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Rakuten and Seiyu will deliver products from the Seiyu LIVIN Yokosuka Store in Yokosuka City, Kanagawa Prefecture, to visitors in Sarushima via drones.

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VinMart, a leading retailer in Vietnam, has placed large posters displaying images of over 100 daily essential products on shelves to look like a supermarket in 20 locations. Shoppers can buy these products by scanning QR codes on their mobile phone and pay with the VinID app.

Expanding to more locations

These virtual stores are placed in dormitories, office buildings, schools and bus stops across 20 locations in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. After scanning the QR codes and confirming their orders, the shoppers can pay for the products with their bank cards on the VinID app. The products can be delivered between two to four hours upon purchase. VinMart will expand this concept to other locations around the country.

Smart shopping handbook

Besides the virtual store, VinMart has also developed a handbook with over 800 items available for purchase. The handbook is available both online and in a paper version. Shoppers buy products by scanning QR codes using the Scan & Go feature on its app and also use the VinID for payment. 

A pioneer in Vietnam

VinMart is a key leader in utilising new technology to enhance shopping experience. It is helping shoppers save time with cashless payments in both physical and virtual stores. Its Scan & Go app was first rolled in out in March in 12 physical stores enable self-checkout. This technology will be expanding to 73 stores nationwide.

 

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A.S. Watson and L'Oréal's AI and AR firm ModiFace have launched a virtual makeup service.

Technology driving online and offline integration

L'Oréal continues to work with A.S. Watson to develop better beauty experiences for shoppers. Last year, the two businesses launched ColorLab by Watsons. Now, they have launched a new technology that allows shoppers to discover and test makeup in-store virtually for 300 products, including lipsticks, mascara, eyeshadow, brow colouring and foundation.

The new #ColourMe service embedded in the Watsons mobile app uses AR technology to allow users to also 'try on' new on-trend looks, create and save their own beauty designs, plus capture photos and videos of their makeup. To make shopping more convenient, products can be delivered to shoppers' home or collected from a Watsons store as quickly as four hours.

Roll out to several markets across Asia

The first part of the launch will service L’Oreal Paris and Maybelline brands and rolled-out to Watsons Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Taiwan. This could extend further to other brands and markets across A.S. Watson's portfolio in Asia and Europe in the future. 

A.S Watson's COO, Malina Ngai, said “We strive to create bespoke online and offline experiences that add value for their lifestyle. We have a shared vision with L’Oreal in driving digital leadership in beauty, and we discussed about creating the exclusive experience since the second half of last year using ModiFace’s technology. Together we will transform the way beauty lovers discover and experience makeup and a one-stop shopping experience on our mobile app.”

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VinMart, a leading retailer in Vietnam, is testing “Scan & Go” feature with a mobile application in 13 stores.

Integration with VinID

Shoppers need to download the VinID app and be a member to use the new feature. Once the “Scan & Go” feature is selected, shoppers can scan the barcode in the store and see the product information and prices in their electronic cart. Payment can be made upon checkout using a barcode at specific counters. Finally, shoppers can choose to pick up their shopping at the store or receive their delivery after two hours on the app.

Benefits of the new service

The service is targeted at convenience-loving youths and busy shoppers. With home delivery, shoppers do not have to do the heavy lifting. Those who choose to pick up their shopping later can spend more time in the mall or watch a movie without carrying their groceries around. With the barcode payment feature, shoppers can also expect much faster payment. Special promotions will be displayed immediately for those using the app.

 

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FamilyMart has launched its first laundry-convenience store in the Sanchong District of New Taipei, Taiwan.

A multipurpose convenience store

FamilyMart's new laundry convenience store, which opened last month, operates approx. 140 sq m. The store is fitted with five all-in-one washer-dryers, a service support/payment counter, an area for daily consumables, cigarettes, and more. The retailer plans to open ten more stores of this concept within the next year, with commercial districts that have a high percentage of renters an area of focus.

Smart laundrette and mobile notifications...

For greater convenience, customers can access real-time information about service availability using the FamilyMart app. They also have the option to receive a SMS notifications five minutes prior to the end of their laundry cycle. Prices range between NT$190 (US$6,2) and NT$220 (US$7.2) based on the service. Customer can also choose from 30 different methods of payment.

Competitive convenience landscape

FamilyMart continues to test new store concepts and initiatives. Its futuristic store, which we highlighted as one of The top 17 stores to visit in Asia in 2019 is an excellent example. We have seen FamilyMart in Japan move towards a similar direction, installing laundry machines to support shoppers' wider needs albeit in mainly existing convenience stores.

Taiwan's convenience landscape is highly competitive. Retailers are launching multipurpose stores to meet lifestyle needs in addition to stocking basic food and drink. This is beginning to extend further than just paying bills, buying train tickets and picking up online deliveries, and into pharmaceutical, leisure (gym) and beauty.

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