New Retail concept mall TOP and Hong Kong-based O2O start-up Shopme have launched their first robotic shop in Hong Kong for cosmetics brand Missha.
The new store provides an Internet of Things-based 24-seven unmanned physical store for new and existing retail tenants. The solution also includes a shopping points gift-redemption service, interactive games, and online shopping capabilities.
The robotic shop differs from existing smart vending machines in that it has a free-size product display that fits products from lipstick to digital tablets. Mechanically, the machine has a patented robotic arm design based on a vacuum tube-like technology to pick up each item, carefully bringing it to the exit door for the customer to pick up.
The solution has already been deployed in more than 18 countries for international retail brands such as L’Oreal, Shiseido, Sony, Line Friends and Armani.
Founder and CEO of Shopme, Joseph Yuen, who is also the chairman of the Hong Kong Federation of E-commerce (HKFEC) said that Hong Kong has developed into an international well-established brick-and-mortar retail market over the last 30 years. The complex mix of domestic, foreign travellers and mainland tourists make Hong Kong one of the most important retail markets for branded products. However, it also brings challenges to successful retailers trying to transform into the digital front.
The introduction of Shopme is intended to give retailers an alternative choice for retailers to operate at a lower cost in one of the highest rent and salary cities without renting a premium location. Furthermore, by integrating with multiple digital payment methods, merchants can make a seamless integration from physical stores to e-commerce.
“We are welcome to be the first TOP robotic shop tenant in the extension of our store at TOP,” said Missha manager Andrew Lee. “As we are located at ground floor, the new robotic shop can cover customers on the third floor without requiring additional salespersons. The internet-based management system also gives us an ease of inventory control with Shopme’s fulfilment.”