For overwhelmed business people who can’t seem to find time to sleep, let alone do all of the household chores, shopping for groceries can feel like a huge waste of time. European supermarket chain Tesco (known in South Korea as Home Plus) has come up with a brilliant way for South Koreans to do their shopping during the normally-wasted parts of their morning commute: they put grocery store shelf mock-ups on subway platforms.
The “shelves” look just like they do in the stores with products neatly displayed. Each product bears a QR code that, when scanned, drops the item into the shopper’s virtual shopping cart. When their virtual shopping trips are done (hopefully just before their respective trains approach) shoppers choose a time for the food to be delivered to their doors that evening. A load of fresh food can therefore greet busy workers right after they arrive home from work every day.
Although online shopping/home delivery of groceries isn’t a new practice, putting the shopping interface in a public place is. And putting QR codes on the products is simply brilliant. It’s a great example of how technology really can take the most mundane, unpleasant tasks and make them almost enjoyable…or at least less traumatic.