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Jakarta Post

Alibaba introduces cashier-less offline retail concept

  • Marguerite Afra Sapiie
    Marguerite Afra Sapiie

    The Jakarta Post

Hangzhou, China   /   Tue, July 11, 2017   /   03:57 pm
Alibaba introduces cashier-less offline retail concept Two waiters await customers at Alibaba Group's Tao Cafe, a cashier-less concept store exhibited the at Taobao Maker Festival, which runs from July 8 to 12 in Hangzhou, China. With more than 500 million users, the group is confident that it can assist offline retailers to implement the "new retail" concept, since it has a big data pool and good technology. (JP/Marguerite Afra Sapiie)

Chinese e-commerce giant and data technology provider Alibaba Group aims to revolutionize offline retail spaces through a new technology that will enable customers to buy goods in cashier-less shops.

The new retail concept, which connects big data technology to optimize offline retailers and online stores, is being introduced through Alibaba's experimental cashier-less store called Tao Cafe at its 2017 Taobao Maker Festival in Hangzhou, China.

"We have been promoting our idea of new retail, where Alibaba as a super-data company will leverage its data to support offline retail brands to run their operation with the data capability they have. We want to enable brick-and-mortar businesses with Alibaba’s data assets," said Alibaba Group chief marketing officer Chris Tung.

At Tao Cafe, customers only need to scan a QR code on the Taobao app at the entrance, through which they pick the items to purchase. To complete the transaction, shoppers just go through the checkout doors and automatically make purchases through their smartphone without going through a checkout lane.

The company's artificial intelligence and data technologies have also made possible cashless purchases of foods and beverages. The facial and voice recognition system will automatically identify the customer's order and the purchase will be made through their Taobao account or the Alipay payment platform.

"It's not that Alibaba wants to open more cafes, we are not in the restaurant business. The demonstration is about how to make offline retail better if you work with Alibaba’s technology," Tung added. (ags)