Tesco’s Homeplus Innovates With Agile Commerce

When I first saw the video below of how Tesco’s Korean subsidiary Homeplus had tested a "virtual supermarket" in Seoul’s Hangangjin subway station I was impressed with the customer-centric use of mobile technology to innovate the shopping experience. The test included using basic posters with QR codes to enable the customer to create an order for delivery while on their way home.

Now we have learned that Homeplus is extending the trial to other Seoul subway stations next month with a view to rolling the format out across South Korea within two years.

What makes this possible? First and foremost an investment in a services-oriented architecture that Tesco began years ago, along with a consumer market well adapted to using mobile technology in their day-to-day life, and an operational capability to pick the items and faciliate delivery. It is intriguing to see how this test paints a future where physical displays – be they printed or digital – can be used to enhance the cross-touchpoint research, purchase, and service. Ideally these need to be highly integrated to the commerce platform to support real-time price, inventory availability, promotion, and content updates that enable full cross touch-point commerce, with this yet another interface to support shopping.

This is agile commerce, and this example illustrates one way in which the investment in the commerce platform and the ability to expose it can lead to innovation. This specific application is certainly interesting as well, but it is the ability to innovate that is truely important here.


It was just a fake for the Cannes Lions Festival

Dear Brian,
I like the story very much as it shows some directions agile commerce will lead us to. But never mind, as far as I know, the whole story and advert is a very successful (in terms of award winning) fake. No one from the TESCO side ever confirmed the test. All press statements came just from the marketing agencies. TESCO just gave their approval for shooting the spot. Please follow also the discussion going on Korea about the spot (http://english.hani.co.kr/arti/english_edition/e_business/489884.html).


Btw: If you have any proof that TESCO ever has tested the "virtual" store I am more than interested!

We are looking into this

Peter, Thanks very much for the comment. We are actively looking into the authenticity of this. Thanks very much for the note. - Brian

TESCO Homeplus virtual shopping trial not yet implemented

Dear Brian,

in this news released by Planet Retail on Tuesday a Tesco spokesman stated, that the virtual store has not been implemented:

"TESCO Homeplus virtual shopping trial not yet implemented

Tesco Homeplus in South Korea has not yet implemented a virtual shopping trial at a subway station, a Tesco spokesperson told Planet Retail. The company said the virtual shopping trial remained a concept.

A film of the virtual shopping model, which has not been implemented, was shown at the Cannes Lions advertising festival. The clip shows a wall in a South Korean subway station featuring images of a shop with shelves stacked full of products. Customers can add products to their shopping basket by scanning QR codes with their smartphones. The scenario was developed with Cheil Worldwide, an advertising and online development group. "


Ocado plan to trial a similar concept

Ocado the online UK grocer is also planning to trial a virtual shopping wall in the prestigious One New Change shopping center in central London this week. http://www.theretailbulletin.com/news/ocado_to_open_virtual_popup_shop_2...

Similar to the Tesco concept, shoppers will be able to buy groceries by scanning barcodes using the Ocado iPhone and Android apps.


We have confirmed that Tesco is moving forward

We have spoken with Tesco leadership and they have confirmed that the initial trial was a prototype, but that they are indeed moving forward with a launch of the product in the near future. Thanks, Brian

Tesco Press Release

TESCO finally has officially confirmed, that they are going to open the virtual store in South Korea:


So, is it safe to conclude

So, is it safe to conclude that it is a concept that has not been implemented, but will be in the near future?