Breaking news: “A new type of offline store opened up in HangZhou and run by Alibaba.” The most feature of such type of store is that there is no any staff working in the store and everything of it is totally automatic. In order to enhance customer experiences, Alibaba launched this experimental cashier-less store called “Tao Cafe” with their “new retail” strategy. Base on the big data technology, Tao Cafe will provide customers with amazing shopping experiences which have never seen before. Thousands of people who had visited this new, unstaffed store are satisfied with it and they give high praise to the new-type store.
However, Alibaba was not the first company to have and execute the idea. Amazon had already opened an unstaffed store in US at the end of 2016. Of course, there are many differences between Amazon’s staff-less store and Tao Cafe.
Let’s see how it works when customers enter it.
By scanning a QR code on Taobao app at the entrance of the store, patrons are tracked with cameras for facial recognition. After going through the checkout doors, customers will automatically make a purchase through their smartphones without needing to head to a register and be able to leave the store with their items in hand.
The 200-square-meter store offering beverages, fast food and snacks can accommodate 50 customers at a time. To enter and make a purchase, shoppers require only a smart phone with Alibaba’s Taobao e-commerce app.
The store’s e-shopping system developer is Ant Finance, a subsidiary of Alibaba. It has assigned assistants to help customers familiarize with how Tao Cafe works.
The development of smart shopping has benefited from the fast expansion of e-payment technology. China’s banking institutions handled more than 25.7 billion mobile payments last year with a transaction volume of 157.55 trillion yuan ($23 trillion), according to a report by the People’s Bank of China, the central bank.