Friday, September 2, 2011

World's First Virtual Store Opens in Korea

A major South Korean retailer has opened what it appears to be the world's first virtual store geared to smartphone users, with shoppers scanning barcodes of products displayed in a Seoul subway station. Homeplus, the nation’s second largest discount chain, is offering 500 items including food, electronics, office supplies and toiletries at its "store" at Seolleung station in the south of the city of 10 million.

Seven pillars and six platform screen doors have been plastered with images of life-size store shelves filled with goods -- such as milk, apples, a bag of rice or school backpacks -- which each carry a small barcode. Shoppers download a related application on their smartphone and make purchases by taking photos of the barcodes.

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"You place an order when you go to work in the morning and can see the items delivered at home when you come home at night," said a spokeswoman for Homeplus.

In fact, consumers don’t have to be anywhere near the virtual store. For example, if you want to order replacements of a bottle of water that you have in your hand, you don’t have to stop by the subway station. You simply scan the bottle’s barcode with the Homeplus app. The products are delivered later to home or office.

Currently, only Android smartphone users will be able to use the service that launched last week. Not that Homeplus hasn’t made an app iPhone, it’s just Steve Jobs and Co. hasn’t approved it yet.

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Watch the video below

Source

24 comments:

  1. I can't decide if this is crazy or practical...

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  2. This is amazing! Love to place an order =)

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  3. Here is something else to think about: http://www.aluc-it.com and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J5ggzoKOZ50

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  4. This is so 2011. Love to have it all across Australia.

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  5. I have to go find one of these! Glad I live in S Korea!

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  6. where is the Korean swearing?:)

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  7. Its really awesome!

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  8. America is always late getting technology. They just don't know it. In 1999, not only every adult had a cell, every child did too, and internet booths were everywhere. I came back home yo Calif. & only ab half of adults had cells & very very few Kids! And no internet booths in sight... Same w CDs in the 80s. Got them in Europe 3 full years b4 they came to the U.S. Why? Because America doesn't buy other countries' technology so it can invent its own and make a higher percentage. What's the point since once that happens, the foreign product comes in anyway and competes w the U.S. ones!

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  9. Questions: 1. So you have to keep every single product you plan on ordering again?!? Why not just keep the barcode photos? Or even better, since there's too many products, make the barcodes avail online!!! 2. How do they deliver if you're at work? Leave it at the door? Oh that's safe...

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    1. no in korea there are something called gyungbe ajushis so they keep it for you if you are not home, and this is also for ppl who dont want to carry heavy things all the way back to their house. In korea we dont have houses most of the times we have apartments so thats why we have gyunbe ajushis. they are like the security guards/ keepers

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  10. this would cost to many jobs... baaaaaaad

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    1. This would not cost jobs. You would need people to put the orders together, or deliver the items.

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    2. Yeah because the Shop at home all supermarket retailers offer is any different?

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  11. No not really. Those same people being replaced can do the packing or delivering of the items. So we should do without things of convenience only to stay in the stone age. It's called progress. More jobs will be made.

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  12. Grete idea, So when you opening in India?

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  13. Wow, very clean subway. The concept is much more useful than the usual subway advertising we see in the USA.

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  14. But how is it more convenient than just an online store ? Instead of the display at the subway stations, what if the app itself enlists all the product pictures and barcode and the user simply taps on a phone to 'add-to-cart' and then checkout. The products get delivered to the user's home. But only, this time, the user need not be present at the subway, in front of the display, but simply use his/her smartphone from anywhere. I don't see how it is more convenient or better than the traditional online shopping ?

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  15. In America you'd be lucky if the product was delivered in a week.

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  16. They may start to use droids to deliver the goods so it cpild put ppl out of work. And if you wanted the product now, you have to wait. People in the subway, want their product at that moment. They don't want to wait.

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  17. This is stupid if your going to a fake store to buy things might as well go to a real store and get them right away

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