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Asia invests in autonomous shopping

Autonomous shopping platforms are growing in popularity in Japan and China.

The Moby Mart self-driving supermarket in China is a standout innovation. Running off electricity, and equipped with solar panels, the environmentally-friendly autonomous store can be summoned using an app.

And this week one of the country’s leading commercial corporations, the Suning Commerce Group, announced it is opening four autonomous stores selling sports goods and electronic devices. Facial recognition technology will provide access and allow for easy payment.

Zhang Jindong, Chairman of Suning Holdings Group, said: “Suning’s unmanned store model has undergone the concept and trial stages, and is now ready to scale up. These stores are launched for business, and are reproducible, cost-wise and technology-wise. As today’s tech-savvy consumers expect different shopping experience, we see more opportunities in the industry and Suning is dedicated to create best services for our customers.”

And Japan is harnessing similar technologies in a bid to deal with its shrinking workforce and ageing population. The government in Tokyo says it wants a rapid increase in the availability of autonomous check outs in stores by 2025.

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