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How to do your grocery shopping in subway stations via your smart phone

Updated on August 17, 2011

This is not the future. This is actually the present. I’ve just read a very interesting article about doing your grocery shopping in subway stations. You don’t need anything else, only your smart phone. Oh, I forgot to mention you have to live in South Korea in order to do that.

One of my online friends used to live in South Korea and she wrote a lot of interesting stuff on her blog about this country. She mentioned how technically developed they are. It’s amazing, isn't it! Did you know that you can go in a Starbucks and place your order on a touch screen at your table?

Well, let’s get back to our South-Korean virtual shopping. The big supermarket chain Tesco (call themselves Homeplus there) came up with this idea in South Korea. They know that people are very hard working there and they don’t really have enough time to do their shopping. When they get tired after long hours work they are not in the mood to do their shopping. They don't want to waste their precious time on shopping during the weekend either. Why not do their shopping in subway stations? It comes handy when they are waiting for subway.

Virtual South Korean supermarket in subway stations
Virtual South Korean supermarket in subway stations | Source

Cool display cases in subway stations

They installed really cool display cases with products identical in colour, scale and size to the real grocery store shelves. They do look lifelike. Just have a look at it. This whole shopping experience is based o two things: smart phones and QR code technologies.

What is a QR code?

According to Wikipedia the QR code is a Quick Response Code which is a specific matrix barcode that is readable by QR readers, smart phones or computers with webcam. The information encoded may be text, URL or other Data. It’s pretty common in South Korea, the Netherlands and of course in Japan where it was created in 1994.

Scanning the QR code
Scanning the QR code | Source

So how do they shop with smart phones in South Korea?

Shoppers are able to browse the isles while they are waiting for subway; when they go to work or come home from there. They don’t waste their time on shopping because as Tesco says:”let the store come to the people”. They scan the QR code with the smart phone and the product will automatically lend in their online cart. When the online purchase is done it will be delivered to their address. It’s fast and very efficient. The purchased products will wait for them when they get home from work.They just have to put them into the kitchen cabinets, freezer ot to the refrigerator.

Virtual shopping with smart phone
Virtual shopping with smart phone | Source
Tesco workers loading the purchased items into big boxes
Tesco workers loading the purchased items into big boxes | Source

The future of shopping

This may be the futurre of shopping. We can forget about looking for parking places in crowded parking lots, long queues, tired and stressed people. This way of grocery shopping is much more relaxed and faster as well. Maybe this is not everybody’s cup of tea but many people already love it.

What do you think would you like to shop like this?


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    • JamaGenee profile image

      Joanna McKenna 

      7 years ago from Central Oklahoma

      This is a GREAT way to grocery shop IF one lives in an area where subways (the Tube to you, Nell) are the main mode of commuting. I doubt it will ever make it to cities where it isn't, but we can dream! ;D

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      7 years ago from England

      Hi, Oh my Goodness! this is fantastic! talk about futuristic, I would love to do my shopping this way, whens it getting to England? lol great hub, and really interesting! cheers nell


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