limit their contact with customers, creating a sense of safety and protection as consumers venture back out into the world.
Instead of getting a buzzer from a host, guests can scan a marker at the entry and receive directions to their table via smartphone. Markers at the table can lead them to the menu, let them ask questions to a live employee without talking face-to-face, place their order, and accept their payment at the end of the meal.
It’s up to each business to discern how much contact is safe and appropriate between their staff and customers, but it’s entirely possible to create a dining experience where the only time employees and customers come into contact is when food is delivered to the table.
- Sports: It remains to be seen when professional athletes will go back to playing sports, let alone when fans will be allowed to attend games in person. However, the Sodyo Marker can help promote interaction and safe distancing during both phases.
Sodyo’s first solution was for TV and digital screens, where QR codes can be especially difficult to scan. With the marker on screen, viewers at home can scan to learn more about players and their stats, look up game schedules, or order merchandise to support their favorite team. This can help broadcasters and teams recoup their losses of not having fans in the seats by opening of sales from the TV screen.
Roll it out now and fans will already be used to it by the time the stadium reopens – so, it will not be a mystery when they scan a Sodyo Marker to enter instead of handing a ticket to a bouncer, when they scan a marker from their seat to order concessions, or when they scan the big screen to order merchandise that they can pick up, contact-free, as they leave the event.
When the coronavirus pandemic clears up, some things will (hopefully) revert to the way they were: Going to school, going to restaurants, going to music and sporting events. Other things will be changed forever. By now, it should be clear that the Sodyo Marker is not just a short-term, Band-aid solution to help businesses scrape by during Covid-19 – it’s a technology that can adapt with the times to help them thrive in the future, as well!