Tesco opened its first ever virtual store yesterday, in South Korea, allowing shoppers to buy products and arrange delivery simply by scanning barcodes with their smartphones.
On the same day that UK e-tailer Ocado unveiled a similar service at London’s One New Change shopping centre, bringing the concept to Britain for the first time, Tesco Homeplus started welcoming customers to its interactive store at Seonreung subway station.
The global grocer is trialling the interactive store over a period of three months to capture response and gauge interest in the initiative, and it is targeted at time-pressed commuters who want to order groceries on the go.
More than 500 items are displayed at the store, and shoppers are required to scan the barcodes using the Homeplus app. If they make their order before 13:00 local time they can receive their delivery later that same day.
DW Seol, Executive Vice President of Corporate Affairs at Tesco Homeplus, said: “We are always looking to make the shopping experience easier and more convenient for our customers and the introduction of the virtual store is a great achievement.
“This is a real triumph for the Korean retailing industry as it continues to be at the forefront of technological innovation.”
Ocado has similar ambitions for its virtual store, which opened for business yesterday morning, and with it being located in the heart of the City of London it should appeal to a customer base that struggles to find the time to visit supermarkets on weekdays.
The pop-up store will be open until the end of August, but could be the forerunner to the e-tail business developing a physical presence in the years ahead.
Jason Gissing, Ocado Co-Founder, said: “The virtual shop window is a bold move for Ocado and something we are very excited about.
“We hope this trial is a hit, and based on its success, we’ll be looking at options around continuing this ‘virtual window shopping’ approach in other locations UK-wide.”