Over the last 12 to 18 months, there have been several examples of smartphones that can scan QR codes and other mobile tags to allow people faster and smarter ways to shop in the real world — no matter where they are. Often, these virtual storefronts operate entirely in the virtual realm and don’t require physical space for storing inventory.
By combining window shopping with the ease of online payments and at-home delivery, these visual vending walls allow buyers to quickly scan the ‘tags’ of items they want from beauty products to groceries, and get them shipped home so that they can get on with their days. Here are two of the best examples that PSFK Labs has seen around the theme of Virtual Retail:
Shop Right Off The Subway Wall With Paypal
Online payment service company PayPal is is trialling a new mobile shopping initiative that allows customers to point and purchase using QR codes. PayPal has created catalog ‘mobile shopping walls’ in 15 metro stations in Singapore. The large display features Valentine’s Day offers from eight participating retailers. The user will need to first download the PayPal QR code reader app, which scans the barcodes and allow the user to log into PayPal to purchase the items.
Chinese Company To Open Virtual Supermarkets In Empty Public Areas
China’s leading food e-commerce site Yihaodian is opening 1,000 virtual supermarkets in empty city areas across the country. The 1,200-square-meter spaces merge online and offline shopping, allowing customers to browse items and walk around a store without needing to line up or carry their purchases home. Looking through the camera of their their smartphone, customers will be able to see 3D models of the products and purchase them for home delivery.