Tech: Strategic Retail Ally in the New NormalBy Daniel González | Thu, 06/04/2020 - 12:19
The use of technology enabled South Korea to become the big winner in the fight against COVID-19. The Asian country, one of the world’s leading economies and one of the most digitized countries, managed to apply its extensive technological experience since the beginning of the pandemic, managing to control the spread of the virus in record time. The example, although with nuances, has been followed by other countries that have turned to technology both to curb contagion and to enter the new normal. Mexico City will ask restaurant owners to change their menus from physical to QR codes, while the municipality of Ecatepec in the State of Mexico, one of the most affected by COVID-19, has rented a high-tech drone to disinfect places in the city where massive infections can occur, such as hospital and shopping mall surroundings. Ferrari, one of the most recognized brands in Italy, has donated to Mexico the open source of an artificial respirator developed at its Maranello factory, while the State of Michoacan has made available to its citizens the MiSalud app, designed to offer remote medicine services to ensure quarantines are followed.
The retail sector is one of the most affected by the so-called new normality, as it will have to radically change the way it has operated in recent decades. One of the measures that the Mexican government will promote to ensure customers’ safety and avoid contagion is to take the temperature of customers before entering a closed space. It is in that niche that Fujitsu has put its focus. The Japanese company has developed a technological solution capable of taking the temperature of several people at once over a range of 2m to 6m. In addition, the prototype, which could reach Mexico, analyzes whether or not the people checked are wearing masks. Fujitsu’s tool can measure the temperature of up to 360 people per minute, making it ideal for controlling access to shopping malls, stores, cinemas or live-music concerts.
A correct application of existing technology could, according to the Select consulting firm, help to recover two out of every three existing businesses in Mexico once the country enters the new normal, either through the use of services such as the cloud, the creation of e-commerce stores or the possibility of offering professional services remotely. The Organization of American States (OAS), in collaboration with the Kolau startup, has made a tool available to its partner countries to promote e-commerce platforms. In Mexico, the initiative has been followed by the Mexican Association of Online Sales (AMVO), which makes available to its affiliates the AIUDA.org website, whose objective is to help create an e-commerce platform in the shortest possible time and with a minimum economic investment.