In January (2018), the first unmanned store in Taiwan was launched by 7-Eleven, but from the early days of the full day, to the later crowds, the unified super business decided to put aside Nobody shop!
TAIPEI (The China Post) – In January 2018, 7-Eleven opened its first unmanned store in Taiwan. Its it was very popular initially, its popularity has declined so much since then, that 7-Eleven decided recently to temporarily shut Down the unmanned store.
Whether it is because there is no one in the unmanned store, or because some goods like hot food cannot provide checkout, or because the way of checkout is limited, it is still unable to get an immediate response. Therefore, it is not loved by consumers.
Customers aren't happy with various limitations in unmanned stores. People often feel displeased with the lack of human interaction, as they cannot receive immediate feedback when they have problems. Some are unhappy with how they cannot purchase hot food, while others Feel that the limited payment methods are inconvenient.
Of course, these are the reasons, but I believe that the biggest problem is that unmanned stores do not provide a better service experience and benefits than the "someone" store (most people It will be considered that self-service should give back the saved labor costs to consumers).
Despite these issues, the major issue with unmanned stores is that they are not better than manned stores in terms of the shopping experience and financial perks. (Customer often feels that the direct labor cost saved from operating unmanned stores should be enjoyed by
Some netizens shared that 7-Eleven's X-Store unmanned stores must use iCash and not humanized, and when the checkout encounters problems, no one can ask, very trouble. The RT-Mart is also required to access the store and checkout through a dedicated app.
Some online commentators complained that in 7-Eleven's unmanned store, X-Store, one can only pay with 7-Eleven's digital wallet, iCash. Not only is this one payment method inconvenient, they are also dissatisfied with their inability to resolve Problems through talking to the cashier at checkout. The unmanned store operated by RT Mart also requires special apps for customers to enter the store and pay.
The reporter's observation is that everyone is not suitable for the checkout mode of the unmanned store, and the checkout procedure is somewhat cumbersome (for example, restricting the application of the unmanned store), if faced with the machine knot The account is not faster. It is better to choose a store with "people". At least the store staff will also inform the promotion information, whether the invoice is printed, or whether it is compiled. Therefore, "service" is a key point, and the payment of action does set a threshold. Elders and schoolchildren cannot use consumption.
Based on our reporter's observations, people are still unaccustomed to the somewhat complicated checkout process of unmanned stores. This was caused people to think that checking out at machines is not faster than checking out with a human cashier. further, cashiers are extremely Adept at creating a key component of one's shopping experience, service. Not only do they notify customers of new sales in the store, they also ask customers whether they would like to have their receipt printed, or whether they would like to enter their Uniform- Invoice Numbers (UIN). Apart from this, the utilization of mobile payment also limits the groups of customers the store can reach. For instance, it is inconvenient for the elderly or schoolchildren to use mobile payment.
At present, 7-Eleven has not been able to choose the decision to stop operating unmanned stores, to gauge whether Taiwan is suitable for the development of unmanned stores. There are several main reasons. One is that although 7-Eleven deliberately puts the distance between the adjacent ten steps, one left and one right, the "unmanned shop" and the "general store" are used to test which side of the crowd. More, but because there is only one unmanned shop, it is certainly not accurate to use as the main basis for measurement.
7-Eleven's decision to cease X-Store's operation is not indicating of whether the unmanned store should become a popular trend in Taiwan. 7-Eleven placed the unmanned store next to one of their normal stores in an attempt to gauge the Unmanned store's popularity, there is only one data point in this experiment, which renders it unreasonable to make a final conclusion regarding unmanned stores.
At present, there are too few unmanned stores in Taiwan, and there are only a handful of them. The reporter feels that the current RT-Mart is the most active, although its unmanned stores are also lacking in people’s interest, but in the unmanned checkout area of the store, the crowds It's not bad, let consumers who don't like queuing have a simple checkout option. However, at present, they provide huge manpower to assist in the self-service area. Obviously, the initial strategy is to let the people get used to self-service consumption instead of saving labor costs.
The few unmanned stores in Taiwan are simply not popular among the general public. However, RT Mart is taking active steps to promote them. In fact, customers are quite fond of the self-checkout sections in RT Marts—they have a The choice of payment that allows them to avoid standing in lines. However, the company still employs a massive amount of staff to aid customers at self-checkout stations, which demonstrates that the company's immediate goal is to let people get used to self-checkout rather Than saving labor costs.
From the perspective of technology, the reporter wants to share the discussion. Although the unmanned stores including 7-Eleven have related technologies such as mobile payment, face recognition, IoT, etc., it seems They are only used to cope with consumer payments and retail replenishment, and do not provide consumers and operators with a smarter consumer experience and cost savings. For example, when a consumer enters a drone store, they should receive a push on the app, receive promotional information from the merchant, and a list of suggested purchases. All of this can be achieved through the Internet of Things, big data and AI technology.
Although unmanned stores employ various new technologies such as mobile payment and face recognition to aid the process of customer payment and store restocking, they are not used at all in providing the customer a better shopping experience or cutting down spending for the corporation. For example, when a customer enters an unmanned store, they should receive a push notification of relevant shopping perks and a suggested shopping list from their app. This is easily achievable using the current technologies of big data and artificial intelligence.
When the goods are selected for checkout, after the face recognition or membership card, the system can display the member information of the consumer, and actively provide suggestions through the previous consumption data and big data analysis technology. Corrected shopping information. For example, let me know if the amount of milk purchased is too much or too little, whether to adjust it again, or to recommend a more favorable milk brand, or to have a second half price or buy one get one free. The system should also actively ask whether it is necessary to open an invoice or compile (based on past consumption information to bring out the information), so that consumers can directly choose Yes or No, rather than cumbersome to enter information.
In more concrete terms, by using facial recognition or a membership card, the system can identify the customer and utilize data of their previous purchases to suggest relevant shopping information best suited for the customer. Customer should adjust how much milk they are buying this time, or whether the same item is offered for a cheaper price. The system should also ask the customer whether they would like to print a receipt or enter a UIN. Upon choosing Yes/No, The system should gather data from previous purchases to satisfy the customer's requests automatically, instead of making them enter the necessary information each time.
In addition, electronic tags and RFID are also the key technologies provided by unmanned stores; this year, at the CES show, the reporter experienced the combination of these two technologies. For example, the consumer can take out the product at any time to scan the fresh produce and save the date, and the merchant can adjust the price through the system at any time (such as when it expires), or the initial construction cost is high, but in the long run, not only can Save valuable labor costs and make everything smarter.
Moreover, unmanned stores should also develop electronic shelf labels and radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology. This year's Consumer's Electronic Show (CES) showcased the effectiveness of these technologies. When the items are taken off the shelf, the system would Provide important information such as the expiry dates to the consumer.
If the temperature of the person is changed by various types of robots, if it is friendly enough and the speed response is positive, just like Hon Hai's Pepper, we can In many stores or department stores, I saw the figure of "he" and "he" was very popular. The reporter believes that the checkout service robot does not need unhelpful "electronic limbs", only a good screen operation interface, and fast operation feedback. Moreover, robots are not necessarily anthropomorphic, and affinity is the focus.
The shop owner can also utilize the same system to change the price based on the item's expiry date. Although the implementation of the system might be expensive, it is good long-term investment, as it can cut down labor costs. Actually replace human interaction if it can quickly respond to the customer's questions politely. A good example of this is Foxconn's Pepper, who appears in several shopping centers as a popular shopping assistant.
Unmanned stores will be slower due to construction costs However, the smart vending machine is much faster, so 7-Eleven will decide to use the current 30 smart-selling machines and plan to expand to 500 by the end of this year.
We believe that checkout robots don't need a humanoid body, as it doesn't serve any practical use. Having a good GUI and the high response speed is enough. Due to the construction costs, unmanned stores are developing slower than Smart vending machines. Since it is easier to deploy smart vending machines, 7-Eleven had expanded their plan for smart vending machines from 30 to 500.
The smart vending machine can be said to be a micro-unmanned store. The only drawback is that it cannot be viewed first, but if you can get more detailed product information through the screen, you can choose more at once. With the goods and quantity, you can completely solve the problem of shopping.
Smart vending machines are essentially a smaller version of unmanned stores. The only downside is that consumers can display more precise information of the product and allow the user to purchase multiple items at once
The speed of development of unmanned shops varies depending on the national conditions. Even in mainland China, where mobile payments are popular, unmanned stores are not yet popular. It can be said that it was just the beginning of the germination stage, and a few merchants actively expanded the number of unmanned stores, but they all had a big gap than the number planned at the beginning.
A country's culture also impacts how fast unmanned stores can develop. Even in China, where mobile pay is popular, unmanned stores are rare. Only a few corporations expressed willingness to invest in the field, but the actual investment always seems to fall Short of their promises.
and the supermarket provides self-service sweep code checkout service, just like RT-Mart's self-checkout type, you need to choose action payment to checkout. The payment for action in Japan has only recently been promoted, and it can be said that it is later than Taiwan.
The self-checkout counter that many supermarkets provide mostly require mobile payment. In Japan, mobile payment only started developing recently. In fact, it started later than in Taiwan.
and Australia has long provided self-service scanning knots. The service supermarket of the account uses credit cards to checkout. The reason why Australia can successfully promote unmanned stores is obviously related to their work schedule, because the merchants have been fighting for most of the night.
In Australia, supermarkets started providing self-checkout with credit cards long ago. One of the main reasons why unmanned stores became popular in Australia is clearly related to their culture—Australian stores usually close early at at night.
Don't think that the service of unmanned shops is only limited to shopping; for example, 7-Eleven and the Maserati depot brand recently created the "famous car, beverage and beer" joint store, with exclusive sales of limited products. Make a topic. There is a machine in the store that can provide photos of people taking photos or IG photos. It will also provide photos to buy one get one free and other fun games for AR games.
Unmanned stores' function is not limited to shopping. For instance, in 7-Eleven and Maserati's joint store, there is a machine that allows customers to take and print pictures, or even upload them on Instagram. The machine even has perks That customers can win by playing an AR game.
Through such a machine service, it can also increase the richness and attractiveness of unmanned stores, instead of entering the unmanned stores for shopping, which can stimulate more consumption. opportunity.
Through these services, unmanned stores can become more diverse and attractive to customers. Shopping is no longer the sole attracting factor for customers to unmanned stores.
Therefore, whether the unmanned stores can successfully operate forever, the manufacturers must be twisted Do your best to think about how to provide better services, from the consumer's demand standpoint, rather than simply providing self-service shopping.
As such, for the longevity of unmanned stores as a business model, companies must come up with ways to provide a more complete set of services, rather than simply offering a place to shop.
Helping consumers use the shopping and service experience, and how to make technology more human, this is a problem that manufacturers need to face.
Companies must utilize recent breakthroughs in information technology to aid the customer with their shopping experience.