A few years ago the idea of an unmanned store would sound like a sci-fi story. But not anymore. China’s giant, like Alibaba or Tencent, do everything to make sure the term blends into consumers’ daily vocabulary.
The idea of the unmanned retail is that customer’s offline shopping experience is entirely man-less. Unmanned stores are like a huge vending machine. You scan a code to enter, then scan products to put them into your online shopping cart and use the mobile payment to check-out. All you need is your phone and you don’t have to interact with anyone during the process. Some stores of this kind already appeared in China (like one opened by Auchan, for example). But it’s just a beginning. The ultimate goal that companies have in mind is to completely change the idea of online and offline shopping, using AI and high-quality data analysis.
However, it all seems a bit vague, doesn’t it? How do we analyze the data? What data to analyze? Well, at the end of March, WeChat released a report based on research by China Department Stores Commercial Association and data from WeChat Pay. They promise to reveal some “little-known industry secrets”, mostly what changed in the industry, what the business opportunities are and what trends are in and which are not anymore. We translated it for you. Let’s see what they say, shall we?
Original article: https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/4yW1kiHTPM1yelWgRlgu8Q