Whatever our concept of online shopping, the world’s second or third largest supermarket chain has just shifted it. While we’ve been able to go online and shop for groceries for some time, Tesco brought new meaning to online groceries on-the-go. Instead of physical shops, the company installed screens that look like an actual grocery store in metro stations in South Korea. The ad is actually a user interface. Making use of smart phones and QR codes, commuters scan the items they need, add it to their virtual shopping cart and check out – without ever checking in, so to speak. Tesco workers deliver the items to customers homes at specified times. The digital supermarkets called Homeplus saw increased customer and sales volumes in just a short time.
The key to such success could be in any of several smart business decisions made by Tesco. First, the screens were designed to look just like supermarket shelves. This familiar and user-friendly approach probably increased customer comfort with digital shopping. Haven’t we all and wished we could simply point to the item in an ad and it would be delivered to us? Tesco arrived at the idea of the virtual supermarket after market research showed that commuters had a tendency to ignore food shopping while focused on traveling. They bet on the idea that by taking the hassle out of grocery shopping they could increase sales. It worked.
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