By now, nearly everyone has heard about Amazon Go stores where shoppers can skip the check-out lanes and are automatically charged for what they purchase. But, Amazon isn’t the only company that offers stores without cashiers. The latest entry is from Alibaba at its new Futuremart store in Hangzhou, China. The store sells a wide variety of Alibaba merchandise. Customers enter the store using a facial recognition app and scan a QR code with their Taobao, Tmall, or Alipap apps so they can shop.
But wait – it doesn’t end there! The store also uses a facial recognition program – a “Happy Go” happiness meter – to measure how happy the shopper is right now. A big smile can earn discounts!
Similar to Amazon Go, at Alibaba, when leaving, facial recognition and RFID technology recognize the shopper and the items being purchased. Alibaba and Amazon may be in the forefront of the new shopping technology, but others are close behind. Panasonic is also working on an automatic checkout using a walk-through RFID solution at a store in Japan.
Go ahead and walk-through the store – but don’t forget to smile big!
Group Activities and Discussion Questions:
- Poll students: Would they like to be able to shop without a cashier payment step? Why or why not?
- Discuss the new ways in which technology is impacting retailing, such as Amazon Go and Alibaba.
- Show Alibaba video: https://youtu.be/FGtRXi8eRKI
- Show Amazon Go video: https://youtu.be/NrmMk1Myrxc
- Show the Panasonic RFID video: https://youtu.be/VD_FJzio3wo
- Divide students into teams. Have each team reimagine the shopping experience using technology. What are their findings? Will consumers accept these innovations?
Source: Brandchannel.com. Alibaba test smile-and-pay facial recognition shopping.