How Alibaba Is Integrating E-Commerce With Brick-And-Mortar Shopping

How Alibaba Is Integrating E-Commerce With Brick-And-Mortar Shopping
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Alibaba opened a new retail store where they integrated several digital technologies to make life easier for customers

Zack Palm
  • 23 november 2017

PSFK’s new Future of Retail 2018 report signals the end of the online-offline retail divide.  People will look to brick and mortar for discovery but online for point of sale. As times change, retailers need to find a common ground to keep online experience as frictionless as possible, while keeping their physical locations relevant. Chinese e-commerce conglomerate Alibaba launched a new retail flagship store called Home Times in Hanzhou where they blend the two experiences together by hosting digital interactions at the brick-and-mortar location to optimize a customer’s time spent in the store.

The furniture retail store resembles an IKEA, boasting over 20,000 products from travel supplies, kitchen goods, and home accessories. To make it stand out from traditional locations, Alibaba applied several digital technologies for customers, such as slapping QR codes on the products. When a customer finds an item they want to purchase, they can scan the QR code with their phone and have it added to their digital shopping cart. The QR code also provides details about the product to the customer, listing the product’s name, price and a brief description.

Home_Times_Integrates_Digital_Technologies_At_A_Physical_Store.jpg

This option enables the employee to simply purchase the products on their mobiles rather than line up to pay at a checkout. The QR codes also make it easy for employees to know how much of a product they still have available prior to ordering more.

Home_Times_Created_A_Virtual_Furniture_Display_Station.jpg

Another digital technology Alibaba features is a virtual furniture display area for customers to preview larger items. Typical retail stores have to make room for displays like this, setting aside a good chunk of the area to properly give customers an idea of the more expensive items.

The flagship store first opened in September 2017. Alibaba plans to create three more Home Times locations by the end of the year and 15 more in 2018.

Alibaba

The Future of Retail 2018 outlines how companies can transform their stores into experience centers that extend their supply chain and digital commerce platforms, creating mutual value with a focus on shopper experience. Members can download the report today or all readers can immerse themselves in the findings at our retail sessions on Jan 16 & 17, 2018.

PSFK’s new Future of Retail 2018 report signals the end of the online-offline retail divide.  People will look to brick and mortar for discovery but online for point of sale. As times change, retailers need to find a common ground to keep online experience as frictionless as possible, while keeping their physical locations relevant. Chinese e-commerce conglomerate Alibaba launched a new retail flagship store called Home Times in Hanzhou where they blend the two experiences together by hosting digital interactions at the brick-and-mortar location to optimize a customer’s time spent in the store.

+Alibaba
+brick and mortar
+china
+Design
+e-commerce
+Fashion
+Frictionless Transaction
+home
+ikea
+Luxury
+mobile
+retail
+shopping
+technology
+Virtual Commerce

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