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Unmanned experiences Shopping Without Humans

Unmanned experiences: Shopping Without Humans

Mark D’Costa

Managing Director, FITCH

Landor & FITCH


In a contact-fearing world, people want to buy but are afraid to shop. With the primary customer worry is being in close proximity to other humans, can you really create and sustain a physical shopping experience without them?


Take, for example, the Singaporean telecom giant SingTel’s latest format: Unboxed. It’s a fully automated 24-hour pop-up store where people can see, try, and buy phones and data plans, all without coming in contact with others – a truly unmanned experience. Thanks to its safety, convenience, and intuitive flow, Unboxed has won over shoppers and is thriving.

The takeaway: unmanned experiences can be a medium worth exploring and growing. If done right, they will be a powerful stimulant to give customers the confidence to shop again.

By combining the right aspects of physical and digital, you can create an experience that is people-free but still human in the way that it responds to customer needs.