Virtual Storefronts Arrive in the West.

by Kate Enright

www.vonbismark.com

As we wrote about in a post regarding virtual store fronts and their introduction into the lives of busy commuters earlier this year, the eastern world- specifically Korea and Japan- has been a hotbed of innovation in the area. Tesco first installed virtual stores in a Korean subway station in May 2011 to international acclaim and huge popularity among commuters. The “stores” showed images of popular items on virtual shelves and provided a bar code underneath for consumers to scan using smartphones, for home delivery.

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Virtual StoreFront in Korean Subway Station

The recent growth in smartphone sales in the UK means that almost 50% of citizens now have a smartphone and it is predicted that by 2016 this figure will be at 90%. As we catch up to Asian markets on smartphone ownership figures, Tesco have decided to bring the idea to the UK, this time in an airport setting. The storefront will act as a saving grace for those returning from overseas, tired, and to an “empty fridge”. Simply arrive at the airport, order your essentials online by scanning the barcodes on your phone and have them delivered to your door – perhaps even before you arrive there! Tesco are ahead of the curve when it comes to retail technology and they indeed trail-blaze when it comes to imagining the future of shopping and shopper trends.

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Tesco StoreFront at Gatwick Airport

For more of the innovative move by Tesco, check out this BBC News footage from this week where they speak about the idea and demonstrate how it works. We’re very excited and ready for the future of retail to become its present!

BBC News Coverage

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