The biggest Chinese e-commerce retailer, Yihaodian, have announced their plans to launch 1,000 virtual supermarkets, with the first two opening in Guangzhou and Shenzhen. These supermarkets do not actually stock any products and to the naked eye the shelves remain empty. Using augmented reality technology, shoppers will be able to use their smartphone to see pictures of available groceries (of which there will be 1,000). Yihaodian trialled the idea last year on the Shanghai underground by allowing commuters to take photos of items displayed on billboards – the selected groceries were then delivered to their home.
Ok, so I stole the title from an unrelated blog I read the other day; I thought it was rather funny, as well as apt for what I want to discuss.
Over the next few years we may well be paying for our goods by using our mobile phone. This is a concept that has been around for a while, and now looks as though it’s finally happening. Over the last fortnight Orange/ T-Mobile , Vodafone and O2 have agreed to create a single platform to support mobile transactions. This step brings the whole concept closer to market realisation - as retailers will now only need to plug in to one joint platform.