Revolution in Retail #310 november 2017
Part 3: Platform economy in practice
The large players in the current platform economy are without doubt Alibaba and Amazon. How does this affect you as customer or retailer? Should we consider this a threat or an example of interesting innovation?
We envision a concept solution for the European market, which introduces the platform economy to existing retail businesses. The urgency to upscale now for European retail is clear, with large initiatives from the US and Asia entering the market with solutions matching parts of our concept.
Amazon is launching their instant shopping and delivery solution Amazon Prime in more and more countries across Europe. Additionally, they are opening retail shops in the US.
Like in New York, in this case in combination with a coffee corner.
Another giant in the online commerce is Alibaba. Currently responsible for an amazing revenue of 7,5 billion USD for the second quarter of 2017 only, as presented by CNBC! Alibaba is currently investing massively in entering the market of brick-and-mortar outlets. At 11 November Alibaba is having their annual Global Shopping festival. At this event Alibaba will announce their entry in the bricks-and-mortar market of smart retail shops with nearly 100.000 stores in China.
Some of our ideas as presented in our previous blogs have comparable aspects in the smart stores concept of Alibaba. In this article, we elaborate more on how they work, and show where our concept is especially suited for the European market.
Browse products online
Integrated in the shop you see a wide touchscreen displaying all products. The customer browses through the products with the same user experience as they would have shopping online.
The shop is now able to display fewer products on their shelves, keep a lower stock and offer additional varieties on the screen. Like more colour variation or alternative materials.
Show details of the product in-hand
When the customer takes a product of the shelf additional information of the product appears on the screen. Alibaba uses a ‘cloud shelf’, which automatically detects which products are picked up, then corresponding information pops up on screen.
In our concept, we use the mobile app to scan product labels to identify for which product you want additional information on screen. This brings easier integration in existing shops with larger product variety.
On screen product selection
All product specifics are visible on screen, from which the customer picks the preferred size or colour, and chooses between all product varieties available. Since they no longer necessarily need to be on stock in the shop, a much wider variety of products can be included.
QR code for ordering
Once all product specifics have been selected on screen, the customer can scan the presented QR code to continue the order process from their mobile phone.
In our concept on the mobile phone your personal identity is known only, which makes it very easy to have the selected product home delivered, or to continue the payment process without the necessity to enter all kind of details. Also, the privacy of the customer is protected.
Proof of purchase
Once the payment succeeded using the mobile phone, the customer can show his proof of purchase to the cashier and have the products packed and security labels removed.
Alternatively, the customer may choose to have the products home delivered. As part of our concept, we establish a seamless integration with the delivery mechanisms already in place in the retailer’s webshop.
Shopping is fun
Some other features integrated in the concept is gamification. By integrating games for instance in the shop window, the customer is attracted to interact more, and receive gift coupons as reward.
Another idea is to virtualise the shop or the complete mall, for instance in combination with VR (Virtual Reality), and allow customers to stroll the mall from across the world.
Trending is the integration with AR (Augmented Reality). The customer points the camera of the mobile phone to an object, in the video image of the camera additional content is shown.
Platform economy and Eco systems
Our concept is based on combining solutions, also known as platform economy. The approach of Alibaba and Amazon are good examples of this. In Accenture's Technology Trends 2016 the importance of the platform economy is emphasized.
In Accenture's Technology Trend 2017 the same importance of platform economy and ecosystems is noticed. With digital ecosystems we see an interoperability between a multitude of solutions, in which platforms are the central hubs for the rich and complex digital ecosystems we want to access.
If you are interested in viewing the complete video of Alibaba’s brick-and-mortar shops, we have included the video here too.
As envisioned in this article, the time for action is now. Large players enter our local market with thrilling speed. Our concept and the technology available today can be beneficial for you, if you anticipate on them early.
Convidad in partnership with Ice House Netherlands supports you in the transformation to an online to offline (and vice versa) e-commerce concept. This is part of a program, that aligns people and technology in business.
With LG Electronics Benelux we partner to offer additional high-tech solutions, like OLED panels offering additional product presentation possibilities in your shop, never seen before.
With Oled Mirror TV we develop specific integrated mirror solutions tailored to niches in the market of retail.
Combined with Convidad's agile software development approach the risk of investments is reduced and return on investment increased.
Part 2: A ground breaking shopping experience, offering a seamless experience to your customers, breaking the barriers from online to offline and from in-shop to web shop.