Hong Kong’s Smart City Blueprint notes that the Government is working to enable citizens to enjoy convenient mobile payments anytime and anywhere as well as adopt more technology applications to help daily life be more efficient.
One retail chain is firmly getting behind this.
According to a recent report, the chain multinational convenience stores, popular in several parts of Asia, is keen to make their customers’ experience more high tech. More so, as their customers are predominantly urban commuters or drivers looking for supplies at gas stations.
Since most of the chain’s customers are usually pressed for time, the ease and efficiency of checkout is a crucial factor in retaining customers.
Thus, in order to boost efficiency and convenience, the company has announced a new partnership with the Hong Kong branch of the e-commerce0 company through a local franchise owner to develop the solution.
The solution is an AI-powered accelerated checkout facility that is designed to make the checkout experience as easy and hassle-free as possible.
Customers can complete the checkout process using the AI-powered checkout solution in just four seconds in three simple steps:
- Place products on the smart checkout counter
- Press the A.I.Recognition (A.I.R.) button on the cashier screen to scan the products
- Complete payment with an Octopus card.
The advanced AI algorithm behind the solution enables the checkout counter to recognize up to five products within one second with an accuracy rate of over 97 per cent, reducing the overall in-store checkout time by 30 per cent.
The Vice President of the e-commerce firm noted that AI will continue to play a critical role in transforming the retail landscape. Retailers who are able to capitalize on this trend will have a competitive edge among their peers.
It was noted that the solution leverages offline retail expertise and the e-commerce firm’s leading retail technology, this pilot project represents a critical first step in collectively realizing the vision for smarter and more convenient retail.
Revolutionising retail through technology
The Group’s attempt at using AI in its convenience stores is a great example for retailers of all sizes across the region.
The company might only be trailing it at two of its stores currently, but there seems to be plenty of evidence that they plan to expand the use of AI.
It is expected that the retailing group is working with the e-commerce company on another project involving facial recognition-enabled smart displays at two of its fashion retail brands in Shanghai.
The facial-recognition experiment is believed to help enhance the consumer experience by providing better insights on product preferences and is expected to help improve the quality of personalized product recommendations for customers.
Retailers are clearly trying to explore how technology can help them better appeal to customers.
Given how much customers love what is being offered and the excitement it creates, technology might just be able to reinvigorate the retail industry and bring back the magic that the industry seems to have lost in recent times.
Driving Smart City goals
Looking ahead, the HKSAR Government will continue to explore and formulate initiatives to promote wider use of mobile payments and bring greater convenience to customers and merchants (such as the aforementioned AI-powered accelerated checkout solution).