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Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

A look at the changing dynamics of purchasing in person and how to take advantage of a digital-physical hybrid approach.

Changing Retail Landscape

The first half of 2020 brought significant changes to shopping patterns and habits. Overnight, Covid-19 shifted the way consumers purchase goods, and though many retailers have reported significant increases in fully online or digitally-supported transactions, the increase in eCommerce revenue has not replaced lost brick-and-mortar revenue for most. And as retailers gear up to resume a more normal state of operations, there are fears that in-person revenue will be diminished for good.

This fear isn’t entirely unfounded. The way Canadian consumers view commercial transactions has changed. Shoppers adapted to online shopping and quickly found digital to be better, faster, and easier than they expected. New habits have formed that are likely to stick around. …

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Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

To aid in the response to Covid-19, we’re backing fundraising, research, and development that supports open-source digital contact tracing.

By now you’ve heard about Digital Contact Tracing and the need for a widespread initiative in North America. We can’t safely resume normal operations or reopen our cities or move about with relative freedom without it.

Based on the experience of countries which have most successfully contained the outbreak, it’s clear a significant upgrade is required to the tools public health authorities can use for understanding and tracking the spread of the virus. That’s where digital contact tracing comes in.

Contact tracing is an approach to public health and disease containment that has been used for every major outbreak in the last 50 years, though historically it has been a very labour intensive process that poses a great deal of risk to those doing the significant manual work. Digital contact tracing (DCT) uses the same conceptual approach, only it applies it via personal electronic devices. …

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Photo by Ant Rozetsky on Unsplash

A primer on what Digital Contact Tracing is and why it could be the key to getting North America back to business as usual.

If you’ve been paying attention to the news, you’ve probably heard about contact tracing. It has emerged as a beacon of hope for those eagerly awaiting the “return to normal” that seems perpetually out of reach these days and with Google and Apple announcing a joint initiative around contact tracing, there was bound to be a flurry of excited press. But what is contact tracing, exactly? And just how excited should we be?

Contact tracing is actually a well-established (and usually not especially relevant to most people’s lives) practice. So while tech giants are giving hope for a solution that could reach 88% of North American smartphone users — a hugely important metric that would be necessary for digital contact tracing to be effective — the concept behind it is not new. Before we talk about the stats for success, it’s important to understand what digital contact tracing even is and why it’s a potential game-changer in the fight against Covid-19. …



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