A grocery store with no product on the shelves? You order via your smart phone? It’s real and it’s operating in South Korea.
When Tesco opened a virtual supermarket on a subway platform in South Korea, it was a revolution in grocery shopping. Now they’ve teamed up with Samsung to open a more robust version of the same concept in Seoul. The store, in Seoulleung subway station, is larger than the original platform shopping stop but shares the same premise: pictures of products are posted with QR codes underneath. Shoppers use their smartphones to scan the QR codes of the items they want.
The products in their virtual shopping carts are delivered right to the customers’ homes at their selected delivery time. With some 500 products in the “store,” shoppers can replenish all of their essentials while going about their daily routines, no special trips to the supermarket required. Of course, there is something to be said for picking up a product, reading the packaging, or examining it before deciding to purchase it. But for familiar and well-loved products you’ve already been using for years, the virtual store is a fantastically futuristic time-saver.
Would you shop at a virtual store like this? We think we would. After all, it’s another great deployment of digital merchandising in the field. What’s next?