While online shopping has never been easier, and continues gaining in popularity, big-name stores are turning to convenience with a touch of retail theatre to keep buyers happy when they’re shopping outside home. Both at-home and in-store shopping experiences are going hi-tech. These digital trends are both data-rich and customer-friendly, offering exciting opportunities for buyers and online marketers alike.
In China, leading online shopping website Alibaba now operates over 60 Hema supermarkets that normalize facial recognition technology. In 2017 Alibaba partnered with KFC to allow customers to settle the bill simply by smiling. Now, facial scans in cashierless Hema supermarkets are allowing shoppers to make purchases in the same manner on a bigger scale. Items can be scanned for detailed information on nutrition, preparation instructions and place of origin.
Shopping for food, with options for cooking along the way
Customers in the Shanghai branch can also scan a menu with a QR code during their time shopping and have meals ready for them afterwards at the Robot.He restaurant, a set-up due to be widely replicated in other Hema stores. Certain foods that you see in the supermarket and that you’d like prepared for you live are zipped away via conveyer belts hanging from the ceiling and then transferred by a robotic arm to the kitchen. After showing your face at the checkout, the freshly prepared meals are ready to go back with you as well – or receive your food via robot waiters and enjoy onsite at the restaurant.
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