This latest development in retail technology could change the face of supermarket shopping, offering customers a completely digital integrated experience.
Technology in the retail space has moved faster than perhaps any other industry. It certainly boasts the most noticeable changes, with innovations targeting both customers and businesses alike. This smart retail assistant, for example, makes finding the right fit for your clothes possible from home. Blockchain has also enabled customers to track the history of the products they buy. Yet supermarkets seem to be one area where consumers still prefer physical shopping to peruse the products and pick their food. Chinese retailer JD.com have therefore modernised the physical supermarket with their new high-tech supermarket 7Fresh.
7Fresh is a system of advanced technology forms designed to improve the customer’s experience and the overall efficiency of the shop. It uses big data analytics to match its product range to customer desires. This is especially important as 75 percent of the supermarket’s food is fresh, therefore relying on quick turnovers. ‘Magic mirrors’, or digital screens, inform customers of a product’s history and nutritional value. This technology will soon evolve into automated shopping carts. They will guide consumers where they want to go based on user data and predictions. A mobile app for use in store or to order deliveries to your home is already in action.
The first 7Fresh store opened in autumn 2018 in Beijing’s Dazu Plaza Shopping Center, near JD.com’s own headquarters. The plan for 7Fresh is to launch across 1,000 stories in China throughout the next three to five years. In comparison to Western markets, their physical store network is relatively weak, yet the investment into smart stores here could prove fruitful.