Shopping in empty stores

Posted on October 16, 2012


The register, today, is reporting that a Chinese retailer is building a 1000 stores,  that have no goods in them.

Rather there are pictures,  and scan codes.

You go in,  scan what you want,  and is if by magic they arrive at your home.

Seems like the UK supermarkets could may use of such a thing,  not perhaps for your food,  but for the non-food sections where they have far more lines and SKUs than they can put out,  could have such a scheme for home delivery.

I can see this kind of tagged shopping will take off in many areas.

It would be so much nicer for the user if the use of NFC tags was used as the reading of the data is fast and does not require a good alignment with the printed code.

mind you I’m not biased, regarding, NFC,  ohh no, not me.

Also,  why limit the codes to the physical store,  you could send out a flyer with popular codes,  and folks could load up there and then, using a mobile phone / app.


Which then leads me to think about supermarkets here in western europe, they could make use of this in a big way.

Many have a range of lines that are online only,  why not have a space in store where you could browse the pictures and order them right there and then.

then there are lines where not all the options are available on the shop floor,  eg shoes and clothes,  you like it,  but there are no size 10s ?  well then scan the code and a pixie will deliver it to you home in a day or so.  Or if you have a full warehouse outback,  then have it delivered to the checkout when you get there. they would know it’s you because you scan your loyalty card at the beginning of the checkout process,  and this tells a runner to come with the goods !

Other obvious uses are

pop up stores:  you just need some space to display the pictures,  no stock to handle.  Then you scan for the customer,  and take the money on a standard credit card handling,  or use one of the Square like services to have a mobile credit card terminal !

Shops that are too busy for their own good,  eg at a sports stadium the flow of folks just before the game, or during the break can be extreme.  With this type of shop they could be all over the stadium,  and not just in the actual shop.  You make your selections,  and then collect them on the way out,  or wait for the pixies to deliver to your home.

Avon and other home catalogue schemes,  the sales person scans and the invoice is generated right there and then.  I like this because the whole log on to the web site,  or fill out the form is just increasing the friction,  and therefore loosing sales.


Posted in: life