In order to meet the needs of the growing time poor society we have seen a shift to online retail. This has revolutionized the shopping experience making it more convenient and saving time. Tesco have taken it a step further in South Korea. In Seoul, virtual grocery stores are being used in the subway. Commuters use their smartphones to scan and purchase these virtual items, which are delivered to their homes. The subway station walls look just like the shelves of a typical grocery store only the items are just photographs and each is tagged with a QR Code. After scanning the images money is automatically deducted from the bank account of choice, and the groceries are delivered to the address saved in the system. If you order by 1pm, the items arrive that very day.
Seoul is definitely leading the way with digital marketing innovations. As commuters are incredibly time poor this innovation meets millions of consumers needs. Even for those who are not as time poor, while using public transport they might be tempted into an impulse purchase that they might not have otherwise purchased.
This is bringing online shopping off the screens and into the real world, making it even easier to purchase items using smartphones. With the increase in smartphone/tablet usage this virtual store makes online shopping easier than we ever imagined. Some consumers complain about websites not being mobile friendly, which results in extensive scrolling and zooming making the check out process frustrating. This defeats the whole reason for online shopping in the first place. By bringing the online store outdoors, customers do not have to spend time on their screens, yet use the digital technology of their phone to reduce the whole time of the shopping process.
Hats off to South Korea, they’ve taken online shopping even further – taking advantage of the digital evolution in order to provide customers with the most value possible. Outdoor advertising is something consumers cannot ignore unlike radio or television advertising, so by advertising online stores. By allowing customers to interact with them in public places such as train stations, impulse purchases are increased and the brands are able to raise awareness of their new services. I think that this is something we will see in Australia in the near future, as it makes online mobile shopping easier and faster than ever before. Even having virtual stores rather than in public places where customers can walk down the isles without a trolley and use their mobiles to scan their products and pay without having to wait in check out lines.
Do you think that Coles or Woolworths could successfully implement these virtual groceries stores or even completely replace retail stores? Do you think the Australian society would find this as revolutionary as the Korean society?
Lost at E Minor. (2011, July 16). [Images]. Retrieved May 17, 2015 from