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Faster, Healthier: Grocery Stores Come To You Featured

Imagine doing all your grocery shopping while you wait for a train. Imagine doing all your grocery shopping while you wait for a train.

With a grower's busy schedule, finding ways to do things more efficiently is always welcome. Home Plus, a South Korean retail chain owned by Tesco and Samsung, has found a way to help people manage their time and eat more healthily, creating virtual grocery stores in subway stations. The idea is beautifully straightforward and its effects are fascinating.

Tesco has outfitted subway platforms in South Korea with walls of images of grocery items for sale. Commuters can then peruse these virtual grocery stores while waiting for a train, turning a potentially time-wasting part of their journey into a fun, healthy lifestyle-promoting experience. Shoppers select purchases using the products' Quick Response (QR) codes. (QR codes are the two-dimensional bar codes used in applications that target mobile phone users via mobile tagging.) Shoppers use the camera on their mobile phone as a reading device that "scans" or "tags" the QR code of the item they wish to add to their online shopping cart.


Upon virtual "checkout,” users can schedule a delivery time that suits their schedule, including at-home delivery that very night. Not only does this system promote interactive behavior, turning subway waiting time into productive grocery shopping time, but it also encourages healthy eating. If you knew fresh fruit and vegetables were going to meet you at your door when you got home, wouldn't you be less likely to grab sub-par fast-food on the way there?

From a business standpoint, the effects are appealing as well. Tesco reported a 130% increase in online sales within a three-month period of running their virtual grocery stores. In bringing their products to the customer, they are currently ranked #1 in their online business in South Korea.

Tesco’s venture is a successful business model that adapts to technology and inserts itself into our everyday lives, inspiring us to pursue alternate ways to grow our own businesses, bring the fruits of our labours to our customers, and to think outside the box. Tesco has also innovated a new way of shopping that is bound to catch on and revolutionize the way we consume. There’s little doubt that as the pace of life quickens, and getting out to the grocery store is more of a hassle to schedule, that shopping from wherever your day takes you is the wave of the future.

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An innovative idea in virtual shopping.
Last modified on Thursday, 19 July 2012 14:44

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