A powerful example of how technology is changing the retail industry

I love it when clever people come up with simple ideas that change the way the world works. This example we will look at today is a subway advertisement that turned a South Korean subway into a supermarket.

The execucution is so simple. Life size banners that display supermarket brands with QR codes on each item. Scan the item and get them delivered to your door by the end of the day. The idea was sparked by the need to create more sales without opening more stores. After extensive research into the market Tesco was able to see the opportunity to utilise smart phone technology to increase its online sales potential.

The consumer will take to this idea because the technology is so simple (in virtualsupermarketsubwaySouth Korea at least) for them to use. The concept works becuase it relies on redundant QR code technology to execute it.It also works because it make an intangible internet experience tangible through the physical advert.

This example from Tesco paints a clear picture of the shifts that retailers are going to face in the future:

  1. The retail industry can expect powerful competition from online sales channels. Especially if these channels are connecting with consumers in such tangible ways, like in subways while I wait for my train.
  2. Brands are still important to consumers. Make sure you make those brands visible to the consumer. Note that there are still a number of juices to choose from displayed on the “shelf”.
  3. Convenience is king! Make sure this new buying method fits into my life and don’t let me down. The delevery to my home is important because if I have to fetch the product then I may as well shop at you store – or somebody elses!
  4. Shelf space is a concept that does not have to stay in stores or on a website.

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