How the halo effect of hygiene is driving innovation in the commercial space
The global health crisis has challenged what we consider to be normal; few could have known at the start of 2020 that hand sanitiser and toilet roll would become two of the most sought-after products within the UK. Sectors such as retail, grocery and hospitality have had to adapt and evolve quicker than ever imagined, with long-term strategies replaced by short-term tactical plans to keep their customers and employees Covid-secure whilst continuing to their strategies to drive footfall and increase sales.
With it, we’re also seeing huge leaps in innovation as entrepreneurs and established corporations alike look to help UK businesses survive in the most unprecedented of times.
Here’s our top ten list of innovations in the commercial space that we believe will help transform health and hygiene in the long-term, adding real value to the customer experience.
1. Grocery trolley sanitising-wash
Although sanitising products are made available in most outlets, this requires action on the part of the consumer to undertake the cleaning and is typically limited to only the main handle.
A sanitising-wash acts on the same principle as a car-wash; a trolley is passed entirely through a sanitising machine in just a few seconds, with a rapidly evaporating disinfectant applied to the entire length of the trolley. This can also be applied to entire rows of shopping trolleys, minimising the time and resource needed to stay on top of this cleaning process at the end of the day.
2. Antimicrobial/antibacterial door handle technology
3. Airless disinfectant sprayers
4. UV smartphone sanitiser
With around 92% of mobile phones having some form of bacteria on them2, this has a direct impact on hygiene. Phone soap/sanitising is a clever innovation that uses UV-C light contained within a case-style box to sanitise mobile phones, killing 99.9%3 of microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses and pathogens.
Although not directly related to a sector innovation, it could be symbolic of the kind of tech consumers expect to see in the establishments they frequent, much like phone charging points are today.
5. Contactless fogging
6. Air filtration and cleaning
7. Escalator handrail sanitiser
Escalator handrails rank in the top five most dirty environments in the world, yet they need to be held for safety reasons so advocating for them to be taken out of action isn’t possible.
Escalator handrail sanitisers use a combination of liquid sanitiser and UV rays to kill up to 99.99%4 of bacteria on the handrail. This type of unit can clean a typical escalator handrail in two rotations, and then continue to maintain the zero bacteria count thereafter continuously. Utilising Internet of Things (IoT) technology, monitors can show the real-time hygienic condition of the handrail so that passengers can hold on without fear of infection as well as digital video display for safety or advertising messages backed up with sound.
8. UV-C conveyor belts
9. Antibacterial plastics
10. Sanitising tunnels and booths
As challenging as the global health pandemic is, there is no shortage of technology emerging to help the public once again feel safe whilst out of the home. In addition to the mandated requirements of enhanced cleaning, face masks and social distancing, customer-facing sectors are increasingly looking at the longer-term measures they can adopt to improve the shopping experience and create confidence in the environment.
At Sigma, we are working closely with a number of innovative and forward-thinking partners who are directly tackling the challenges brought about by Covid-19 and designing solutions that help you focus on making the most of your bricks and mortar space. Whether you’re looking for support to make your premises Covid-safe or embracing a broader commercial space transformation to integrate new safety measures into the fabric of your environment, our design and procurement specialists have the expertise to deliver the outcomes you need.
We have in-depth and proven knowledge of creating exceptional customer journeys through the creative use of space, equipment and fixtured and fittings whilst ensuring safety, environmental and cost-efficiency aren’t compromised. Whether in response to Covid-19 or for a longer-term change, talk to us today about your customer care transformation.
Are you interested in learning more about innovation in the commercial space?
We’re running a virtual innovation forum. Details TBC but register your details and you’ll be the first to know!
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