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Shop ‘Til You Drop Your Call…

I have always found creative use of technology to solve everyday problems amazing. Recently, I came across an article about a Korean grocery store chain that not only solved a problem, but created a whole new way of grocery shopping using pretty simple technology and whole lot of creative thinking.

The store found itself in direct competition with an established grocery chain that had the upper hand in terms of market share. Research indicated that they wouldn’t significantly increase market share through traditional means (e.g. building a new store), so they had to figure out another way to grow business.

Their bright idea? Use subway advertising space to create a “virtual” grocery store that could be accessed with a cellphone. The new system, whereby a customer could order groceries on their way home from work and have them delivered right after they got home, was an instant hit, pushing the chain past their competitors into the number one spot. It saved the customer from making a physical trip to the store and the grocery chain from building and maintaining an additional facility. Brilliant!

While retail stores will never go away, the way we go about shopping is ever-evolving. The ability to order products directly from your phone with a barcode scanner will probably make it over to the U.S. very, very soon. How would you like to go to a single “Catalog Outlet” and get all of your Christmas shopping done in one day, with the added benefit of delivery to your home? Count me in …