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

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A.S. Watson continues to digitally transform its business around the world. Its latest initiatives are to launch a Watsons Mini Store in China and Watsons Pay in Taiwan.

Watsons Mini Store to support O2O

In China, Watsons has also launched Watsons Mini Store, a WeChat Mini Program that enables shoppers to share in-store experiences via social media and create a more seamless online and offline experience. The initiative allows customers to recommend and sell Watsons products to their social media followers. To-date, it has over 10,000 customers selling on the platform.

Watsons Pay for convenience and to strengthen loyalty

In Taiwan, Watsons continues to bring digital features in-store. Earlier in the year, Watsons launched its Tech-Fun store in Taipei, featuring large-scale live broadcast screens and virtual technology make-up service. The retailer has also recently launched Watsons Pay, allowing shoppers to easily make payment via their mobiles online and in-store. Watsons Taiwan has around 5m members on its loyalty programme and hopes to increase this to 6m within two years.

To better connect with its customers...

Group Chief Operating Officer of A.S. Watson Group, Malina Ngai, said, “Customers in today’s digital world have high expectations, and if a company can’t satisfy them, they will churn and move on to one that can. From awareness, product consideration and purchase to loyalty and advocacy, it is of strategic importance that we use technology smartly to connect with customers at micro moments to provide relevant and enriched experiences.”

We have seen several retailers across Asia launch their own e-wallets recently, including AEON in Malaysia, and FamilyMart and Carrefour in Taiwan.

AEON launches its own e-wallet

Earlier this year, AEON introduced its e-wallet app. Available to download on Google Play and Apple App store, AEON's e-wallet allows shoppers to pay and earn points at participating AEON stores (AEON Big Hypermarkets, AEON MaxValu Prime and AEON Wellness) seamlessly. Users can pay by scanning the QR code at the point of sale and earn points for credit when making purchases with the app.

Users just need to add their credit card to the e-wallet and will then be able to monitor their balance and transaction history real-time. The app has a biometric login feature and multi-factor authentication to help reassure users any concerns about security.

AEON Asia Sdn Bhd.'s Managing Director, Shinobu Washizawa, said, "We realise that there is an increase in the use of mobile payments, thus the AEON e-wallet will not only provide our customers with convenience, but also a safe and secure payment system [...]."

Last year, the retailer announced plans to invest JPY500bn (US$4.4bn) in online operations over the next three years. It posted a robust set of H1 results earlier this month.

Other epayment solutions in Asia

The introduction of mobile payment services in Taiwan has been relatively slow despite high smartphone penetration. Many shoppers still prefer to purchase online and collect and pay in cash in-store. However, retailers are beginning to invest in more digital solutions, for example, FamilyMart (My FamiPay) and Carrefour (Carrefour Pay) have recently launched their own e-wallets in Taiwan. The latter allows users to add up to five credit cards in one app. Two of the most well-known epayment solutions in Asia are Alipay and WeChat pay.

Dianguo Technology has obtained a license from unstaffed retail brand BingoBox to launch BingoStore in Taiwan.

Another unstaffed store in Taipei

In recent months, Taipei has seen the introduction of several new concept stores in the convenience channel. The launch of BingoStore follows 7-Eleven (X-Store) and FamilyMart also launching unstaffed stores earlier this year.

The new unstaffed BingoStore was unveiled and open for three days at Huashan 1914, Zhongzheng district, Taipei. The first store will open in Datong University next month, and subsequently stationed at the MRT Songshan Station at the end of September.

Source: Technews.tw

How does BingoStore work?

To enter the store, customers need to scan a QR code to register. The store uses technologies such as image recognition, mobile payment and AI to offer seamless shopping experience. It also uses big data analytics to review the products placed in the store, providing insights on shopper preferences and habits in the area. BingoStore offers much more than a vending machine, and significantly reduces the time to shop compared to a supermarket.

Why does BingoStore look similar to Auchan Minute?

Earlier this year, we visited Auchan Minute in Shanghai. Its original partner was BingoBox, but due to strategic differences the two companies separated and all stores in China were rebranded (from BingoBox) to Auchan Minute. 

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7-Eleven has opened its second unstaffed convenience store in Taiwan.

Successful trial...

After testing the first store of its kind six months ago, President Chain Store Corporation, operator of 7-Eleven in Taiwan has opened its second unstaffed X-Store in Taipei. The new store is located in Xinyi District, and utilises facial recognition or a iCash 2.0 card to recognise customers.

Like the first store, which opened at the company's headquarters in January, the new store targets tech-savvy shoppers, nearby workers and students in the area. The company said that the number of customers at the first X-Store increased 50 per cent over six months.

Our view

Convenience is largest modern food and grocery channel in Taiwan. As network expansion slows down due to market saturation, however, growth will be driven by innovation centred around shopping experience and convenience.

Last month, we highlighted some of the latest developments in the market. With the top four convenience chains (7-Eleven, FamilyMart, Hi-Life and OK mart) operating more than 10,000 stores between them, there is still vast potential for retailers to roll-out new concept stores, and therefore how the channel fulfils shopper missions can evolve even further. 

 

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This in-depth guide to Taiwan explores the key trends in grocery retail and the growth strategies of the leading retailers in the country.

We've developed a single, universal methodology for calculating food and consumer goods retail data, supported by our programme of primary and secondary research. This makes Datacentre the most reliable and robust source available for data of this type. 

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