JD Plans Massive Store Launch of Unmanned Locations in China
BEIJING, CHINA - Taking the lead in innovative ways to engage with consumer demands is Chinese online retailer JD.com. The company has reportedly beat Amazon to the next phase in convenience with plans to open hundreds of unmanned convenience stores.
The “smart-store” format has already gone through a trial phase in Beijing, where cameras on the ceilings of the stores recognize consumers’ movement and the heat they generate to calculate traffic flow, product selection, and customer preferences. It is with this facial recognition that the company registers customer payment and product identity; now, customers don’t have to wait through any pesky checkout line. Ladies and gents, the future is now.
"These two smart-store solutions will completely change what it means to go to take a trip to the store," said Song Ma, Vice President of JD.com, according to The Telegraph. "From helping small stores' owners streamline their supply chains and increase stocking efficiency, to speeding up check out, this is a massive jump beyond anything in use today.”
The convenience of this model does not stop at these remarkable technological feats—according to the same article, the company will also have adverts and promotions that will be given based on customers’ shopping habits and demographics. While these advancements are all the rage at this moment in time, pretty soon they might be more of a regular occurrence because the retailer will be able to license other third-party retailers with the developed technology, the article explains.
Stores are not the only no-salesman’s-land technology the company is currently working through; it also announced plans to implement driverless vehicles for delivering goods with pre-programmed routes and secure lockers.
What takes this news to a whole different level, though, is that these new stores, which are a collaboration with real estate developer China Overseas Land & Investment, show that JD.com is seemingly ahead of Amazon’s “Amazon Go” game, which also seeks to avoid the use of tills and barcode scanners by charging Amazon Prime accounts directly.
How will JD.com’s advent of man-less convenient shopping assist in its continued rise to prominence in the Chinese market? AndNowUKnow will continue to update you with the latest!