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South Korean store launches smart shopping experience

SK Smartlocker
CART OFF: A scanner is set to replace the traditional shopping basket in a South Korean store

Customers at Lotte Department Store in the Bundang district of Seoul, South Korea, are being offered a new service that enables them to shop by scanning the barcode on their desired products using a shopper scanner device and completing the payment at dedicated terminals by tapping the handheld device against NFC dongles.

The Smart Shopper facility is being offered as part of a shopping platform called Smart Department Store, designed in collaboration with mobile network operator SK Telecom (SKT). The devices are equipped with Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology that will be utilized for sending out offers and promotions.

The platform also offers Smart Locker — small refrigerated units for storing goods that can be used with a shopper’s mobile phone — and Smart Table, an interactive shopping information desk.

If the implementation proves successful, the companies plan to roll it out to Lotte Department Store’s 34 branches across the country.

Smart Scanner will take the place of physical shopping carts, says SK Telecom. “With the 16cm bar-type device, users can read barcodes on items to add them to their own virtual shopping carts. Also while shopping, they can conveniently check and edit items in their shopping carts at large touchscreen devices called order viewers installed in several sports within the store.

“Once they are done shopping, customers can walk up to a self-checkout kiosk named Smart Checkout instead of the existing POS checkout counters and place their device on the NFC-enabled smart dongle to confirm selected items and make payment. The items they have purchased will then be delivered to their homes at the desired date and time.”

Customer notifications

“Going forward, by utilizing the BLE, speaker and geo-fencing functionalities of Smart Scanner, retailers will be able to conduct on-site promotions, notifying customers with a voice or vibration notification when they are located in close vicinity of certain products,” the mobile network operator continues.

“Smart Locker is a storage cabinet that can be used with a mobile phone. After choosing a locker they want to use on the touchscreen display, users are to enter their mobile phone number to receive a password with which they can open the locker.

“Smart Lockers installed in the Bundang branch are built as refrigerated cabinets to keep customers’ groceries fresh while they spend time in the department store. Going forward, the companies are planning to add new features to these lockers so that they can be booked and managed through a smartphone application.”

“Smart Shopper allows retailers to use their space in a more efficient manner,” SK Telecom adds. “Instead of displaying a large amount of stock for each and every product, stores can place only a small stock of goods on their shelves, and can even sell non-displayed products virtually via barcodes.

“In addition, the two companies will continue to design the future of Smart Department Store by adding more features including Smart Signage, Smart Closet and video-based business intelligence system T-View.

“Smart Closet is an interactive touchscreen display attached to empty spaces like walls or columns within the department store to display items that are not physically placed there.

“Moreover, once tagged by a user’s smartphone, Smart Closet becomes synchronized with the user’s account, thus enabling the user to review shopping cart and purchase history, search for items and make new purchases.”

“We have successfully transformed the conventional department store into a smart shopping venue that offers new and unprecedented value and experience for customers,” says Kim Young-joo, senior vice president and head of enterprise business office at SK Telecom. “SK Telecom will continue to work closely with Lotte Department Store to lead a new shopping paradigm through innovative smart shopping solutions.”

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