As detailed in PSFK’s China Debrief, grocery retailers in the forward-looking country are experimenting with interactive technology both inside the store and on-the-go to enable shopping experiences that are faster and more intuitive than ever

Increased wealth and rapid technological innovations have created a new generation of progressive Chinese consumers with discerning tastes and elevated expectations when it comes to customer experience. Leading retailers have aggressively invested in upgrading their logistics capabilities to create a sophisticated network that improves their reach and efficiencies, resulting in a faster and more enjoyable customer experience.

One industry seeing the results of these new opportunities is grocery retail. Humanizing in-store technology is providing shoppers with a higher level of assistance, while online-based delivery services cut laborious, inefficient shopping times in half. As detailed in PSFK’s latest report on China, here’s how three leading Chinese retailers are streamlining the traditional grocery shopping experience:

Hema x Alibaba
Hema grocery stores double as distribution centers, where assigned employees find items from online orders and pass them on to the delivery center. The initiative by Alibaba’s chain of brick-and-mortar supermarkets allows customers living within a three-kilometer radius to receive their groceries within 30 minutes. Select Hema locations also offer delivery services 24 hours a day.

Walmart x Tencent
Retailer Walmart and Tencent announced a partnership to develop smart retail storefronts, beginning with a small-format grocery store located in China. Intended as a natural expansion to their collaborative store in Shenzhen, which offered seamless mobile payment via a Scan & Go mini program in WeChat, the stores will allow customers to bypass checkout by scanning products through their mobile phones. The smart retail locations will integrate WeChat more deeply by allowing Walmart to provide online and offline promotional targeting, allowing employees to use the app for communication or to connect with customers.

Walmart is also testing same-day grocery delivery through the Walmart To Go service, which customers can access via a mini-program in WeChat. The service, which is currently being tested out of the Xiangmhu store, allows customers to receive deliveries within an hour on over 8,000 of the retailers products.

At 7FRESH, JD’s premium offline supermarket, ‘magic mirrors’ can sense when a shopper has picked up a piece of produce and then displays more information about the item, such as where it was grown, nutritional information and sweetness level. The tech-forward chain also has robotic shopping carts that guide the shopper through the store autonomously, allowing hands-free shopping.

The retail landscape in China has transformed from very traditional to leading edge in just a few years, thanks to the sweeping, strategic vision of its leading customer experience innovators. For more on how the country is remaining at the forefront of retail and customer service, download PSFK's China Debrief.

Lead image: stock photos from David MG/Shutterstock